Vol. LXI, No. 14
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
300 (R for sexuality, nudity, and graphic battle sequences). Ancient Historical epic, set in Greece in 480 BC, recounts the Battle of Thermopylae where the King of Sparta (Gerard Butler) defends the country by leading his badly outnumbered army of just 300 soldiers in a suicide mission against a horde of over 100,000 Persian invaders.
Amazing Grace (PG for mature themes and mild epithets). Ioan Gruffudd stars in this biography of William Wilberforce (1759-1833), the British abolitionist who spearheaded a 20-year campaign pressuring Parliament to ban the slave trade. Costume drama directed by Michael Apted features stellar cast which includes Albert Finney, Rufus Sewell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Youssou N'Dour, Romola Garai and Michael Gambon.
Are We Done Yet? (PG for sexual innuendo and brief profanity). Ice Cube and Nia Long reprise their roles in this sequel to Are We There Yet? Now newlyweds, the couple gets grief, not from her kids (Aleisha Allen and Philip Bolden), but from a shady contractor (John C. McGinley) whose shady shenanigans threaten to ruin their plans for a dream home.
Avenue Montaigne (PG-13 for profanity and sexuality). Serendipitous ensemble dramedy, set in Paris, revolves around the transformational effects that a naïve, young waitress (Cecile De France) has on those who cross her path, including a soap opera actress (Valerie Lemercier), an aging art collector (Claude Brasseur), and a famous, classical concert pianist (Albert Dupontel). (In French and English with subtitles)
Blades of Glory (PG-13 for crude humor, sexuality, violence, profanity, and drug references). Will Ferrell and John Heder co-star as disgraced Olympic figure skaters who return to the rink by exploiting a loophole in the rules which allows them to qualify as partners in the pairs competition.
Firehouse Dog (PG for peril, crude humor and salty language). Heartwarming family comedy about the adventures of Hollywood's highest-grossing canine star, Rex, a pampered pooch who gets lost and ends up in a dilapidated, inner city firehouse where he befriends the 12 year-old son (Josh Hutcherson) of the Captain (Bruce Greenwood). Cast includes Bill Nunn, Bree Turner and Scotch Ellis Loring.
Ghost Rider (PG-13 for horror violence and disturbing images). Nicolas Cage handles the title role in this special effects thriller based on the motorcycle-riding Marvel Comics vigilante who sold his soul to the devil (Peter Fonda) in order to save the life of his girlfriend (Eva Mendes). With Donal Logue, Wes Bentley, and Sam Elliott.
Grindhouse (Unrated). Double-feature of horror flicks directed by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, designed as an homage to the B-movies from the Fifties. Tarantino's Death Proof features a psycho stuntman (Kurt Russell) who runs down attractive women with his skull-emblazoned muscle car, while Rodriguez's Planet Terror revolves around the effort of a band of survivors, led by a gun-legged go-go dancer (Rose McGowan), to save the planet from an army of mutated zombies.
The Hills Have Eyes 2 (R for horror fare). High attrition-rate scream sequel, set in the desert, revolves around a squad of National Guard trainees that finds itself battling a horde of hungry, mutant cannibals.
The Hoax (R for profanity). Fact-based drama about the exploits of Clifford Irving (Richard Gere) adapted from the screenplay of the same name by William Wheeler, chronicling the shameless author's attempt to publish a bogus biography of Howard Hughes (Milton Buras), forcing the eccentric, painfully-reclusive billionaire to emerge from his den of solitude.
The Last Mimzy (PG for peril, mature themes, and some salty language). Sci-fi fantasy about a couple of young siblings (Chris ONeil and Rhiannon Leigh Wryn) who discover a magical box containing mysterious toys with the power to turn the two into geniuses. Cast includes Michael Clarke Duncan, Timothy Hutton and Joely Richardson.
The Last King of Scotland (R for sex, expletives, graphic violence and gruesome images). Forest Whitaker stars in his Oscar-winning role as Idi Amin in this docudrama revisiting the mercurial Ugandan dictator's reign of terror during the Seventies. Cast includes James McAvoy, Kerry Washington, Gillian Anderson and Colin McBurney.
The Lives of Others (R for nudity and sexuality). Academy Award-Winning Best Foreign Language Film revisits repression behind the Iron Curtain during the Eighties at a time when the East German government employed an intimidating system of surveillance to keep the populace in line. (In German with subtitles)
The Lookout (R for sex, expletives and violence). Gritty crime saga about a brain-damaged janitor (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who unwittingly ends up embroiled in a heist of the bank where he works. Cast includes Jeff Daniels, Isla Fisher, Carla Gugino and Matthew Goode.
Meet the Robinsons (G). Disney animated adventure about orphans (Daniel Hansen and Jordan Fry) attempting to invent a time machine in order to find their long-lost mother who enlists the assistance of a mysterious boy (Wesley Singerman) in his desperate quest. With additional voicework courtesy of Angela Bassett, Stephen J. Anderson and Laurie Metcalf.
The Namesake (PG-13 for sexuality, profanity, nudity, drug use and disturbing images). Cross-cultural drama, adapted from the novel of the same name by Jhumpa Lahiri, about the struggle of the son (Kal Penn) of immigrants (Irfan Khan and Tabu) from Calcutta to develop his own identity in New York City without totally losing touch with his Indian heritage. (In Bengali, Hindi and English)
Peaceful Warrior (PG-13 for sensuality, sexual references and graphic accident scenes). Adaptation of Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman's best-selling, New Age memoir about an Olympic gymnast (Scott Mechlowicz) who undergoes a spiritual transformation and decides to re-order his priorities after a life-altering encounter with a chain-smoking, philosophizing gas station attendant (Nick Nolte).
Premonition (PG-13 for mature themes, disturbing images, brief profanity, and violence). Psychological thriller about a housewife (Sandra Bullock) who comes to question reality when her husband (Julian McMahon) dies in a car accident only to reappear alive and well the next day. Cast includes Nia Long and Amber Valletta.
Pride (PG for mature themes, racial epithets, mild profanity, and violence). Terrence Howard stars in this inspirational bio-pic based on the exploits of Jim Ellis, a real-life role model who founded Philly's first African-American swim team in a disadvantaged neighborhood back in the Seventies. Cast includes Bernie Mac, Kimberly Elise, Tom Arnold and Evan Ross, Diana's son.
The Reaping (Unrated). Faith-based flick features Hilary Swank as an ex-missionary who abandons Christianity after the death of her parents for a new career as an expert proving the scientific explanation of religious phenomena. But the heathen has to reconsider her embracing of atheism when she can't explain the Biblical plagues suddenly being visited upon Louisiana.
Reign over Me (R for profanity and sexual references). Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle co-star in this bittersweet buddy drama about former college roommates who rekindle their friendship after one of them loses his family in the 9-11 attacks. With Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland and Robert Klein.
Shooter (R for profanity and graphic violence). Mark Wahlberg takes the title role in this political potboiler based on Point of Impact, the best seller by Stephen Hunter about an Army sniper who is coaxed out of retirement by his former superior (Danny Glover) to protect the President only to end up the subject of a nationwide manhunt as the prime suspect in an assassination attempt.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PG for animated action violence, scary images, and mild epithets). The swashbuckling, shelled samurai and their wise sensei return for another animated kiddie adventure, this revolving around the diabolical plot of a madman (Patrick Stewart) to unleash an army of ancient monsters.
I Think I Love My Wife (R for sexuality and pervasive profanity). Chris Rock wrote, directed and stars in this romantic comedy as a businessman daydreaming about cheating on his wife (Gina Torres) who suddenly gets his chance when a stunning seductress (Kerry Washington) shows up at his office.
Wild Hogs (PG-13 for violence, crude sexuality, and coarse humor). Road trip buddy-flick about a quartet of middle-aged couch potatoes (Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, John Travolta and William H. Macy) who hop on their motorcycles to escape suburbia, and the stress of their jobs and family responsibilities only to encounter more than they bargained for when they cross paths with a gang of ready-to-rumble bikers. With Ray Liotta, Marisa Tomei, Peter Fonda, Tichina Arnold, and Sam and Margaret Travolta.
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