HOSTEL: PART II
Cast: Lauren German, Bijou Phillips, Heather Matarazzo, Roger Bart
Director: Eli Roth
In a decidedly unkempt Slovakian dungeon, three vacationing Americans are flayed, decapitated and generally mistreated by insane rich men with knives. Summer movie fun for the whole family.
Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin
Director: Steven Soderbergh
A band of very pretty people rob a casino. (See review in the main issue.)
Voice Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Jon Heder, James Woods, Jeff Bridges
Directors: Ash Brannon, Chris Buck
Yet another penguin movie: A teenage penguin travels from Antarctica to Hawaii for a surfboarding competition. Animated.
FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER
Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon
Director: Tim Story
In this sequel to a film that every comic geek saw but few loved, a silver-skinned cool-dude superhero on a surfboard joins forces with the Fab Four against evil Dr. Doom.
Cast: Billy Connolly, Carrie-Anne Moss, Dylan Baker, K’Sun Ray
Director: Andrew Currie
In 1950s suburbia, where an invasion of zombies has been thwarted and the flesh eaters turned into household servants, young Timmy’s family finally gets a zombie of its own, a benign, wise hulk whom Timmy dubs “Fido.”
Cast: Emma Roberts, Rachael Leigh Cook, Tate Donovan
Director: Andrew Fleming
The rare summer movie that may appeal to your grandmother, this big-screen adaptation of the young-adult mystery series stars Emma Roberts (daughter of Eric, niece of Julia) as a modern-day version of the plucky 1930s teen sleuth. Give it a chance: Fleming wrote and directed Dick.
Cast: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack
Director: Mikael Håfström
Stephen King, who knows a thing or two about scary hotels, penned the short story that inspired this thriller about a professional haunted-house debunker (Cusack) who checks into a room many have entered and few have exited.
A MIGHTY HEART
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Dan Futterman, Will Patton, Irrfan Khan
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Angelina Jolie stars as Mariane Pearl, whose best-seller A Mighty Heart detailed her 2002 journey to Pakistan to search for her husband, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and killed by Islamic fundamentalists. Futterman (who wrote Capote) portrays, in flashback, the late Daniel Pearl.
Cast: Elisha Cuthbert, Daniel Gilles, Pruitt Taylor Vince
Director: Roland Joffé
A fashion model (Cuthbert) and her chauffeur (Gilles) are kidnapped and tortured by one of her fans (Vince). Locked in a tiny room together, model and chauffeur predictably fall in love and unite to defeat their captor. What’s unexpected here is the presence behind the camera of Joffé (The Killing Fields, The Mission), who’s either slumming for a buck or attempting to elevate torture horror to a higher plain.
DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE
Cast: Jaime Pressly, Holly Valance, Sarah Carter, Natasha Malthe, Devon Aoki
Director: Corey Yuen
Scantily clad beauties fight evildoers in this live-action version of a popular video game.
Cast: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham
Director: Tom Shadyac
Morgan Freeman returns in what’s shaping up to be the first talking deity series since George Burns started yakking to John Denver. In this not-quite-a-sequel variation on the Jim Carrey hit Bruce Almighty, God comes calling on an arrogant newsman, played by Carell.
Cast: Jon Voight, Trent Ford, Tamara Hope, Terence Stamp
Director: Christopher Cain
A bearded Stamp plays Mormon leader Brigham Young in this dramatization of the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre, when 120 settlers in the Utah Territory were murdered by a Mormon militia. Sorry about the timing, Mitt.
YOU KILL ME
Cast: Ben Kingsley, Téa Leoni, Luke Wilson, Philip Baker Hall, Bill Pullman
Director: John Dahl
A crime comedy from Red Rock West director Dahl about an alcoholic Polish Mafia hit man (Kingsley) ordered to dry out in San Francisco, where he finds love and a part-time job as a mortician.
LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD
Cast: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long, Maggie Q.
Director: Len Wiseman
Twelve years and many flops after Die Hard With a Vengeance, Willis returns to the role of maverick cop John McClane.
DEATH AT A FUNERAL
Cast: Ewen Bremmer, Peter Dinklage, Matthew MacFadyen
Director: Frank Oz
A black comedy about a proper British funeral where the mourning family is slowly coming unhinged, thanks to accidental drug trips, unexpected trysts and the unnerving appearance of the dead patriarch’s secret gay lover. Great trailer.
Cast: Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Patrick Wilson, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close
Director: Lajos Koltai
Novelist Michael Cunningham (The Hours) wrote the screenplay for this star-packed adaptation of Susan Minot’s exquisite 1999 novel, in which a dying woman recalls a wedding 40 years earlier at which she fell madly and tragically in love.
Voice Cast: Patton Oswalt, Brian Dennehy, Brad Garrett, Janeane Garofalo
Director: Brad Bird
Pixar Animation and the director of The Incredibles team up to tell the inspiring tale of Paris rat Remy, who dreams of being a master chef in a world that doesn’t always respond enthusiastically to a cute rodent in the kitchen.
Director: Michael Moore
After taking on the car industry (Roger & Me), the gun industry (Bowling for Columbine) and the war industry (Fahrenheit 9/11), Michael Moore shifts his obsessive gaze to American health care. Hey, insurance companies: Any publicity is good publicity, right?
LICENSE TO WED
Cast: Robin Williams, Mandy Moore, John Krasinski
Director: Ken Kwapis
Sadie (Moore) dreams of marrying her fiancé (Krasinski) at her family’s church, but it’s booked for the next two years. To score the one open day, the couple must survive a marriage-prep course devised by a most unorthodox pastor, played by Robin Williams.
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Anderson
Director: Michael Bay
Imagine if those nimble robot action figures gathering dust under your kid’s bed decided to bulk up, rise up and take over Earth. With the director of Pearl Harbor and Armageddon at the helm, expect a long, noisy war
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson
Director: David Yates
An obscure British import. Expect little advance publicity.
Cast: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman
Director: Bryan Bertino
In a remote vacation home, a young couple must defend themselves against three masked invaders.
Cast: John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken
Director: Adam Shankman
Filmmaker John Waters’ lifelong dream of invading the suburban multiplexes of America finally comes true with this big-budget version of the hit Broadway play based on Waters’ nonmusical 1988 comedy.
I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel
Director: Dennis Dugan
About Schmidt and Sideways writers Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor go seriously mainstream, joining with co-writer Barry Fanaro (Kingpin) for this broad comedy about two perpetually single New York firefighters who pretend to be lovers in order to receive domestic partnership benefits.
I KNOW WHO KILLED ME
Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Julia Ormond, Neal McDonough, Brian Geraghty
Director: Chris Sivertson
After escaping from a sadistic serial killer, a young woman named Aubrey Fleming (Lohan) awakens from a coma to say that the real Aubrey Fleming is still out there, in danger.
Cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin
Director: Scott Hicks
An acclaimed Manhattan chef (Zeta-Jones) with no time for anything but cooking is suddenly given charge of her 9-year-old niece (Little Miss Sunshine’s Breslin) at the same time a handsome, spirited sous-chef (Eckhart) joins her staff.
Cast: Jason Behr, Elias Koteas, Rhona Mitra
Director: James Isaac
Rival werewolf factions battle over a half-human, half-wolf, 13-year-old boy who doesn’t yet know that he’s going to someday be furrier than the other boys at school.
THE SIMPSONS MOVIE
Director: David Silverman
Please be funny.
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony
Director: Leon Ichaso
Latin singing sensation Anthony stars as the wildly popular 1960s and ’70s salsa star Hector Lavoe, who couldn’t overcome his addiction to cocaine and heroin. Lopez plays Lavoe’s wife.
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis
Director: Jon Poll
Kicked out of private school, Charlie Bartlett (Yelchin) finds himself dispensing easily acquired Ritalin, Xanax and Wellbutrin to his depressed public-school classmates and counseling them. This makes him the enemy of school principal Robert Downey Jr.
Cast: Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher, Sissy Spacek, Ian McShane
Director: Akiva Schaffer
Saturday Night Live star Samberg plays Rod Kimble, a motorcycle stuntman who plans to jump 15 buses to raise money for a lifesaving operation his abusive stepfather (McShane) desperately needs. Once said stepfather is healthy, Rod plans to kick his ass.
RESURRECTING THE CHAMP
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Rod Lurie
After realizing that a homeless man (Jackson) is a former boxing champ, sports reporter Hartnett tries to revive the boxer’s career and also boost his own.
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM
Cast: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Joan Allen, David Strathairn
Director: Paul Greengrass
Former CIA assassin Jason Bourne (Damon) dodges bullets and flying cars (again) while investigating (again) the mysteries of the past he can’t remember (again). Regression therapy might have been easier.
Cast: Jim Belushi, Peter Dinklage, Brad Garrett
Director: Frederik Du Chau
In this live-action family comedy, a lab accident gives a beagle superpowers and the ability to speak (via Jason Lee’s voice). So when evildoers descend on the city, it’s Underdog to the rescue.
Cast: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters, James Cromwell, Maggie Smith
Director: Julian Jarrold
This costume drama from the director of Kinky Boots imagines that at age 20, budding English novelist Jane Austen (Hathaway) had a romance with a penniless but handsome young lawyer (McAvoy), on which she modeled Pride and Prejudice.
BRATZ: THE MOVIE
Cast: Paula Abdul, Nathalia Ramos, Skylar Shaye
Director: Sean McNamara
A live-action film inspired by a popular line of dolls. Barbie must be so jealous.
DADDY DAY CAMP
Cast: Cuba Gooding Jr.
Director: Fred Savage
Former child-star Savage makes his feature directorial debut in this sequel to Daddy Day Care, in which Cuba Gooding Jr. takes over Eddie Murphy’s role as a dad who, this time out, opens a summer camp for kids.
Cast: Reece Thompson, Anna Kendrick, Nicholas D’Agosto
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
Blitz, director of the popular spelling-bee documentary Spellbound, helms this comedy about a chronic stutterer who joins his high school debate team at the insistence of the school’s beautiful debate-team queen.
RUSH HOUR 3
Cast: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker
Director: Brett Ratner
Quick, go rent the first two and bone up on the elaborate back story.
Cast: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, Peter O’Toole
Director: Matthew Vaughn
A young Englishman follows a falling star and ends up in the fantasy land of Faerie, where the star is a beautiful woman (Danes) being hunted by an evil witch (Pfeiffer). Based on a graphic novel by the revered writer Neil Gaiman.
Cast: A.J. Bowen, Justin Welborn, Anessa Ramsey, Scott Poythress
Directors: David Bruckner, Dan Bush and Jacob Gentry
Told in three parts by three directors, this horror film traces what happens when a mysterious electronic transmission ignites a city’s murderous aggressions.
Cast: Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel
Director: Kyle Newman
A comedy about four sci-fi-geek best friends who travel cross-country to break into George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch and somehow screen the as-yet unreleased Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig,
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
In the umpteenth riff on Jack Finney’s classic 1955 novel, The Body Snatchers, a Washington, D.C., psychiatrist (Kidman) comes to believe that the reason people around her are acting stranger than usual is that aliens have taken them over.
Cast: Christina Ricci, Catherine O’Hara, Peter Dinklage, James McAvoy, Reese Witherspoon
Director: Mark Palansky
A modern-day fable about a young woman afflicted with a pig snout of a nose, the result of a family curse that can be broken only if she finds love.
Cast: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Seth Rogen, Bill Hader
Director: Greg Mottola
A coming-of-age comedy about two high school nerds (Cera and Hill) who spend a fateful night trying to lose their virginity. Produced by Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) and directed by Mottola, whose debut film was the terrific indie comedy Daytrippers.
Cast: Jason Biggs, Isla Fisher, Joe Pantoliano
Director: Michael Ian Black
After losing the girl of his dreams, Anderson (Biggs) spontaneously proposes to a waitress (Fisher), who accepts. Will love blossom?
Cast: David Koechner, Bradley Cooper, Matthew Lawrence
Director: Tom Brady
In this spoof of inspirational sports movies, the unluckiest coach in sports (Koechner) gets one last chance when he takes over a no-talent football team with the worst record in history.
GOOD LUCK CHUCK
Cast: Dane Cook, Jessica Alba
Director: Mark Helfrich
Poor Chuck (Cook) becomes a babe magnet for all the wrong reasons after word gets out that, for some mysterious reason, any woman who sleeps with him is destined to fall in love with the next man she meets.
BALLS OF FURY
Cast: Dan Fogler, Christopher Walken, George Lopez, Maggie Q.
Director: Robert Ben Garant
At the behest of the FBI, agent Randy Daytona (Fogler), a former pingpong champ, re-enters the fray on a secret mission to defeat his father’s arch-rival and possible killer (Walken).
Cast: Kevin Bacon
Director: James Wan
A new adaptation of a 1975 novel by Brian Garfield, which was a sequel to Garfield’s earlier Death Wish, the book that spawned a hit film for tough guy Charles Bronson. In this updated version, a businessman (Bacon) turns vigilante after a street gang attacks his family.
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane
Director: Rob Zombie
In what amounts to sacrilege to many serious horror fans, rocker turned filmmaker Rob Zombie (House of 1,000 Corpses) remakes John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic.
MR. BEAN’S HOLIDAY
Cast: Rowan Atkinson
Director: Steve Bendelack
Mr. Bean enters a church raffle and wins a vacation to France, where he wreaks his distinct brand of havoc.
THE BROTHERS SOLOMON
Cast: Will Arnett, Will Forte, Chi McBride
Director: Bob Odenkirk
Saturday Night Live’s two Wills — Arnett and Forte (the latter scripted) — play not particularly bright brothers who want to fulfill their dying father’s wish for a grandchild. One problem: They can’t talk to women.
ALSO THIS SUMMER
Cast: Nathan Meister, Peter Feeney, Danielle Mason, Tammy Davis
Director: Jonathan King
In this horror comedy from New Zealand, a young man with a pathological fear of sheep returns to his family’s farm to find that it’s been overrun by mutant, flesh-eating sheep.
BLAME IT ON FIDEL
Cast: Nina Kervel-Bey, Julie Depardieu, Stefano Accorsi
Director: Julie Gavras
In 1970s Paris, a 9-year-old girl (Kervel-Bey) finds herself left to nannies and a houseful of noisy revolutionaries while her parents devote themselves to radical causes.
Cast: Parker Posey, Melvil Poupaud, Gena Rowlands, Drea de Matteo
Director: Zoe Cassavetes
In a rare dramatic role, Posey stars as a Manhattan hotel exec unlucky in love, until the night she meets and falls hard for a visiting Frenchman (Poupaud, who was so good in 2005’s Time to Leave). For her feature debut, writer-director Zoe Cassavetes, daughter of the late John Cassavetes, cast her mother, the great Gena Rowlands, as Posey’s disapproving mom.
Cast: Anthony Wong, Francis Ng, Simon Yam, Lam Suet
Director: Johnnie To
Four hired killers descend on the house of a fellow bad guy. Two want to kill him; two want to save him. There’s a gunfight. No one dies. All five sit down to dinner. Sergio Leone meets the Coen brothers in this modern Western from virtuoso director To.
Cast: Diane Lane, Anton Yelchin, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Perkins
Director: Griffin Dunne
Fifteen-year-old Finn (Yelchin), who dreams of becoming an anthropologist like his absent father, moves with his drug-addicted mother (Diane Lane) to an upscale New Jersey suburb and sets out to study the anthropologically peculiar ways of its wealthy inhabitants.
Cast: Stellan Skarsgard, Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman
Director: Milos Forman
Milos Forman, Oscar-winning director of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, dramatizes the rivalry between Spanish painter Francisco Goya (Skarsgard) and a powerful clergyman (Bardem) who’s infatuated with Goya’s teenage muse (Portman).
THE HOTTEST STATE
Cast: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Laura Linney, Mark Webber, Michelle Williams, Sonia Braga, Ethan Hawke
Director: Ethan Hawke
Hawke wrote and directed this adaptation of his 1996 novel, in which Webber stars as a 20-year-old New York actor who meets a young singer (Moreno), takes her to Mexico City and, before long, regrets it.
Cast: Steve Buscemi, Sienna Miller
Director: Steve Buscemi
Buscemi stars as a hardened political reporter who’s sent to interview a soap star (Miller). As their interview stretches into a long night, each discovers unexpected depth in the other. Buscemi directs from a screenplay that he co-adapted from one written by Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was on the verge of directing Buscemi and Miller in the movie when he was murdered by an Islamic extremist.
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Vera Farmiga, Jacob Kogan
Director: George Ratliff
Everyone’s thrilled when parents Brad and Abby (Rockwell and Farmiga) bring home their beautiful new baby girl. Everyone except 9-year-old older brother, Joshua (Kogan), that is. Soon, evil plagues the family.
THE KING OF KONG
Director: Seth Gordon
This documentary follows a middle-school science teacher as he battles a hot-sauce mogul for the Guinness World Record on the arcade classic Donkey Kong.
Cast: John Malkovich, Veronica Ferres, Saffron Burrows, Stephen Dillane
Director: Raoul Ruiz
Malkovich stars as the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, who’s lying on his deathbed as the film opens, thinking back to the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris where he meets Lea de Castro (Burrows), a French dancer who became both mistress and muse.
LOOKING FOR CHEYENNE
Cast: Mila Dekker, Aurélia Petit, Malik Zidi,
Director: Valerie Minetto
A hit on the festival circuit, this French romantic comedy tells of two women, Cheyenne (Dekker) and Sonia (Petit), who are madly in love with each other but separate when they can’t come to terms on where and how they should live.
Cast: Romain Duris, Fabrice Luchini, Laura Morante
Director: Laurent Tirard
Duris, who was extraordinary in 2005’s The Beat That My Heart Skipped, stars as the great French playwright Molière. It’s 1644, and the 22-year-old starving artist encounters a succession of people who will later inspire and appear in his greatest play, Tartuffe.
Cast: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies
Director: Werner Herzog
This taut and surprisingly straightforward action film from iconoclastic director Herzog (Fitzcarraldo, Grizzly Man) tells the true story of Dieter Dengler (Bale), who was shot down over Laos in 1964, captured and thrown into a brutal North Vietnamese prison. There, two Americans (Zahn, Davies) reluctantly join his escape plan.
TALK TO ME
Cast: Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Director: Kasi Lemmons
Don Cheadle stars as Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene, a legendary 1960s radio host who galvanized Washington, D.C., by leading public protests against poverty and racism.
Cast: Paul Rudd, Jessica Alba, Winona Ryder, Adam Brody, Gretchen Mol, Famke Janssen, Liev Schreiber, Oliver Platt, Justin Theroux
Director: David Wain
Ten comic vignettes, set in the modern day, inspired by the Ten Commandments.
Cast: Louis Koo
Director: Johnnie To
Young Hong Kong gangster Jimmy (Koo) is trying to go straight, but pending corruption charges force him to battle his way to the top of the crime family.
TWO DAYS IN PARIS
Cast: Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg
Director: Julie Delpy
In a comedy that marks the directorial debut of actress Delpy, the filmmaker brings her American boyfriend (Goldberg) to meet her parents in Paris. Things do not go well.
WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY
Cast: Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham
Director: Goran Dukic
In this decidedly original comedy, Zia (Fugit), who kills himself after his girlfriend dumps him, wakes up in a boring little desert town that’s a kind of hell for suicides. Upon hearing that his girlfriend has died, too, Zia and his new best friend set out to find her. Tom Waits cameos.
YOU’RE GONNA MISS ME
Director: Keven McAlester
A documentary on the life of Roger Kynard “Roky” Erickson, whose 1960s band, the 13th Floor Elevators, basically invented psychedelic rock. After a drug bust, Erickson went into a Texas mental hospital and came out delusional and paranoid. The film tracks an attempt by his younger brother to save him.