Moviecrazed
  Web www.moviecrazed.com   



AUGUST 2003

AMERICAN WEDDING: Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Alyson Hannigan, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, January Jones, Eugene Levy, Molly Cheek, Deborah Rush, Fred Willard, Tim Allen (Directed by Jesse Dylan; Universal) The lovable, sex-mad youths from those "American Pie" pig-outs are back, and guess who’s getting married? The big question, of course, is will there be a baby pie-let in the fourth installment of this triumphantly uncouth, unsinkable saga? Now Playing

 

 

AND NOW LADIES & GENTLEMEN: Jeremy Irons, Patricia Kaas, Thierry L’Hermitte, Allesandra Martines, Claudia Cardinale, Ticky Holgad, Yvan Attal, Amidou (Directed by Claude Lelouch; Paramount Classics) Sparks fly when a British jewel thief (Jeremy Irons) walks into a Moroccan piano bar and exchanges glances with a soulful French singer (Patricia Kaas). They might spend a steamy night together, but if they do, they may not remember it the next morning. That’s because each of these might-be lovers is burdened with major memory deficit. Now Playing

BOYS LIFE 4: FOUR PLAY: Craig Chester, Andersen Gabrych, Nora Burns, Weston Mueller, Cole Williams, Jay Gillespie, David Rogers (Directed by Brian Sloan, Phillip J. Bartell, Alan Brown, Eric Mueller; Strand Releasing) Comedy and drama are blended in this quartet of short gay-themed films, each of which has recently played the festival circuit. Now Playing

GIGLI: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Justin Bartha, David Pressman, Missy Crider, Nicole Hiltz, Jenna Fischer, Shelby Fenner, Alex Fatovich, Terry Camilleri, Brian Sites, Mark Aaron Wagner (Directed by Martin Brest; Columbia) You know, of course, that Ben and Jennifer are headed for the altar, but don't expect this comic thriller to mirror reality. Ben plays a hit man who, under orders from his boss, kidnaps the mentally handicapped brother of a prominent attorney and holds the kid for ransom in his messy bachelor pad; Jennifer plays a lesbian hit woman assigned to make sure Ben doesn't bungle the job. Now how close is that to real life? Brest, known best for "Scent of a Woman," hasn't worked since 1998, when his "Meet Joe Black" threatened to capsize the careers of Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins. Will it be another five years before his next film? Now Playing

THE MAGDALENE SISTERS: Anne-Marie Duff, Dorothy Duffy, Geraldine McEwan, Nora-Jane Noone, Eileen Walsh, Peter Mullan (Directed by Peter Mullan; Miramax) At last a movie about the Catholic Church that takes a little pressure off predatory priests. The downside, alas, is that pressure is brought to bear upon predatory nuns. Based on fact, this is an account of the ungodly physical abuse and mental torture that took place behind the walls of the prison-like Sisters of Mercy convent in Dublin. The sadistic behavior of the women who called themselves Brides of Christ reached a peak in the sixties and finally came to an end in 1996. But not before the lives of many of their victims--young women found guilty of sins ranging from flirtation to being raped to bearing children out of wedlock--were destroyed. Peter Mullan, the Scottish actor who made a powerful directorial debut with "Orphans" in 1997, wrote and directed "The Magdalene Sisters." Not sitting too well with high-powered Catholic clergymen is the fact that the movie won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival. Now Playing

THE SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS: Campbell Scott, Hope Davis, Denis Leary, Robin Tunney, Gianna Beleno, Cassidy Hinkle, Lydia Jordan, Jon Patrick Walker, Kevin Carroll, Kate Clinton (Directed by Alan Rudolph; Manhattan Pictures) They’re married, have three kids, and they’re in the same line of business. But that doesn’t mean the dentists played by Campbell Scott and Hope Davis are a loving couple—especially after the husband spots his wife in an embrace with another man. Readers of Jane Smiley’s "The Age of Grief," the novella upon which Craig Lucas based his screenplay, already know if there’s a happy ending to this marital comedy-drama. Now Playing

FREAKY FRIDAY: Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, Harold Gould, Janet Choi, Chad Murray, Mark Harmon (Directed by Mark S. Waters; Disney/Buena Vista) A therapist and her daughter bicker, bicker, bicker about everything, including the man that mom is about to marry. Their lives become even more complicated when, thanks to a mystical fortune cookie mix-up, the widow and her petulant daughter change bodies. So if someone doesn’t do something fast, the kid’s going to end up in the sack with the guy who’s supposed to be her new stepfather. If this creaky, freaky vehicle was good enough for Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster in 1976, I guess it’s good enough for Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan today. It might even speed past "American Wedding," "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," the trio of no-brainers currently leading the pack at the box office. Now Playing

SEASIDE: Jonathan Zaccai, Bulle Ogier, Ludmila Mikael, Liliane Rovere, Helene Fillieres, Patrick Lizana (Directed by Julie Lopes-Cuval; Pyramide) Beneath a still surface, various residents of a French coastal town are plagued by complicated needs which occasionally prompt them to behave in extraordinary ways. Director Lopes-Cuval’s debut film was warmly received at the 2002 Cannes Festival. Now Playing

LE DIVORCE: Kate Hudson, Naomi Watts, Jean-Marc Barr, Sam Waterston, Glenn Close, Stockard Channing, Leslie Caron, Matthew Modine, Stephen Fry, Bebe Neuwirth,Thierry L’hermitte, Thomas Lennon, Rona Hartner, Romain Duris (Directed by James Ivory; Fox Searchlight) The Merchant-Ivory machine is shifting gears from period drama to contemporary comedy. Which is not necessarily a good thing--did you happen to catch their virtually unwatchable 1989 dud, "Slaves of New York"? But let’s think positive. This time, at least, the producer-director team didn’t have to struggle with the sluggish prose of Tama Janowitz; the adaptation of Diane Johnson’s novel has been crafted by frequent collaborator Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. The story centers on the (mostly) amorous adventures of two American sisters in Paris (Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts). Ooh la la! Now Playing

THE PRINCESS BLADE: Hideaki Ito, Ymiko Shaku, Hiro Sano, Yoichi Numata, Kyusaku Shimada (Directed by Shinsuke Sato; ADV Films) As in Hollywood, the Japanese sometimes turn to comic books for inspiration. Sato’s film, based on a comic by Kazuo Koike and Kazuo Kamimura, tells the story of a young woman who discovers a terrible secret about the leader of a band of outlaws she has joined. The man murdered her mother and is now determined to do the same to her. In desperation, she teams up with a former terrorist who has his own grudge to bear. Now Playing

STEP INTO LIQUID: (Directed by Dana Brown; Top Secret Productions) All about surfers, all around the world. That’s the story documentarian Dana Brown has set out to tell, and the advance word is that she has done a brilliant job of probing both the physical and spiritual aspects of surfing. Now Playing

S.W.A.T.: Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Jeremy Renner, Michelle Rodriguez, LL Cool J, Olivier Martinez (Directed by Clark Johnson; Columbia TriStar) Jackson and Farrrell are the members of a Los Angeles Police Department team who’ve been given the up-hill chore of "protecting" a scummy drug kingpin who’s put out the word that he will pay $100 million to anyone bold and bad enough to set him free. Now Playing

AMERICAN SPLENDOR: Paul Giamatti, Harvey Pekar, Shari Springer Berman, Earl Billings, James Urbaniak, Judah Friedlander, Robert Pulcini, Toby Radloff, Hope Davis, Joyce Brabner, Donal Logue, Molly Shannon (Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini; HBO Films) A sensation at the Sundance Festival, this is a surreal docudrama about the life of Harvey Pekar, the wildly eccentric genius responsible for the "American Splendor" comics. It features Pekar himself, as well as the vastly underrated Paul Giamatti, who also plays Pekar. Hope Davis portrays Pekar’s wife, and James Urbaniak appears as R. Crumb, Pekar’s equally unconventional comics-creating colleague. It looks as if Christmas will be a little early this year. Now Playing

FREDDY VS. JASON: Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Json Ritter, Monica Keena, Kelly Rowland, James Callahan, Lauren Lee Smith, Lochlyn Munro, Joshua Mihal (Directed by Ronny Yu; New Line) Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees have literally been to hell and back, and they’re mad, mad, mad—mostly at each other. So you can expect a flood of blood at Crystal Lake and on Elm Street. Now Playing

GRIND: Robert Baker, Adam Brody, Lindsay Felton, Joey Kern, Jason London, Jennifer Morrison (Directed by Casey La Scala; Warner Bros) A quartet of we’re-gonna-break-into-the-bigtime skateboarders follow their idol from Chicago to California in the hope that he—and everyone else along the way—will pay a little (make that a lot) of attention. Now Playing

OPEN RANGE: Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, Robert Duvall, Michael Gambon, James Russo, Michael Jeter, Diego Luna, Abraham Benrubi, Dean McDermott, Lorette Clow (Directed by Kevin Costner; Disney) They all laughed when hunky leading man Kevin Costner stepped to the other side of the camera to crank out a western, of all things. But nobody laughed when he picked up the 1990 Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for "Dances With Wolves." Bellylaughs were heard, however, when Costner delivered "Postman," his second directorial effort, in 1997. So who knows what to expect from the actor-director in his third time up to the camera? What we do know is that he plays a heroic gunslinger-turned-cattle-herder who must face a showdown with a slimy, rapacious rancher (Michael Gambon). That’s how the west was won. Oscars, too. Now Playing

UPTOWN GIRLS: Brittany Murphy, Dakota Fanning, Heather Locklear, Marley Shelton, Donald Adeosun Faison, Jesse Spencer, Michael Urie, Tony Devon (Directed by Boaz Yakin; MGM) A spoiled rich girl who’s been robbed blind by her manager takes a job as nanny to a much younger but equally spoiled rich girl. Guess who learns what it feels like to be an unspoiled rich girl. Now Playing

THIRTEEN: Holly Hunter, Evan Rachel Wood, Nikki Reed, Jeremy Sisto, Brady Corbett, Deborah Kara Unger, Kip Pardue, Sarah Clarke, D.W. Moffett, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Jenika Carey (Directed by Catherine Hardwicke; Fox Searchlight) The rapport between a hard-luck beautician (Holly Hunter) and her nerdy daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) is dealt a severe blow when the seventh grader is taken under the wing of a tough, sexually precocious classmate. Out with the old wardrobe, hairstyle and timidity, in with the new tart on the block. First-time director Catherine Hardwicke won the jury’s directing prize at Sundance, and audiences raved over the performances of early teenagers Evan Rachel Wood—the corrupted innocent—and Nikki Reed—the natural-born slut. Reed also co-wrote the screenplay with director Hardicke, basing the story loosely on her own troubled adolescence. Now Playing

AUTUMN SPRING: Vlastimil Brodsky, Stella Zazvrkova, Stanislav Zindulka, Ondrej Vetchy, Petra Spalkva (Directed by Vladimir Michalek; First Look Pictures) In his 80's but still playful, a prominent Czech plans a fabulous funeral for himself and then fakes his own death. That's just about all his wife can take, so she files for divorce. But don't count on an unhappy ending. Now Playing

THE BATTLE OF SHAKER HEIGHTS: Shia LaBeouf, Elden Henson, Amy Smart, Kathleen Quinlan, William Sadler, Shiri Appleby, Ray Wise, Anson Mount (Directed by Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin; Miramax) A contemporary teenager who fixates on the battlefield glories of World War II meets a similarly dreamy lad who gives him the courage to stand up to a high-school bully. But then Boy Number One does something bad: he puts the make on Boy Number Two’s sister! Kids—what’s the matter with kids today? Now Playing

DOG DAYS: Maria Hofstatter, Chistine Jirku, Victor Hennemann, Georg Friedrich, Alfred Mrva, Erich Finsches, Gerti Lehner (Directed by Ulrich Seidl; Leisure Time Features) Set in Vienna, this film has been a huge hit at festivals around the world. Here’s what Variety’s Deborah Young had to say about it: "‘Dog Days,’ the first feature by the notable Austrian documentarist Ulrich Seidl (‘Animal Love’) is an acid portrait of contemporary Austria (and by extension, the whole middle class) as unspeakably dull, violent and stupid. The film itself, miraculously, is just the opposite: vibrantly inventive, aesthetically rigorous, sardonic and occasionally quite brilliant." Now Playing

DON’T TEMPT ME: Victoria Abril, Penelope Cruz, Demian Bichir, Fanny Ardant, Juan Echanove, Gael Garcia Bernal, Emili Gutierrez Caba, Cristina Marcos, Gemma Jones, Peter McDonald (Directed by Agustin Diaz Yanes; First Look Entertainment) How’s this for a grabby premise? An angel from heaven (Victoria Abril) and a fallen angel from hell (Penelope Cruz) compete for the soul of a dumb, foul-tempered boxer. We’re tempted to pass on this one. Now Playing

DUST: Joseph Fiennes, Anne Brochet, Adrian Lester, David Wenham, Eric Colvin, Vera Farmiga, Nikolina Kujaca, Rosemary Murphy (Directed by Milcho Manchevski; Lions Gate) Early in the twentieth century, two brothers toil as merceneries in Turkey and manage to fall in love with the same woman. This drama, directed by Milcho Manchevski ("Before the Rain"), also tells a contemporary story of a 90-year-old New York woman who befriends a thief. Now Playing

MARCI X: Lisa Kudrow, Damon Wayans, Richard Benjamin, Christine Baranski, Jane Krakowski, Veanne Cox, Paula Garces (Directed by Richard Benjamin; Paramount) Richard Benjamin once directed a very funny movie called "My Favorite Year," and Paul Rudnick wrote an even funnier one called "In & Out." Let’s remember those larks, forget the dreck they’ve turned out on unhappier occasions, and hope for some bellylaughs this time around. What’s to chuckle about? Well, Kudrow plays a spoiled rich-bitch who, through circumstances beyond her customary control, must persuade a badass hip-hop artist (Damon Wayans) to clean up his act. Are you in stitches yet? Now Playing

THE MEDALLION: Jackie Chan, Claire Forlani, Julian Sands, Lee Evans, Christy Chung,, John Rhys-Davies, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang (Directed by Gordon Chan; Columbia/TriStar) One of Hong Kong’s top detectives is killed—or maybe only nearly killed—and is transformed into a super warrior who posseses an awesomely magical medallion. So don’t get in his way. Now Playing

MY BOSS'S DAUGHTER: 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? No, not Demi Moore. Tara Reid, the boss's red-hot daughter. 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? Now Playing

 

STOKED: THE RISE AND FALL OF GATOR: Mark "Gator" Rogowski, Tony Hawk, Jason Jessee, Stacy Peralta, Steve Caballero, Cindy Crawford, John Hogan, Brandi McClain, Lance Mountain, Steve Olson, Kevin Staab (Directed by Helen Stickler; Palm Pictures) The word from Sundance was strong on this documentary about a charismatic skateboarder who hit the skids. Mark "Gator" Rogowski, found guilty of rape and murder, is now behind bars, as he was when director Stickler turned her camera on him. But there is also footage of Gator doing what he did best. Now Playing

VENUS BOYZ: Diane Torr, Dred Gerestant, Del La Grace Volcano, Queen Bee Luscious, Mistress Formika, Philly Abe, Dee Finley, Mo Fischer, Judith Halberstam, Bridge Markland, Simo Maronati, Shelly Mars, Marcel Mejier, Martina Meijer Torr, A. Hans Scheirl, Svar Simpson, Storme Webber (Directed by Gabrielle Baur; First Run Features) The boyz are not your ordinary boyz. They are lesbians participating in New York’s Drag King Night, and Gabrielle Baur’s documentary shows them both in and out of drag. Now Playing

SUDDENLY: Tatiana Saphir, Carla Crespo, Veronica Hassan, Beatriz Thibaudin, Marcos Ferrante, Laura Mantel, Maria Merlino (Directed by Diego Lerman; Empire Pictures) A criminal lesbian couple who call themselves Lenin and Mao kidnap a shopgirl in Buenos Aires and drive her deep into the wilds of Argentina. The comic thriller marks the directorial debut of Diego Lerman, who co-wrote the screenplay with Maria Meira. Now Playing

THE BACKYARD: The Lizard, Scar, Chaos, Heartless, Nympho, Bongo, The Retarded Butcher (Directed by Paul Hough; HIQI Media) Lots of kids like to frolic and tumble themselves silly. But not like the obsessed ruffians scrutinized in Paul Hough’s documentary about "backyard wrestlers" who dream of becoming professionals. Be prepared for bashing, gashing and geysers of blood. Now Playing

CIVIL BRAND: LisaRaye, N’Bushe Wright (pictured here), Mos Def, Da Brat, Monica Calhoun, Clifton Powell, Tichina Arnold, Lark Voorhies, MC Lyte (Directed by Neema Barnette; Lions Gate) The inmates of a women’s prison, intending only to protest being treated like slaves, end up taking charge of the entire prison. Of course, they do it with the help of a sympathetic male—a law student (Mos Def) who works part-time as a guard. Now Playing

JEEPERS CREEPERS 2: Jonathan Breck, Billy Aaron Brown, Travis Schiffner, Lena Cardwell, Marieh Delfino, Garikayi Mutambrwa, Ray wise, Nicki Lynn Aycox (Directed by Victor Salva; MGM/UA) A busload of high school jocks are the main course for the carnivorous creep on his return visit to earth. And, for dessert, a selection of thoroughly delicious cheerleaders. Yum! Yum! Yum! Now Playing

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE MIDLANDS: Robert Carlyle, Rhys Ifans, Kathy Burke, Shirley Henderson, Ricky Tomlinson, Finn Atkins (Directed by Shane Meadows; FilmFour) Jimmy, a rowdy Scottish crook, turns on the TV and sees a reality show focusing on the family he abandoned years ago. His former wife now has a boyfriend—one who proposes to her on camera. Not too surprisingly, Jimmy decides it’s time for a reunion. Word has it that director Shane Meadows makes good on the promise he demonstrated with "TwentyFourSeven" and "A Room for Romeo Bass." Now Playing