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.
Bewitched (PG-13 for sex, expletives, partial nudity, and drug references). Nicole Kidman brings the Elizabeth Montgomery role to the screen in this adaptation of the television series (1964-1972). Plot has a real witch unknowingly cast to play a witch on a television sitcom about a witch married to a human. With Will Ferrell as husband Darrin, Shirley MacLaine as mother Endora, Steve Carell as Uncle Arthur, Jim Turner as Larry Tate, and Amy Sedaris as Mrs. Kravitz.
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.
Crash (R for sex, expletives and violence). This slice-of-life melodrama revolves around an assortment of social issues faced by an ethnically diverse set of strangers who cross paths by chance in the wake of a car accident. The cast includes Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Brendan Fraser, Tony Danza, Thandie Newton, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Terence Howard, Ryan Phillippe, Ludacris, Keith David, Larenz Tate, Loretta Devine and Nona Gaye.
Dark Water (PG-13 for frightening sequences, profanity, disturbing images, and mature themes). Jennifer Connelly stars in this remake of a 2002 Japanese horror flick as a divorcée in the midst of a bitter custody battle who moves with her daughter (Ariel Gade) into a dilapidated house which happens to be haunted by the ghost of a previous resident.
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.
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.
Heights (R for profanity, nudity, and sexuality). New York City serves as the backdrop for this serendipitous ensemble drama about the intersection of five lives over the course of a most eventful 24-hour period. With Glenn Close, Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, George Segal and Isabella Rossellini.
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.
Madagascar (PG for crude humor, mild epithets and mature themes) Animated family adventure about four animals raised in captivity at New York's Central Park Zoo who escape but end up crated and carted off to Africa where they have to fend for themselves in the wild. Starring Ben Stiller as a lion, Chris Rock as a zebra, David Schwimmer as a giraffe, and Jada Pinkett-Smith as a pregnant hippopotamus. Supporting voice cast includes Cedric the Entertainer and Andy Richter.
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.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (PG-13 for sexual content, expletives, and intense violence). Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie share the title roles in this crime thriller about a seemingly sedate, suburban couple who are unaware that they are both assassins and under contract to kill each other. Support cast includes Vince Vaughn, Angela Bassett, Kerry Washington, and Keith David.
My Summer of Love (R for sex, expletives, and drug use). Steamy coming out/coming-of-age drama about the Yorkshire countryside escapades of a couple of 16-year-olds, one a working class tomboy (Nathalie Press), the other. the spoiled debutante who lives in the mansion down the road (Emily Blunt).
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 buddy-up 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.