Vol. LXII, No. 20
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Baby Mama (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, crude humor, and a drug reference). Comedy about a single career woman (Tina Fey) who wants to have a baby but ends up hiring a surrogate mother (Amy Poehler) from the other side of the tracks after learning that she only has a one-in-a-million chance of getting pregnant herself. Supporting ensemble includes Greg Kinnear, Sigourney Weaver, Maura Tierney, Romany Malco, and Dax Shepard.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (PG for violence and epic battle scenes). Based on the second installment of the C.S. Lewis series of children’s fantasy novels, this sequel sends the four Pevensie siblings (William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, and Georgie Henley) on another time-traveling adventure to a magical land far, far away, on this occasion to help overthrow an evil king (Sergio Castellitto) so that the exiled, rightful heir (Ben Barnes) might ascend to the throne. Cast includes Liam Neeson, Tilda Swinton, and Eddie Izzard.
The Counterfeiters (R for sexuality, nudity, profanity, and violence). True World War II tale of survival, set in a Nazi concentration camp, about a master counterfeiter (Karl Markovics) forced to ply his trade to flood the market with the currency of the countries fighting Hitler and thereby devalue their money. In German with subtitles.
The Flight of the Red Balloon (Unrated). Fanciful fairy tale about a 7 year-old boy (Simon Iteanu) who escapes to an imaginary world with his Taiwanese babysitter (Fang Song) while his overwhelmed single-mom (Juliette Binoche) attends to a variety of snowballing obligations. (In French with subtitles).
The Forbidden Kingdom (PG-13 for martial arts action). Jet Li and Jackie Chan co-star in this time travel fantasy about an American teenager (Michael Angarano) who finds an Oriental artifact which teleports him back to ancient China where he embarks on an adventure with a kung fu master (Chan) to free a fabled king (Li) unfairly imprisoned by an evil warlord (Collin Chou).
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (R for profanity, sexuality, and graphic nudity). Romantic comedy about a depressed slacker (Jason Segel) who goes to Hawaii to get over being dumped by a famous actress (Kristen Bell) only to discover that she’s staying at the same resort with her new rock star boyfriend (Russell Brand). Supporting cast includes Mila Kunis, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, and Steve Landesberg.
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo (R for profanity, sexuality, crude humor, and drug references). John Cho and Kal Penn reunite to reprise their title roles for another politically-incorrect adventure. This go-round, the nerdy stoners find themselves on the run after being mistaken for terrorists while aboard an airplane. Cast includes Neil Patrick Harris, Roger Bart, Eddie Kaye Thomas, and Beverly D’Angelo.
Iron Man (PG-13 for intense violence and brief suggestive content). Screen adaptation of the Marvel Comics series features Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role as a billionaire industrialist/genius inventor turned crime-fighting superhero intent on saving the planet from evil villains bent on world domination. Cast includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, Samuel L. Jackson, and Hilary Swank, with a cameo by the character’s creator, the legendary Stan Lee.
Made of Honor (PG-13 for profanity and sexuality). Romantic comedy about the predicament of a womanizing bachelor (Patrick Dempsey) who decides to propose to his platonic best friend and confidante (Michelle Monaghan) only to have her return from a European business trip already engaged to a rich Scotsman (Kevin McKidd). With Kelly Clarkson, Sydney Pollack, and Kadeem Hardison.
The Midnight Meat Train (R for sexuality, nudity, profanity, eroticized graphic violence, and grisly images). Gruesome film about a struggling photographer (Bradley Cooper) who ends up putting his and his girlfriend’s (Leslie Bibb) lives in danger after being egged on by a prominent art gallery owner (Brooke Shields) to get grittier shots for his show by following the trail of the serial killer (Vinne Jones) who’s been butchering late-night commuters on the NYC subway.
Redbelt (R for profanity). David Mamet directs this martial arts saga about an honorable jiu-jitsu master (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who finds himself losing face when forced by financial circumstances to go on the prize-fighting circuit reluctantly in order to pay off his debts. Cast includes Emily Mortimer, Tim Allen, Joe Mantegna, Rebecca Pidgeon, Alice Braga, and Ricky Jay.
Smart People (R for profanity, sexuality, and brief teen drug and alcohol abuse). Comedy about a widowed professor (Dennis Quaid), raising an emotionally distant son (Ashton Holmes) and a wisecracking daughter (Ellen Page) alone, whose fortune changes when he crosses paths with a seductive former student (Sarah Jessica Parker) at about the same time his down-on-his-luck brother (Thomas Haden Church) arrives in town unannounced needing a place to stay.
Speed Racer (PG for action, violence and epithets). The Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix) wrote and directed this live-action adaptation of the animated, Japanese TV-series from the Sixties. Big-screen version features the car racing phenom (Emile Hirsch) teaming with an ex-rival (Matthew Fox) to take on the ruthless, corporate-sponsored favorite in a big cross-country rally called The Crucible. With Christina Ricci, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, Richard Roundtree.
Then She Found Me (R for profanity and sexuality). Helen Hunt makes her scriptwriting and directorial debut and stars in this dramedy about a New York City schoolteacher who, saddened by the death of her adoptive mother (Lynn Cohen) and abandoned by her immature husband (Matthew Broderick), gets a new lease on life when she’s courted by the father (Colin Firth) of one of her students and also tracked down by the birth mother (Bette Midler) she never knew. Featuring a cameo by Salman Rushdie.
The Visitor (PG-13 for brief profanity). Sophomore offering from actor-turned-director Thomas McCarthy (The Station Agent), a quirky ensemble drama revolving around a jaded professor (Richard Jenkins) at a college in Connecticut who heads to New York to attend a conference only to find a young couple from Senegal (Danai Jekesai Gurira) and Syria (Haaz Sleiman) living in his pied-a-terre.
What Happens in Vegas (PG-13 for sexuality, profanity, crude humor and a drug reference). Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz co-star in this romantic comedy about a couple of losers who meet and marry after a night of debauchery in Las Vegas. Their decision to divorce immediately is complicated when greed sets in after he wins a multi-million dollar jackpot with one of her coins.
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