Moviecrazed
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AUGUST 2006

WORLD TRADE CENTER: Nicolas Cage, Michael Pena, Maria Bello, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Donna Murphy, Patti D’Arbanville, Jay Hernandez, Armando Riesco, Jon Bernthal, Brad William Henke, Michael Shannon, Lucia Brawley, Wass M. Stevens (Directed by Oliver Stone; Written by Andrea Berloff; Paramount) Oliver Stone depicted the assassination of President Kennedy in “JFK,” the tumble into disgrace of another president in “Nixon,” and the horrors of the Vietnam war in “Platoon” and “Born on the Fourth of July.” So it should come as no surprise that the filmmaker has now chosen to focus on the greatest American tragedy of all, the terrorist attacks of 9/11, in “World Trade Center.” Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena play John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno, the heroic Port Authority officers who were the last survivors to emerge from beneath the rubble. At the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, Stone screened a twenty-minute preview of his film--a harrowing mixture of actors, special effects and raw real-life footage. Many in the audience were deeply disturbed, some wondering why Hollywood views the nightmare of 9/11 as suitable entertainment for mass consumption. Now Playing

FACTOTUM: Matt Dillon, Lili Taylor, Marisa Tomei, Fisher Stevens,
Didier Flammand, Adrienne Shelly, Karen Young, Tom Lyons (Directed by Bent Hamer; Written by Bent Hamer and Jim Stark; IFC Films) This is the story of Henry Chinaski, a heavy-boozing, womanizing, self-destructive, rarely published writer who lives the grim and grubby life in fifties Los Angeles. He bears more than a slight resemblance to Charles Bukowski, the late cult author whose 1975 novel is the source for Norwegian director Bent Hamer’s film. Matt Dillon, as Chinaski, seems a sure bet for a Best Oscar nomination.
To read Guy Flatley’s review of “Factotum,” click here. Now Playing

THE ILLUSIONIST: Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel, Rufus Sewell, Aaron Johnson (Written and directed by Neil Burger; Yari Film Group) In the not-so-gay Vienna of the late 19th century, Eisenheim, a poor boy with a gift for performing what seems like genuine magic, falls deeply in love with Sophie, a very rich girl. When her parents realize the intensity of their bond, the girl and boy are abruptly separated. The next time he sees her, he is a full grown man (Edward Norton) enjoying enormous popularity as a professional magician, and she is a lovely woman (Jessica Biel). The old spark is rekindled, but unfortunately Sophie is engaged to Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell), a vile, obsessive brute who will stop at nothing to keep control of Sophie. For starters, he commands Chief Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti), a man who is also under his control, to destroy Eisenheim by unraveling the mystery of his apparent ability to work true magic. Now Playing

IDLEWILD: Andre Benjamin, Antwan A. Patton, Paula Patton, Terrence Howard, Malinda Williams, Macy Gray, Ben Vereen, Ving Rhames, Faizon Love, Patti LaBelle, Bill Nunn, Cicely Tyson, Bruce Bruce (Written and directed by Bryan Barber; Universal Pictures and HBO Films) R&B, jazz, blues and gangsta rap are just a few of the musical tools employed by video director Bryan Barber in his big screen debut. Set in thirties Georgia, “Idlewild” features Andre Benjamin and Antwan A. Patton, dynamic stars of the hip-hop group OutKast, as a budding undertaker and bootlegger, respectively. But most of the time, you’ll find them cutting up in Church, a noisy, rowdy speakeasy in danger of being taken over by unsavory characters--none more unsavory than the lethal Trumpy, a super-thug played by Terrence Howard, Oscar-nominated last year for his dynamite performance in “Hustle & Flow.” Praise the Lord! To read about more upcoming musicals, click here. Now Playing