III No. 6
publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners
in In Focus
Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde
Recent Harvard Law grad Elle Woods takes her fashion
savvy to Washington, D.C., where she tries to get
an animal-testing bill passed in Congress. A sequel
to the smash 2001 comedy. Directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
(“Kissing Jessica Stein”) from a screenplay
by Kate Kondell. Returnees from part one include
Reese Witherspoon (“Sweet Home Alabama”)
as Elle, Luke Wilson (“Old School,” “Charlie’s
Angels: Full Throttle,” “Alex & Emma,” “Masked & Anonymous”)
as Emmett, Jessica Cauffiel (“Valentine”)
as Margot, Alanna Ubach (“Blue Moon”)
as Serena McGuire, and Jennifer Coolidge (“Zoolander”)
as Paulette Bonafonte. Newcomers to the series
include Sally Field (“Say it Isn’t
So”), Bob Newhart (“In & Out”),
Regina King (“Down to Earth,” “Daddy
Day Care”), Mary Lynn Rajskub (“Punch-Drunk
Love”), and Lauren Cohn (“Catch Me
If You Can”). PG-13: Some sex-related humor.
July 2. MGM.
Portuguese-language drama, based on a true story
and set in the infamous Lapa slum district of
1920s Rio de Janeiro, about the sordid life of
criminal, prostitute, cabaret star and homosexual
Joao Francisco dos Santos. Screenwriter Karim
Ainouz (“Behind the Sun”) makes his
feature directorial debut from his own script.
With Lázaro Ramos (“Women on Top,” “The
Three Marias”), Marcelia Cartaxo, Flavio
Bauraqui, Felippe Marques, Emiliano Queiroz and
Renata Sorrah. 103 min. July 9 in New York. Wellspring.
Drama, set in a nation torn by civil war, about
a washed-up musician who prepares for his last
benefit concert. Based on the unpublished short
story “Los Vientos del Destino” by
Enrique Morales. Larry Charles (TV’s “Curb
Your Enthusiasm”) makes his feature directorial
debut from a screenplay by Rene Fontaine and Sergy
Petrov. With Bob Dylan (“Renaldo and Clara”),
Angela Bassett (“Sunshine State”),
Penelope Cruz (“Waking Up in Reno,” “Don’t
Tempt Me”), Jessica Lange (“Titus,” “Prozac
Nation”), Luke Wilson (“Old School,” “Charlie’s
Angels: Full Throttle,” “Alex & Emma,” “Legally
Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde”), John
Goodman (“Storytelling”), Jeff Bridges
Cheech Marin (“Spy Kids 2”), Val Kilmer
(“The Salton Sea”) and Ed Harris (“The
Hours”). Flat. 113 min. PG-13: Some language;
brief violence. July 25 in New York and Los Angeles.
Sony Pictures Classics.
My Life on
French-language comedy, set in Rouen, France, about
a 16-year-old, living alone with his mother, who
sets out to document his life with a video camera.
Written and directed by Olivier Ducastel & Jacques
Martineau (“The Adventures of Felix”).
With Ariane Ascaride (“The Town is Quiet”),
Jimmy Tavares, Jonathan Zaccai, Lucas Bonnifait
and Hélène Surgère (“Time
Regained”). Also known as “Ma Vraie
Vie à Rouen.” 102 min. July 11. Wellspring.
On the Run
French-language thriller about a psychopath who
escapes from prison after 15 years and soon finds
himself having to find new allies when the old
ones betray him. First installment of the already-completed
three-feature series “The Trilogy” written
and directed by Lucas Belvaux and starring Belvaux
(“Madame Bovary”), Catherine Frot
(“Chaos”), Dominique Blanc (“A
Soldier's Daughter Never Cries”), Ornella
Muti (“Somewhere in the City”) and
Gilbert Melki (“Venus Beauty Institute”).
Also known as “Cavale.” Flat. 111
min. July 18. Magnolia.
Great Depression drama, based on the true story,
about a former bicycle repairman who teamed with
a boxing-champion-turned-jockey to turn a small,
knobby-kneed horse into a racing legend. Based
on the book by veteran sportswriter Laura Hillenbrand.
Written and directed by Gary Ross (“Pleasantville”).
With Tobey Maguire (“Spider-Man”),
Jeff Bridges (“K-PAX,” “Masked & Anonymous”),
Chris Cooper (“Adaptation”), Elizabeth
Banks (“Catch Me if You Can”), William
H. Macy (“Welcome to Collinwood”) and
Gary Stevens. Also known as “Four Good Legs.” Scope.
July 25. Universal.
Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life
The comely, artifact-chasing adventurer goes in
search of the fabled Pandora’s Box – in
an effort to keep it from evildoers who want to
use it as a weapon of mass destruction. A sequel
to the 2001 blockbuster. Directed by Jan de Bont
(the “Speed” series, “The Haunting”)
from a screenplay by Dean Georgaris. Returnees
from part one include Angelina Jolie (“Life,
or Something Like It”), Noah Taylor (“Max”)
and Chris Barrie (TV’s “Red Dwarf”).
Newcomers to the series include Djimon Hounsou
(“Biker Boyz”), Ciaran Hinds (“Road
To Perdition”), Til Schweiger (“Driven”),
Ronan Vibert (“The Pianist”), Gerard
Butler (“Reign of Fire”) and Hong Kong
action movie vets Simon Yam and Terence Yin. Scope.
100 min. July 25. Paramount.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
action thriller, set in 1898 England, about a
diverse group of heroes commissioned by Queen
Victoria to stop an evildoer from conquering
the world. Loosely based on the comic book series
created by Alan Moore (“From Hell”).
Directed by Steve Norrington (“Blade”)
from a screenplay by Alex Ayres and comic book
writer James Robinson (“Starman”).
With Sean Connery (“Finding Forrester”)
as adventurer Allan Quatermain, Peta Wilson (TV’s “La
Femme Nikita”) as vampire slayer Mina Harker,
Jason Flemyng (“The Good Thief,” “The
Hairy Tale”) as shape-changer Henry Jekyll,
Naseeruddin Shah (“Monsoon Wedding”)
as the submarine captaining Nemo, Max Ryan (“Kiss
of the Dragon”) as Dante Inferno, Richard
Roxburgh (“Moulin Rouge”) as the
Fantom, Tony Curran (“Blade II”)
as the invisible Rodney Skinner, Stuart Townsend
(“Trapped”) as the age-defying Dorian
Gray, and Shane West (“A Walk to Remember”)
as visiting American policeman Tom Sawyer. Scope.
July 11. Fox.
The Magdalene Sisters
Drama, set in 1964 Ireland, about four young
girls who are sent to live in horrifying convents
operated by the sadistic and abusive Magdalene
Sisters of Mercy. Written and directed by Peter
Mullan (“Orphans”). With Geraldine
McEwan (“Food of Love”), Dorothy
Duffy, Annie-Marie Duff (“Enigma”),
Eileen Walsh (“Nicholas Nickleby”),
Britta Smith (“The Closer You Get”)
and Nora-Jane Noone. Flat. 119 min. July 18 in
New York and Los Angeles. Miramax.
Spanish-language drama, set in Northwestern Spain
and based on a true story, about a group of
laid-off shipyard workers who dream of building
respectable lives for themselves – even
as they haplessly wander in and out of bars,
relationships and dead-end jobs. Directed by
Fernando León de Aranoa from a screenplay
by Aranoa and Ignacio del Moral. With Javier
Bardem (“Before Night Falls,” “The
Dancer Upstairs”), José Ángel
Egido (“Open Your Eyes”), Nieve
de Medina (“Spanish Fly”), Serge
Riaboukine (“Safe Conduct”), Enrique
Villén (“The Day of the Beast”),
Celso Bugallo (“Butterfly”), Joaquín
Climent (“Goya”) and Luis Tosar.
Also known as “Los Lunes al Sol.” Flat.
113 min. July 25 in New York and Los Angeles.
Drama about a Montana town about to find itself
at the bottom of a lake, thanks to the construction
of a new dam. The “Twin Falls Idaho”-”Jackpot” team
of writer-director Michael Polish and screenwriter
Mark Polish reunite. With James Woods (“John
Q”), Nick Nolte (“The Good Thief,” “The
Hulk”), Kyle MacLachlan (“Me Without
You”), Daryl Hannah (“A Walk to Remember”),
Anthony Edwards (“Jackpot”), Peter
Coyote (“Femme Fatale”), Graham Beckel
(“Dark Blue”) and Claire Forlani
(“AntiTrust”). 103 min. PG-13: Brief
sexuality. July 11 limited. Paramount Classics.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse
the Black Pearl
Action-adventure, set in the 17th century, about
a mannerly (if bloodthirsty) pirate who teams with
a governor's daughter to prevent treacherous rivals
from reversing an ancient curse. Directed by Gore
Verbinski (“The Mexican,” “The
Ring”) from a screenplay by Terry Rossio & Ted
Elliot (“Treasure Planet,” “Shrek”).
With Johnny Depp (“From Hell”), Geoffrey
Rush (“The Banger Sisters”), Orlando
Bloom (the “Lord of the Rings” series),
Keira Knightley (“Bend it Like Beckham”),
Lee Arenberg (“Dungeons & Dragons”)
and Jonathan Pryce (“What a Girl Wants”).
Scope. July 9. Buena Vista.