Volume VI No. 11
publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners
in In Focus
Romantic drama, set in the 1920s, about an English scientist who learns
after he relocates to Hong Kong that his wife is having an affair with
a local playboy. Based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham (“Up
at the Villa,” “Being Julia”). Directed by John Curran
(“We Don’t Live Here Anymore”) from a screenplay
by Ron Nyswaner (“Philadelphia”). With Naomi Watts (“King
Kong”), Edward Norton (“The Illusionist”), Liev Schreiber
(“The Omen”), Diana Rigg (“A Good Man in Africa”),
Hélène Cardona (“Chocolat”), Zoe Telford
(“Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo”) and Sally Hawkins (“Layer
Cake”). PG-13: Some mature sexual situations; partial nudity;
disturbing images; brief drug content. Dec. 15 in New York and Los
Angeles; wider Jan. 5, Jan.12 and Jan. 19. Warner Independent Pictures.
Thriller, set in 18th century France, about
a serial killer – born with an extraordinary
sense of smell but no scent of his own – who
becomes a perfumier obsessed with finding
the perfect smell. Based on the novel by
Patrick Suskind (“The Pigeon”).
Directed by Tom Tykwer (“Run Lola Run,” “The
Princess and the Warrior,” “Heaven”)
from a screenplay by Tykwer, Bernd Eichinger
(“Downfall”), Caroline Thompson
(“Buddy,” “Tim Burton’s
Corpse Bride”) and Andrew Birkin (“The
Messenger”). With Alan Rickman (the “Harry
Potter” series), Dustin Hoffman (“The
Lost City,” “Stranger than Fiction”),
Rachel Hurd-Wood (“An American Haunting”),
Simon Chandler (“Stoned”) and
Ben Whishaw (“Stoned”). Scope.
R: Aberrant behavior involving nudity, violence,
sexuality, and disturbing images. Dec. 27
limited; wide Jan. 5. DreamWorks.
A fiftysomething Italian Stallion, now a widowed
restaurateur distant from his adult son, climbs
back into the ring to fight reigning heavyweight
champ Mason Dixon, a boxer reviled by fans
for fighting unproven opponents. Sylvester
Stallone, who wrote the previous five installments
and directed chapters “II,” “III” and “IV,” helms
from his own screenplay. Actors returning from
the previous five installments include Stallone
(“Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over”), Burt
Young (“Transamerica”) and Tony
Burton (“Hook”). Newcomers to the
franchise include Milo Ventimiglia (“Stay
Alive”) as Rocky Balboa Jr., as well
as Henry G. Sanders (“Play It To The
Bone”), Bert Randolph Sugar (“Play
It To The Bone”), Marc Ratner (“Play
It To The Bone”), Geraldine Hughes (“Duplex”),
Lahmard J. Tate (“Barbershop”),
A.J. Benza (“P.S. Your Cat is Dead”)
and Antonio Tarver (TV’s “The Contender”).
PG: Boxing violence; some language. Dec. 22.
Comedy about children of divorce who create
a makeshift holiday for themselves when they
are snowed in at a Chicago airport the day
after Christmas. Based on a segment from the
NPR series “This American Life.” Directed
by Paul Feig (“I Am David”) from
a screenplay by Jacob Meszaros and M. Stark.
With Gina Mantegna (“13 Going on 30”),
Dyllan Christopher (“Seabiscuit”),
Quinn Shephard (“Harrison’s Flowers”),
Brett Kelly (“Bad Santa”), Tyler
James Williams (TV’s “Everybody
Hates Chris”), Tony Hale (“R.V.,” “Stranger
than Fiction”), Mindy Kaling (“The
40-Year-Old Virgin”), B.J. Novak (TV’s “The
Office”), Rob Corddry (“Failure
to Launch”), Lewis Black (“Man
of the Year”), David Koechner (“Snakes
on a Plane,” “Let’s Go to
Prison,” “Tenacious D in: The Pick
of Destiny”) and Wilmer Valderrama (“Party
Monster,” “Fast Food Nation”).
Flat. Dec. 8. Warner Bros.
Comedy about a very elderly actor who falls
for the 19-year-old grand-niece of an old friend.
Directed by Roger Michell (“The Mother,” “Enduring
Love”) from a screenplay by Hanif Kureishi
(“My Son the Fanatic,” “The
Mother”). With Jodie Whitaker, Peter
O’Toole (“Lassie”), Vanessa
Redgrave (“The White Countess”),
Leslie Phillips (“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”),
and Richard Griffiths (“Harry Potter
and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “The
History Boys”). Flat. 94 min. R: Language;
some sexual content; brief nudity. Dec. 15
in New York and Los Angeles. Miramax.
Spanish-language fantasy-drama, set in 1940s
Spain, about a lonely young girl who comes
to believe that she is the lost princess
of a surreal underground kingdom, and that
she must complete three dangerous tasks
in order to return to her true home. Written
and directed by Guillermo del Toro (“The
Devil’s Backbone,” “Hellboy”).
With Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones (“Lady
in the Water”), Maribel Verdú (“Y
Tu Mamá También”),
Sergi López (“Dirty Pretty
Things”), Ariadna Gil and Roger Casamajor.
120 min. R: Graphic violence; some language.
Dec. 29 limited. Picturehouse.
Pursuit of Happyness
Drama about a thirtysomething man, barely
scraping by as a salesman, who lands a career-making
brokerage internship just as he gains custody
of his young son. Directed by Gabriele Muccino
(“Remember Me, My Love”) from
a screenplay by Steve Conrad (“Wrestling
Ernest Hemingway,” “The Weather
Man”). With Will Smith (“Hitch”),
real-life son Jaden Smith, Thandie Newton
(“Crash”), David Pearl (“Rent”),
Brian Howe (“R.V.”), Kurt Fuller
(“Don’t Come Knocking”),
Scott Klace (“Roommates”), Takayo
Fischer (“Memoirs of a Geisha”),
Domenic Bove (“Bee Season”),
Lo Ming (“Jarhead”) and Dan Castellaneta
(“My Giant”). Scope. PG-13: Some
language. Dec. 15. Sony.
Horror thriller, set along the Brazilian coast,
about a group of American backpackers whose
bus breaks down, leaving them to the mercy
of some sadistic locals. Directed by John Stockwell
(“Blue Crush,” “Into the
Blue”) from a screenplay by Michael Ross.
With Josh Duhamel (“Win A Date with Tad
Hamilton!”), Melissa George (“Derailed”),
Olivia Wilde (“Conversations with Other
Women,” “Running With Scissors”),
Desmond Askew (“The Hills Have Eyes”),
Beau Garrett (TV’s “Head Cases”),
Polly Brown and Max Brown. R: Strong graphic
violence and disturbing content; sexuality;
nudity; drug use; language. Dec. 1. Fox.
Van Wilder Deux: The Rise of
Sequel to the 2002 comedy, this
time focusing on Wilder’s sidekick, who
arrives in England determined to show the Oxford
University student body how to party. Kal Penn
(“Superman Returns”) reprises the
role of Taj. Directed by Mort Nathan (“Boat
Trip”) from a screenplay by actor David
Drew Gallagher (“Disclosure,” “Infinity”).
With Lauren Cohan (“Casanova”),
Shobu Kapoor (“Bend it Like Beckham”),
Glen Barry, Holly Davidson, Adam Sinclair
and Tom Davey. R: Pervasive crude sexual
some nudity; language. Dec. 1. MGM.
We Are Marshall
Drama about a coach and surviving team members
struggling to keep their university football
program alive after a plane crash kills the
head coach, members of the team and numerous
fans. Directed by McG (the “Charlie’s
Angels” franchise) from a screenplay
by Jamie Linden. With Matthew McConaughey (“Failure
to Launch”), Matthew Fox (“My Boyfriend’s
Back”), Anthony Mackie (“Crossover”),
Kate Mara (“Zoom”), Ian McShane
(“Scoop”) and David Strathairn
(“The Notorious Bettie Page”).
Scope. Dec. 22. Warner Bros.
Drama about a man who organizes one last Christmas for his family after his wife
becomes gravely ill. Written and directed by William Laufer. With Andrew May
(“Striking Distance”), Joel Nunley (“The Clearing”),
Jack Hourigan, Helen Welch, Tracie Field, Rick Montgomery, Robert Hawkes and
Sarah Christie. PG: Thematic issues; momentary mild language. Nov. 10. Aloha.
The Life And Death of People’s Temple
Documentary about California
cult leader Jim Jones, who led his followers
to build a new “utopian” settlement
in a South American jungle – far from
the prying eyes of his followers’ relatives – where
in 1978 he ultimately engineered the deaths
of an investigating U.S. congressman, a news
crew, and more than 900 of Jones’ own
followers. Directed by Stanley Nelson (“Sweet
Honey in the Rock”). Written by Marcia
Smith. 85 min. Oct. 20 in New York; Nov.
10 in Los Angeles. Fire Light.
Drama about a violent Iraq War vet and his
best friend, who go on the hunt for jobs,
drugs and money in gang-riddled South Central
Los Angeles. Screenwriter David Ayer (“Training
Day,” “Dark Blue,” “S.W.A.T.”)
makes his feature directorial debut from
his own script. With Christian Bale (“Batman
Begins,” “The Prestige”),
Freddy Rodriguez (“Lady in the Water,” “Bobby”),
Eva Longoria (“The Sentinel”),
J.K. Simmons (“Thank You for Smoking”),
Terry Crews (“Idiocracy”), Sonia
Iris Lozada (“Hollywood Homicide”)
and Cesar Garcia (“Dirty”). 120
min. R: Strong violence; language; drug use.
Nov. 10. MGM.