Hollywood Movie Shorts
OPENING MARCH 18:
The Ring Two’— A new lord of the Rings…Hideo Nakata, who helmed the original Japanese horror film Ringu upon which the American version, The Ring, was based, was DreamWorks’ third and final choice to direct this sequel (which is not based on the sequel to Ringu, in case you were wondering). Naomi Watts returns.
Ice Princess’— In this G-rated Disney affair, TV’s Michelle Trachtenberg (‘“Buffy The Vampire Slayer’”) must decide between going to Harvard to satisfy her mother (Joan Cusack), or becoming a champion figure skater to satisfy herself. Yes, it certainly is a Sophie’s choice. NATIONWIDE
Melinda And Melinda’— Woody Allen continues his movie-a-year pace with this 2005 installment, which stars Will Ferrell, Radha Mitchell and Chloe Sevigny. LIMITED
Steamboy’— Katsuhiro Otomo, the creator of the 1988 anime classic Akira, returns with a retro-sci-fi tale set in Victorian England. Anna Paquin, Patrick Stewart and Alfred Molina head the voice cast. LIMITED
OPENING MARCH 25:
Guess Who’—Ashton Kutcher is the new Sidney Poitier?…In this bizarro (and comedic) take on Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, Ashton Kutcher is invited to meet the in-laws (including Bernie Mac), who are surprised to discover that he’s white.
Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous’— In what must be the most hotly anticipated sequel since Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, the once-famous Sandra Bullock reprises her role as the FBI agent turned beauty queen. NATIONWIDE
D.E.B.S.’— And in what could possibly be the only movie ever made to actually fit nicely in a double feature with Miss Congeniality 2, a group of teenage debutantes-turned-spies must save the world from their evil nemesis, Lucy In The Sky. LIMITED
Oldboy’— This stylized and violent Korean thriller (a Cannes Grand Prix winner) focuses on a man who is suddenly released after 15 years in captivity, only to discover that he has a mere five days to discover the identity of his kidnapper. LIMITED
Hostage’—Why can’t he ever play a cop having a good day…Hostage negotiator Bruce Willis faces his most difficult challenge yet when the Mafia holds his own family captive in this thriller based on the novel by Robert Crais.
Robots’— This digitally-animated comedy comes from the team behind Ice Age and features the voices of Ewan McGregor, Robin Williams and Halle Berry. Eventually the industry will run out of creatures and objects to anthropomorphize and have to worry about things like ‘“story’” and ‘“character’”… and we hope that happens before they resort to Washer And Dryer: The Movie. NATIONWIDE
The Boys & Girl from County Clare’—
An Irish music competition is at the center of this comedy. (St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, you know.) LIMITED
Dot The I’— Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries) makes his English-language debut in this romantic thriller set in London. LIMITED
In My Country’— Samuel L. Jackson and Juliette Binoche star for director John Boorman in a romance set in post-Apartheid South Africa. LIMITED
Mail Order Wife’— What starts out as a documentary about a New York doorman who sends for a mail-order bride turns into something more after a relationship develops between the woman and the film’s director.
ON THE HORIZON:
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith: Remember the good old days when the arrival of a new Star Wars movie would be cause for anticipation and excitement? At least the sooner they get this out of the way, the sooner we can get to the next Indiana Jones release. 5/19/05
Batman Begins: Another Batman movie, another Batman. This time around, it’s Christian Bale who stars as a young Bruce Wayne/Batman, with Memento’s Christopher Nolan directing. 6/17/05
War Of The Worlds: Steven Spielberg is the latest to take a stab at adapting H.G. Wells’ invading Martians story. Considering that Tom Cruise’s name will be joining Spielberg’s on the posters, we’re guessing he’ll be quite successful at it. 6/29/05
Fantastic Four: The latest comic book series to move to the big screen is Marvel’s Fantastic Four, with our super-powered heroes being played by Michael Chiklis, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, and Ioan Gruffudd. 7/1/05
Bewitched: It’s not quite a remake of the classic television sitcom, but rather, a movie about a remake of the classic television sitcom. No, Charlie Kaufman didn’t write the script–that job fell to Nora Ephron, who also directs. Will Ferrell stars as the actor playing Darrin Stephens, and Nicole Kidman stars as the actress in the Samantha role. The catch: she’s not just playing a witch; she really is one. 7/8/05
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory: It’s hard to imagine a more interesting and creepy Willy Wonka than Gene Wilder, but Johnny Depp will certainly give it a try in this new take on the classic Roald Dahl story by director Tim Burton. 7/15/05
The Pink Panther: Trying to inhabit the role made famous by the incomparable Peter Sellers is certainly risky business, but if anyone can do it–and that’s a big if–Steve Martin might just be the man. 9/23/05
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire:
Installment number four is entrusted to director Mike Newell, with Ralph Fiennes joining the cast. At some point, J.K. Rowling is going to have to start writing the books faster, because the movies are starting to gain on her. 11/18/05
King Kong: Peter Jackson’s next challenge after the Lord Of The Rings trilogy is remaking the 1933 classic ape story. Jack Black, Naomi Watts and Adrien Brody star. 12/14/05
The Producers: Mel Brooks’ comedy has gone from movie to Broadway musical and now back to movie again in this new on-screen version utilizing the Broadway version’s songs and stars (Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick). 12/21/05
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe:The first of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles Of Narnia series to make it to the big screen stars Tilda Swinton as the evil White Witch. If it does well at the box office, the good news for Disney is that there are six more books in the Chronicles just waiting to be made into sequels. 12/25/05