Kam's Kapsules by Kam Williams
Bad News Bears (PG-13 for crude behavior and language, adult themes, and some sexuality). Remake of the 1976 classic stars Billy Bob Thornton as an ex-pro baseball player with alcohol and anger issues who takes on the unenviable task of coaching a hapless Little League team with a woeful record. Cast includes Greg Kinnear, Marcia Gay Harden, and a cast of children.
Batman Begins (PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, and mature themes). Christian Bale is the latest incarnation of the Caped Crusader in this IMAX prequel which retraces how, as an orphaned young lad, Bruce Wayne abandoned Gotham City to study martial arts in Asia, returning to defend the metropolis as his crime-fighting alter ego. Expanded cast includes Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes, Liam Neeson, Ken Watababe, Gary Oldman, Tom Wilkinson, and Rutger Hauer.
The Beat That My Heart Skipped (Unrated). This remake of James Toback's cult classic Fingers (1978) revolves around a 28 year-old Parisian who would prefer to pursue his dream of becoming a concert pianist rather than follow in his shady father's footsteps. In French, Mandarin, Russian, and English with subtitles.
The Beautiful Country (R for profanity and a crude sexual reference). Post-war saga about the socially-ostracized love child (Damien Nguyen) of an American soldier (Nick Nolte) and a geisha girl. The son makes his way from Vietnam to America in search of his long-lost father. In Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese and English with subtitles.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (PG for quirky situations, mild epithets, and action sequences). Tim Burton directs this adaptation of Roald Dahl's children's novel of the same name. Freddie Highmore, who was in Finding Neverland, plays the impish title character joined by Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, a role first brought to the movies in 1971 by Gene Wilder.
The Devil Rejects (R for profanity, sadistic violence, drug use, and graphic sexuality). Rob Zombie directs sequel to the House of 1000 Corpses. Gruesome mayhem in this road movie about a couple of bloodthirsty gangs engaged in a fight to the death.
The Dukes of Hazzard (PG-13 for sex content, crude and drug-related humor, profanity, and comic action violence). Screen adaptation of the hit television comedy series follows the misadventures of good ol' boys, Bo (Seann Williams Scott) and Luke Duke (Johnny Knoxville), who, with the help of their cousin Daisy (Jessica Simpson) and their Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson), fight to save the family farm from the clutches of corrupt Hazzard County Commissioner, Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds) and the sheriff (M.C. Gainey).
Fantastic Four (PG-13 for suggestive content and action sequences). Live-action adaptation of the Marvel Comics classic about a team of astronauts who develop superhuman powers after exposure to cosmic radiation. Julian McMahon as the diabolical Doctor Doom squares off against Ian Gruffudd as Mr. Fantastic, Michael Chiklis as The Thing, Jessica Alba as the Invisible Woman, and Chris Evans as the Human Torch.
Happy Endings (R for sex, nudity, expletives, and drug use). Comedy set in the world of massage interweaves the dramas of ten characters, each caught up in some sort of relationship crisis. Expanded cast features Tom Arnold, Lisa Kudrow, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jesse Bradford, Laura Dern, Ray Liotta, and Edward Furlong.
Hustle & Flow (R for violence, pervasive profanity, and sex and drug references). Memphis melodrama features Terrence Howard as a struggling pimp who turns to friends for help in making a fresh start as a rapper. With Anthony Anderson, Elise Neal, Ludacris, Taraji Henson and DJ Qualls.
The Island (PG-13 for profanity, intense action sequences, and some sexuality) Special effects expert Michael Bay directs this thought-provoking, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi adventure about the inhabitants of a carefully-controlled, self-contained environment eager to escape to a utopia which promises to be the last uncontaminated spot on Earth. The cast includes Ewan Mcgregor, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Clarke Duncan, Djimon Hounsou and Steve Buscemi.
Mad Hot Ballroom (PG for mature themes). Dance documentary retraces the inspirational rise of eleven year-old New York City public school kids from humble circumstances who master the tango, fox trot, rumba, swing, and merengue in preparation for the annual, citywide competition.
March of the Penguins (G). Ornithological documentary follows a flock of penguins for a year, focusing intently on one pair of lovebirds in particular, during their annual migration across the Antarctic.
Me and You and Everyone We Know (R for profanity and disturbing sexual themes involving children). Newcomer Miranda July writes, directs, and stars in this arresting melodrama about the budding relationship between a struggling artist and a recently-separated shoe salesman (John Hawkes), with a couple of precocious computer savvy children.
Must Love Dogs (PG-13 for sexual content). Romantic comedy, based on the Claire Cook novel of the same name, about a divorced pre-school teacher (Diane Lane) who answers a man's personal ad looking for a woman who shares his love of canines. The cast includes Stockard Channing, Dermot Mulroney, and Christopher Plummer.
Sky High (PG for action violence and mild epithets). Disney family-oriented adventure about an underachieving freshman (Michael Angarano) at a high school for future superheroes who finds it hard to live up to the expectations of his parents, celebrated crime-fighters known as The Commander (Kurt Russell) and Jetstream (Kelly Preston).
Stealth (PG-13 for action violence, brief profanity, and sexual innuendo). Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel, and Josh Lucas team up in this sci-fi thriller as pilots in a top-secret military program who seek to prevent an out of control computer with artificial intelligence from triggering a world war. With Sam Shepard and Joe Morton.
War of the Worlds (PG-13 for disturbing images and frightening sequences of violence). Steven Spielberg directs this remake of the 1953 sci-fi film based on the 1938 radio play narrated by Orson Welles adapted from the original H.G. Wells classic novel about a Martian invasion of Earth. Tom Cruise stars as a dockworker struggling to save his family. Cast includes Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto, Tim Robbins, and Gene Barry.
Wedding Crashers (R for sex, expletives, and nudity). Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn star in this over the top comedy as divorce mediators who devote their weekends to attending weddings in search of women. Tension arises when one of them falls for the daughter (Rachel McAdams) of an eccentric politician (Christopher Walken). Cast includes Will Ferrell and Jane Seymour.