Moviecrazed
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AUGUST 2008

BRIDESHEAD REVISITED: Matthew Goode, Ben Whishaw, Hayley Atwell, Emma Thompson, Michael Gambon (Directed by Julian Jarrold; Written by Jeremy Brock and Andrew Davies; Miramax Films) This is as good a time as any to revisit Captain Charles Ryder, the stylishly disenchanted protagonist of Evelyn Waugh’s 1946 classic seriocomic novel. Toward the end of World War II, Ryder (played by Jeremy Irons in a memorable 1981 British TV miniseries and now played by Matthew Goode) is stationed at Brideshead, a sprawling castle that was once home to the Flytes, an aristocratic Catholic--and exceedingly sinful--family. Ryder’s wartime assignment stirs memories of a long-ago time spent with the mad, mad residents of the castle, including Lord and Lady Marchmain (Michael Gambon and Emma Thompson) and particularly siblings Sebastian and Julia (Ben Whishaw and Hayley Atwell), one an eccentric who became Ryder’s good drinking buddy and the other a beautiful, married neurotic who became his illicit lover. Ryder, by the way, never felt guilty about cheating on his own wife, since he knew that she was caught up in her own little world of sexual deceit. Click here to read about more new movies based on books. Now Playing

ELEGY: Penelope Cruz, Ben Kingsley, Peter Sarsgaard, Patricia Clarkson, Dennis Hopper, Deborah Harry (Directed by Isabel Coixet; Written by Nicholas Meyer; Samuel Goldwyn) It can be dangerous for a teacher to seek carnal knowledge of a student, a danger professor Ben Kingsley risks in this adaptation of Philip Roth's novel “The Dying Animal.” But you can hardly blame the poor prof when you consider that his prize--though outrageously demanding--student is played by the enticing Penelope Cruz. Oh, to be in school again! For Robin Finn's interview with Patricia Clarkson in The New York Times, click here; to read Guy Flatley's 1970 Times interview with Dennis Hopper, click here. Now Playing

TROPIC THUNDER: Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Nick Nolte, Brandon Jackson, Steve Coogan, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Jay Baruchel, Matt Levin, Andrea De Oliveira, Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey, Tobey Maguire, Mickey Rooney (Directed by Ben Stiller; Written by Justin Theroux and Etan Cohen; DreamWorks) What would you do if you were lucky enough to be cast in a gritty war movie, went on the shoot, and then got shot at because a real-life (and death) war was taking root? Director/star Ben Stiller and his zany crew will help you ponder this question. Tom Cruise, in a cameo, turns comic as a foul-mouthed, scumbag movie mogul reportedly based on Sumner Redstone, the Paramount biggie who famously gave Cruise the sack because of his alleged misbhavior. Let's hope this slapstick war doesn't turn out to be a big bomb.To read Guy Flatley's 2000 interview with Jack Black, click here; for Guy's 1979 interview with Nick Nolte, click here, and for his 1977 interview with Mickey Rooney, click here. Now Playing

VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA: Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Patricia Clarkson, Kevin Dunn, Rebecca Hall, Chris Messina (Written and directed by Woody Allen) There was a time when Diane Keaton was gloriously front and center in nearly every Woody Allen comedy or drama. A bit later, the same was true of Mia Farrow. Now the working-with-Woody thing is getting to be a habit with Scarlett Johansson, whose star turns in his British-lensed “Match Point” and “Scoop” will be followed by this comedy-drama. It was shot in Barcelona and Asturias and deals with the amorous adventures of a local lothario and two alluring American tourists. Happily, Woody had the good sense to team Scarlett with a pair of Pedro Almodovar’s finest players--Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz as a lusty painter and his hot-tempered ex-wife. Click here to read Guy Flatley's 1978 interview with Woody Allen. Now Playing