IV No. 6
publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners
in In Focus
Heart and Soul
Documentary about a filmmaker’s cross-country
journey and the extraordinary encounters he has with
ordinary Americans. Directed by Louis Schwartzberg.
Flat. 88 min. PG: Mild thematic elements. July 2.
Romantic drama about two veterans of a 9-year-old
one-night stand – a married American author
and a French environmental activist – who
reunite in Paris for 75 minutes. A sequel to
the 1995 drama “Before Sunrise.” Director
Richard Linklater (“Tape,” “School
of Rock”) and actors Ethan Hawke (“Taking
Lives”) and Julie Delpy (“But I’m
a Cheerleader”) reunite with a screenplay
by Linklater, Hawke and Delpy. Actors new to
the franchise include Vernon Dobtcheff (“Festival
in Cannes”), Mariane Plasteig and Diabolo.
Flat. 80 min. R: Language; sexual references.
July 2. Warner Independent Pictures.
Best of Youth
Six-hour Italian-language drama, set between 1966
and 2000, about two brothers – a cop and
psychiatrist – whose separate lives re-intersect
after the psychiatrist’s wife gets involved
with terrorists. Directed by Marco Tullio Giordana
(“Especially on Sunday”) from a screenplay
by Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli (“The
Truce”). With Luigi Lo Cascio, Alessio Asti,
Sonia Gergamasco, Fabrizio Gifuni and Maya Sansa.
366 min. July 2 in New York and Los Angeles. Miramax.
Spinoff of the “Batman” franchise about
a resurrected veterinary scientist named Patience
Philips who seeks revenge against the industrialist
responsible for her death. Visual effects director
Pitof (“Alien: Resurrection,” “The
Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc”) makes
his feature directorial debut from a screenplay
by John Rogers (“The Core”) and Michael
Ferris & John Brancato (“Terminator 3:
Rise of the Machines”). With Halle Berry
(“Gothika”), Benjamin Bratt (“Abandon”),
Sharon Stone (“Cold Creek Manor”),
Lambert Wilson (“Timeline”), Frances
Conroy (“Die Mommie, Die!”), Frances
McDormand (“Something’s Gotta Give”)
and Alex Borstein (“Bad Santa”). July
23. Warner Bros.
Drama about a well-heeled executive whose wife
must come up with ransom money when an irate employee
holds the exec captive in a forest. Producer Pieter
Jan Brugge (“The Insider”) makes his
feature directorial debut from a screenplay by
Justin Haythe. With Robert Redford (“Spy
Game”), Helen Mirren (“Calendar Girls,” “Raising
Helen”), Willem Dafoe (“The Reckoning”),
Melissa Sagemiller (“Sorority Boys”),
Alessandro Nivola (“Laurel Canyon”)
and Matt Craven (“Timeline”). Flat.
R: Brief strong language. July 2. Fox Searchlight.
about the infamous Festival Express train journey
that carried top rock ‘n’ roll musicians,
fans, filmmakers and journalists from Toronto to
Calgary during the summer of 1970. Directed by
Bob Smeaton. Featuring performance footage of Janis
The Band, The Grateful Dead and more. 90 min. July
Harold & Kumar
Go to White Castle
a pair of pot-smoking twentysomething roommates – a
Korean-American investment banker and an Indian-American
medical school candidate – who find their impulsive
nighttime jaunt to a local burger stand hopelessly
sidetracked. Directed by Danny Leiner (“Dude,
Where’s My Car?”) from a screenplay by
Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg. With Schlossberg,
John Cho (“American Wedding”), Kal Penn
(“Love Don’t Cost a Thing”), Fred
Willard (“American Wedding,” “Anchorman”),
Steve Braun, Brooke D’Orsay, Malin Akerman
(“The Skulls”), Anthony Anderson (“My
Baby’s Daddy”), Jamie Kennedy (“Malibu’s
Most Wanted”) and Ryan Reynolds (“The
In-Laws”). Flat. 87 min. R: Strong language;
sexual content; drug use; some crude humor. July
30. New Line.
The Legend of
Comedy, set in the 1970s, about a beloved news
anchorman whose perfect hair, raging hormones and
inflated ego are no match for an ambitious female
newscaster who has actually mastered the craft
of journalism. “Saturday Night Live” scribe
Adam McKay makes his feature directorial debut
from a screenplay by McKay and Will Ferrell (“A
Night at the Roxbury”). With Ferrell (“Elf”),
Christina Applegate (“Wonderland”),
Paul Rudd (“The Shape of Things”),
Steven Carell (“Bruce Almighty,” “Sleepover”),
David Koechner (“My Boss’s Daughter”),
Vince Vaughn (“Starsky & Hutch,” “Dodgeball:
A True Underdog Story”), Ben Stiller (“Starsky & Hutch”),
Chris Parnell (“Down With Love”), Maya
Rudolph (“50 First Dates”), Fred Armisen
(“Eurotrip”), Amy Poehler (“Mean
Girls,” “Envy”), Fred Willard
(“American Wedding,” “Harold & Kumar
Go to White Castle”) and Jerry Minor (Comedy
Central’s “Trigger Happy TV”).
PG-13: Sexual humor; language; comic violence.
July 9. DreamWorks.
Thai-language drama, set in 1763 Bang Rajan and
based on a true story, about the Thai villagers
who battled against the invading Burmese army.
Directed by Tanit Jitnukul from a screenplay
by Kongkiat Khomsiri. With Jaran Ngamdee, Winai
Kraibutr, Theerayut Ptratyabamrung, Bin Bunluerit
and Bongkoj Khongmalai. Flat. 119 min. July 16
in New York and Los Angeles. Magnolia.
Thriller about what happens when someone assassinates
the Chinese vice premier, then frames “Jason
Bourne,” the false identity used by CIA agent
David Webb, for the slaying. Sequel to the 2002 blockbuster “The
Bourne Identity.” Based on the second novel
in the “Bourne” series authored by Robert
Ludlum (“The Osterman Weekend”). Returnees
from “The Bourne Identity” include screenwriter
Tony Gilroy (“Proof of Life”) and actors
Matt Damon (“Jersey Girl”), Franka Potente
(“Storytelling”), Julia Stiles (“The
Prince & Me”) and Brian Cox (“The
Reckoning,” “Troy”). Newcomers
to the franchise include director Paul Greengrass
(“Bloody Sunday”) and screenwriter Brian
Helgeland (“Man on Fire”) as well as
actors Joan Allen (“The Contender,” “The
Notebook,” “Off the Map”), Tom
Gallop (“A.I.”) and Karl Urban (“Lord
of the Rings: The Return of the King,” “The
Chronicles of Riddick”). July 23. Universal.
Hebrew-language family comedy about a neglected
teen who, charged with the care of his dysfunctional
family, slowly starts to discover long-dormant
talents – with the assistance of two helpful
faculty members. Written and directed by Shemi
Zarhin. With Oshri Cohen, Esti Zakheim, Arieh
Elias (“James’ Journey to Jerusalem”),
Albert Iluz (“The Delta Force”) and
Rotem Abuhab. Flat. 94 min. July 2 in New York
and Los Angeles. Strand.
Comedy, set in Southern California’s San
Fernando Valley, about an unpopular high school
student transformed by a makeover into one of the
most attractive girls in her class. Directed by
Mark Rosman (TV’s “Lizzie McGuire”)
from a screenplay by Leigh Dunlap. With Hilary
Duff (“Cheaper By the Dozen”), Julie
Gonzalo (“Freaky Friday,” “Dodgeball:
A True Underdog Story”), Chad Murray (“Freaky
Friday”), Brenda Song (“Like Mike”),
Dan Byrd (“28 Days”) and Madeline Zima
(“‘Till There Was You”). PG:
Mild language; innuendo. July 16. Warner Bros.
Australian romantic comedy about a truck driver
who finds love with a meter maid after he ties
huge helium balloons to a lawn chair and accidentally
floats off to a strange town. Longtime storyboard
artist Jeff Balsmeyer (“Canadian Bacon,” “Operation
Dumbo Drop,” “Heat”) makes his
feature directorial debut from his own screenplay.
With Rhys Ifans (“Once Upon A Time in the
Midlands”), Miranda Otto (“Lord of
the Rings: Return of the King,” “Close
Your Eyes”), Justine Clarke (“Japanese
Story”), Rhys Muldoon, Frank Magree (“Ned
Kelly”) and Jeanette Cronin (“Dark
City”). Flat. 90 min. PG-13: Sex-related
situations. July 30 in New York and Los Angeles;
wider Aug. 13. Lions Gate.
about a 26-year-old aspiring actor who, after a
9-year absence, returns to his hometown in New
Jersey – where
he falls for the quirky young woman who helps him
untangle his aimless and heavily-medicated life.
Actor Zach Braff (“The Broken Hearts Club,” TV’s “Scrubs”)
makes his feature directorial debut from his own
screenplay. With Braff, Natalie Portman (“Cold
Mountain”), Peter Sarsgaard (“Shattered
Glass”), Jean Smart (“Bringing Down the
House”), Method Man (“Paid in Full”),
Ian Holm (“Lord of the Rings: Return of the
King,” “The Day After Tomorrow”),
Alex Burns (“National Lampoon’s Van Wilder”)
and Michael Weston (“Hart’s War”).
Scope. R: Language; drug use; a scene of sexuality.
July 30 limited. Fox Searchlight.