Movie shorts for the week of July 6…


opening soon:

Fantastic Four – Whatever outer-space radiation doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger … or stretchy or invisible or flammable. That’s what happens to scientists Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis), Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd), and Susan (Jessica Alba) and Johnny Storm (Chris Evans). When they get back to Earth, they kick butt as the titular team of superheroes.

Dark Water ‘— Perhaps Jennifer Connelly should have had an inspection done before she moved into her new apartment, because evil liquid leaking through the ceiling is enough to keep a person up at night. Or kill them.

Beautiful Country ‘— In 1990, a young Vietnamese man escapes a refugee camp and makes his way to New York City, and then finally to Texas, in order to meet his estranged American father.

Cronicas ‘— The producers of Y Tu Mamá También have another road movie for ya, only this time instead of following two horny guys out to get laid, it’s about John Leguizamo tracking down a serial killer.

Murderball ‘— In this Sundance fave documentary, quadriplegic rugby players smash the hell out of each other, but it’s all in good fun, of course.

Saraband ‘— You’ll probably see a bunch of beret-wearing artsy-fartsy types in the lobby while waiting to watch famed director Ingmar Bergman’s latest relationship drama.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ‘— This Tim Burton remake had better be a helluva lot better than Planet of the Apes. Johnny Depp steps into Gene Wilder’s purple velvet coat and takes five kids on a surreal, candy-coated head trip.

The Wedding Crashers ‘— Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Christopher Walken, hot bridesmaids and an open bar ‘— this oughta be fun.

Happy Endings ‘— Maggie Gyllenhaal and Tom freakin’ Arnold are a couple in this ensemble comedy. Meanwhile, Lisa Kudrow plays a character who is really upset with her sperm-donor buddy and two lesbian friends.

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

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.

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

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

War Of The Worlds ‘— Mars attacks … Steven Spielberg is the latest to take a stab at adapting HG 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.

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.