Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kam's Kapsules: Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

Kam's Kapsules:
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening June 27, 2008


WALL-E (G) Disney/Pixar animation collaboration revolving around a robot left on Earth after it’s evacuated due to pollution. He falls in love with the fembot sent back by humans to retrieve the last plant on the planet. Featuring computer-generated sounds augmented by a voice cast which includes Jeff Garlin, Sigourney Weaver, Fred Willard and John Ratzenberger.

Wanted (R for sexuality, pervasive profanity and graphic violence) Sci-fi thriller about a slacker (James McAvoy) recruited to join a secret society of vigilantes following his father’s murder by a sexy assassin (Angelina Jolie). Cast includes Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp and Common.


All in This Tea (Unrated) Pekoe documentary traces the efforts of peripatetic tea importer David Lee Hoffman to find the most aromatic leaves available in China given the trend toward the widespread use of chemical fertilizers that’s rapidly turning organic farmers into an endangered species. (In English and Mandarin with subtitles)

Bustin’ Down the Door (Unrated) Edward Norton narrates this “Hang Ten” documentary recounting how the sport of surfing was revolutionized, popularized and corporatized in the Seventies in the wake of the arrival in Hawaii of a half-dozen, brash young beach boys from Australia and South Africa.

Elsa and Fred (PG for mild epithets and mature themes) Romantic comedy, set in Madrid, about a lonely, 77 year-old widower (Manuel Alexandre) who moves into a smaller apartment on the advice of his daughter (Blanca Portillo) only to find himself seduced by his elderly, new next-door neighbor (China Zorrilla), a bon vivant determined to enjoy life to the very end. (In Spanish, Italian and English with subtitles)

Finding Amanda (R for pervasive profanity, drug use, brief nudity and graphic sexuality) Dysfunctional family drama about a TV producer (Matthew Broderick) cured of his drinking and gambling habits who ventures to Vegas to rescue a niece (Brittany Snow) rumored to be on drugs and working as a prostitute. Cast includes Maura Tierney and Peter Facinelli.

Full Grown Men (Unrated) Peter Pan adventure about an immature father (Matt McGrath), kicked out of the house by his wife for refusing to grow up, who tracks down a long-lost friend (Judah Friedlander) to take a nostalgic road trip together to their favorite amusement park from childhood. With Amy Sedaris, Deborah “Blondie” Harry, Alan Cumming and Joie Lee (Spike’s sister).

Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot (PG-13 for profanity) Hoop dreams documentary chronicles the competition among 24 of the best high school basketball prospects as they showcase their skills at Harlem’s historic Rucker Park in front of fans and talent scouts.

The Last Mistress (Unrated) Ever-controversial Catherine Breillat directs this exploration of female desire, set in the 19th Century during the reign of King Louis Phillippe, about a bachelor (Fu’ad Aft Aattou) who has to contend with the wrath of his troublemaking, jealous lover of ten years (Asia Arguento) after announcing his engagement to an angelic virgin (Roxane Mesquida) of noble birth. (In French with subtitles)

Louise Bourgeois (Unrated) Revealing bio-pic offers an intimate portrait of the life and times of sculptress Louise Bourgeois via reflections by the 96 year-old artist herself about her challenging childhood in Paris, her expatriation in New York, and the pleasure she continues to find in pursuing her enduring career.

Red Roses and Petrol (R for profanity and sexual references) Dysfunctional family drama, adapted from the Joseph O’Connor stage play of the same name, examines the machinations inside an Irish clan gathering in Dublin for the funeral of its beloved patriarch (Malcolm MacDowell).

Trumbo (PG-13 for sex-related commentary) Christopher Trumbo adapts his Off-Broadway play about his father, Dalton Trumbo (1905-1976), Oscar-winning screenwriter who was blacklisted, disgraced and imprisoned in the late Forties by the House Un-American Activities Committee for defiantly refusing to discuss political affiliations. Includes appearances by Kirk Douglas, Danny Glover, Joan Allen, Nathan Lane, Brian Dennehy and Liam Neeson.

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