Thursday, August 21, 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 August 29, 2008


Babylon A.D. (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, action sequences and intense violence) Sci-fi thriller about a mercenary (Vin Diesel) escorting a young woman (Melanie Thierry) from Russia to Canada unaware that her body is host to an organism from which a cult plans to produce a genetically-engineered Messiah. Cast includes Michelle Yeoh, Charlotte Rampling and Gerard Depardieu.

College (R for pervasive sexuality and crude humor, nudity, profanity, and drug and alcohol abuse) End-of-innocence comedy revolving around three high school seniors (Drake Bell, Kevin Covais and Andrew Caldwell) who enjoy a wild weekend at a raucous fraternity house during their visit to a prospective college.

Disaster Movie (PG-13 for profanity, drug references, slapstick violence, crude humor and sex content) Disaster flicks gets the same treatment already accorded the horror (Scary Movie), teen (Date Movie) blockbuster (Epic Movie) and historical (Meet the Spartans) genres in this zany spoof about a bunch of twenty-somethings who encounter a series of calamities over the course of one very eventful night. Ensemble cast includes Kim Kardashian, Carmen Electra and Tony Cox.

Traitor (PG-13 for brief profanity, mature themes, and intense violence) International political potboiler about a former U.S. Special Operations Officer (Don Cheadle) who finds himself subjected to close scrutiny by both FBI (Guy Pearce and Neal McDonough) and CIA (Jeff Daniels) Agents after being implicated in a series of terrorist attacks.


Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild (Unrated) Jonah Blechman is the only lead actor to reprise his role in this freaky follow-up to the raunchy gay-themed teensplurt ostensibly-inspired by American Pie. The sequel is set over Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where the plan is to participate in “buttlove” and “wet package” contests. Principal cast includes Jake Mosser, Aaron Michael Davies and Jimmy Clabots, and features the flamboyant Lady Bunny and RuPaul in support roles.

I Served the King of England (R for nudity and sexuality) Flasback comedy about a social-climbing Czech busboy (Ivan Barnev) who inherits the millions his Nazi wife (Juia Jentsch) had stolen from Jews during WWII only to end up impoverished again and in prison when his fortune is confiscated by the Communists.

Maria Bethania (Unrated) Musical bio-pic chronicles the career of Brazil’s legendary Maria Bethania via a combination of concert footage and interviews with fans, family, friends and the sultry samba singer herself. (In Portuguese with subtitles)

My Mexican Shiva (Unrated) Cross-cultural comedy about the skeletons that come flying out of the closet of a dysfunctional family over the course of the week during which it gathers to mourn the passing of its patriarch (Sergio Kleiner). (In Hebrew, Spanish and Yiddish with subtitles)

Sukiyaki Western Django (R for graphic violence, including a brutal rape) Japanese, spaghetti-style Western, set during the Genpei Wars near the end of the 12th Century, revolving around a lone gunslinger (Hideaki Ito) who rides into town just in time to tame two rival gangs locked in a bloody a turf war. With a couple of quickie cameos by Quentin Tarantino.

Year of the Fish (Unrated) Animated update of Cinderella revolving around a young Asian immigrant (An Nguyen) who, upon her arrival in New York City, is forced by an evil madam (Tsai Chin) to work in a seedy Chinatown massage parlor.

Youssou N’Dour: Return to Goree (Unrated) Roots documentary retraces the route of the slave trade while simultaneously chronicling numerous recording, rap and jam sessions conducted by Youssou N’Dour as the peripatetic, Senegalese singer/percussionist and his jazz band (which includes Idris Muhammad and Pyeng Threadgill) travel from New Orleans back to Africa for a seaside concert in Dakar before a castle’s infamous door of no return. With commentary by Amiri Baraka. (In French and English with subtitles)

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