March 05, 2003 News & Features » Cover Story


movies: Schemes, Dreams & Screams 

March 7

"Bringing Down the House" — Queen Latifah stars as a prisoner who invades the life of lonely lawyer Steve Martin and proceeds to get jiggy with it — and him! This ebony and ivory twosome get some high-wattage support from Eugene Levy, Joan Plowright and Betty White.ÿ

"Tears of the Sun" — Bruce Willis plays a Navy SEAL on duty in Africa who must choose between following military orders or ferrying a group of refugees out of harm's way. Brought to the screen by director Antoine "Training Day" Fuqua.ÿ

March 14ÿ

"Agent Cody Banks" — Taking a page from the highly successful "Spy Kids," "Malcolm in the Middle" star, Frankie Muniz, as a teenager who's a spy for the CIA. When Cody gets an assignment to cuddle up to a classmate in order to spy on her scientist father, even his coolest gadgets can't get him to first base.ÿ

"The Hunted" — Tommy Lee Jones plays a tracker who teams up with a female FBI agent (Connie Nielsen) to capture an assassin played by Benicio Del Toro. Hmmm ... Female agent chasing Benicio Del Toro? Girl whatever your story is, stick to it. This suspense thriller is director by the master of urban cat-and-mouse games, William Friedkin.ÿ

"Prozac Nation" — A filn based on Elizabeth Wurtzel's memoir of the same name, Christina Ricci stars as a young woman who battles depression during her first year at Harvard.ÿ

"Spider" — David Cronenberg directs from the Patrick McGrath novel, with Ralph Fiennes as Dennis "Spider" Cleg, a young man suffering from schizophrenia who lives in a halfway house in London,and whose grasp on reality becomes increasingly fragile. Miranda Richardson plays his mother.ÿ

"Willard" — Crispin Glover stars in this remake of the cult-horror classic about a young man with an unusual psychic bond with rats.ÿ

March 21ÿ

"Boat Trip" — Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr. joins Horatio Sanz as two lovelorn friends who unknowingly embark on a gay cruise to meet women. Vivica A. Fox co-stars.ÿ

"Identity" — Talk about a dream cast! John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes, Alfred Molina and Rebecca De Mornay star in this suspense thriller about 10 travelers forced to take refuge from a storm in the spookiest motel since the Bates closed.ÿ

"Piglet's Big Movie" — Topping the "It's about time" category is this animated feature about Winnie the Pooh's sidekick and second-banana, Piglet, who must save his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood from extinction with the help of the Books of Memories.ÿ

"View From the Top" — Gwyneth Paltrow plays a small-town woman who struggles to attain her goal of becoming a flight attendant. This romantic comedy features an all-star lineup of supporting players: Mark Ruffalo, Mike Myers, Rob Lowe, Candice Bergen and Christina Applegate.ÿ

March 28ÿ

"Assassination Tango" — Robert Duvall writes, directs and stars in this tale about a veteran hit man who discovers the passion of tango dancing while awaiting the arrival of a political target in Argentina. ÿ

"Head of State" — Move over Mr. Duvall, Chris Rock also tries his hand behind the camera, directing himself as a Washington alderman who's chosen by the Democratic Party to run for president when the original nominee unexpectedly dies midcampaign. ÿ

Undated March Possibilitiesÿ

"Dreamcatcher" — Lawrence Kasdan's horror movie about four friends who do battle with a psychotic Army colonel and an otherworldly being while on a camping trip in Maine. Morgan Freeman, Jason Lee and Tom Sizemore co-star in this Stephen King script.ÿ

"Gerry" — Casey Affleck and Matt Damon play two friends named Gerry who find themselves stranded in a desert in this improvisational two-man show by Gus Van Sant.ÿ

"House of 1,000 Corpses" — This horror flick offers up a bevy of teens who take refuge in a spooky house during a storm. Ironically, it's directed by a guy named Rob Zombie, and Karen Black plays a character called Mother Firefly. Hmmm ... 'Nuff said.ÿ

"Poolhall Junkies" — Chazz Palminteri and Gregory "Mars" Martin are two pool players whose father-son relationship is threatened when the younger of the two decides to break away from his mentor.ÿ

"All the Real Girls" — This winner at the recent Sundance Film Fest takes place in a small Southern town where the local Lothario (Paul Schneider) falls in love with his best friend's virginal younger sister (Zooey Deschanel).ÿ

April 4ÿ

"A Man Apart" — Vin Diesel stars in this action thriller about a mysterious man who heads a drug cartel after its chief is imprisoned.ÿ

"My Baby's Mama" — Eddie Griffin, Anthony Anderson and Michael Imperioli as three young friends who are forced to grow up fast when their girlfriends all become pregnant around the same time. ÿ

"Phone Booth" — Joel Schumacher directs Colin Farrell in this thriller about a man trapped in a phone booth by an extortionist armed with a sniper rifle. With Kiefer Sutherland (who has more than 24-hours to free Farrell's character) and Forest Whitaker.ÿ

April 11ÿ

"Anger Management" — Adam Sandler plays a wimpy guy who, after an outburst of air-rage, is ordered to participate in anger-management sessions with a therapist played by Jack Nicholson. Uh-huh, this ain't no "Dr.Phil" show.ÿ

"Down With Love" — Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor co-star in this '60s period piece a la "Sex and the Single Girl." Zellweger plays a best-selling advice author who tangles with McGregor's playboy journalist who scoffs at her views on romance.ÿ

"Laurel Canyon" — The always interesting Frances McDormand plays a freewheeling Los Angeles record producer whose lifestyle is at odds with her Harvard Medical School student son (Christian Bale) until he discovers that his fiancée (Kate Beckinsale) finds his mom appealing.

April 16ÿ

"Bulletproof Monk" — In this action thriller, Yun-Fat Chow plays a mysterious monk who must find a young protege to guard the ancient Scroll of the Ultimate. When he finds the right guy (Seann William Scott), both of them are pursued by a villain (Jaime King) who wants the scroll for herself.ÿ

"The Good Thief" — Nick Nolte stars in this Neil Jordan's crime drama about an aging gambler whose last-ditch attempt to rob a French casino may be foiled by a mysterious tipster.ÿ

April 18ÿ

"Basic" — Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta reunite for the first time since "Pulp Fiction" for this military thriller about a group of elite commandos whose disappearance sparks a controversial investigation.ÿ

"Holes" — Sigourney Weaver plays a juvenile detention-camp warden who forces her charges to dig holes — ostensibly as an exercise in character-building. What she's really up to however is looking for buried treasure. Co-starring Jon Voight, Tim Blake Nelson, Patricia Arquette and Shia LaBeouf as the boy who discovers the warden's secret.ÿ

April 25ÿ

"Against the Ropes" — Charles S. Dutton directs this fictional drama inspired by real-life female boxing promoter Jackie Kallen, whose life and struggles in a male-dominated sport are dramatized here by Meg Ryan. Yes, Ryan as a boxing promoter. Really.ÿ

"City of Ghosts" — Matt Dillon directs and stars in this drama about a con man who travels to Cambodia to cash in on an insurance scam but soon discovers he's facing a whole lot more than he bargained for. James Caan co-stars.ÿ

"Confidence" — Edward Burns plays a grifter whose upcoming con job is threatened by past complications with a mob boss (Dustin Hoffman)and his enforcer (Andy Garcia).ÿ

"It Runs in the Family" — Fred Schepisi directs Papa Kirk, his son Michael Douglas and real-life relations Cameron and Diana in this purported comedy-drama about a middle-aged husband and father who doesn't want to repeat his own father's mistakes.ÿ

"Levity" — Billy Bob Thornton portrays a murderer who's freed from prison after 19 years and now seeks redemption in the company of a mysterious minister (Morgan Freeman) and two troubled women (Holly Hunter and Kirsten Dunst).ÿ

"People I Know" — Al Pacino is a career-obsessed New York publicity agent who must bring all his talents and connections when a scandal breaks involving his biggest client.ÿ

April 30ÿ

"The Dancer Upstairs" — John Malkovich's directorial debut is garnering praise for its intensity as it re-creates the hunt by a Peruvian detective for a revolutionary leader. However, its scenes of (fake) animal cruelty are also said to be upsetting to many viewers.ÿ

Undated But Possibleÿ

"A Mighty Wind" — Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Michael McKean star as the Folksmen, a 1960s folk trio who reunite for a

tribute to their former concert promoter. Yes! This is another comic "mockumentary" from Guest.ÿ

"XX/XY" — Mark Ruffalo stars in this drama about three friends who embark on a relationship that veers dangerously out of control and then comes back to haunt them years later.ÿ

May 2ÿ

"Only the Strong Survive" — This D.A. Pennebaker documentary explores a generation of soul singers who lasted long enough for Pennebaker to interview them. These include Isaac Hayes, Wilson Pickett and the late Rufus Thomas.ÿ

"X2" — Get ready for the return of those fabulous X-Men to the big screen. Once again, Hugh Jackman's Wolverine leads the fight against Ian McKellen's Magneto, who this time out has a mutant assassin the Xers' must try and stop.ÿ

May 9ÿ

"Buffalo Soldiers" — Joaquin Phoenix plays a corrupt U.S. soldier stationed in West Germany during the Cold War. When a new sergeant (Scott Glenn) arrives on the base, Phoenix's lucrative black- market career threatens either to disappear or blow up in his face.ÿ

"Daddy Day Care" — Eddie Murphy and Steve Zahn play two laid-off dads who open a day-care facility. Once again, "Nuff said!ÿ

May 15ÿ

"The Matrix Reloaded" — Lock & Load, folks, here comes what promises to be the big blast of spring. Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Laurence Fishburne are taking on the grim agents of the Matrix once again.ÿ

May 16

"Pokemon 5" — This fifth installment is just like is just "Pokemon 4," only more so; which was just like 'Pokemon 3," only waaay more so, etc. etc. etc.ÿ

May 21ÿ

"In America" — The wonderful Irish filmmaker Jim Sheridan offers his take on the modern immigrant experience, following an Irish family's arrival in and then adjustment to New York City.

May 23ÿ

"Bruce Almighty" — If you've ever pondered what would happen if Jim Carrey actually became God — this is the movie for you. If your gut reaction is more akin to the term "a living hell," you may want to skip this one. Jennifer Aniston plays his girlfriend and Morgan Freeman portrays the Big Guy himself.ÿ

"The Wedding Party" — Albert Brooks stars as a mild-mannered podiatrist who catches on to the fact that his daughter's in-laws-to-be (Michael Douglas and Candice Bergen) are probably international smugglers.ÿ

May 30ÿ

"Finding Nemo" — This Disney animated feature follows a Daddy blowfish as he looks for his lost blowfish son, Nemo. ÿ

"The Italian Job" — Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton and Charlize Theron as thieves trying to steal back that which they stole but which was stolen from them in this remake of a famous '60s crime caper.ÿ

"From Justin to Kelly" — I wish it weren't so, but yes — the Justin and Kelly of the title are indeed the breakout stars from "American Idol." Justin Whoever and Kelly Whatever team up in a musical comedy that —incredibly — was scripted, produced, filmed, edited and released in six months. Hmmmm. Once again, "Nuff Said!" S



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