Moviecrazed
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FEBRUARY

HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Bebe Neuwirth, Adam Goldberg, Shalom Harlow, Robert Klein, Michael Milchele, Annie Parisse, Justin Peroff, Kathryn Hahn, Bill Kotsatos, Thomas Lennon, David Macniven (Directed by Donald Petrie; Paramount) A superstud renowned for spreading his charm around makes a bet that he can stick with one woman for 10 days. But he may not collect on that bet, since the woman he chooses to favor with this long-term affection decides to dump him. Didn't Rock Hudson and Doris Day suffer this same wacky trauma back in the fifties? Opens 2-7

THE LAWLESS HEART: Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander, Douglas Henshall, Clementine Celarie, Ellie Haddington, Sukie Smith, Josephine Butler, Stuart Laing, Sally Hurst (Directed by Tom Hunsinger and Neil Hunter; First Look) A charismatic gay man dies, and his lover and other friends feel compelled to examine what they’ve done—or not done—with their own lives. Opens 2-7

SHANGHAI KNIGHTS: Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Aaron Johnson, Fann Wong, Donnie Yen, Constantine Gregory, Gemma Jones (Directed by David Dobkin; Disney/Touchstone) Enlisting the help of New York buddy Owen Wilson, Jackie Chan seeks revenge for the murder of his father in London. That's the plot, but who cares? There'll be lots of lovely kung-fu and the same sort of buddy banter that made "Shanghai Noon," the last Chan-Wilson teaming, such a fun night out. Opens 2-7

CHIHWASEON (PAINTED FIRE): Choi Min-Sik (Directed by IM Kwon-taek; Kino International) Nineteenth-century Korean painter JANG Seung-ub is frequenly called the spiritual grandfather of Asian art. He is also famous for his ferocious temper, vigorous womanzing and excessive boozing. All sides of the man are said to be brilliantly captured by actor Choi Min-Sik; IM Kwon-taek won the Best Director award at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. Opens 2-14

DAREDEVIL: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell, Jon Favreau, Joe Pantoliano, David Keith, Scott Terra, Ellen Pompeo, Paul Ben-Victor (Directed by Mark Steven Johnson; Fox) Faster than you can say Clark Kent, Affleck, a legally blind but not blond lawyer, morphs into a superhero who thwarts villains at every turn while managing to keep a protective, if blind, eye on babe-in-distress Garner. Duncan is the mammoth Kingpin, and Farrell--the major bad boy of "Minority Report"--plays a tunnel-visioned assassin in this homage to the Marvel Comics megastrip. Opens 2-14

GERRY: Matt Damon, Casey Affleck (Directed by Gus Van Sant; ThinkFilm Inc.) This is a two-character movie, and both of them are named Gerry. Gerry and Gerry wander through the desert searching for answers to some of life's big questions and find lots of sunshine and sand. If you loved Van Sant's "To Die For" but hated his "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues," "Gerry" may not be the boy for you. Opens 2-14
THE JUNGLE BOOK 2: (Directed by Steve Trenbirth; Disney/Buena Vista) When you hear that the animated characters of Mowgli, Baloo and Lucky the Vulture are given voice by Haley Joel Osment, John Goodman and Phil Collins, you know what to expect. So don't say you weren't warned. Opens 2-14

GODS AND GENERALS: Mira Sorvino, Robert Duvall, Stephen Lang, Jeff Daniels, C. Thomas Howell, Jeremy London, Stephen Spacek, William Sanderson, Malachy McCourt, Ted Turner (Directed by Ronald F. Maxwell; Warner Bros.) It may not be "Gone With the Wind," but it most certainly is the Civil War--four major battles of it. All right, if you must know: Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. And, yes, the handsome, dashing Ted Turner we all know and love has turned actor for the occasion. Opens 2-21

DARK BLUE: Kurt Russell, Ving Rhames, Scott Speedman, Michael Michele, Brendan Gleeson, Lolita Davidovich (Directed by Ron Shelton; MGM) Things could not have been more racially tense than they were on the mean streets of L.A. in 1992, the time of Rodney King's tragic clash with the LAPD. Director Shelton ("Bull Durham," "White Men Can't Jump," "Tin Cup") attempts to evoke the scalding anguish of that period with a story of a jaded, hot-tempered cop and his rookie partner (Russell and Speedman) whose tactics are questioned by a stubborn, methodical police official (Rhames). Opens 2-21

THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE: Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney, Gabriel Mann, Rhona Mitra, Leon Rippy, Matt Craven, Jim Beaver (Directed by Alan Parker; Universal) In a role turned down by George Clooney and Nicolas Cage, Kevin Spacey plays a Texas professor who thinks capital punishment is a crock--especially after he's sent to Death Row for allegedly raping and murdering an activist soulmate (Laura Linney). There are those who believe the prof got just what he deserved, but crusading reporter Kate Winslet is not among them. I'm with her--the whole thing sounds like a frame-up to me. Opens 2-21

OLD SCHOOL: Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Ellen Pompeo, Sara Bryan, Sydney Bryan, Craig Kilborn, Juliette Lewis, Leah Remini, Andy Dick, Breckin Meyer, Jeremy Priven, Harve Presnell, Seann William Scott, Matt Walsh (Directed by Todd Phillips; DreamWorks) Three aging, wasted buddies decide to freshen up by returning to college, where they establish an off-campus fraternity and grow more wasted than ever. Opens 2-21

TILL HUMAN VOICES WAKE US: Guy Pearce, Helena Bonham Carter, Frank Gallacher, Brooke Harman, Lindley Joyner, Bassem Abousaid, Peter Curtin, Margot Knight, Anthony Martin, Dawn Klingberg (Directed by Michael Petroni; Paramount Classics) A brooding psycholgist returns to his hometown to bury his father. To his astonishment, he encounters a vibrant woman who bears an eerie resemblance to his former sweetheart, a girl who died many years ago. Opens 2-21

CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE: Jet Li, DMX, Mark Dacascos, Anthony Anderson, Kelly Hu, Gabrielle Union, Tom Arnold, Erik Betts (Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak; Warner Bros.) When a master crook's daughter is kidnapped and held ransom, the desperate dad seeks help from a Taiwanese intelligence ace. Well, given the circumstances, wouldn't you do the very same thing? Opens 2-28

EDDIE GRIFFIN: DIS-FUNK-TIONAL FAMILY: Eddie Griffin (Directed by George Gallo and Eddie Griffin; Miramax) Outrageous comic Eddie Griffin combines material from his concert performances with slices of reality from his family life (including footage of his Uncle Buckey, an ex-pimp, and his Uncle Curtis, Kansas City's foremost connoisseur of pornography). Opens 2-28

THE GUEST: Ashton Kutcher, Tara Reid, Molly Shannon, Andy Richter, Patrick Cranshaw, Link Baker, Carmen Electra (Directed by David Zucker; Dimension Films) Ashton Kutcher's one lucky lad--he gets to housesit for his boss, and guess who's in the house at the time? The boss's daughter, a hottie he's got a huge crush on. Alas, Ashton soon finds out that a house is not necessarily a home. But, hey, with a cast and high concept like this, what could possibly go right? Opens 2-28

THE HUNTED: Tommy Lee Jones, Benicio Del Toro, Connie Nielsen, Jenna Boyd, Leslie Stefanson (Directed by William Friedkin; Paramount) Benicio Del Toro plays a man who kills for the sport of it. And this time, instead of taking to the woods and stalking the usual deer hunters, he's stalking an FBI agent (Tommy Lee Jones) who's supposed to be stalking HIM. Sounds confusing but fun. Opens 2-28

SPIDER: Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne, Bradley Hall, Lynn Redgrave, John Neville, Gary Reineke, Philip Craig (Directed by David Cronenberg; Sony Pictures Classics) David Cronenberg is at it again, luring us into his nightmare world, disgusting us, delighting us, making us want to run for the exit and at the same time hoping the movie won't come to an end--at least, not the kind of end that seems inevitable. This time, his protagonist--a paranoid mental patient called Spider for reasons that are eventually made creepily clear--is played by Ralph Fiennes, and many who saw the movie at Cannes feel he tops his performances in "Schindler's List," "Quiz Show" and "The English Patient." Notice how we make no mention of "Maid in Manhattan"? And here's a triple bonus: the extraordinarily mercurial Miranda Richardson plays three roles. Opens 2-28

THE YOUNG UNKNOWNS: Devon Gummersall, Arly Jover, Eion Bailey, Leslie Bibb, Dale Godboldo, Simon Templeman (Directed by Catherine Jelski; Indican Pictures) The son of an affluent commercials director thinks he has a great chance of becoming the next big auteur but spends most of his time lazing about his old man's Hollywood home, doping and boozing with his uncouth best buddy. The kid's got nowhere to go but nowhere. Opens in February