Vol. LXI, No. 31
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
The Bourne Ultimatum (Rated PG-13 for violence and intense action). Matt Damon reprises the titular role as amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne for the third installment of the franchise inspired by the best-selling series of international political potboilers by Robert Ludlum. Our peripatetic hero wanders the planet again, finding himself on the run from inscrutable enemies while still on a relentless quest to determine his own identity. Talented cast includes Oscar-winner Chris Cooper, nominees Joan Allen, David Straithairn, and Albert Finney, plus Julia Stiles and Paddy Considine.
Bratz (PG for mature themes). Based on a popular product line of fashion-oriented dolls, this female empowerment film revolves around the camaraderie between a quartet of inseparable cute freshmen (Nathalia Ramos, Janel Parrish, Logan Browning and Skyler Shaye) who vow to remain best friends for life in the face of the pressures exerted by exclusive cliques at their new high school.
Goya's Ghosts (R for nudity, sexuality, disturbing images, and violence). Milos Forman directs this costume drama, set during the Spanish Inquisition, revolving around the relationship of celebrated artist Francisco Goya (Stellan Skarsgard) and his young muse, Ines (Natalie Portman), a nurse arrested for heresy at the behest of a cleric (Javier Bardem) who himself becomes infatuated with the fetching teenager. With Randy Quaid as King Carlos IV.
Hairspray (PG for teen smoking, mild epithets, and suggestive content). Adaptation of the Broadway musical, set in Baltimore in 1962, about the efforts of a light on her feet portly pepperpot (Tracy Turnblad) to integrate a local TV dance show after she realizes the producers don't allow black kids to appear on the program. Star-studded cast includes John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Marsden, Elijah Kelley, Allison Janney, and Jerry Stiller.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PG-13 for fantasy violence and frightening images). Fifth year at Hogwarts School finds Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) frustrated that his fellow wizards are in denial about the apparent return of Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).
Hot Rod (PG-13 for crude humor, profanity, violence, and drug use). Andy Samberg stars as the title character of this action comedy about a self-proclaimed stuntman who plans a death-defying motorcycle jump over 15 buses to raise $50,000 to pay for his ailing stepfather's (Ian McShane) heart operation. With Sissy Spacek, Will Arnett, and Isla Fisher.
I Know Who Killed Me (R for sexuality, nudity, profanity, gory violence, and gruesome images). Grisly psychological thriller starring Lindsay Lohan as a traumatized kidnap victim who manages to escape the clutches of a sadistic serial killer only to end up with amnesia and convinced that she's a stripper, a character she created in a short story for an English assignment.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (PG-13 for nudity, profanity, crude sexuality, and drug references). Adam Sandler and Kevin James co-star in this buddy comedy as New York City firefighters who pretend to be a gay couple in order to qualify for benefits as domestic partners. Supporting cast includes Dan Aykroyd, Jessica Biel, Steve Buscemi, Richard Chamberlain, Ving Rhames, and Nicholas Turturro.
Knocked Up (R for sex, drugs, and profanity). Romantic comedy about a 24 year-old slacker (Seth Rogen) who gets the surprise of his life when a reporter (Katherine Heigl), with whom he had a drunken one-night dalliance, informs him she's two month's pregnant. Ensemble cast includes Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, American Idol's Ryan Seacrest, Dr. Ken Jeong, Debbie Matenopoulos, and Charlyne Yi.
License to Wed (PG-13 for sex and expletives). Robin Williams stars in this romantic comedy as a meddling manipulative minister who puts an engaged couple (Mandy Moore and John Krasinski) through a grueling series of marriage preparation tests before agreeing to perform their wedding ceremony. With DeRay Davis, Eric Christian Olsen, and Peter Strauss.
Live Free or Die Hard (PG-13 for sex, expletives, and intense violence). Bruce Willis is back to save Independence Day after a terrorist (Timothy Oliphant) tries to bring America to its knees by sabotaging the internet to shut down the nation's infrastructure.
The Lives of Others (R for nudity and sexuality). Winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar, this espionage drama, set in the eighties, revolves around an East German government spy (Ulrich Muhe) assigned to spy on a couple (Sebastian Koch and Martina Gedeck) suspected of being enemies of the Communist state. In German with subtitles.
My Best Friend (PG-13 for some strong profanity). Patrice LeConte directs this French farce about a misanthropic art gallery owner (Daniel Auteuil) who hires a cab driver (Dany Boon) he can't stand to pretend to be his pal in order to win a bet with his business partner (Julie Gayet) that he actually has a best friend. In French with subtitles.
No Reservations (PG for mild epithets and some sensuality). Catherine Zeta-Jones stars in this romantic comedy about the master chef at a trendy, Greenwich Village bistro whose need for help in raising her adorable orphaned niece (Abigail Breslin) conveniently dovetails with addition to her staff of a handsome sous chef (Aaron Eckhart) who knows how to relate to kids. With Patricia Clarkson, Bob Balaban, and Zoe Kravitz (daughter of Lenny and Lisa Bonet).
Once (R for profanity). Irish love story, set in Dublin, revolving around the whirlwind romance between a street musician (Glen Hansard) and the Czech immigrant (Marketa Irglova) who becomes his collaborator.
Ratatouille (G). Animated adventure from Walt Disney about a rodent (Patton Oswalt) who dreams of becoming a famous French chef. With voiceover work by Brad Garrett, Brian Dennehy, Janeane Garofalo, Ian Holm, and Peter O'Toole.
Rescue Dawn (PG-13 for torture and intense battle sequences). Christian Bale stars in this Vietnam War saga of survival based on the real-life exploits of the late Dieter Dengler, a U.S. Navy fighter pilot shot down over Laos who led a daring escape from a POW camp. With Steve Zahn and Jeremy Davies as fellow internees.
Sicko (PG-13 for brief profanity). The American healthcare system gets the Michael Moore treatment in this documentary which makes much of the fact that 45 million people living in the richest country on Earth have no medical insurance.
The Simpsons Movie (PG-13 for crude humor). Screen adaptation of the long-running TV series. With voicework by regular cast members Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Kelsey Grammer, Joe Mantegna, Pamela Hayden, and Harry Shearer.
Sunshine (R for violence and profanity). Apocalyptic science fiction thriller set fifty years in the future about a team of eight astronauts dispatched on a desperate mission to revitalize the dying sun by injecting the fading star with a device designed to breathe new life into the sun. Cast includes Michelle Yeoh, Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Cliff Curtis, Hiroyuki Sanada, Troy Garity, Benedict Wong, and Chris Evans.
Talk to Me (R for pervasive profanity and some sexual content). Don Cheadle stars in the biopic about Ralph "Petey" Greene, an ex-con turned radio DJ who brought an inspiring sense of social activism to the airwaves in Washington, D.C. during the turbulent sixties. Kasi Lemmons directs ensemble cast which includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Martin Sheen, Cedric the Entertainer, Mike Epps, and, Vondie Curtis-Hall.
Transformers (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, and intense action violence). Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox co-star in this science fiction spectacular about a couple of high school students hoping to save the planet after war breaks out between two races of shape-changing robots. Cast includes Josh Duhamel, Bernie Mac, Tyrese, and John Turturro.
Underdog (PG for action, crude humor, and mild epithets). Disney live-action adaptation of the popular children's cartoon TV series about a watchdog (voiced by Jason Lee) that morphs into a superhero after a lab accident. With Jim Belushi, Peter Dinklage, and Alex Neuberger.
La Vie en Rose (PG-13 for nudity, profanity, sexuality, substance abuse, and mature themes). Marion Cotillard portrays Edith Piaf (1915-1963) in this bittersweet biopic about the tragic life and times of the legendary chanteuse who started as a lowly street performer until she was discovered by the nightclub owner (Gerard Depardieu) who put her name up in lights. In French with subtitles.
Who's Your Caddy (PG-13 for nudity, profanity, sexuality, crude humor, and drug use). Shades of Caddyshack in this ghetto-meets-suburbia comedy. Cast includes Jeffrey Jones, James Avery, Terry Crews, Faizon Love, Finesse Mitchell, Tony Cox, Tamala Jones, Garrett Morris, and Jenifer Lewis.
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