III No. 7
publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners
in In Focus
Comedy, set in Paris, about a college film-school
dropout who helps her pregnant, divorcing step-sister
deal with a bitter custody battle over a painting.
Based on the novel by Diane Johnson (“Terrorists
and Novelists”). The “A Soldier’s
Daughter Never Cries”-”The Golden Bowl” team
of writer-director James Ivory and screenwriter
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala reunite. With Kate Hudson
(“How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” “Alex & Emma”),
Naomi Watts (“The Ring”), Bebe Neuwirth
(“How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days”), Glenn
Close (“The Safety of Objects”), Stockard
Channing (“Life or Something Like It”),
Matthew Modine (“Any Given Sunday”),
Thierry Lhermitte (“The Closet,” “And
Now Ladies & Gentlemen”), Stephen Fry
(“Gosford Park”), Romain Duris (“L’Auberge
Espagnole”) and Sam Waterson (“Shadow
Conspiracy”). Scope. PG-13: Mature thematic
elements; sexual content. Aug. 8. Fox Searchlight.
Comedy about a “Jewish-American princess” who
takes control of a hardcore hip-hop record label – and
tries to assuage criticism of one of its acts,
a rapper with a hit song called “Shoot Ya
Teacha.” Directed by Richard Benjamin (“Mrs.
Winterbourne”) from a screenplay by Paul
Rudnick (“Isn’t She Great”).
With Lisa Kudrow (“Analyze That”),
Damon Wayans (“Bamboozled”), Jane Krakowski
(“The Flintsones in Viva Las Vegas”),
Christine Baranski (“The Guru”), Richard
Benjamin (“Deconstructing Harry”),
Veanne Cox (“Two Weeks Notice”), Charles
Kimbrough (“The Wedding Planner”) and
Paula Garcés (“Clockstoppers”).
Flat. 73 min. Aug. 22. Paramount.
Action thriller about an immigration officer who
survives death and gains supernatural powers that
help him fight crime. Directed by Gordon Chan (“Fist
of Legend”) from a screenplay by Bey Logan.
With Jackie Chan (“Shanghai Knights”),
Claire Forlani (“AntiTrust,” “Northfork”),
Lee Evans (“The Ladies Man”), Christy
Chung, Julian Sands (“Vatel”) and John
Rhys-Davies (the “Lord of the Rings” series).
Also known as “Highbinders.” Aug. 15.
Once Upon A Time In The Midlands
Romantic comedy, set in contemporary Nottingham, England, about a Scottish criminal
who decides to visit his ex-wife after he spots her turning down a marriage proposal
on a live, nationally televised confessional show. The “TwentyFourSeven”-”Room
For Romeo Brass” team of writer-director Shane Meadows and screenwriter
Paul Fraser reunite. With Robert Carlyle (“Formula 51”), Rhys Ifans
(“Formula 51”), Kathy Burke (“Love, Honor and Obey”),
Shirley Henderson (“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” “Hypnotic”),
Ricky Tomlinson (“Formula 51”) and Finn Atkins. 104 min. R: Language.
Aug. 15 in New York and Los Angeles; wider Sept. 12. Sony Pictures Classics.
Romantic comedy, set in New Bedford, Mass., about
a widowed Portuguese ballad singer who sees her
calloused life transform after her teen daughter
convinces her to date the wealthly gambler who
has just come to town. Directed by Dan Ireland
(“The Whole Wide World”) from a screenplay
by Jim & Steve Jermanok. With Jason Isaacs
(“The Tuxedo”), Sofia Milos (“Jane
Austen’s Mafia!”), Emmy Rossum (“An
American Rhapsody”), Theresa Russell (“The
Believer”), Seymour Cassel (“Stealing
Harvard”) and Lupe Ontiveros (“Real
Women Have Curves”). 108 min. PG-13: Some
sensuality; a conversation about drugs. Aug.
15 limited. IDP.
Secret Lives of Dentists
Drama about what happens when a middle-age doctor
begins to obsess about the possibility that his
attractive, opera-singing wife is cheating on him.
Based on a novella “The Age of Grief” by
Jane Smiley. Directed by Alan Rudolph (“Breakfast
of Champions,” “Trixie”) from
a screenplay by Craig Lucas (“Prelude to
a Kiss,” “Reckless”). With Campbell
Scott (“Rodger Dodger”), Hope Davis
(“About Schmidt,” “American Splendor”),
Denis Leary (“Final”), Robin Tunney
(“The In-Laws”), Gianna Beleno and
Cassidy Hinkle. Flat. 105 min. R: Sexuality; language.
Aug. 1 in New York and Los Angeles; wider Aug.
Documentary exploring global surf culture, featuring
interviews with and performances by professional
surfers Laird Hamilton, Kelly Slater, Robert and
Sam August and Layne Beachly. Screenwriter Dana
Brown (“The Endless Summer II”) makes
her feature directorial debut. 87 min. August 8
limited; wider August 15. Artisan.
Horror thriller about a busload of championship
basketball players, cheerleaders and coaches who
are attacked by a man-eating monster in the 23rd
day of a feeding frenzy. Sequel to the 2001 chiller.
Returnees from part one include writer-director
Victor Salva (“Powder”) and Jonathan
Breck as The Creeper. Newcomers include Ray Wise
(“Two Can Play That Game,” “The
Battle of Shaker Heights”), Nicki Lynn Aycox
(“The Dogwalker”), Travis Schiffner,
Jaii Isaac Sanchez and Luke Edwards (“American
Pie 2”). Scope. 106 min. R: Horror violence;
language. Aug. 29. MGM.
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. R: Violence/cruelty;
nudity; sexual content; language. Aug. 1 in New
York, Los Angeles and San Francisco; wider Aug.
15; wider Aug. 22. Miramax.
Comedy-drama about an obsessive-compulsive con-man
who finds his life complicated by the arrival of
the daughter he never knew he had. Based on the 2002
novel by Eric Garcia (“Anonymous Rex”).
Directed by Ridley Scott (“Hannibal,” “Black
Hawk Down”) from a screenplay by Ted Griffin
(“Best Laid Plans,” “Ocean’s
Eleven”) and Nick Griffin. With Nicolas Cage
(“Adaptation”), Sam Rockwell (“Confessions
of a Dangerous Mind”), Alison Lohman (“White
Oleander”), Bruce McGill (“The Sum of
All Fears,” “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde”),
Lynn Ann Leveridge (“Deliver Us From Eva”)
and Bruce Altman (“Changing Lanes”).
Aug. 8. Warner Bros.
Comedy about a young man whose plan to woo his
mean boss’s beautiful daughter while
housesitting goes awry when the boss’s
house is besieged by unexpected visitors. Directed
by David Zucker (“Naked Gun 2 1/2: The
Smell of Fear,” “BASEketball”)
from a screenplay by David Dorfman (“Anger
Management”). With Tara Reid (“National
Lampoon’s Van Wilder”), Ashton
Kutcher (“Just Married”), Molly
Shannon (“The Santa Clause 2,” “American
Splendor”), Michael Madsen (“Die
Another Day”), David Koechner (“A
Guy Thing”), Terence Stamp (“Full
Frontal”) and Andy Richter (“Big
Trouble”). Also known as “The Guest.” Aug.
Western drama about four nomadic cattle herders
who team up to rid a remote town of a malicious
rancher. Directed by Kevin Costner (“Dances
With Wolves,” “The Postman”)
from a screenplay by Craig Storper. With Costner
(“Dragonfly”), Robert Duvall (“Assassination
Tango”), Annette Bening (“What Planet
Are You From?”), Diego Luna (“Frida”),
Abraham Benrubi (“The Man Who Wasn’t
There”) and Michael Gambon (“Charlotte
Gray”). Scope. Aug. 15. Buena Vista.
French-language drama, set in the small seaside
town of Cayeux, France, about a young factory
worker who becomes striken with wanderlust after
she is exposed to the worldly taunts of summer
tourists. Directed by Julie Lopes-Curval from
a screenplay by Lopes-Curval and François
Favrat. With Jonathan Zaccaï, Bulle Ogier
(“Venus Beauty Institute,” “Confusion
of Genders”), Ludmila Mikaël, Hélène
Fillières (“Friday Night”),
Patrick Lizana (“The Children of the Marshland”),
Liliane Rovère (“Safe Conduct”),
Jauris Casanova (“East-West”) and
Jean-Michel Noirey. Also known as “Bord
de Mer.” Flat. 88 min. Aug. 6 in New York.
Action comedy about a crippled and disgraced former
soccer star who builds an unusual new soccer
team out of Kung Fu experts. Directed by Stephen
Chow from a screenplay by Chow and Tsang Kan
Cheong. With Chow, Ng Mang-Tat, Li Hui (“Chinese
Box”), Zhou Wei (“Behind the Forbidden
City”) and Tse Yin. 87 min. PG: Martial
arts action; some thematic elements. Aug. 8.
Black-and-white Spanish-language drama, set in
Argentina, about a young overweight girl who
abducted by a punk lesbian couple and taken on
an aimless and bizarre road trip. Based on the
novel “La Prueba” by César Aira.
Directed by Diego Lerman from a screenplay by Lerman
and Maria Meira. With Veronica Hassan, Tatiana
Saphir, Carla Crespo and Beatriz Thibaudin. Also
known as “Tan de Repente.” Flat. 94
min. Aug. 27. Empire.