Volume VI No. 8/9
publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners
in In Focus
Actioner, set in North America around the year 1000, about a Viking boy – left
behind by retreating warriors and raised by Native Americans – who
comes to help combat the returning Vikings who abandoned him. A remake
of the 1987 Norwegian film of the same name. Directed by Marcus Nispel
(“Texas Chainsaw Massacre”) from a screenplay by Laeta Kalogridis
(“Night Watch”). With Karl Urban (“Doom”), Clancy
Brown (“The Hurricane”), Moon Bloodgood (“Eight Below”),
Russell Means (“Thomas and the Magic Railroad”), Jay Tavare
(“Cold Mountain”), Nathaniel Arcand (“Elektra”)
and Ralf Moeller (“The Scorpion King”). Sept. 8. Fox.
Animated sci-fi action thriller, set in a
2054 Paris, about a detective on the trail
of a kidnapped young geneticist. Directed
by Christian Volckman from a screenplay by
Alexandre de La Patellière & Mathieu
Delaporte, Jean-Bernard Pouy and Patrick
Raynal. Featuring the voices of Daniel Craig,
Romola Garai, Catherine McCormack, Jonathan
Price, Ian Holm and Rick Warden. 103 min.
Sept. 22 in New York and Los Anglees; expands
Sept. 29, Oct. 6 and Oct. 13. Miramax.
Drama about a boy raised by the bizarre family
of an unorthodox psychiatrist after being
given away by his delusional mother. Based
on the memoir by Augusten Burroughs (“Possible
Side Effects”). TV writer-director
Ryan Murphy (“Nip/Tuck”) directs
from his own screenplay. With Annette Bening
(“Being Julia”), Alec Baldwin
(“Fun with Dick and Jane,” “The
Departed”), Brian Cox (“Match
Point”), Joseph Cross (“Strangers
With Candy,” “Flags of Our Fathers”),
Kristen Chenoweth (“R.V.”), Viola
Davis (“Solaris”), Joseph Fiennes
(“The Great Raid”), Gwyneth Paltrow
Jill Clayburgh (“Never Again”),
Gabrielle Union (“The Honeymooners,” “Say
Uncle”) and Evan Rachel Wood (“Down
in the Valley”}. Scope. R: Strong language
and elements of sexuality; violence; substance
abuse. Oct. 27 limited. Sony.
Comedy about a sad-sack male meter maid who
enrolls in a confidence-building class
in an effort to woo the woman of his
dreams, only to find that his new teacher
has designs on the same girl. The “Road
Trip”–”Old School”–”Starsky & Hutch” team
of writer-director Todd Phillips and
screenwriter Scot Armstrong reunite.
With Jon Heder (”The Benchwarmers,” “Monster
House”), Billy Bob Thornton (“Ice
Harvest”), Jacinda Barrett (“Poseidon,” “The
Last Kiss”), Sarah Silverman (“Rent”),
David Cross (“She’s the Man”),
Horatio Sanz (“The Man”),
Luis Guzman (“Dreamer: Inspired
by a True Story”), Matt Walsh (“Christmas
with the Kranks”) and Michael Clarke
Duncan (“The Island,” “Talladega
Nights”). Sept. 29. Weinstein.
Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
Thriller about the horrifying origins of
the infamous Leatherface and his equally
bloodthirsty family, who again find victims
among a group of unsuspecting teen travelers.
Returnees from 2003’s “Massacre” include
Heather Kafka (“Where The Heart
Is”), R. Lee Ermey (“Man
of the House”), Andrew Bryniarski
Marich (“Rushmore”), Kathy
Lamkin (“Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”)
and Terrence Evans (“What’s
Love Got To Do With It?”). Newcomers
to the series include director Jonathan
Liebesman (“Darkness Falls”),
screenwriter Sheldon Turner (“The
Longest Yard,” “Snakes on
a Plane”), and actors Jordana Brewster
(“Annapolis”), Diora Baird
(“The Wedding Crashers”),
Matthew Bomer (“Flightplan”),
Taylor Handley (“Jack Frost”),
Lew Temple (“Domino”), Lee
Tergesen (“The Forgotten”)
and Tim De Zarn (“Spider-Man”).
Flat. R: Strong horror violence/gore;
language; some sexual content. Oct. 6.
The Nightmare Before Christmas In 3-D
3D re-release of the 1993 animated musical
about Jack Skellington, the Halloween king
who decides to take over Christmas – despite
an imperfect understanding of the holiday.
Directed by Henry Selick (“James and
the Giant Peach,” “Monkeybone”)
from a screenplay by Michael McDowell (“Thinner”)
and Caroline Thompson (“Buddy,” “Tim
Burton’s Corpse Bride”). Those
lending their voices to the project include
Danny Elfman, Catherine O’Hara, Chris
Sarandon, Paul Reubens, Greg Proops, William
Hickey, Glenn Shadix and Ken Page. Available
exclusively in 3D. Oct. 20. Buena Vista.
U.S. Vs. John Lennon
about the famous musician’s transition
from Beatles frontman to anti-war activist.
Veteran TV documentarians John Scheinfeld & David
Leaf (“Rosemary Clooney: Girl Singer,” “Ricky
Nelson Sings”) make their feature directorial
debuts. Featuring Yoko Ono and archival footage
of Lennon. Sept. 15 in New York and Los Angeles;
wider Sept. 29. Lionsgate.
Thriller about a sheriff who comes
to a remote island
to investigate a girl’s disappearance
and discovers there a community of pagans who
practice bizarre fertility rites. A remake
of the 1973 film. Written and directed by Neil
LaBute (“Possession,” “The
Shape of Things”). With Nicolas Cage
(“The Weather Man,” “World
Trade Center”), Leelee Sobieski (“London”),
Molly Parker (“Nine Lives,” “Hollywoodland”),
Kate Beahan (“Flightplan”), Ellen
Burstyn (“Down in the Valley,” “The
Fountain”), Diane Delano (“The
Ladykillers”), and Frances Conroy (“Shopgirl”).
PG-13: Disturbing images and violence; language;
thematic issues. Sept. 1. Warner Bros.
Thriller, set in early 1900s London, about
two bitter rival magicians who envy each
other’s astonishing signature tricks.
Based on the novel by Christopher Priest
(“The Affirmation”). Directed
by Christopher Nolan (“Insomnia,” “Batman
Begins”) from a screenplay by Nolan
and brother Jonathan Nolan. With Hugh Jackman
(“X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Scoop,” “The
Fountain”), Christian Bale (“The
New World”), Scarlett Johansson (“Match
Point,” “Scoop,” “The
Black Dahlia”), Michael Caine (“The
Weather Man,” “Children of Men”),
David Bowie (“Basquiat”), Ricky
Jay (“Last Days”) and Piper Perabo
(“Imagine Me & You,” “10th & Wolf”).
Oct. 27 limited. Buena Vista.
Alone For Thousands of Miles
Drama, featuring dialogue in Japanese and
Mandarin Chinese, about a Japanese man who – as
a favor to his estranged, hospitalized son – travels
to China to videotape a legendary actor’s
folk-drama performance. Directed by Zhang
Yimou (“Hero,” “House of
Flying Daggers”) from a screenplay
by Zhang (“Hero,” “House
of Flying Daggers”) and Jingzhi Zou.
With Ken Takakura, Kiichi Nakai, Jiang Wen
and Shinobu Terajima. 107 min. PG: Mild thematic
elements. Sept. 1 in New York and Los Angeles.
Sony Pictures Classics.
Science of Sleep
Romantic comedy-drama, set in Paris, about
a childlike, dream-obsessed graphic artist
who strikes up an unlikely relationship with
his pretty new neighbor. Michael Gondry (“Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Dave
Chappelle’s Block Party”) directs
from his own screenplay. With Gael García
Bernal (“The King,” “Babel”),
Charlotte Gainsbourg (“21 Grams”),
Alain Chabat (“The Taste of Others”)
and Emma de Caunes (“Ma Mere”).
105 min. Sept. 15. Warner Independent Pictures.
Family actioner about a teen whose guardian
is mysteriously killed, leading him to discover
his education has been preparing him to become
an elite British spy, and it is now time
for his first mission. Based on the popular
young adult Alex Rider novels by Anthony
Horowitz (the “Gatekeepers” series).
Directed by Geoffrey Sax (“White Noise”)
from a screenplay by Horowitz. With Alex
Pettyfer, Ewan McGregor (“Stay”),
Alicia Silverstone (“Beauty Shop”),
Sophie Okonedo (“Aeon Flux”),
Bill Nighy (“Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Man’s Chest”), Mickey Rourke
Missi Pyle (“Just My Luck”),
Andy Serkis (“King Kong”), Sarah
Bolger (“In America”), Stephen
Fry (“V for Vendetta”), Damian
Lewis (“An Unfinished Life”)
and Robbie Coltrane (“Harry Potter
and the Goblet of Fire”). PG: Sequences
of action violence; some peril. Oct. 6. MGM.
Film is Not Yet Rated
Documentary delving into
the activities of the Classification
and Rating Administration, which assigns
films their G, PG, PG-13, R and NC-17 ratings.
by Kirby Dick (“Twist of Faith”).
Written by Kirby Dick and Eddie Schmidt. Filmmakers
interviewed include directors Darren Aronofsky
(“Requiem For A Dream,” “The
Fountain”), Atom Egoyan (“Ararat,” “What
Lies Beneath”), John Waters (“A
Dirty Shame”), Kevin Smith (the “Clerks” series)
and Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don’t
Cry”), actor-screenwriter Matt Stone
(“South Park,” “Team America”),
actress Maria Bello (“Thank You for Smoking,” “Flicka”),
producer Mark Urman (“Monster’s
Ball”) and October Films founder Bingham
Ray. NC-17: Some graphic sexual content.
Sept. 1. IFC.
about a young Mexican man who teams up with
a Texas cop to rescue his 13-year-old sister,
who was kidnapped and sold as a sex slave.
Based on a 2003 New York Times story by Peter
Landesman. Directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner
(“Summer Storm”) from a screenplay
by Jose Rivera (“The Motorcycle Diaries”).
With Kevin Kline (“A Prairie Home Companion”),
Alicja Bachleda (“Summer Storm”),
Cesar Ramos, Paulina Gaitan, Kate del Castillo,
and Guillermo Ivan. Also known as “Welcome
to America.” Oct. 13 in New York and
Los Angeles; wider Oct 27. Lionsgate.
We Are Marshall
about a new coach’s struggle to keep
a university football program alive after a
claims the life of the team’s old coach
and the lives of many of team’s players
and fans. Directed by McG (the “Charlie’s
Angels” movies) from a screenplay by
Jamie Linden. With Matthew McConaughey (“Failure
to Launch”), Matthew Fox (“My Boyfriend’s
Back”), Anthony Mackie (“Freedomland,” “Crossover”),
Kimberly Williams (“Simpatico,” “How
to Eat Fried Worms”), January Jones (“The
Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada”)
Kate Mara (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Zoom”),
Ian McShane (“Nine Lives,” “Scoop”)
and David Strathairn (“The Notorious
Bettie Page”). Oct. 27. Warner Bros.
Comedy about a second-rate private investigator and a high school baseball coach
who form a friendship as they search New York City for the coach’s runaway
wife. Written and directed by Edward Burns (“She’s the One,” “Sidewalks
of New York”). With Burns (“A Sound of Thunder”), David Krumholtz
(“Serenity”), Connie Britton (“Friday Night Lights”),
Rachel Dratch (“Click,” “Freshman Orientation”), Max
Baker (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”) and Chris
Parnell (“Talladega Nights”). 95 min. R: Language; some sexual references.
Aug. 18. Thinkfilm.
Thriller about a college student who unwittingly
opens the door to deadly evil by pirating
a mysterious wireless signal. An English-language
remake of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Japanese
thriller “Kairo.” Directed by
Jim Sonzero from a screenplay by Wes Craven
(“Wes Craven’s New Nightmare”),
Vince Gilligan (“Home Fries”)
and Ray Wright. With Kristen Bell (“Spartan”),
Ian Somerhalder (“Rules of Attraction”),
Christina Milian (“Be Cool”),
Rick Gonzalez (“Roll Bounce”)
and Samm Levine (“Broken Lizard’s
Club Dread”). Scope. Aug. 11. Weinstein.
Crime thriller, set in Philadelphia, about
a former street criminal who has to get mixed
up in organized crime again to keep his brother
out of jail. Screenwriter Bobby Moresco (“Crash”)
directs from his own script. With James Marsden
(“Superman Returns”), Piper Perabo
(“Click,” “The Prestige”),
Val Kilmer (“Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”),
Dennis Hopper (“Land of the Dead”),
Giovanni Ribisi (“The Flight of the
Phoenix”), Leslie Ann Warren (“When
Do We Eat?”), Brian Dennehy (“Assault
on Precinct 13”) and Brad Renfro (“The
Jacket”). R: Strong brutal violence;
pervasive language; some drug content; sexuality/nudity.
Aug. 25. Thinkfilm.
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 (“The Great Raid”),
Paul Hopkins (“Mambo Italiano”),
Elizabeth Whitmere (“Head in the
Clouds”), Valerie Mahaffey (“Seabiscuit”)
and Claire Brosseau (“Confessions
of a Dangerous Mind”). Flat. PG-13:
Sexual content; language. Aug. 18. Indican.
Spanish-language comedy about a large clan
that sets out on a long road trip in
a haphazard caravan to attend the wedding
of an estranged sibling. Written and
directed by Pablo Trapero. With Liliana
Capurro, Ruth Dobel, Federico Esquerro,
Leila Gomez, Carlos Resta, Sol Ocampo,
and Laura Glave. Flat. Aug. 11. Palm.