The Early Report for July 15, 2002

A weekly rundown of the upcoming releases.

Opening July 17, 2002

Eight Legged Freaks (Warner Bros.): David Arquette and Kari Wuhrer star in Ellory Elkayem’s debut feature, a sci-fi horror throwback to the 1950s films like The Blob, about the residents of a small mining town discover that an unfortunate chemical spill has caused hundreds of little spiders to mutate overnight to the size of trucks. Opens on 2400 plus screens on July 17. Rated PG-13 for Sci fi violence, brief sexuality and for language. 99 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD, SDDS, DTS

Langrishe Go Down (Castle Hill): American theatrical release of the 1978 BBC TV production starring Judi Dench and Jeremy Irons. David Jones and Harold Pinter’s first teaming (they would later work together on 1982’s Betrayal and 1993’s The Trial) sees an adaptation of an Aidan Higgins novel about a lonely single woman, of gone-to-seed aristocratic origins, who throws herself into a passionate love affair with an unscrupulous intellectual living on her property. Opens at New York’s Film Forum on July 17. Not rated. 105 minutes

Week of July 19 to 25, 2002

Ayrveda: The Art Of Being (Kino): Pan Nalin’s Documentary on Ayurveda, revealing how the revitalized holistic discipline, based on the most ancient of techniques, can be applied in this age of nuclear power, the internet and instant everything. Opens at the Cinema Village in New York on July 17. Not rated. 102 minutes. 1.85:1

K-19: The Widowmaker (Paramount): The biggest, most expensive action film ever made by a female director. Not too surprising when that woman is one of James Cameron’s many ex-wives. Kathryn Bigelow attempts to join the big leagues again in a bug way, in this submarine drama featuring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson. Based on a true story of Soviet Submarine K-19, the pride of the Soviet fleet, as its crew fights to keep their nuclear reactor from melting down after a cooling system fails, which leaves the sub stranded at the bottom of the sea for two days. The captain (Ford) and his crew fight bravely and risk deadly radiation poisoning to contain the accident and avoid a catastrophic explosion. Opens in 2600 plus screens on July 19. Rated PG-13 for disturbing images. 139 minutes. 2.40:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD, DTS

Stuart Little 2 (Sony/Columbia): Sequel to 1999’s successful adaptation of E.B. White’s childrens book about a little mouse who becomes a part of a human family. Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie and Jonathan Lipnicki return along with the vocal talents of Michael J. Fox and Nathan Lane. This time, Stuart must journey through the city with a reluctant Snowbell to rescue his new friend, Margalo, from a villainous Falcon. Opens on 2700 plus screens on July 19. Rated PG for brief mild language. 70 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD, SDDS, DTS

Tadpole (Miramax): One of ten digitally shot features with budgets under $150,000 initiated by startup production company InDigEnt. Unlike Chelsea Walls, the previous film produced by InDigEnt, this film has been getting rave reviews for starts Sigourney Weaver, Bebe Neuwirth and newcomer Aaron Stanford, and was purchased by Miramax for an estimated $5,000,000 at Sundance. Gary Winnick’s comedy/drama looks at the life of Oscar Grubman (Stanford) a sensitive and compassionate young man who speaks fluent French, is conversant in the classics, and can tell all he needs to know about a woman with one look at her hands… and happens to be 15 years old. As he returns from boarding school to his parents’ New York City apartment for Thanksgiving, Oscar has one thing on his mind: older women. When a beautiful 40-something friend of the family actually takes notice of his infatuation, the complications start up. Opens in New York and Los Angeles on July 19. Expands to other cities July 26 and August 2. Rated PG-13 for sexual content, mature thematic elements and language. 77 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound foramts: Dolby SR and SRD

Expanding this week

Lovely and Amazing: Expands to 150 screens

Never Again: Expands to select markets

Road To Perdition: Adds an additional 300-500 screens

Week of July 26 to August 1, 2002

Austin Powers In Goldmember (New Line): Mike Myers returns for his third go-around as the groovy time travelling spy from England. This time around, Austin travels back to the 1970s to stop his archenemy Dr. Evil, who collaborates with Fuji Moriyama to take over the World. Opens on 3000 plus screens on July 26. Rated PG-13 for sexual innuendo, crude humor and language. 95 minutes. 2.40:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD, SDDS, DTS.

The Country Bears (Buena Vista): The first of many planned Disney films based on Disney attractions at Disney parks. A 10-year-old bear named Beary who is raised by humans, is unaware that he is adopted. Discovering the truth about his heritage, Beary sets out to Tennessee, seeking his family and purpose in life. There, he discovers that the famous Country Bear Hall is about to be torn down by a human banker, Reid Thimple. Beary then seeks out the legendary band, The Country Bears, such as Big Al and Liver Lips, in the hopes that they can reunite and save the concert hall. Opens in 2500 plus screens on July 26. Rated G. 88 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD, DTS

Happy Times (Sony Classics): Acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou returns with this small but broad Chinese language comedy about human nature when it comes to love and the pursuit of happiness. A middle aged man visits a matchmaker to find a wife. Finally, she sends him the perfect one. Desperate to impress his potential bride, the man promises her a far more extravagant wedding than he can afford, leadingher to believe he is rich. Desperate for funds, he turns to his best friend and they hatch the idea to raise money by refurbishing an abandoned bus they will rent out by the hour, the “Happy Times Hotel,” to young couples starved for privacy. But this plan goes awry when one friend is too old-fashioned to allow the couples to have the privacy they are looking for and no one will pay for the “Happy Times Hotel” if they can’t shut the door. Opens in New York City and New York on July 26. Rated PG for thematic elements and language. 106 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD, SDDS, DTS

I’m Trying To Break Your Heart (Cowboy): Behind the scenes documentary about the country rock band Wilco and the making of their critically acclaimed new album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Opens at the Cinema Village in New York City on July 26, expands to Chicago’s Music Box and Los Angeles’ Nuart on August 2. Also expands August 9 (Orange, Pasadena, Washington DC), August 23 (Boston, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Milwaukee), August 30 (Cleveland, Denver, Baltimore, San Diego) and September 6 (San Francisco, Berkeley, Austin,Dallas). Not Rated. 92 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR

The Kid Stays In The Picture (Focus): Documentary on the life of Robert Evans, the former actor who became one of Hollywood’s biggest larger-than-life personalities. Opens in New York and Los Angeles onJuly 26, expands to other cities August 9 and August 16. Rated R for language and some brief violent and sexual images. 93 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound foramts: Dolby SR and SRD

Nightcap (First Run): Legendary French filmmaker Claude Chabrol returns to the screen with this crime thriller about a virtuoso pianist, whose wife died in a mysterious car accident on the day of his son’s sixth birthday, who discovers a young female pianist preparing for the Budapest piano competition who has learned she was almost switched at birth with the son of the pianist. In her quest for her own origins and a mentor, the young girl enters the Polonski family that is not her own. Opens in New York on July 31. Not Rated. 99 minutes. 1.85:1. Mono sound

Who Is Cletis Tout? (Paramount Classics): Tim Allen, Christian Slater, Richard Dreyfuss and Portia de Rossi star in director Chris Ver Wiel’s comedy, as two ex-cons plot to retrieve a treasure of diamonds buried before their incarceration, but the diamonds are now behind the walls of a minimum security prison. Opens in 500 plus screens on July 26. Rated R for language, some violence and sexuality. 95 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD

Expanding this week

Lan Yu: Opens New York

Lovely And Amazing: Expands to select markets

Sex and Lucia: Adds screens in Boston (1), Chicago (1), San Diego (1), San Francisco Bay Area (5), Seattle (1) and Washington DC (3)

Tadpole: Expands to top ten markets

Week of August 2 to 8, 2002

Full Frontal (Miramax): Steven Soderbergh returns to his indie roots, with this fictional feature about a group of people in the entertainment business shot in 18 days using a Canon XL1 digital camera. The veritable cornucopia of talent includes Blair Underwood, Julia Roberts, David Hyde Pierce, Catherine Keener, David Duchovny, Enrico Colantoni, Nicky Katt, David Fincher, Terence Stamp, Brad Pitt and his doppleganger Brad Rowe. Opens in limited release on August 2. Rated R for language and some sexual content. Running time not available at this writing. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD

The Good Girl (Fox Searchlight): Miguel Arteta and Mike White, who teamed on the indie hit Chuck and Buck have reunited for this comedy which was a big hit at Sundance this year. A young married woman’s mundane life takes a turn for the worse when she strikes up a passionate and illicit affair with an odd-ball discount store stock boy, who thinks he’s Holden Caulfield. Jennifer Aniston attempts to stake out a post-Freinds career, with the help of the two newest cool kids of cinema, Zooey Deschanel and Jake Gyllenhaal, and indie demi-gods Tim Blake Nelson and John C. Reilly. Opens in limited release on August 7. Rated R for sexuality, some language and drug content. 93 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD

The Last Kiss (Thinkfilm) Italian comedy about a couple who, after happily living together for three years, gets a shakeup when the young woman discovers she is pregnant. The news also impacts her mother, who after 29 years of marriage, suddenly realizes she will be a grandmother and laments that her youth seems to have slipped away. Opens in New York and Los Angeles on August 2. Rated R for language, sexuality and some drug use. 115 minutes. 1.85:1

Master Of Disguise (Sony/Columbia): Dana Carvey attempts another comeback, this time as Pistachio Disguisey, an inept young Italian man uncovers that his family members are world renowned masters of disguise for 2,000 years. He then must learn these skills from his grandfather Fabbrizio, who once was Europe’s greatest master of disguise, to save his parents from a evil black marketer. This alleged comedy was directed by first timer Perry Andelin Blake, who previously worked as a production designer on several Adam Sandler films, little shock as this is a Happy Madison production. Opens on 2000+ screens on August 2. Rated PG for mild language and some crude humor. 67 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD, SDDS, DTS

Martin Lawrence Live: Run Tel Dat (Paramount): Martin Lawrence’s second concert film, shot in late 2001. Opens on 1000+ screens on August 2. Rated R for strong crude sexual dialogue and pervasive language. 94 minutes

Signs M. Night Shyamalan’s latest supernatural thriller features Mel Gibson as a pastor/farmer in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, who becomes a media sensation when strange 500-foot crop circles begin appearingin his fields. Opens on 2,000+ screens on August 2. Rated PG-13 for some frightening moments. 107 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD, SDDS, DTS

Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams (Miramax): The Spy Kids, Carmen and Juni Cortez, are on their newest mission, to a distant island where they take on a mysterious man and his imaginative creatures.Opens on 2000 plus screens on August 7. Rated PG. 90 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD, SDDS, DTS

Expanding this week

I’m Trying To Break Your Heart: Adds the Music Box in Chicago and the Nuart in Los Angeles.

Sex and Lucia: Adds screens in Austin (1), Detroit (1) and St. Louis (1)

Week of August 9 to 15, 2002

Beauty And The Beast (Cowboy): Another rerelease of Jean Cocteau’s definitive version of the fabled classic tale, which has captivated film audiences worldwide for fifty five years with its poetic beauty and visual effects. In black and white, and in French with English subtitles. Opens at the Film Forum in New York on August 9. Not rated. 93 minutes. 1.85:1

Bloodwork (Warner Bros.): Cast: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Daniels, Angelica Huston, Paul Rodriquez, Tina Lifford, Dylan Walsh. Director/Producer: Clint Eastwood. Writer: Brian Helgeland. A former FBI profiler who has recently undergone a heart transplant comes out of retirement to track down the serial killer who recently began killing victims with the former agent’s blood type. Based on the 1998 novel of the same title by Michael Connelly, loosely inspired by the true story of heart transplant recipient Terry Hansen. Drama. Wide (2000+). Rated R (for violence and language). 105 minutes (approximate). Scope. SR, SRD, SDDS, DTS

The Chateau (IFC Films): Two estranged American brothers inherit a French chateau, only to wind up in a battle with the French servants who run it. The brothers plan to sell the estate for a fortune, but the staff is under the impression they inherited the estate not the Yanks. One of the plethora of swiftly shot films on digital video. In English and French with English subtitles. Opens in limited release on August 9. Rated R for strong language. 92 minutes. 1.85:1

Secret Ballot (Sony Picture Classics): On election day in an extremely remote area in Iran, a soldier is assigned to work with a female pollster as they seek out voters. In Persian with English subtitles. Opens in New York City and Los Angeles on August 9. Rated G. 123 minutes.

24 Hour Party People (MGM/UA): British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom’s look at the Manchester music scene, through the eyes of Tony Wilson, the real life local TV news reporter who, after witnessing a life-changing concert by an unknown band called the Sex Pistols, makes a series of personal decisions that lead to the creation of the legendary Factory Records label, which changed the music industry forever. Opens in limited release on August 9. Rated R for strong language, drug use and sexuality. 117 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD

XXX (Sony/Columbia/Revolution): Vin Diesel stakes his claim as the action hero of the new generation, starring as Xander “XXX” Cage, a notorious underground thrill seeker who has been untouchable by the law. Once caught, he is forced by an NSA Agent played by Samuel L. Jackson to cooperate with the government to infiltrate an underground Russian crime ring and avoid going to prison. Opens on 2500 plus screens on August 9. Rated PG13 for violence, non-stop action sequences, sensuality, drug content and language. Running time unknown at this writing. 2.40:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD, SDDS, DTS

Expanding this week

The Kid Stays In The Picture (Focus Features): Expands to select markets.

I’m Trying To Break Your Heart: Adds the University Town Center in Orange, the UA Marketplace in Pasadena and the Visions in Washington DC