Movie briefs for the week of June 29…


29 June, Wednesday

War Of The Worlds’—Mars attacks …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.

A Decent Factory’— This documentary examines the cultural, gender, and economic issues associated with a Chinese manufacturing plant for one of cellphone giant Nokia’s parts suppliers. NY-Film Forum

1 July, Friday

Rebound’— It’s the junior high basketball comedy you always dreamed of…Although the list of basketball movies is short, this Martin Lawrence comedy (which finds our hero as a fired college basketball coach taking a job coaching at a junior high) probably places somewhere near ‘“The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh’” in the final rankings.

The Beat That My Heart Skipped’— This remake of James Toback’s 1978 debut Fingers finds a man torn between a mob career and a music career. LIMITED

In Theaters:

Herbie: Fully Loaded ‘— The fifth Beetle … film number five in the Herbie the Love Bug series (albeit the first installment in 25 years) finds the self-driving Volkswagen now owned by Lindsay Lohan and training for the NASCAR circuit. KITT, you’ve been served.

Bewitched’—Bothered and bewildered …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.

George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead’— This is the fourth film in Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead series of zombie films, and the first since 1985’s Day Of The Dead. NATIONWIDE

March Of The Penguins’— This documentary feature spends a year in the life of an emperor penguin flock. LIMITED

Rize’— Fashion photographer and Burger King commercial director David LaChapelle directs this documentary about the new-ish South Central L.A. dance form known as krumping. LIMITED

Yes’— Joan Allen cheats on her British politician husband (Sam Neill) with a Lebanese man in this international drama from Sally Potter. LIMITED

Batman Begins ‘— A bat is born…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.

The Perfect Man ‘— Duff… Man…Hilary Duff’s annual summer movie co-stars TV’s Heather Locklear and TV’s Chris Noth. Duff plays a teenage girl (a stretch, we know) who attempts to set her single mother up with ‘— get this ‘— the perfect man.

Heights ‘— Writer-director Chris Terrio’s debut is an ensemble Merchant-Ivory production set in a 24-hour period in (present-day) New York City. Glenn Close heads the cast. LIMITED

Mr. & Mrs. Smith ‘— The couple that kills together stays together…The on-screen (we did say ‘“on-screen,’” right?) relationship between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt is the focus of this comedic thriller about two married assassins whose next targets are… each other. Doug Liman directs.

The Adventures Of Shark Boy And Lava Girl In 3-D ‘— Robert Rodriguez’s latest 3-D spectacular for the young ‘uns follows a 10 year old on his adventures with his two imaginary pals. NATIONWIDE

High Tension ‘— Two college girls make the big mistake of going to a secluded countryhouse to study for their exams in this French slasher flick. Turns out it isn’t really any quieter out in the country, what with all the screaming.

The Honeymooners ‘— Cedric The Entertainer handles the Jackie Gleason role of Ralph Kramden in this feature film update of the classic sitcom. Presumably, the threats of spousal abuse have been scaled back from the original. NATIONWIDE

Cinderella Man ‘— Russell Crowe: Always looking for a fight… Ron Howard’s Depression-era drama is based on the true story of New Yorker Jim Braddock (played by Russell Crowe), a dirt-poor man who turned (successfully) to boxing as a means to feed his family. Reneee Zellweger and Paul Giamatti also star.

Lords Of Dogtown ‘— This fictionalized version of the Venice/Santa Monica skateboarding scene in the 1970s (as documented in Dogtown and Z-Boys) was written by that documentary’s director (Stacy Peralta) and directed by Thirteen’s Catherine Hardwicke. Heath Ledger and Johnny Knoxville star. NATIONWIDE