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S

ADAM SANDLER

I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY

Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel, Steve Buscemi, Dan Aykroyd, Nick Turturro, Richard Chamberlain (Directed by Dennis Dugan; Written by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor; Universal)

There was a time when the biggest fear of guys who were gay was that their secret might be detected and they would be dragged out of the closet. Apparently, times have changed, at least in Philadelphia, where, in order to collect domestic partner benefits, a couple of hetero firefighters who work side by side during the day pretend that at night they sleep side by side. This could be a winner, since it was written--or, at least, rewritten--by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, who were responsible for the wonderful “Sideways.” And, if we’re really lucky, Adam Sandler will ascend to the level of his inspired seriocomic performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Punch-Drunk Love.” To read Guy Flatley's 1968 New York Times interview with Richard Chamberlain, click here. Now Playing

SUSAN SARANDON

THE LOVELY BONES

Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Michael Imperioli, Saoirse Ronan (Directed by Peter Jackson; Written by Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh; DreamWorks)

In a welcome change of pace, Peter Jackson is taking a vacation from the tricky, sometimes tedious special-effects world of the “Rings” trilogy and “King Kong.” His new film will be an audacious attempt to mix reality and fantasy. As readers of Alice Sebold's imaginative, deeply disturbing 2002 novel know, the heroine of “The Lovely Bones” (played here by newcomer Saoirse Ronan) is raped, murdered and dismembered by a neighbor at the age of 14. But that is not the end of the story; in her afterlife, the girl focuses intently on the torment of her grieving family, including her parents, played by Mark Wahlberg (who replaced Ryan Gosling the day before shooting began) and Rachel Weisz, and her grandmother, played by Susan Sarandon. And, on occasion, the murdered girl pays very close attention to the fiendish scheming of her unrepentant killer (Stanley Tucci). Jackson, whose finest achievement is “Heavenly Creatures”--the haunting 1994 film in which two emotionally entwined adolescents (Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey) commit an especially horrific murder--seems the perfect person to bring “The Lovely Bones” to flesh-and-blood life.
Opens 12/11/09

PEACOCK

Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Susan Sarandon, Josh Lucas, Bill Pullman, Jaimi Paige, Virginia Newcomb, Paul Cram (Directed by Michael Lander; Written by Michael Lander and Ryan Roy; Mandate Pictures)

Nothing much ever happened in the tiny town of Peacock, Nebraska--unless you count the day a train ran into the back yard of a humble bank clerk mamed John Skillpa (Cillian Murphy). That was the same day folks became aware that John had a housemate, a woman they took to be his wife. Peacockians being Peacockians, no one made much of the fact that John and his spouse never appeared in the same place at the same time. Finally, somebody took notice--a perky single mom (played by "Juno's" Ellen Page) began to suspect that something strange, maybe even sick, was going on in John's house. How could this well-intentioned snoop bring John's story to a happy ending? Persuade John to put his wife up for adoption? Or, discovering that the guy had been getting off on slipping into something silky and masquerading as his own wife, she might try convincing him that she herself would make the best of all possible Mrs. Skillpas. Or maybe she should get the hell out of Peacock. Opening date to be announced

FOR GUY FLATLEY'S 1978 INTERVIEW WITH SUSAN SARANDON, click here.

WILL SMITH

SEVEN POUNDS

Will Smith, Woody Harrelson, Rosario Dawson, Madison Pettis, Barry Pepper, Michael Ealy, Steve Tom, Elpidia Carrillo (Directed by Gabriele Muccino; Written by Grant Nieporte; Columbia)

Multi-talented Will Smith targets our tear ducts in this tale of an IRS agent who is so overcome by guilt for the vile deeds of his past that he vows to put some joy in the lives of seven seriously suffering individuals. One is a blind pianist, played by Woody Harrelson; another is a perilously ill yet deeply seductive beauty, played by Rosario Dawson. You should probably be warned that this improbable story-line is not what "Seven Pounds" is really all about. In any event, you'd be best advised to bring along a hanky. Better make that two. Now Playing

SISSY SPACEK

FOUR CHRISTMASES

Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Voight, Jon Favreau, Robert Duvall, Dwight Yoakam (Directed by Seth Gordon; Written by Caleb Wilson; Warner Bros. and New Line)

Like it or not, you have a moral obligation to see your mom and dad at Christmas time. At least, that’s what the creators of this family flick seem to feel. And that’s why Brad and Kate (Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon) succumb to panic attacks the closer they get to the big 12/25, a day when they are expected to get warm and cozy at all four homes of their respective divorced-and-remarried parents (Sissy Spacek, Robert Duvall, Mary Steenburgen and Jon Voight). Can this holiday--and these marriages--be saved? Now Playing

LAKE CITY

Sissy Spacek, Troy Garity, Rebecca Romijn, Dave Matthews, Drea de Matteo, Keith Carradine (Written and directed by Perry Moore and Hunter Hill)

Sissy Spacek, who proved she is one of America’s finest actresses in such powerful films as “Badlands,” “Carrie,” “3 Women,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “Missing,” was at the very top of her form in “In the Bedroom,” the harrowing 2001 drama that cast her as a woman obsessed with nailing the murderer of her son, even if she had to do the deed herself. Now, in “Lake City,” Spacek is once again a tragically troubled mom. This time, her son Billy (Troy Garity, who in real life is the son of Jane Fonda) is running for his life, hoping to evade the drug dealer (Dave Matthews) who has been double-crossed by Billy’s gone-missing wife (Drea de Matteo). What does Billy do? He grabs his own young son and heads for the Virginia hills home of his estranged mother. Once there, he seems safe, at least for a while, from the fury of the duped dope peddler. But how safe is Billy from the threat of memories of a dark, suffocating relationship with mama? Now Playing

KEVIN SPACEY

SHRINK

Kevin Spacey, Robin Williams, Dallas Roberts, Saffron Burrows, Mark Webber, Pell James, Keke Palmer, Jack Huston, Robert Loggia, Gore Vidal, Laura Ramsey (Directed by Jonas Pate; Written by Thomas Moffett; Roadside Attractions)

How's this for ballsy casting? Kevin Spacey, who slid from superstar status a while back, plays a masochistic, pothead therapist, one of whose patients is a fallen, severely oversexed movie star, played by Robin Williams, whose own career has taken a notable nosedive. Add the little-known but big-talented Dallas Roberts, playing a toyingly despotic agent who wouldn't stoop to actually read a script if his frivolous life depended on it, and you have a contemporary Hollywood fable that is rumored to be one of the year's first big sleepers. Opens 7/24

BEN STILLER

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN

Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Hank Azaria, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais (Directed by Shawn Levy; Written by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon; Fox)

Amy Adams, who reached major stardom in “Enchanted,” continues her climb in this sequel to the enormously commercial 2006 comic adventure. She plays famed aviator Amelia Earhart, who crash lands in the wee small hours of the evening at Washington’s Smithsonian Museum. And security guard Ben Stiller, transferred from New York’s Museum of Natural History, where he won his stripes in the original, will be around for the anticipated chills and spills. To read Diane Baroni's 2002 interview with Amy Adams, click here. Now Playing

LITTLE FOCKERS

Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Teri Polo, Blythe Danner (Directed by Jay Roach; Written by Larry Stuckey; Universal)

They’re baaaack! We’re talking about the unstoppable Fockers--horny, long-in-the-tooth hippies Bernie and Roz (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand) and their terminally nerdy son (Ben Stiller). We’re also talking about the Byrnes clan, former CIA operative Bernie and his uptight wife (Robert De Niro and Blythe Danner) and their flaky daughter (Teri Polo), who has more or less glued the family to the Fockers. Who knows what the future holds for members of this lucrative franchise, but the title does give one the sinking feeling that we’ll be present at the birth of a whole flock of Fockerettes. To read Guy Flatley's 1973 interview with Robert De Niro, click here; for Guy's 1979 interview with Dustin Hoffman, click here; for Guy's 1973 interview with Barbra Streisand, click here; for Diane Baroni's 2000 interview with Teri Polo, click here. Opening date to be announced

THE HARDY MEN

Tom Cruise, Ben Stiller (Directed by Shawn Levy; Fox)

Boys will be boys. And then, if they pull themselves together and stop the kid stuff, they will be men. That is precisely what happens to cut-ups Tim and Ben in this comic updating of the “Hardy Boys” mystery series. What’s the hook? It seems the lads have a spat and vow never to co-sleuth again. But then something shocking happens and they are forced to pool their brains and brawn on a truly big, life-or-death criminal case. Could that be “The Hardy Men 2” we see on the horizon? Opening date to be announced


SHARON STONE

DIRTY TRICKS

Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Annette Bening, Jill Clayburgh, Sharon Stone, Jim Broadbent (Written and directed by Ryan Murphy; Paramount)

They called her Martha the Mouth, Mouth of the South or simply Moutha. Her real name was Martha Mitchell, and she was the full-throttle wife of John Mitchell, Attorney General to President Richard M. Nixon. Never one to hold back, Martha, who died in 1976, had this to say about her hubby’s boss: “Nixon bleeds people. He draws every drop of blood and then drops them from a cliff. He’ll blame any person he can put his foot on.” Nor did Martha go all that easy on Mitchell himself, referring to him at one point as “that gutless, despicable crook.” Is it any wonder that in an effort to shut her up, her enemies eventually drugged her and held her captive in a California hotel room? Ryan Murphy, director of “Running With Scissors,” is helming this adaptation of John Jeter’s play about the woman who spilled the beans that hastened Tricky Dick's departure from the White House. And, best news of all, Murphy had the good sense to cast Meryl Streep as the biggest Moutha ever. Also on prominent display: Jill Clayburgh as Pat Nixon, Gwyneth Paltrow as Maureen Dean and Annette Bening as Helen Thomas, the White House correspondent who received many a late-night phone call from the whistle-blowing Martha. To read about more new biopics, click here. Opening date to be announced

STOMPANATO

Antonio Banderas, Sharon Stone (Directed by Francois Girard; Written by David Webb Peoples and Janet Peoples; Stonelock Pictures)

Lana Turner and Johnny Stompanato were sweethearts--until the day in 1958 when the screen queen's daughter, Cheryl Crane, stabbed the hot-tempered gangland figure before he could make an exit from her mom's Beverly Hills bedroom. (For those with short memories, the verdict was justifiable homicide). Stone seems a smart choice for Turner, but Bandera had better get to work on his American accent--starting yesterday. No word yet on who will tackle the challenging role of 14-year-old Cheryl, but if Dakota Fanning is on the list, let us hope she is toward the bottom. Opening date to be announced


MERYL STREEP

IT'S COMPLICATED

Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, John Kasinski, Hunter Parrish, Rita Wilson, Zoe Kazan, Mary Kay Place, Lake Bell (Written and directed by Nancy Meyers; Universal)

What could a trio of cool smoothies like Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin and John Kasinski possibly find to fight about? A woman, of course. But not just any woman. The femme fatale in this case is Meryl Streep, and anyone who’s seen “The Devil Wears Prada” or “Doubt” knows how hard-to-get La Streep can be. With luck, writer-director Nancy Meyers will work as well with her as she did with Diane Keaton in “Something’s Gotta Give,” which could easily pave the way to another Oscar nom for our Meryl--unless she gets tapped for "Julie & Julia" instead. Opens 12/25/09

DIRTY TRICKS

Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Annette Bening, Jill Clayburgh, Sharon Stone, Jim Broadbent (Written and directed by Ryan Murphy; Paramount)

They called her Martha the Mouth, Mouth of the South or simply Moutha. Her real name was Martha Mitchell, and she was the full-throttle wife of John Mitchell, Attorney General to President Richard M. Nixon. Never one to hold back, Martha, who died in 1976, had this to say about her hubby’s boss: “Nixon bleeds people. He draws every drop of blood and then drops them from a cliff. He’ll blame any person he can put his foot on.” Nor did Martha go all that easy on Mitchell himself, referring to him at one point as “that gutless, despicable crook.” Is it any wonder that in an effort to shut her up, her enemies eventually drugged her and held her captive in a California hotel room? Ryan Murphy, director of “Running With Scissors,” is helming this adaptation of John Jeter’s play about the woman who spilled the beans that hastened Tricky Dick's departure from the White House. And, best news of all, Murphy had the good sense to cast Meryl Streep as the biggest Moutha ever. Also on prominent display: Jill Clayburgh as Pat Nixon, Gwyneth Paltrow as Maureen Dean and Annette Bening as Helen Thomas, the White House correspondent who received many a late-night phone call from the whistle-blowing Martha. To read about more new biopics, click here. Opening date to be announced


FIRST MAN

Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep (Written and directed by Diane English; Disney)

If a guy’s got tons of self esteem and doesn’t give a hoot if people ridicule him for giving up his dream of becoming the next Ted Turner in order to give his wife a career boost, that’s a thing of beauty. Especially if his wife has her heart set on the White House. Coming from Diane English, who created “Murphy Brown,” this could turn out to be a cutting-edge romantic comedy. On the other hand, didn’t Fred MacMurray and Polly Bergen already cover this ground in 1964’s “Kisses for My President”? To read Guy Flatley's 1973 interview with Robert De Niro, click here. Opening date to be announced

CHAOS

Meryl Streep, Aishwarya Rai, Michael David White (Directed by Coline Serreau) Brutally assaulted by a trio of street punks, a blood-splattered prostitute pleads with a middle-aged couple to take her into their car. The driver shuts his window and drives on to a dinner party. The next day, the driver’s guilt-ridden wife tracks down the victim and before long they are close--and exceptionally scheming--friends. French film director Coline Serreau is directing this English-language remake of her story of vengeance, violence and bizarre bonding. Streep plays the older woman, and Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai plays the hooker who changes her life, not entirely for the better. To read about more new movies starring actresses over 50, click here. Opening date to be announced

BARBRA STREISAND

LITTLE FOCKERS

Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Teri Polo, Blythe Danner (Directed by Jay Roach; Written by Larry Stuckey; Universal)

They’re baaaack! We’re talking about the unstoppable Fockers--horny, long-in-the-tooth hippies Bernie and Roz (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand) and their terminally nerdy son (Ben Stiller). We’re also talking about the Byrnes clan, former CIA operative Bernie and his uptight wife (Robert De Niro and Blythe Danner) and their flaky daughter (Teri Polo), who has more or less glued the family to the Fockers. Who knows what the future holds for members of this lucrative franchise, but the title does give one the sinking feeling that we’ll be present at the birth of a whole flock of Fockerettes. To read Guy Flatley's 1973 interview with Robert De Niro, click here; for Guy's 1979 interview with Dustin Hoffman, click here; and for Diane Baroni's 2000 interview with Teri Polo, click here. Opening date to be announced

FOR GUY FLATLEY'S 1973 INTERVIEW WITH BARBRA STREISAND, click here.

DONALD SUTHERLAND

FIERCE PEOPLE

Diane Lane, Anton Yelchin, Donald Sutherland, Chris Evans, Kristen Stewart, Elizabeth Perkins, Christopher Shyer(Directed by Griffin Dunne; Written by Dirk Wittenborn; Lions Gate)

Nobody has it tougher than teenagers these days. Take Finn (Anton Yelchin), a basically decent New York City kid, for example. His father is off in the jungle doing his anthropological thing, and his mother (Diane Lane), a nifty masseuse, is a druggie. When Finn is caught trying to score some coke for mom, the two scurry to a sumptuous country estate where the strung-out masseuse becomes a full-time, hands-on employee of horny but obscenely wealthy Mr. Osbourne (Donald Sutherland). So far, so good. But then Finn discovers that the fine country-club set is not so fine after all. Perhaps mom will turn into a twelve-stepper and shape everyone up. Now Playing

HILARY SWANK

AMELIA

Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Virginia Madsen, Christopher Eccleston, Cherry Jones, Joe Anderson, Aaron Abrams, Mia Wasikowska (Directed by Mira Nair; Written by Ronald Bass; Fox Searchlight)

Did you know that Amelia Earhart, who was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and eventually went missing over the Pacific in 1937, had a torrid affair with Gene Vidal, the father of writer Gore Vidal? And that was while the ace aviatrix was said to be blissfully married to publisher George Putnam! But as director Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding”) will undoubtedly make clear to us, this pioneer feminist was never one to let stuffy rules get in her way. In a bit of inspired casting, Hilary Swank is Amelia; Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor are her husband and her lover, respectively; and Virginia Madsen is her husband’s first wife. To read about more new biopics, click here. Opens 10/23/09

TILDA SWINTON

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Elle Fanning, Elias Koteas, Jason Flemyng, Julia Ormond (Directed by David Fincher; Written by Eric Roth; Paramount/Warner Bros.)

Brad Pitt will soon turn 50. But don’t feel depressed; just a bit later, the golden boy will be 49, and on the next birthday, he’ll be 48. You get the idea: in the Eric Roth screenplay, based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the hero ages backward, and when he arrives at the ripe young age of 30, he meets the love of his life, a pip played by Cate Blanchett, who memorably played opposite Pitt in “Babel.” David Fincher, who had Brad sweating and swatting on all cylinders in “Fight Club,” will be at the helm. Now Playing

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