V No. 4
publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners
in In Focus
Action-thriller about a developmentally disabled,
gladiator-style fighter, and what happens
after his “owner” - who treated
the boy like a dog from childhood - falls
into a coma. The “Transporter” team
of director Louis Leterrier and screenwriters
Luc Besson (“Wasabi”) and Robert
Mark Kamen (“Kiss of the Dragon”)
reunite. With Jet Li (“Cradle 2 the
Grave”), Morgan Freeman (“Million
Dollar Baby”), Bob Hoskins (“Son
of the Mask”), Kerry Condon (“Ned
Kelly”), Christian Gazio (“Astérix & Obélix:
Scott Adkins (“The Medallion”)
and Vincent Regan (“Troy”).
Also known as “Danny the Dog.” Scope.
103 min. R: Strong violent content; language;
some sexuality/nudity. May 13. Focus.
Writer of O
French- and English-language documentary
exploring the creation of Dominique Aury’s
bestselling erotic French novel “Story
of O," whose risqué content precipitated
an infamous literary scandal. Pola Rapaport
writes and directs. Flat. 80 min. May 4 in
New York. Zeitgeist.
The Smartest Guys In The Room
Behind-the-scenes documentary focusing on the technical details
underlying the infamous Enron scandal. Based on the book by Peter
Elkind. Directed by Alex Gibney. Written by Gibney and Elkind.
April 22 limited; wider April 29. Magnolia.
Cantonese-dialect 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 and
violence. April 8 in New York and Los Angeles.
Sony Pictures Classics.
Hebrew-language comedy-drama, set in Israel,
about a young man who falls for his own aunt.
Written and directed by Savi Gavison. With
Yoram Hattab (“Kippur”), Ayelet
Zorer, Alon Abutbul and Aviv Elkabeth. Also
known as “Ha-Asonot Shel Nina.” 111
min. April 1 in New York. Wellspring.
Drama about an American teenager who, as
part of a volunteer organization, embarks
on an adventure to China, where she forms
a life-changing friendship with a severely
deformed young girl. Jeffrey Kramer makes
his feature directorial debut from his
own screenplay. With Mika Boorem (“Sleepover”),
Ding Yi (“Pavilion of Women”),
Sean Astin (the “Lord of the Rings” series),
Beau Bridges (“Sordid Lives”),
Linda Hamilton (“Dante’s
Peak”), Cheri Oteri (“Dumb
and Dumberer”) and Erik von Detten
(“The Princess Diaries”).
PG-13: Some mature content involving
teen sexuality. April 15.
Drama about a suburban widower coming to
grips with his younger son’s self-destructive
behavior and his older son’s decision
to leave home. Josh Sternfeld makes his
feature directorial debut from his own
screenplay. With Anthony LaPaglia (“Analyze
That”), Aaron Stanford (“Spartan”),
Mark Webber (“People I Know”),
Allison Janney (“How to Deal”),
Ron Livingston (“Little Black Book”),
Michelle Monaghan (“Constantine”),
Brendon Sexton III (“Black Hawk
Down”), Jason Fuchs (“The
Hebrew Hammer”) and Ebon Moss-Bachrach
(“Mona Lisa Smile”). 93 min.
R: Language. April 8 limited. Paramount
Mandarin- and Hokkien-language drama about five 15-year-old boys
who deal with their adolescent angst by interacting socially only
with each other, denouncing school and family, and seeking out
painful and often harmful experiences. Written and directed by
Royston Tan. With Melvin Chen, Erick Chun, Melvin Lee, Vynn Soh
and Shaun Tan. Flat. 92 min. April 13 in New York. Picture This.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Science fiction comedy about Arthur Dent,
a human who finds himself a homeless stowaway
on an alien spacecraft after extraterrestrials – making
way for a new space-freeway – destroy
the Earth. Based on the novels by Douglas
Adams (“Dirk Gently’s Holistic
Detective Agency”). Veteran music video
director Garth Jennings helms from a screenplay
by Adams, Jennings and Karey Kirkpatrick
(“Chicken Run,” “The Little
Vampire”). With Martin Freeman (“Shaun
of the Dead”) as Arthur Dent, Mos Def
(“The Woodsman”) as Ford Prefect,
Zooey Deschanel (“Eulogy”) as
Tricia “Trillian” McMillan, Warwick
Davis (“Ray”) as Marvin the Android,
Sam Rockwell (“Matchstick Men”)
as Zaphod Beeblebrox, Anna Chancellor (“Agent
Cody Banks 2”) as Questular Rontok,
Bill Nighy (“Enduring Love”)
as Slartiblartfast, Steve Pemberton (“Birthday
Girl”) as Prosser and John Malkovich
(“Johnny English”) as Humma Kavula.
Scope. 110 min. PG: Thematic elements; action;
mild language. April 29. Buena Vista.
Drama, 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”), Keira Knightley (“The
Jacket”), Molly Parker (“Max”),
Vinnie Hunter (“Intimacy”), David
Wenham (“Van Helsing”) and Nitin
Chandra Ganatra (“Bride and Prejudice”).
Flat. 96 min. April 8. Indican.
Property 2: Philly Streets
Crime drama sequel to the 2002 gangster film “State
Property,” this time centering on three
rival gangsters fighting over a piece of
turf. Returnees from part one include Beanie
Sigel as Beans and Damon Dash as Dame. Newcomers
to the franchise include Victor Santiago
(“Paid in Full”) as Loco, Derege
Harding as Thug, Roselyn Sanchez (“Chasing
Papi”), Mariah Carey (“Glitter”)
and Robert Feeley. R: Pervasive violence
and language; strong sexuality; drug content.
April 13 limited. Lions Gate.