Saturday June 11, 05
~Let's go to the movies~
"Mr. and Mrs. Smith" — Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play an unhappily married suburban couple who discover each is an assassin ordered to kill the other.
"Batman Begins" — Christopher Nolan of "Memento" directs Christian Bale in a terse, visually busy view of the Dark Knight. Liam Neeson plays his Yoda-like trainer, Michael Caine his butler Alfred and Katie Holmes his troubled love interest. The dark trailer features lots of shots of bats going bonkers.
"Herbie: Fully Loaded" — The trailer radiates energy. And star Lindsay Lohan is the flavor of the year, at least in teen-land. Also, Herbie, the charismatic Volkswagen that does what it wants when it wants, acts gassed and ready to rumble in a NASCAR event whose outcome will determine whether Lohan's character can save her house. OK, the plot sounds less than stellar.
"Bewitched" — The TV adaptations just keep coming. Will Ferrell plays the husband of a TV-show witch. When the actress exits, Ferrell engineers the hiring of an attractive waitress — who turns out to be a real witch — to take her place. Shirley MacLaine is cast as the witch's annoying mother. Trailer sparks high hopes and low expectations. Nora Ephron is at the helm.
"War of the Worlds" — Hear ye, hear ye, read all about it: Aliens invade Earth. Dock worker Tom Cruise scurries to protect his family and anyone else who can see beyond the Chicken Little thing. Steven Spielberg reunites with his "Minority Report" star. Dakota Fanning and Tim Robbins also put their trust in the master director. Looks hot.
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" — Tim Burton directs always-watchable Johnny Depp and Freddie Highmore, his "Finding Neverland" co-star, in Roald Dahl's tale of a little boy who wins a tour of the mysterious chocolate building. The film delves into Charlie's past and eschews the lightness and music of 1971's Gene Wilder version for a chocolate that's darker, and, we hope, more substantial.
"Wedding Crashers" — Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn crash weddings for cheap and easy sex and become involved with the daughters of the U.S. treasury secretary. Rachel McAdams, Christopher Walken and Jane Seymour star in the R-rated lowbrow comedy aimed at fans of that ilk. You know who you are.
"The Island" — Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson star in a thinking person's futuristic thriller about two human clones who begin to ponder, Is that all there is? Shades of "Logan's Run." Michael Bay directs. Steve Buscemi and Djimon Hounsou co-star.
"Must Love Dogs" — Affable Diane Lane and John Cusack spark in a romantic comedy about a newly divorced woman who pretends she owns a St. Bernard to win over a dog lover. Dermot Mulroney, Stockard Channing and Christopher Plummer also star. Trailer makes the film look doggone charming.
"Broken Flowers" — Director Jim Jarmusch's picture stars Bill Murray as an aging lothario who, after learning he has a 19-year-old son, revisits former lovers to glean insights into himself and to find out who the mother is. Jessica Lange, Julie Delpy and Tilda Swinton bolster the impressive ensemble. My pick for summer's most engaging film.
"The 40-Year-Old Virgin" — Steve Carell of "Anchorman" and TV's "The Office" stars as the title character, a man more into collecting action figures and comic books than courting the opposite sex. His buddies urge him to sample the forbidden fruit in this off-kilter comedy. Catherine Keener co-stars.
"Valiant" — Ewan McGregor voices a courageous little carrier pigeon who yearns to serve England and battle Nazi birds during World War II.