OPENING THIS WEEK
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening July 18, 2008
BIG BUDGET FILMS
The Dark Knight (PG-13 for menacing and for intense violence) Christian Bale returns as The Caped Crusader in an action thriller co-starring the late Heath Ledger as Batman’s archenemy, a psychopathic clown known as The Joker. Cast includes Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart and Michael Jai White.
Mama Mia! (PG-13 for sex-related material) Screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, set on an enchanting Greek island, where an 18 year-old bride-to-be (Amanda Seyfried) has invited all three of her mother’s (Meryl Streep) ex-lovers to her wedding, hoping to determine which one is her father: the businessman (Pierce Brosnan), the adventurer (Stellan Skarsgard) or the banker (Colin Firth).
Space Chimps (G) Animated adventure about a trio of chimp astronauts (Andy Samberg, Cheryl Hines and Patrick Warburton) rocketed to another galaxy to rescue the peaceful inhabitants of an uncharted planet from the clutches of an evil tyrant (Jeff Daniels). Voice cast includes Kenan Thompson and Stanley Tucci.
Transsiberian (R for violence, torture and profanity) Crime thriller about an American couple (Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer) traveling by train from China to Moscow who become unwittingly involved with Russian cops and mobsters after being befriended by another couple (Eduardo Noriega and Kate Mara) en route. Cast includes Ben Kingsley and Thomas Kretschmann.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Before I Forget (Unrated) Jacques Nolot wrote, directed and stars in this new lease on life drama about a suicidal, 58 year-old, HIV+ former gigolo who decides to deal with his depression by indulging his every sexual fantasy. (In French with subtitles)
Disfigured (Unrated) Body dysmorphic disorder drama chronicles the unlikely friendship which evolves between an obese sales clerk (Deidra Edwards) and a woman (Staci Lawrence) recovering from anorexia who meet at a fat acceptance group meeting.
The Doorman (Unrated) Manhattan mockumentary about NYC’s most powerful doorman’s (Lucas Akosin) being humbled by losing his job at the city’s trendiest nightclub. Cast includes Oscar-nominated director Peter Bogdanovich.
Felon (R for brutal violence, brief nudity and pervasive profanity) Stephen Dorff portrays the title character in this prison drama about a family man who ends up behind bars with a mass murderer (Val Kilmer) for a cellmate after being convicted of manslaughter for killing an intruder during a home invasion.
Hounddog (Unrated) Coming-of-age drama, set in rural Alabama in the late Fifties, revolving around a young girl (Dakota Fanning) whose obsession with Elvis Presley serves as an avenue of emotional escape from a dysfunctional home life shared with an incapacitated father (Daddy Morse) and a strict, religious grandmother (Piper Laurie). With Jill Scott as Big Mama Thornton.
Lou Reed’s Berlin (PG-13 for brief profanity) Oscar-nominee Julian Schnabel (for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) directs this concert flick, shot over the course of five nights inside a Brooklyn warehouse in 2006, featuring Lou Reed’s performance of his 1973 concept album “Berlin” with an orchestra which included his band, backup singers, strings, horns and a choir.
Mad Detective (Unrated) Psychological crime thriller about a young cop (Andy On) who teams up with a retired psychic detective (Ching Wan Lau) to track down an AWOL colleague (Kwok-Lun Lee) only to suspect the missing man’s partner (Ka Tung Lam) of being a serial killer. (In Cantonese and English with subtitles)
A Man Named Pearl (Unrated) Uplifting documentary about Pearl Fryar, a son of sharecropper denied a chance to buy a house on the white side of town in Bishopville, South Carolina because he was black who settles across the tracks in the African-American community where he garners international fame by cultivating an award-winning topiary garden.
No Regret (R for profanity, nudity, violence and graphic sexuality) Homoerotic
drama about a teenage orphan (Young-hoon Lee) working as prostitute in a gay bar who becomes the boy-toy of a rich kid (Han Lee) whose conservative family expects him to proceed with an arranged marriage to a woman he isn’t in love with or even attracted to. (In Korean with subtitles)
Take (R for violent and disturbing content) Flashback flick about a still-grieving mother (Minnie Driver) on her way to witness the execution of the Death Row inmate (Jeremy Renner) who murdered her young son (Bobby Coleman) during a supermarket robbery.
A Very British Gangster (Unrated) Mob documentary paints a cinematic portrait of Dominic Noonan, the charismatic Irishman running one of England’s most vicious crime families.
Wonderful Town (Unrated) Romance drama, set in a Thai town devastated by the tsunami, revolves around the relationship between a rebuilding architect (Supphasit Kansen) and the owner (Anchalee Saisoontorn) of the hotel where he’s staying. (In Thai with subtitles)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
OPENING THIS WEEK