Kam's Kapsules by Kam Williams
American Splendor (R for expletives) Revealing docudrama, starring Paul Giamatti, about the life of Cleveland cartoonist Harvey Pekar, an eccentric oddball who worked at a Veterans' Hospital while trying to peddle comic books about his personal life.
Anything Else (R for drug use and sexual references). Big Apple romantic comedy written and directed by, and starring Woody Allen about an aging artist who doles out relationship advice to an aspiring writer (Jason Biggs) in love with a flighty free-spirit (Christina Ricci).
Cold Creek Manor (R for violence, expletives and sex). Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone share top billing in this thriller about a family that moves to the country only to discover that their dream house is haunted by horrifying secrets hidden by the recently-paroled previous owner.
Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (PG-13 for crude and sex-related humor, profanity and drug references) Comic adventure with hip quipster David Spade, starring as a washed-up TV child star now trying to revitalize his career, who hires a family to provide him with the normal home-life he has never known. Featuring cameos by ex-kiddie celebs.
Dirty Pretty Things (R for sex, profanity and disturbing images) Brit whodunit, set in London, about an illegal immigrant from Africa who, after stumbling upon a grisly crime scene, teams up with a Turkish maid and a Chinese call girl to solve the murder.
Duplex (PG-13 for sex, violence and profanity). A Danny DeVito directed crime comedy about a couple (Drew Barrymore and Ben Stiller) who move into the perfect N.Y.C. apartment and are told they can buy it once the little old-lady (Eileen Essell) living upstairs moves out. The overly eager pair decide to eliminate the wait by simply killing the geriatric nuisance.
The Fighting Temptations (PG-13 for several sexual references). Musical comedy with Cuba Gooding Jr. as a just fired, N.Y.C. advertising executive who returns to his hometown in Georgia where he stands to inherit the substantial estate of his dearly departed, Holy Roller aunt, provided he assembles an award-winning gospel choir in accordance with the provisions of her will. Beyoncé co-stars as the old flame with whom he rekindles a little romance.
Freaky Friday (PG for adult themes and mild epithets). Disney remake of 1977 Jodie Foster film about a tomboy and her widowed mom who end up in each others' bodies after getting a couple of cursed fortune cookies from a meddling waitress at a Chinese restaurant. Decent double-duty by both Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, the latter having also handled dual roles as the twins at the center of Parent Trap.
Lost in Translation (R for sex content). Drama about an over-the-hill movie star (Bill Murray), in Tokyo to tape a TV commercial, who befriends a bored housewife (Scarlett Johansson) neglected by her workaholic husband.
The Magdalene Sisters (R for cruelty, violence, nudity, sex and expletives) True tale, set in Ireland in 1964, about four wayward young women committed to a convent of sadistic nuns who strip them of their individuality by forcing them to work for free in a laundry, seven days a week.
Mambo Italiano (R for cursing and sexual situations). Ripoff comedy about a homosexual travel agent trying to hide his closeted affair with a cop from Old World parents who would rather see him dating a nice Italian girl.
Matchstick Men (PG-13 for violence, adult themes, sex content and curses). Ridley Scott adaptation of the Eric Garcia novel of the same name serves as an unlikely buddy vehicle for Nicholas Cage as an agoraphobic, chain-smoking con man suddenly saddled with the 14-year-old daughter (Alison Lohman) he never knew he had.
Once Upon a Time in Mexico (R for expletives and gratuitous violence). Final chapter in the Robert Rodriguez trilogy which began with El Mariachi, followed by Desperado. In this installment, El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas) is recruited by the CIA to help bring down a conspiracy between a crooked general and a drug kingpin. Boasts big-name cast with Oscar-nominees Salma Hayek and Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Ruben Blades, Enrique Iglesias, Cheech Marin, and Mickey Rourke.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (PG-13 for action/adventure violence). Disney kiddie fright flick based on its amusement park ride of the same name. Seventeenth Century adventure stars Johnny Depp as a dapper outlaw who teams up with the young daughter of a governor to thwart the plan by a band of zombie buccaneers to undo the curse that has left them lingering in the limbo of the undead.
The Rundown (PG-13 for violence and crude dialogue). The Rock stars in this action adventure as a brash bounty hunter venturing into the jungles of the Amazon to bring back an escaped con (Seann William Scott).
Secondhand Lions (PG for adult themes, mild epithets and violence). Heartwarming tale, set in the 60s, with Haley Joel Osment as a timid teen, forced to spend the summer in Texas with his rich, reluctant Uncles Hub and Garth (Robert Duvall and Michael Caine, respectively), who learns a lot more about their mysterious past and a big lesson in life in the process.
The Secret Lives of Dentists (R for cursing and sexuality). Adaptation of Jane Smiley's novella, The Age of Grief, about a dentist who worries about whether his wife is cheating on him while he is dealing with a dissatisfied patient.
S.W.A.T. (PG-13 for profanity, violence and sexual references). Samuel L. Jackson, in the wake of his success as Shaft, revives another 1970s cop, bringing the short-lived LAPD series to the big screen as an action-oriented crime thriller. Premise situates Sam as veteran police officer assigned to thwart any attempts to take up drug kingpin on his offer of $100 million to anyone who can spring him from prison.
Thirteen (R for teen drug use, teen sex, suicide issues, and profanity). Autobiographical offering written by and starring 14-year-old Nicki Reed as a good California girl gone bad and going down a wanton path of sex, drugs, alcohol, piercings, and reckless materialism.
Under the Tuscan Sun (PG-13 for sex and expletives). Romantic comedy, loosely based on Frances Mayes' 1966 memoir, stars Diane Lane as a 35-year-old American lawyer who escapes her cheating husband by vacationing in Italy where she impulsively buys a fixer-upper and gets involved with a tall, dark and handsome stranger.
Underworld (R for gory violence and cursing). Shakespeare inspired horror flick about an ill-fated, cross-species romance between a human, (Scott Speedman) with a rare blood type, and the female vampire (Kate Beckinsale) trying to save him from a rabid race of werewolves who need his plasma to save them from extinction.
Whale Rider (PG-13 for profanity and a drug reference). Maori fable, set in New Zealand, based on the Witi Ihimaera novel of the same name about a 12 year-old orphan who wants to be the first female chief of a patrilineal tribe. Spunky, women's libber proves her worth by harnessing a humpback for a heck of a Nantucket sleigh ride.