Film Preview


Published on September 5, 2002, 12:00am | Comments

Fall Arts Preview

SEPTEMBER


City by the Sea

CITY BY THE SEA -- Robert DeNiro plays a police detective whose son (James Franco) becomes a primary suspect in a murder. He sets out to protect the boy, while attempting to discover the truth. With Frances McDormand, Patti LuPone, William Forsythe and George Dzundza, two staples of this type of gritty New York crime drama. (9/6)

SWIMFAN -- Australian actor John Poulson tries his hand at directing with this Fatal Attraction-esque suspense thriller about a high school varsity swimmer (Jesse Bradford) who engages in a one-night-stand with a new student and finds himself on the receiving end of a homicidal stalker. With Madison Bell and Amy Miller. This could just be the thriller that keeps you away from swim meets. (9/6)

BARBERSHOP -- A slice-of-lifer about a barbershop, passed on from generation to generation, and its current owner (Ice Cube) who isn't certain that cutting hair is what he wants to do with the rest of his life. With Cedric the Entertainer and Keith David. Sounds like a Waiting to Exhale for black men. (9/13)

STEALING HARVARD -- This might be Tom Green's first legit hit. Green plays best friend to Jason Lee, whose niece gets into Harvard. She can't afford the tuition, however, so he decides to steal it for her. Judging from the previews, the movie, directed by Bruce McCulloch of the Kids in the Hall, looks like a Farrelly Brothers Lite. With Dennis Farina and Will & Grace's Megan Mullally. (9/13)

IGBY GOES DOWN -- Kieran Culkin stars as a privileged teenager unable (or unwilling, we're not sure) to cope with his life, so he runs away to New York and encounters a deviant cast of characters. With Susan Sarandon, Jeff Goldblum, Claire Danes and Ryan Phillippe. (9/13)

THE FOUR FEATHERS -- A period drama about a British officer who resigns his post just before battle and is taken for a coward by his friends and fiance. He must stake his life to save his reputation and prove them wrong. Can anyone say snoozer? With Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley, and Kate Hudson. (9/20)


Chicago

TRAPPED -- Kevin Bacon and Courtney Love play kidnappers whose perfect plan is thwarted by their victim's parents (Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend). Directed by Luis Mandoki (Angel Eyes). (9/20)

BALLISTIC: ECKS VS. SEVER -- Yes, it's an awful title. But it stars Lucy Liu and Antonio Banderas, so how bad can it be? They play rival super-secret spies who unite against a common enemy. (9/20)

THE BANGER SISTERS -- Goldie and Susan, together at last. Hawn and Sarandon play former best friends who, in their 20s, were serious rock ‘n' roll groupies. Hawn's character is still a free spirit, while Sarandon's has grown into a conservative mother. The reunion proves liberating for them both. With Geoffrey Rush. (9/20)

SPIRITED AWAY -- The newest Japanese anime import from the director of Princess Mononoke involves a 10-year-old girl who wanders into a witches-ruled world where the humans are changed into animals. (9/20)

MOONLIGHT MILE -- Brad Silberling, the director of Casper and the leaden City of Angels turns the camera to an event from his own life: the murder of his actress girlfriend Rebecca Schaeffer (My Sister Sam). The movie looks to be an exercise in how to overcome grief with Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon as the murdered girl's parents and Jake Gyllenhaal as Silberling's screen alter-ego. (9/27)

SWEET HOME ALABAMA -- Reese Witherspoon portrays a woman with a white trash background who reinvents herself as a New York socialite. Think of it as Do-It-Yourself Pygmalion. (9/27)

THE TUXEDO -- Jackie Chan plays a chauffeur-turned-secret agent who dons a tuxedo that imbues him with super powers. It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Penguin-Man! (9/27)

OCTOBER

REEL AFFIRMATIONS 12 -- The 12th annual gay and lesbian film festival opens on Thursday, Oct. 17 with Leaving Metropolis, a gay drama based on the racy hit play Poor Super Man by Brad Fraiser (staged locally many years back by Signature Theatre). Highlights of this year's festival include All the King's Men, starring Matt LeBlanc as a WWII spy who infiltrates Hitler's offices by donning drag; Don't Åsk, Don't Tell, a zany anything goes comedy; Cock & Bull Story, the story of a gay fighter and his homophobic friend (played by Brian Austin Green); Joan Biren's new documentary No Secret Anymore, about the longtime relationship between Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon; and P.S. Your Cat is Dead, a screwball comedy marking the directorial debut (and reemergence) of Steve Guttenberg. The festival closes on October 27 with Karen Lee Hopkins's A Woman's A Helluva Thing. For more information, visit www.reelaffirmations.org.

RED DRAGON -- The story, based on a Thomas Harris novel, was originally made as the stylish and sinister Manhunter in 1986 by Michael Mann, and featured Brian Cox as the incarcerated Hannibal Lecter (this was pre-Silence of the Lambs) and CSI's William Petersen as Will Graham, a detective who uses Lecter (as did Clarice a few years later) to help him catch a rather nasty serial killer. Whether this remake is anything more than an attempt to cash in on the Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal craze remains to be seen. It's got a dynamite cast, though -- Edward Norton (as Graham), Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Harvey Keitel and Anthony Heald, reprising his Lambs role as the icky Dr. Chilton. Directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour 2). (10/4)


Heaven

HEAVEN -- Cate Blanchett plays a woman who takes the law into her own hands after her husband is murdered. In the process, she falls in love with a police officer half her age (Giovanni Ribisi). Directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). (10/4)

WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD -- Five working-class guys rob a pawn shop and things go astoundingly awry in this heist comedy. With George Clooney, Michael Jeter, Sam Rockwell and William H. Macy. (10/4)

TUCK EVERLASTING -- A fifteen-year-old girl happens upon the Tuck family and learns their extraordinary -- and potentially dangerous -- secret. With Jonathan Jackson, Sissy Spacek, William Hurt, Amy Irving and Victor Garber. Directed by Jay Russell, whose last film, My Dog Skip, was a pure-breed tear-inducing masterpiece. (10/11)

WHITE OLEANDER -- Peter Kosminsky directs this adaptation of Janet Fitch's novel, about a young girl who endures a series of foster homes after her mother is sentenced to jail for poisoning an ex-boyfriend. With Michelle Pfeiffer, Robin Wright, Noah Wyle, and Rene Zellweger. (10/11)

KNOCKAROUND GUYS -- A gang of mobster's kids help their screw-up buddy (Seth Green) out of a jam. With Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper, John Malkovich and Dennis Hopper. (10/11)


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

THE RULES OF ATTRACTION -- College student and drug dealer Sean Bateman (James Van Der Beek) -- younger brother of American Psycho Patrick -- is drawn into a romantic triangle with a bisexual guy (Ian Somerhalder) and his ex-girlfriend (Shannyn Sossamon). Much fuss has been made in the gay press about Van Der Beek's purported same-sex kiss with Somerhalder. Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. (10/11)

SWEPT AWAY -- Madonna's husband Guy Ritchie strays into dangerous territory, remaking this 1974 Lina Wertmuller classic with -- who else? -- his wife. The rich material girl plays -- what else? -- a rich material girl stranded on a Mediterranean island romanced by a poor communist sailor (played by Adriano Giannini, in a role originated by his father, Giancarlo). (10/11)

PUNCH DRUNK LOVE -- Adam Sandler plays an emotionally paralyzed man who falls in love with a mysterious harmonium-playing woman (Emily Watson) in this dark comedy from director P.T. Anderson (Magnolia, Boogie Nights). With Anderson-regular Philip Seymour Hoffman. (10/11)

THE RING -- Everyone who watches a sinister videotape winds up dead seven days later. Based on the Japanese hit film Ringu. (10/17)

AUTO FOCUS -- Director Paul Schrader (Hardcore) and actor Greg Kinnear take on the strange life (and death) of Bob Crane, star of Hogan's Heroes and an amateur pornographer. (10/17)

THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE -- Jonathan Demme's latest stars Thandie Newton as a woman who learns that her suddenly dead husband had his share of secrets, and that her own life is now in peril. With Mark Wahlberg. (10/25)

FRIDA -- This biopic of bisexual Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) reportedly focuses mostly on her stormy relationship with Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina). With Geoffrey Rush. Directed by Julie Taymor (Broadway's The Lion King). (10/25)

NOVEMBER

THE CORE -- Scientists learn that Earth's core is about to stop spinning. So it's a fast and furious journey to the center of the earth to keep the planet from self-destructing. Directed by Jon Amiel and starring Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo and Stanley Tucci. (11/1)

I SPY -- Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson play facsimiles of the roles that made Bill Cosby and Robert Culp household names in the ‘60s in the TV show of the same title. Directed by Betty Thomas (The Brady Bunch Movie), who clearly has a lot of television nostalgia to get out of her system. (11/1)

8 MILE -- Eminem's Purple Rain. (11/8)


Welcome to Collinwood

FAR FROM HEAVEN -- Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine) directs this story of a ‘50s housewife facing marital crisis and racial tensions. With Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid. (11/8)

HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS -- The second installment in the now-lucrative film series adds Kenneth Branagh to the cast. Otherwise, it's pretty much the same cast and crew from the first film. (11/15)

PHONE BOOTH -- A man is trapped by a crazed sniper in a phone booth. Colin Farrell stars. Joel Schumacher (uh oh -- anyone remember Batman and Robin?) directs. (11/15)

ARARAT -- The making of a film about the Armenian holocaust of the ‘20s has a stirring effect on an 18-year-old workhand on the production. With Charles Aznavour, Eric Bogosian, and Christopher Plummer. Directed by indie-fave Atom Egoyan. (11/15)

DIE ANOTHER DAY -- Pierce Brosnan returns as James Bond for the fourth time. Halle Berry is his babe, Jinx. (11/22)

THE EMPEROR'S CLUB -- Kevin Kline does The Dead Poets Society thing. (11/22)

SOLARIS -- Steven Soderbergh turns his filmmaking genius to science fiction with this story of strange events involving a space station orbiting the planet Solaris. George Clooney stars. (11/22)

DECEMBER

FOOD OF LOVE -- A young music student (Kevin Bishop) struggles with a budding career, a clinging mother (Juliet Stevenson) and a passionate love affair with an accomplished concert pianist (Paul Rhys). Based on David Leavitt's “The Page Turner. Directed by Ventura Pons. (December)


Analyze That

ANALYZE THAT -- As if Analyze This weren't enough. With Robert DeNiro, Billy Crystal and Lisa Kudrow reprising their roles from the original and Harold Ramis once again undertaking writing/directing duties. (12/6)

STAR TREK: NEMESIS -- Could this be the Starship Enterprise Next Generation crew's final voyage? That's what we're hearing. But don't be so certain -- remember the Prime Directive: Money Talks. (12/13)

ABOUT SCHMIDT -- Jack Nicholson plays a widower who confronts the emptiness of his life in the latest from Alexander Payne, who's proven to be an exceptionally good filmmaker (Election, Citizen Ruth). (12/13)


The Two Towers

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS -- Ian McKellen returns a vision in white in the second annual installment of the Tolkien trilogy. With Elijah Wood as Frodo, Viggo Mortensen as Strider and a few new characters -- Wormtongue (Brad Douriff) and Gollum. Let's hope it's as astonishing as the first outing. (12/20)

GANGS OF NEW YORK -- Postponed for a year, reportedly in part due to the events of September 11 and in part due to a reported clash over length between director Martin Scorsese and Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein, this violent period drama set in 1860s Manhattan finally arrives. Just in time for a date with Oscar, no doubt. Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and Daniel Day Lewis co-star. (12/27)

PINOCCHIO -- Italian madman Roberto Benigni directs and stars in this live-action version of the famous fairy tale. Benigni, by the way, plays the little wooden puppet who longs to be real boy. Ahem, Roberto? Get real. (12/27)


Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND -- Sam Rockwell plays game show impresario Chuck Barris (The Gong Show) who, in his memoirs, purported to be a CIA hitman. Funny, we thought he was a grocery bag boy. Directed by George Clooney. (12/27)

CHICAGO -- The long-awaited screen adaptation of the Kander-Ebb musical, with Rene Zellweger as Roxie Hart, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly, Richard Gere as Billy Flynn, Queen Latifah as Mama, Lucy Liu as Kitty, and, in an inspired bit of casting, Christine Baranski as Mary Sunshine. We're looking forward to its razzle-dazzle, and all that jazz. (12/27)

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