Moviecrazed
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JUNE 2006

THE BREAK-UP: Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Joey Lauren Adams, Cole Hauser, John Michael Higgins, Alex Bickle, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jon Favreau, Ken Bethea, Theophilus Jamal, Ann-Margret (Directed by Peyton Reed; Written by Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender; Universal) But neither of them wants to part with their fabulous condo. So they continue to cohabit and to battle like fuming members of different sects. Who dreamed up this cockeyed scenario, anyway? None other than Vince Vaughn, an actor whose reputation for creative mischief continues to swell. Next thing you know, he’ll be calling the shots as director. For a Critics Roundup on "The Break-Up," click here; for Caryn James' astute take on Jennifer Aniston's career choices, click here; for Guy Flatley’s 1998 interview with Vince Vaughn, click here. Now Playing

A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Lily Tomlin, Garrison Keillor, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly, Lindsay Lohan, Tommy Lee Jones, Virginia Madsen, L. Q. Jones, Maya Rudolph, Marylouise Burke (Directed by Robert Altman; Written by Garrison Keillor; Picturehouse) In provocative, unforgettable films ranging from “Nashville” to “The Player” to “Short Cuts,” director Robert Altman has demonstrated a special genius for assembling actors with boldly individual styles and shaping them into a seamless ensemble. There’s a strong chance he will pack another character-driven wallop with this tale of the backstage craziness that prevails on what is meant to be the final broadcast of a quirky and extraordinarily popular radio show not unlike Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” A special bonus: Best-selling author Keillor, shown above with Meryl Streep and Lindsay Lohan, consented to play himself for starmaker Altman. For Guy Flatley's 4-star review of "A Prairie Home Companion," click here. Now Playing

THE LAKE HOUSE: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dylan Walsh, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Christopher Plummer, Ebon-Moss Bachrach, Lynn Collins, Cynthia Kaye McWilliams, Willeke van Ammelrooy, Brandon DeShazer, Jonathan Samuels, Mike Bacarella, Alexandra LoRusso, Justin Jones (Directed by Alejandro Agresti; Written by David Auburn; Warner Bros.) Here’s a story of meeting cute. Actually, it’s a story of wanting to meet cute. Sandra Bullock, a successful physician who’s been less than lucky in love, begins a correspondence with a melancholy architect who now lives in the lovely lakeside home in which she once dwelled. When their mailbox affair blossoms into true love, they naturally feel an urge to transform their words into passionate deeds. The only obstacle in their path is that they are separated not only by miles but also by time. Indeed these wannabe lovers are living two years apart. And Keanu and Sandra thought they had it bad in “Speed”! Now Playing

NACHO LIBRE: Jack Black, Ana de la Reguera, Héctor Jimenez, Richard Montoya, Peter Stormare, Efren Ramirez, Troy Gentile, Carla Jimenez (Directed by Jared Hess; Written by Mike White, Jared Hess and Jerusha Hess; Paramount) Little Jack Black as a devout Catholic joyfully toiling as a cook in the Mexican monastery/orphanage he has always called home--a selfless apostle who jumps into the professional-wrestling ring in order to earn the bucks that will prevent the shutting down of his beloved orphanage? Sounds sickeningly inspirational, doesn’t it? But since the people who put this show together are the people responsible for “School of Rock” and “Napoleon Dynamite,” I think it’s safe to expect something on the wildly irreverent side. And with luscious Ana de la Reguera cast as Sister Encarnacion, this may turn out to be the movie that finally answers the question, is it possible for a nun to be a babe? To read the New York Times review of "Nacho Libre," click here; for Guy Flatley's 2000 interview with Jack Black, click here. Now Playing

THE ROAD TO GUANTANAMO: Rizwan Ahmed, Farhad Harun, Waqar Siddiqui, Afran Usman (Directed by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross; Roadside Attractions) Torture, deprivation and interrogation, Gitmo-style, are on harrowing exhibit in this docudrama dealing with the imprisonment and eventual release of three innocent young British Muslims at Guantanamo. Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross shared the Best Director prize at the 2006 Berlin Festival. It would be interesting to see an American director tackle this subject. Now Playing


CLICK: Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, Blake Heron, Christopher Walken, Sean Astin, Allen Covert, Peter Dante, David Hasselhoff, Allen Covert, Peter Dante, Christopher Walken, David Hasselhoff, Julie Kavner, Henry Winkler, Jennifer Coolidge (Directed by Frank Coraci; Written by Mark O’Keefe; Columbia) If you’re a channel surfer, you couldn’t possibly survive without the aid of your remote control clicker. But what if fate or nature or a desperate screenwriter blessed you with a truly all-purpose clicker, one that enabled you to visit various chapters--past, present and future--of your own life? And, taking this boldly unoriginal premise one step further, what if that clever little clicker began to take control of you? That’s the corner Adam Sandler finds himself boxed into here, but, frankly, we wish he’d rewound to “Punch-Drunk Love” instead. To read Guy Flatley’s 1980 interview with Christopher Walken, click here. Now Playing

SUPERMAN RETURNS: Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, Frank Langella, James Marsden, Eva Marie Saint, Parker Posey, Sam Huntington (Directed by Bryan Singer; Written by Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris; Warner Bros.) Some of us didn’t even know the Man of Steel had stolen away, but apparently he journeyed to Krypton, the land from whence he sprang. His homecoming, alas, turned out to be a bust, so now he’s back among us mortals, trying once again to get a lock on Lois Lane and blow away the ever-lethal Lex Luthor. The question is, can fledgling actor Brandon Routh make this claptrap fly? Kevin Spacey, who’s had bum luck of late, plays Luthor and Kate Bosworth--Sandra Dee to Spacey’s Bobby Darin in “Beyond the Sea”--is Lois Lane. Bryan Singer, a director who has gone on to bigger but not necessarily better films since guiding Spacey to a supporting Oscar for 1995’s “The Usual Suspects,” clearly has his work cut out for him. By the way, there's another reunion of sorts on this project. Eva Marie Saint, playing Superman’s mom, will reconnect with her “On the Waterfront” sweetheart, Marlon Brando. Not that reports of Brando’s death have been exaggerated--it’s just that, thanks to the wonders of technology, footage of him as dedicated scientist Jor-El in 1978’s “Superman” has reportedly been folded into the new film. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Or could it simply be a rip-off? Now Playing

THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Adrien Grenier, Emily Blunt, Simon Baker, Traci Thoms, Giselle Bundchen (Directed by David Frankel; Written by Aline Brosh McKenna and Don Roos; Fox) The fact that Lauren Weisberger, the author of the book upon which this film is based, slaved as an assistant to Vogue super-editor Anna Wintour does not mean that what we have here is a biopic. But I don’t know anyone who believes that not to be the case. Nor do I know anyone who is not keenly anticipating the sight of Meryl Streep as she dons her shades and British accent, cracks her whip, and spews venom upon her cringing serfs. To read Variety's rave for Meryl Streep in "Prada," click here; to see what else Streep is up to, click here and browse the S page of STAR TURNS. Now Playing