IV No. 1
publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners
in In Focus
owner Calvin Palmer finds himself dealing with
the beauty shop next door, as well as urban developers
looking to replace his business with a “name-brand” chain
outlet. Returnees from part one include screenwriter
Don D. Scott as well as actors Ice Cube (“Friday
After Next,” “Torque”), Cedric
the Entertainer (“Intolerable Cruelty”),
Michael Ealy (“2 Fast 2 Furious”),
Eve (“XXX”), Troy Garity (“Bandits”)
and Sean Patrick Thomas (“Halloween: Ressurection”).
Newcomers to the series include director Kevin
Sullivan (“How Stella Got Her Groove Back”)
and actress Queen Latifah (“Scary Movie 3”).
Feb. 6. MGM.
Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights
Prequel to the hit 1987 romantic
drama, this time set in 1958 Cuba, about a 17-year-old
American girl who defies her family by keeping
company with a local dancer. Directed by Guy Ferland
(“Telling Lies in America”) from a
screenplay by Ron Bass (“Snow Falling on
Cedars,” “Passion of Mind”).
With Diego Luna (“Open Range”), Romola
Garai (“I Capture the Castle”), Sela
Ward (“Runaway Bride”), John Slattery
(“The Station Agent,” “Mona Lisa
Smile”), Mika Boorem (“Blue Crush”),
Jonathan Jackson (“Tuck Everlasting”)
and January Jones (“Love Actually”).
Feb. 27. Artisan.
Prequel to the 1973 thriller, set
in the early part of the 20th century, about a
young priest’s journey through Africa and
his first encounter with demonic possession. Based
upon characters and events depicted in William
Blatty’s novel “The Exorcist.” Directed
by Paul Schrader (“Affliction,” “Auto
Focus”) from a screenplay by novelist Caleb
Carr (“The Alienist”) and William Wisher
Jr. (“Judge Dredd,” “The 13th
Warrior”). With Stellan Skarsgård (“Taking
Sides”), Clara Bellar (“A.I. Artificial
Intelligence”), Gabriel Mann (“Buffalo
Soldiers”), Antonie Kamerling (“Left
Luggage”), Andrew French (“Beyond Borders”),
Ralph Brown (“Mean Machine,” “I’ll
Be There”) and Billy Crawford. Feb. 6. Warner
Good Bye Lenin
German-language drama, set in 1989
East Germany, about a young man who, fearful of
giving his ailing mother a shock that might kill
her, tries to shelter her from the fact that the
Berlin Wall fell while she was in an 8-month coma.
Directed by Wolfgang Becker from a screenplay by
Becker and Bernd Lichtenberg. With Daniel Brühl,
Katrin Sass, Maria Simon, Chulpan Khamatova (“Tuvalu”)
and Alexander Beyer (“The Legend of Rita”).
Flat. 118 min. R: Brief language; sexuality. Feb.
27 in New York and Los Angeles. Sony Pictures Classics.
Against the Ropes
based on a true story, about a Jewish woman from
becomes a boxing manager, guides several major
careers and eventually becomes the commissioner
of the International Female Boxing Association.
Actor Charles Dutton (“Gothika”) makes
his feature directorial debut from a screenplay
by Cheryl Edwards (“Save the Last Dance”).
With Dutton, Meg Ryan (“In the Cut”),
Omar Epps (“Big Trouble”), Tony Shalhoub
(“Spy Kids 3D: Game Over”), Kerry Washington
(“The Human Stain”), Tim Daly (“Basic”),
Julia Stiles (“A Guy Thing,” “Mona
Lisa Smile”) and Joe Cortese (“American
History X”). Scope. 106 min. PG-13: Crude
language; violence; brief sensuality; some drug
material. Feb. 6. Paramount.
Horror comedy, set off the coast
of Costa Rica, about a group of employees at
a swank singles resort who must try to stop a
machete-swinging serial killer who has taken
to menacing the guests. The “Super Troopers” team
of writer-director-actor Jay Chandrasekhar and
writer-actors Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul
Soter and Erik Stolhanske (“The Sweetest
Thing”) reunite. Also with Bill Paxton
(“Spy Kids 3D: Game Over”), Brittany
Daniel (“Joe Dirt”), Nat Faxon (“Slackers”)
and Jordan Ladd (“Cabin Fever”).
Scope. Feb. 27. Fox/Fox Searchlight.
comedy about a smitten American who embarks with
friends on a whirlwind trip to Europe to meet the
cute girl who’s been helping him with his
German homework. Alec Berg makes his feature directorial
debut from the screenwriting team of veteran TV
writers Berg (“Late Night With Conan O’Brien”),
David Mandel (“Saturday Night Live”)
and Jeff Schaffer (“Seinfeld”). With
Scott Mecholowicz, Michelle Trachtenberg (“Inspector
Gadget”), Jacob Pitts (“Pipe Dream”),
Joel Kirby (“The League of Extraordinary
Gentlemen”), Travis Wester and Jessica Böhrs.
Previously known as “The Ugly Americans.” Feb.
50 First Kisses
Comedy about a man who falls in
love with a woman with short-term memory loss – and
his efforts to re-convince her of their love
every time they meet. Directed by Peter Segal
(“Nutty Professor II: The Klumps,” “Anger
Management”) from a screenplay by George
Wing. With Adam Sandler (“Anger Management”),
Drew Barrymore (“Duplex”), Sean Astin
(the “Lord of the Rings” series),
Rob Schneider (“The Hot Chick”) and
Amy Hill (“Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in
the Hat”). Also known as “50 First
Dates.” R: Some crude sexual comments.
Feb. 13. Sony.
Drama about two young gypsy “goth” outcasts
who embark on a soul-searching road trip from Sandusky,
to New York City. Screenwriter Todd Stephens (“Edge
of Seventeen”) makes his feature directorial
debut from his own screenplay. With Sara Rue (“The
Ring”), Kett Turton, Karen Black (“House
of 1000 Corpses”), John Doe (“The Good
Girl”) and Paula Costana (“40 Days and
40 Nights”). Flat. 100 min. Feb. 6 in New
York. Small Planet.