Vol. LXIII, No. 9
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The Class (PG-13 for profanity). Junior high school teacher Francois Begaudeau plays himself in this uplifting drama based on his memoir about a year spent trying to inspire an ethnically-diverse class of poor kids from a rough Parisian neighborhood. In French with subtitles.
Confessions of a Shopaholic (PG for mature themes and mild epithets). Isla Fisher stars in the title role of this family comedy based on Sophie Kinsella’s best seller of the same name about a financial advice columnist who finds herself swimming in debt due to her addiction to the latest fashion. Cast includes Hugh Dancy, Joan Cusack, John Goodman, and Krysten Ritter.
Coraline (PG for mature themes, scary images, suggestive humor, and mild epithets). Animated fantasy about an 11-year-old girl (Dakota Fanning) who unlocks a secret door in her family’s new home only to discover an eerily similar alternate version of her own life. Voice cast includes Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman as her parents, plus Keith David and Ian McShane.
Crossing Over (R for sexuality, nudity, graphic violence, and pervasive profanity). Drama chronicles the clash of cultures in Los Angeles resulting from the flood of immigrants attempting to attain legal status in the U.S. Cast includes Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, and Alice Braga.
Echelon Conspiracy (PG-13 for action, intense violence, sexuality, and brief profanity). Crime thriller about an American engineer (Shane West) who is promised a fortune via a series of mysterious cell phone messages only to end up the target of a deadly international conspiracy. Cast includes Edward Burns, Martin Sheen, and Ving Rhames.
Fired Up (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, partying, partial nudity, and pervasive crude humor). Teen comedy about a couple of high school football stars (Eric Christian Olsen and Nicholas D’Agosto) who hatch a plan to spend the summer at a camp filled with gorgeous girls by quitting the team to try out for the cheerleading squad instead. Cast includes Sarah Roemer, Philip Baker Hall, Molly Sims, and Smith Cho.
Friday the 13th (R for gory violence, graphic sexuality, profanity, and drug use). Remake of the horror classic about a psycho (Derek Mears) whose killing spree ruins the weekend getaway of a group of young friends staying at a secluded lakeside camp located deep in the woods. Cast includes Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Danielle Panabaker, Aaron Yoo, and America Olivio.
Frost/Nixon (R for profanity). Ron Howard directs this screen adaptation of the Tony winning Broadway play recounting the series of television interviews conducted by British talk show David Frost (Michael Sheen) with Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) in 1977, three years after the disgraced U.S. President resigned from office in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Supporting cast includes Toby Jones, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, and Sam Rockwell.
He’s Just Not That Into You (PG-13 for sexuality and brief profanity). Battle-of-the-sexes comedy based on the self-help best seller of the same name chronicles the misadventures of a variety of young couples in crisis. Cast includes Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Connelly, and Justin Long.
The International (R for violence and profanity). Action thriller about an Interpol agent (Clive Owen) who teams up with a Manhattan district attorney (Naomi Watts) to follow the money in a high-stakes chase around the globe to uncover corruption inside one of the world’s most powerful banks. With Armin Mueller-Stahl, Jay Villiers, and Ulrich Thomsen.
Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience (G). Available in 3-D only, this Disney flick features both the performance highlights and backstage antics of siblings Nick, Joe and Kevin as the pop phenoms crisscross the country on their 2008 “Burning Up Tour.”
Madea Goes to Jail (PG-13 for violence, sexual situations, mature themes, and drug use). Tyler Perry’s back in drag for another madcap adventure which has the sassy, pistol-packing grandmother landing behind bars for anger management after losing her temper over a parking space in a shopping mall. Cast includes Viola Davis, Derek Luke, Keisha Knight Pulliam, and David and Tamela J. Mann.
Milk (R for profanity, sexuality, and violence). Sean Penn plays Harvey Milk in this biopic about the gay San Francisco politician assassinated in 1978 by a Republican colleague (Josh Brolin) who successfully raised the “Twinkie defense” to beat the murder rap. Cast includes James Franco, Emile Hirsch, Alison Pill, and Diego Luna.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (PG for violence, suggestive material, crude humor, and mild epithets). Kevin James stars in the title role of this Christmas comedy about a mild-mannered security guard who saves the day when crooks disguised as Santa’s helpers take hostages at a suburban shopping mall in New Jersey. With Keir O’Donnell, Bobby Cannavale, and Raini Rodriguez.
The Pink Panther 2 (PG for suggestive humor, action, and mild epithets). Steve Martin reprises the title role as the bumbling Jacques Clouseau for a comic crime caper which has the hapless inspector traversing the globe in search of the international jewel thief who has purloined the priceless Pink Panther diamond. Cast includes Emily Mortimer, John Cleese, Aishwarya Rai, Jean Reno, Andy Garcia, and Alfred Molina.
The Reader (R for nudity and sexuality). Post-World War II drama about a young German law student (Ralph Fiennes), who encounters a former secret ex-lover (Kate Winslet), who is twice his age, while observing the Nazi war trials where she’s a defendant accused of committing a heinous crime against humanity.
Revolutionary Road (R for profanity, sexuality, and nudity). Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet reunite for this screen adaptation of Richard Yates’ best-seller, set in the fifties, about a married couple in crisis who move from Connecticut to Paris to escape suburbia while trying to revitalize their relationship.
Slumdog Millionaire (R for violence, profanity, and disturbing images). Romantic comedy, set in Mumbai, about an 18-yearold street urchin (Dev Patel) who becomes a TV contestant on India’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire not for the money but to win back the heart of the girl (Freida Pinto) of his dreams. In English and Hindi with subtitles.
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (PG-13 for sensuality and martial arts violence). Screen adaptation of the popular video game stars Kristin Kreuk as the title character of an action adventure which pits the high-kicking heroine against the forces of evil in an epic showdown in Bangkok. Supporting cast includes Michael Clarke Duncan, Chris Klein, and Neal McDonough.
Taken (PG-13 for profanity, violence, sexuality, disturbing themes, and drug references). International action thriller about a former CIA Agent (Liam Neeson) who comes to the rescue after his 17-year-old daughter (Maggie Grace) is kidnapped in Paris by brutal sex-traffickers. With Famke Janssen and Leland Orser. In French, Arabic, Albanian, and English.
Two Lovers (R for profanity, sexuality, and drug use). Romance drama, set in Brooklyn, about a suicidal bachelor (Joaquin Phoenix) who lands in a love triangle with his equally unstable neighbor (Gwynneth Paltrow)) and the supportive friend (Vinessa Shaw) of the family whom his parents (Isabelle Rossellini and Moni Moshonov) would prefer him to date.
Watchmen (R for nudity, sexuality, profanity, and graphic violence). Science fiction thriller, based on the graphic comic book series of the same name, about a group of vigilantes determined to avenge the murder of a crime-fighting superhero. Cast includes Jackie Earle Haley, Billy Crudup, Carla Gugino, Malin Akerman, and Patrick Wilson.
Waltz with Bashir (R for grisly violence, disturbing images of atrocities, a scene containing graphic sexuality, and brief nudity). Animated biopic about an Israeli Army veteran (Ari Folman) left haunted by amnesia about a mission he participated in during the first war with Lebanon back in the eighties. In Hebrew, German, and English with subtitles.
The Wrestler (R for violence, nudity, sexuality, profanity, and drug use). Mickey Rourke plays the title role in this drama about a washed-up pro wrestler who comes out of retirement, despite suffering a heart attack, for one last match against his old nemesis (Ernest Miller). Supporting cast includes Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, and Judah Friedlander.
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