Moviecrazed
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JULY 2007

RESCUE DAWN: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies (Written and directed by Werner Herzog; MGM) Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale), a passionately patriotic immigrant haunted by memories of a childhood spent in bomb-splattered Germany, becomes a U. S. Navy airman during the Vietnam War. On a flight over Laos, his plane is downed and he is taken prisoner, interrogated, tortured and ordered to confess that he is a criminal. No way will Dengler follow the commands of his captors, so he must either face execution or, with the help of his oddball buddies (Steve Zahn and Jeremy Davies), devise an escape strategy. To read Matt Zoller Seitz’s review of “Rescue Dawn” in The New York Times, click here; for more new movies dealing with past and present wars, click here. Now Playing

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis, Richard Griffiths, Brendan Gleeson, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Jason Isaacs, Imelda Staunton, Fiona Shaw (Directed by David Yates; Written by Michael Goldenberg; Warner Bros.) The trouble with Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) in this installment of J. K. Rowling’s never-ending saga is that the teenage wizard has too much on his plate. Not only is he obliged to cram like crazy for the Ordinary Wizarding Levels exams, but he is tormented by a nasty new professor, besieged by merciless rumor-spreaders, knocked for a hormonal loop by a budding femme fatale, and menaced by members of a secret society. And, oh yes, tricky Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is back on the scene, complicating matters as only he can. Click here for the "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" trailer. Now Playing

HAIRSPRAY: John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, Christopher Walken, Nikki Blonsky, Amanda Bynes, Zac Efron (Directed by Adam Shankman; Written by Leslie Dixon; New Line) There is nothing like a dame, especially when she’s played by John Travolta. The dude who once made women quiver when he went into his dance in “Saturday Night Fever” is sure to swivel and even sing as he takes on the role of Edna Turnblad in this adaptation of the hit musical based on John Waters’ 1988 cult film. Edna, played by the fabulously cross-dressing Divine in the original movie and by Harvey Fierstein in the Broadway show, is an ambitious 1960s mom trying to ease Tracy, her plump, perky daughter, through her troubled teens. The kid is played by newcomer Nikki Blonsky; Queen Latifah will strut her stuff as Motormouth Maybelle; and, believe it or not, Michelle Pfeiffer, who proved she could really sing in “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” will belt out a hot number or two as Velma Von Tussle, the menacing producer of a TV dance show on which Tracy is dying to perform. To view the "Hairspray" trailer, click here; for Guy Flatley's 1976 interview with John Travolta, click here. Now Playing

I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK & 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

NO RESERVATIONS: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin, Patricia Clarkson, Jenny Wade, Lily Rabe (Directed by Scott Hicks; Written by Carol Fuchs and Sandra Nettelbeck; Warner Bros.) What’s cooking with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart? Plenty--from culinary rivalry to competition for the affection of an eccentric kid to the budding of something like love in this remake of the successful German romantic comedy, “Mostly Martha.” Zeta-Jones plays an obsessive, temperamental chef who draws drooling crowds to a posh restaurant. Her career is hobbled, however, when her sister is killed in a car crash and she is suddenly forced to sub as mom to her niece (the wonderful Abigail Breslin, from “Little Miss Sunshine”). Adding to the frustrated chef’s misery, her boss (Patricia Clarkson) hires an ambitious, charming sous-chef (Eckhart) to pitch in at the restaurant when she’s home minding Little Miss Orphan. Co-scripter Sandra Nettelbeck was the writer-director of “Mostly Martha,” but the director of the remake is Scott Hicks, who really hasn’t been all that visible since winning an Oscar nomination for 1996’s “Shine.” Opens Now Playing