V No. 8/9
publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners
in In Focus
History of Violence
Thriller about a diner owner whose past comes to
haunt him after he kills a pair of gunmen in self-defense – and
finds his act of heroism a little too widely publicized.
Based on the DC comic-book series created by John
Wagner and Vince Locke. Directed by David Cronenberg
(“eXitenZ,” “Spider”) from
a screenplay by Josh Olson. With Viggo Mortensen
(“Hidalgo”), Maria Bello (“Sin
City”), Ed Harris (“Radio”), William
Hurt (“The Village”), Stephen McHattie
(“Secretary”) and Peter MacNeill (“Open
Range”). 96 min. Sept 30. New Line.
Thriller about a two young couples on a scuba-diving
trip who find their lives endangered after they
discover a large stash of illegal drugs. Directed
by John Stockwell (“Blue Crush”) from
a screenplay by Matt Johnson (“Torque”).
With Paul Walker (“Timeline”), Jessica
Alba (“Fantastic Four”), Josh Brolin
(“Slow Burn”), Dwayne Adway (“First
Daughter”), Scott Caan (“Ocean’s
Twelve”) and Ashley Scott (“Walking
Tall”). PG-13: Intense sequences of action
violence; drug material; some sexual content; language.
Sept 30. Sony.
Romantic comedy, set in San Francisco, about a
grieving man who falls in love with the spirit
of a female coma victim that is haunting his
apartment. Based on the 2000 novel by Marc Levy.
Directed by Mark Waters (“Freaky Friday,” “Mean
Girls”) from a screenplay by Ron Bass (“Passion
of Mind,” “The Shipping News”).
With Reese Witherspoon (“Vanity Fair”),
Mark Ruffalo (“Collateral”), Donal
Logue (“American Splendor”), Dina
Waters (“Haunted Mansion”), Rosalind
Chao (“Freaky Friday”) and Jon Heder
(“Napoleon Dynamite”). PG-13: Some
sexual content. Flat. Sept. 16. DreamWorks.
Alejandro de la Vega’s promise to his wife – that
he would reveal and retire his Zorro identity – becomes
difficult to keep when shadowy forces conspire
to further a 500-year-old plot. A sequel set 10
years after the events of 1998’s “The
Mask of Zorro.” Returnees from part one include
director Martin Campbell (“Vertical Limit,” “Beyond
Borders”) as well as actors Antonio Banderas
(“Once Upon a Time in Mexico”) and
Catherine Zeta-Jones (“Ocean’s Twelve”).
Newcomers to the franchise include screenwriters
Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (“The Island”)
as well as actors Nick Chinlund (“The Chronicles
of Riddick”), Shuler Hensley (“Van
Helsing”) and Rufus Sewell (“Extreme
Ops”). Scope. Oct. 28. Sony.
Comedy about an ATF agent who finds himself forced
to partner with a bumbling traveling salesmen
in order to keep his big-deal sting operation
intact. Directed by Les Mayfield (“Blue
Streak,” “American Outlaws”)
from a screenplay by Stephen Carpenter (“Blue
Streak,” “Soul Survivors”),
Margaret Oberman (“Troop Beverly Hills”)
and Jim Piddock (“A Different Loyalty”).
With Samuel L. Jackson (“Star Wars: Episode
III – Revenge of the Sith”), Eugene
Levy (“New York Minute”), Susie
Essman (“The Secret Lives of Dentists”),
Anthony Mackie (“Million Dollar Baby”),
Miguel Ferrer (“Silver City”),
Horatio Sanz (“Boat Trip”), Luke
Goss (“Blade II”) and Michael Cameron
(“Bulletproof Monk”). Flat. PG-13:
Language; rude dialogue; some violence. Sept.
9. New Line.
Romantic comedy about a bride-to-be who recruits
what she believes to be a Catholic priest to
help her overcome an urge to cheat on her fiancé,
unaware that the “priest” is actually
just a guy who thinks she’s hot. Directed
by Laurent Firode from a screenplay by Joan
Carr-Wiggin. With Rachael Leigh Cook (“Stateside”),
Kenny Doughty (“Elizabeth,” “The
Great Raid,” “The Aryan Couple”),
Paul Hopkins (“Mambo Italiano”),
Elizabeth Whitmere (“Head in the Clouds”),
Valerie Mahaffey (“Seabiscuit”)
and Claire Brosseau (“Confessions of
a Dangerous Mind”). Flat. Oct. 21. Indican.
Drama, set in 19th-century London, about an orphan
boy befriended by a band of street crooks. Based
on the novel by Charles Dickens (“Great Expectations,” “Nicholas
Nickleby”). Directed by Roman Polanski (“The
Ninth Gate,” “The Pianist”) from
a screenplay by Ronald Harwood (“The Pianist,” “The
Statement,” “Being Julia”). With
Ben Kingsley (“Suspect Zero,” “A
Sound of Thunder”), Barney Clark (“The
Lawless Heart”), Frank Finlay (“The
Statement”) and Jamie Foreman (“I’ll
Sleep When I’m Dead”). Sept 30. Sony.
Arabic-language drama about two Palestinian suicide
bombers in the final hours before their mission.
Directed by Hany Abu-Assad from a screenplay by Abu-Assad
and Bero Beyer. With Kais Nashef, Ali Suliman, Lubna
Azabal, Amer Hlehel and Hiam Abbas. 91 min. Oct.
14 in New York. Warner Independent Pictures.
Drama, set in the early 19th century, about an
opinionated young woman who falls for an arrogant
Based on the novel by Jane Austen (“Persuasion,” “Sense
and Sensibility,” “Emma”). British
TV miniseries director Joe Wright (“Charles
II: The Power & the Passion”) makes his
feature directorial debut from a screenplay by
Deborah Moggach. With Keira Knightley (“The
Jacket”), Judi Dench (“Ladies in Lavender”),
Donald Sutherland (“Cold Mountain,” “Fierce
People”), Matthew MacFadyen (“The Reckoning”),
Brenda Blethyn (“Beyond the Sea”) and
Tom Hollander (“Stage Beauty”). Scope.
PG: Some mild thematic elements. Sept. 23. Focus.
Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio
Drama, set in the 1950s and based on a true story,
about an impoverished mother who supports herself
and her 10 children by winning a song contest and
becoming a jingle writer. Screenwriter Jane Anderson
(“How To Make An American Quilt”) makes
her feature directorial debut from her own script.
With Julianne Moore (“The Forgotten”),
Laura Dern (“Happy Endings”), Woody
Harrelson (“After the Sunset,” “North
Country”), Trevor Morgan (“Mean Creek”)
and Jake Scott. Flat. PG-13: Thematic elements;
some disturbing images; language. Sept. 23. Go
Documentary about the rise of religious intolerance
and violence inflicted in the name of God. Directed
by Marc Levin (“Slam,” “Whiteboyz”).
90 min. Oct. 21 in New York. Thinkfilm.
Guys & Balls
German-language comedy about a young soccer player
who – banned from his team because of his
sexual preference – forms a new, all-homosexual
team to take on his old team in a grudge match.
Directed by Sherry Horman from a script by Benedikt
Gollhardt. Starring Maximilian Brückner, Lisa
Maria Potthoff and Rolf Zacher. Flat. 106 min.
Oct. 7. Regent.
Comedy about two sisters – one a feckless
party-type and the other a disciplined attorney – and
the grandmother neither of them knows. Based
on the novel by Jennifer Weiner (“Little
Earthquakes”). Directed by Curtis Hanson
(“8 Mile”) from a screenplay by Susannah
Grant (“28 Days”). With Cameron Diaz
(“Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle”),
Toni Collette (“The Last Shot”),
Shirley MacLaine (“Bewitched”), Mark
Feuerstein (“Abandon”), Brooke Smith
(“Melinda and Melinda”), Richard
Burgi (“Cellular”), Anson Mount (“The
Battle of Shaker Heights”), Norman Lloyd
(“The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle”)
and Eric Balfour (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”).
Scope. 130 min. PG-13: Thematic material; language;
some sexual content. Oct. 7. Fox.
Drama about a New York Harbor Patrol officer, a music
teacher, and a grieving mother whose lives intersect
during one night of tragedy. Michael Phelan makes
his feature directorial debut from his own screenplay.
With Sean Patrick Flanery (“Borderline”),
Melina Kanakaredes (“15 Minutes”), JoBeth
Williams (“Fever Pitch”), Lydia Jordan
(“Gods and Generals”), Ron McLarty (“The
Postman”), Pablo Schreiber (“Lords of
Dogtown”), Ed Lauter (“The Longest Yard”)
and Elizabeth Hobgood (“The Emperor’s
Club”). Sept. 23 in New York. Slow Hand.
French-language drama about a young homosexual
who confronts his unrequited love for a childhood
friend when he returns home for the holidays.
Written and directed by Rodolphe Marconi (“Love
Forbidden”). With Gaspard Ulliel (“A
Very Long Engagement”), Mélanie
Laurent, Bruno Todeschini (“Son Frère”),
Nicole Garcia (“La Petite Lili”),
Alysson Paradis and Christophe Malavoy. 108 min.
Oct. 14 in New York. Strand.
Period comedy-drama, set during the Restoration,
about the Earl of Rochester, a philanderer whose
poetry was labeled by many as pornographic. Laurence
Dunmore makes his directorial debut from a screenplay
by Stephen Jeffreys. With Johnny Depp (“Charlie
and the Chocolate Factory”), John Malkovich
(“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” “Art
School Confidential”), Samantha Morton (“Enduring
Love”), Tom Hollander (“Stage Beauty,” “Pride
and Prejudice”) and Rosamund Pike (“Die
Another Day,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Doom”).
Sept. 16. Miramax.
Date With Drew
Comedic documentary about a “regular guy” who
takes $1,100 and a “borrowed” camera
to chronicle the pursuit of his ultimate dream:
a date with actress Drew Barrymore. Directed by
Brian Herzlinger, Brett Winn and Jon Gunn. With
Herzlinger, John Mann and Lily Rains. PG: Mild
thematic elements; language. Sept. 16. Slow Hand.
Legal drama, based on a true story, about a female
Minnesota iron miner who launched a years-long
legal battle against her company in 1975 after
enduring multiple incidents of sexual harassment.
Based on the book by journalist Clara Bingham (“Women
on the Hill”) and attorney Laura Leedy Gansler.
Directed by Niki Caro (“Whale Rider) from
a screenplay by Michael Seitzmen (“Here on
Earth”). With Charlize Theron (“Head
in the Clouds”), Sissy Spacek (“The
Ring 2”), Frances McDormand (“Something’s
Gotta Give”), Woody Harrelson (“After
the Sunset,” “The Prize Winner of Defiance,
Ohio”), Richard Jenkins (“Shall We
Dance?”), Jillian Armenante (“Girl,
Interrupted”), Chris Mulkey (“Mysterious
Skin”) and Michelle Monaghan (“Mr. & Mrs.
Smith,” “Syriana”). Previously
known as “Class Action.” Oct. 7. Warner
French-language thriller about an aspiring musician,
stranded in the woods during a rainstorm, who
takes refuge with a seemingly kindly innkeeper – only
to discover the innkeeper is not as stable as he
originally appeared. Directed by Fabrice du Welz
from a screenplay by du Welz and Romain Protat.
With Laurent Lucas (“Who Killed Bambi?”),
Jackie Berroyer, Philippe Nahon (“High Tension”),
Philippe Grand’Henry, Jean-Luc Couchard,
Gigi Coursigni and Brigite Lahaie (“Henry
and June”). Also known as “Calvaire.” Scope.
94 min. Oct. 21 in New York and LA. Palm.
Re-release of the 1975 drama about an American
journalist who, while covering an uprising in Africa,
to assume the identity of a dead man he finds in
a neighboring hotel room. Directed by Michaelangelo
Antonioni (“Eros”) from a screenplay
by Antonioni, Marc Peplow (“The Last Emperor,” “Little
Buddha”) and Peter Wollen. With Jack Nicholson
(“Something’s Gotta Give”), Maria
Schneider (“Jane Eyre”), Jenny Runacre
(“Restoration”), Steven Berkoff (“Head
in the Clouds”) and Ian Hendry (“Damien:
Omen II”). Oct. 28. Sony Pictures Classics.
Comedy about a thirtysomething go-getter who finds
herself falling for a significantly younger man,
unaware that he is the son of her therapist. Written
and directed by Ben Younger (“Boiler Room”).
With Uma Thurman (“Be Cool”), Bryan Greenberg
(“The Perfect Score”), Madhur Jaffey
(“Cotton Mary”), Annie Parisse (“National
Treasure”) and Meryl Streep (“Lemony
Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”).
PG-13: Sexual content including dialogue; language.
Oct. 28. Universal.
Drama about a young scholar who finds a copy of
a theorem mathematicians have been seeking
for centuries – but
isn’t sure who authored the groundbreaking
work: a famous, mentally-ill, mathematical genius,
or the caretaker daughter who claims it’s hers.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David
Auburn. Directed by John Madden (“Shakespeare
in Love,” “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”)
from a screenplay by Auburn and Rebecca Miller (“Personal
Velocity,” “The Ballad of Jack and Rose”).
With Gwyneth Paltrow (“Sky Captain and the
World of Tomorrow”), Anthony Hopkins (“Alexander”),
Jake Gyllenhaal (“The Day After Tomorrow”),
Hope Davis (“American Splendor,” “The
Weather Man”), Colin Stinton (“The Hours”),
Daniel Hatkoff (“Vera Drake”) and Gary
Houston (“Fargo”). PG-13: Some sexual
content; language; drug references. Sept. 16. Miramax.