Saturday, December 6, 2008

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

OPENING THIS WEEK
Kam's Kapsules:
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening December 12, 2008


BIG BUDGET FILMS

The Day the Earth Stood Still (PG-13 for violence and disaster images) Keanu Reeves stars in this remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic about an alien who arrives on Earth with an indestructible robot to issue a dire warning for humanity about living in harmony with nature. Ensemble includes Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates, John Cleeese and Jaden Smith.

Doubt (PG-13 for mature themes) Faith-based drama, set in the Bronx in 1964, about a nun (Meryl Streep) serving as a Catholic school principal who becomes suspicious her parish priest’s (Philip Seymour Hoffman) motivations when he takes a special interest in her first black student (Joseph Foster). Cast includes Viola Davis and Amy Adams.

Nothing Like the Holidays (PG-13 for drug references, mature themes and sexual dialogue) Dysfunctional family comedy about three Puerto Rican siblings (John Leguizamo, Vanessa Ferlito and Freddy Rodriguez) who reunite at their parents’ (Alfred Molina and Elizabeth Pena) home in Chicago for a turbulent Christmas vacation marked by the revelation of a big secret leading to a reordering of life priorities.


INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Adam Resurrected (R for nudity, sexuality, profanity and disturbing behavior) Jeff Goldblum handles the title role in this psychological drama about a Jewish circus clown from Berlin who survives the Holocaust only to land by 1961 in an Israeli mental institution where he passes the time entertaining fellow concentration camp survivors. Cast includes Willem Dafoe, Derek Jacobi and Juliane Kohler.

Che (Unrated) Steven Soderbergh directs this 4½-hour bio-pic chronicling the rise and fall of Che Guevara (Benicio Del Toro) from his orchestrating the overthrow of Batista in Cuba to his demise in the mountains of Bolivia at the direction of the CIA. (In Spanish and English with subtitles)

Dark Streets (R for violence, sexuality and drug use) Crime thriller, set in New Orleans in the Thirties, revolving around the mysterious deaths of people close to a broke nightclub owner (Gabriel Mann) embroiled in a love triangle with a couple of lounge singers (Bijou Phillips and Izabella Miko).

Delgo (PG for action violence) Freddie Prinze, Jr. plays the titular character in this animated fantasy about a na├»ve teenager who intervenes in the longstanding feud between his terrestrial people and a race of winged creatures after he falls in love with the other species’ beautiful princess (Jennifer Love Hewitt). Voice cast includes Lou Gossett, Jr., Kelly Ripa, Michael Clarke Duncan, Burt Reynolds, Sally Kellerman, Val Kilmer, Chris Kattan, Eric Idle and the late Anne Bancroft.

In the City of Sylvia (Unrated) Romance drama about a lovesick young artist (Xavier Lafitte) who returns to Strasbourg to search for a stranger (Pilar Lopez de Ayala) he met briefly in a bar several years earlier. (In French and Spanish with subtitles)

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (Unrated) Bollywood musical starring Shahrukh Khan as a jaded middle-aged man who tries to resuscitate the romance in a loveless marriage with his flamboyant young wife (Anushka Sharma) by undergoing a makeover and by becoming a dance contestant on a reality TV-series. (In Hindi with subtitles)

The Reader (R for nudity and sexuality) Post-WWII drama about a young, German law student (Ralph Fiennes) who re-encounters a secret ex-lover (Kate Winslet) twice his age while observing the Nazi war trials where she’s a defendant accused of committing a heinous crime against humanity.

Timecrimes (R for nudity and profanity) Sci-fi thriller about a married man (Karra Elejalde) forced to perform an unthinkable act to return to the present after accidentally traveling backwards in time. (In Spanish with subtitles)

Wendy and Lucy (R for profanity) Michelle Williams stars in this road saga about a cash-strapped young woman with a dog whose financial straits worsen when her car breaks down in Oregon before she can reach Alaska where a lucrative summer job awaits. With Will Patton, Skeeter Greene and Will Oldham.

What Doesn’t Kill You (R for profanity, violence, drug use and brief sexuality) Crime saga about a couple of ruthless mobsters (Ethan Hawke and Mark Ruffalo) who wreak havoc all around their South Boston neighborhood by bullying everyone to get whatever they want. Supporting cast includes Amanda Peet and Donnie Wahlberg.

Where God Left His Shoes (Unrated) Holiday sitdram about a homeless, washed-up boxer’s (John Leguizamo) desperate efforts not only to find a job but also and an apartment for his family on Christmas Eve. With Leonor Varela, David Castro and Samantha M. Rose.

While She Was Out (R for profanity and graphic violence) Crime thriller about a suburban housewife (Kim Basinger) with an abusive husband (Craig Sheffer) who finds herself in the fight of her life after a run-in with a gang of four punks (Lukas Haas, Jamie Starr, Leonard Wu and Luis Chavez) in a mall parking lot on Christmas Eve.

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