V No. 3
publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners
in In Focus
Action-thriller about a developmentally disabled
fighter, and what happens after his “owner” – who
raised the fighter as a dog from childhood – falls
into a coma. The “Transporter” team
of director Louis Leterrier and screenwriters
Luc Besson (“Wasabi,” “Taxi”)
and Robert Mark Kamen (“Kiss of the
Dragon”) reunite. With Jet Li (“Cradle
2 the Grave,” “Hero”),
Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”),
Bob Hoskins (“Son of the Mask”),
Kerry Condon (“Ned Kelly”)
and Christian Gazio (“The Transporter”).
Also known as “Danny the Dog.” R:
Strong violent content; language; some
sexuality/nudity. April 8. Focus.
Drama about a middle-aged TV meteorologist
who attempts to bandage a tattered relationship
with his estranged wife and children
before moving from Chicago to New York.
Directed by Gore Verbinski (“The
Ring,” “Pirates of the Caribbean”)
from a screenplay by Steve Conrad (“Wrestling
Ernest Hemingway”). With Nicolas
Cage (“National Treasure”),
Michael Caine (“Around the Bend”),
Hope Davis (“American Splendor”),
Gemmenne de la Peña (“Erin
Brockovich”), Nicholas Hoult (“About
A Boy”), Michael Rispoli (“Mr.
3000”), David Darlow (“Road
to Perdition”) and Judith McConnell
(“The Thirsty Dead”). Flat.
102 min. R: Strong language; sexual content.
April 1. Paramount.
Comedy, set on Halloween in West Hollywood,
Calif., about a group of drag queens who
conspire to return reality-show star Anna
Nicole Smith’s kidnapped dog Sugar-Pie.
Directed by Lee Friedlander from a screenplay
by Celia Fox. With Smith (“Naked Gun
33 1/3”), Christian Keiber (“My
Favorite Martian”), Federico Dordei
(“The Journey”), John Williams
(“The Whole Ten Yards”), Alanna
Ubach (“Meet the Fockers”), Guillermo
Díaz (“The Terminal”),
Alexis Arquette (“Spun”), Jason
London (“Grind”), Tim Meadows
(“The Cookout”), Antonio Sabato
Jr. (“The Big Hit”), Lisa Arning
(“Hollywood Homicide”) and Dariush
Kashani. Flat. 92 min. R: Sexual content.
State of the Union
NSA agent Augustus Gibbons recruits a new
criminal into the XXX program, this time
to track a dangerous military splinter group
bent on overthrowing the U.S. government.
Returnees from 2002’s “XXX” include
Samuel L. Jackson (“Coach Carter”)
as Gibbons and Michael Roof (“Black
Hawk Down”) as Agent Shaver. Newcomers
to the series include director Lee Tamahori
(“Die Another Day”) and screenwriter
Simon Kinberg as well as actors Ice Cube
(“Are We There Yet?”), Willem
Dafoe (“The Aviator”), Peter
Strauss (“Nick of Time”), Nona
Gaye (the “Matrix” series), Scott
Speedman (“Underworld”), Ned
Schmidtke (“Mercury Rising”),
Sunny Mabrey (“The New Guy”)
and John G. Connolly (“Mr. 3000”).
April 29. Sony.
Comedy, set in Atlanta, about a strong-willed hairdresser who launches
her own shop after her boss takes credit for her work. A spin-off
of the “Barbershop” series. Directed by Bille Woodruff
(“Honey”) from a screenplay by Kate Lanier (“Set
it Off,” “Glitter”) and Norman Vance. With Queen
Latifah (“Taxi”), Alicia Silverstone (“Scooby-Doo
2”), Mena Suvari (“Spun”), Andie MacDowell (“Crush”),
Kevin Bacon (“The Woodsman”), Djimon Hounsou (“Constantine”),
Golden Brooks (“Impostor”), Keshia Knight Pulliam (“The
Last Dragon”), Wilmer Valderrama (“Party Monster”),
Della Reese (“A Thin Line Between Love and Hate”) and
Alfre Woodard (“The Forgotten”). PG-13: Sexual material;
language; brief drug reference. March 30. MGM.
Boat Is Full
Re-release of the
1981 German-language drama, set during World
War II, about Jews who flee from Germany to
Switzerland, only to attract the scrutiny of
a suspicious local constable. Based on the
novel by Alfred A. Haesler. Written and directed
by Markus Imhoof. With Tina Engel (“The
Promise”), Curt Bois (“Wings of
Desire”), Hans Diehl, Martin Walz, Ilse
Bahrs and Gerd David. Flat. 101 min. March
11. Castle Hill.
action-comedy, set in 1940s Canton, China,
about slum residents who exhibit supernatural
martial arts acumen when they’re challenged
by members of the city’s all-powerful “Axe
Gang.” Directed by Stephen Chow (“Shaolin
Soccer”) from a screenplay by Chow, Tsang
Kan Cheong (“Shaolin Soccer”),
Huo Xin (“Quitting”) and Chan Man
Keung. With Chow (“Shaolin Soccer”),
Yuen Wah (“Supercop”) and Feng
Xiaogang (“Happy Funeral”). Also
known as “Gong Fu.” Scope. 99
min. R: Sequences of strong stylized action
violence. March 18 in New York and Los Angeles.
Sony Pictures Classics.
set in London, about a son’s efforts
to halt his recently widowed mother’s
descent into drug addiction. Gillies MacKinnon
(“Behind the Lines,” “Hideous
Kinky”) directs from a screenplay by
Alison Hume. With Harry Eden (“Peter
Pan”), Vinnie Hunter (“Intimacy”),
Keira Knightley (“King Arthur,” “The
Jacket”), Molly Parker (“Max”),
David Wenham (“Van Helsing”) and
Nitin Chandra Ganatra (“Bride and Prejudice”).
Flat. 96 min. Mar. 25. Indican.
science-fiction adventure, set in 19th century
London, about a youngster who finds himself
on the run from a powerful organization that
wants the strange silver ball his scientist
grandfather gave him. Katsuhiro Ôtomo
(“Akira”) directs from a screenplay
by Ôtomo and Sadayuki Murai (“Perfect
Blue,” “Millennium Actress”).
The subtitled Japanese-language version features
the voices of Kiyoshi Kodama, Manami Konishi,
Katsuo Nakamura and Anne Suzuki. The dubbed
English-language version features the voices
of and Robin Atkin Downes, Patrick Stewart,
Anna Paquin, Alfred Molina and David S. Lee.
PG-13: Action violence. March 18 limited. Sony.
Hebrew- and English-language political thriller
about a homophobic Israeli intelligence agent
who befriends the homosexual grandson of
the ex-Nazi officer he has been assigned
Directed by Eytan Fox from a screenplay by
Gal Uchovsky. With Carola Regnier (“Rosenstrasse”),
Lior Ashkenazi (“Late Marriage”),
Hanns Zischler (“Eyewitness”),
Knut Berger, Caroline Peter, Gideon Shemer
and Eyal Rozales. Flat. 104 min. March 4. IDP.
Best of Youth
Six-hour Italian-language drama, set between 1966 and 2000, about
two brothers – a cop and psychiatrist – whose separate
lives reconnect after the psychiatrist’s wife becomes involved
with terrorists. Directed by Marco Tullio Giordana (“Especially
on Sunday”) from a screenplay by Sandro Petraglia (“The
Truce,” “Perlasca”) and Stefano Rulli (“The
Truce,” “Perlasca”). With Maya Sansa (“Gasoline”),
Danilo Maria Vali (“Passion of the Christ”), Patrizia
Punzo (“Cemetery Man”), Alessio Asti and Luigi Lo Cascio.
Also known as “La Meglio gioventù.” Flat. 363
min. R: Language; brief nudity. March 2. Miramax.
Boys And Girl From County Clare
about two brothers – leaders of rival
Irish dance bands – who meet at the Ireland
Traditional Music finals 20 years after parting
on poor terms. Directed by John Irvin (“A
Month by the Lake”,”City of Industry”)
from a screenplay by Nicholas Adams. With Phil
Barantini (“Ned Kelly”), Patrick
Bergin (“Ella Enchanted”), Bernard
Hill (“Wimbledon”), Colm Meaney
(“Intermission,” “Layer Cake”)
and Zelia Attzs. Scope. 90 min. March 11. IDP.
set in New York City, about a wife who publicly
rejects her stockbroker husband’s offer
to marry her again, and what happens when the
couple impulsively make separate journeys into
the city. Written and directed by Joe Maggio
(“Virgil Bliss”). With Clint Jordan
(“What Alice Found”), Kirsten Russell
(“Virgil Bliss”), Greg Amici (“Virgil
Bliss”), Eleanor Hutchins (“Margarita
Happy Hour”), Dudley Findlay Jr., and
Anthony Howard. March 18 in New York. Wellspring.
drama about a pregnant teen who finds refuge
in a small embroidery studio, where she develops
a friendship with the grieving woman who owns
it. Directed by Éléonore Faucher
from a screenplay by Faucher and Gaëlle
Macé. With Lola Naymark (“Monsieur
Ibrahim”), Ariane Ascaride (“The
Town Is Quiet”), Jackie Berroyer (“The
Swindle,” “Look at Me”),
Anne Canovas (“Le Divorce”), Marina
Tomé (“Happenstance”) and
Elisabeth Commelin (“Chocolat”).
Also known as “A Common Thread.” Flat.
88 min. March 25 in New York. New Yorker.
Wake In Providence
about a Los Angeles man who, while attending
the Rhode Island funeral of his grandfather,
introduces his African-American girlfriend
to his disapproving Italian-American family.
Directed by Rosario Roveto Jr. by a screenplay
by Billy Van Zant & Jane Milmore (TV’s “Martin”)
and Vincent Pagano & Mike Pagano. With
Vincent Pagano, Victoria Rowell (“Eve’s
Bayou”), Adrienne Barbeau (“Fatherhood”),
John Capodice (“The Amati Girls”),
Sarah Thompson (“America’s Most
Wanted”), Sam Coppola (“Empire”),
Mark DeCarlo (“Raising Helen”),
John Ferus (“Pasionada”) and Louis
Guss (“The Crew”). March 11.
Flat. 100 min. R: Language; some sexual content.