The Early Report for July 22, 2002

A weekly rundown of the upcoming releases.

Week of July 26 to August 1, 2002

Austin Powers In Goldmember (New Line): Mike Meyers 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 3500 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 2300 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 in New York City on July 26, expands to select markets on August 2. 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 at the Angelika Film Center and Lincoln Center Theatres in New York and the Sunset 5 in Los Angeles on July 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 PistachioDisguisey, 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 600-800 screens on August 2. Rated R for strong crude sexual dialogue and pervasive language. 104 minutes.

Signs (Buena Vista): 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 appearing in his fields. Opens on 2,000 plus screens on August 2. Rated PG-13 for somefrightening 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

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

Week of August 9 to 15, 2002

Bloodwork Clint Eastwood does his actor/producer/director thing again, this time playing a former FBI profiler who has recently undergone a heart transplant comes out of retirement to track down the serialkiller who recently began killing victims with the former agent’s blood type. Opening on 2250 plus screens on August 9. Rated R for violence and language. 105 minutes. 2.40:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and 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 PartyPeople (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

Week of August 16 to 22, 2002

The Adventures Of Pluto Nash (Warner Bros.): The long delayed Eddie Murphy sci-fi comedy may finally see the light of a projector after all. 85 years from now, the moon has been colonized, and a businessman finds himself in hot water when he refuses to sell his nightclub to the local mob, who are helping the mysterious Rex Crater mastermind a plan to take over the moon. Opens on 2500 plus screens on August 16. Rated PG13 for violence, sexual humor and language. 96 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD, SDDS, DTS

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

Blue Crush (Universal): The Surf Girls Of Maui go nutzoid, as they try to prove to the men of the beach they can handle themselves in the Rip Masters surf competition. Michelle Rodriguez leads the way with Kate Bosworth and Matthew Davis. Opens on 1800 plus screens on August 16. Rated PG13 for sexual content, teen partying, language and a fight. 103 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD, SDDS, DTS.

Gang Tapes (Urbanworld): A 13 year old in South Central decides to document his life and the lives of his fellow gang members with his video camera. Opens in Los Angeles on August 16. Select expansion on August 28. Rated R for strong violence, language, drug use and some sexuality. 91 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound format: Dolby SR

The Isle (Empire Pictures): On a remote lake somewhere in South Korea, men go for fishing vacations on anchored rafts. Running the small business and providing food and bait is the no-nonsense, semi-feral woman, who also charges for extra favors when the males get bored with fishing. One raft renter is a young fugitive from the law to whom the woman takes a silent fancy and gradually the two enter into a violently possessive relationship. In Korean with English subtitles. Open in New York City on August 16. Not rated. 89 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound format: Dolby SR

Mostly Martha (Paramount Classics): The head chef for an upscale restaurant finds her kitchen, and her world, fall apart when the owner brings in a flamboyant, fun-loving Italian sous chef (Sergio Castellitto) to help her deal with the pressure. In German with English subtitles. Opens in New York City on August 16. Expand to the top ten markets on August 23. Additional expansions on August 30 and September 13. Rated PG for thematic material and mild language. 107 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD

Possession (Focus Features): Acclaimed filmmaker Neil LaBute tries his hand at British sublime comedy. Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart star as two researchers in London studying the lives of married poets from years long past, who discover a collection of love letters from the husband to wife. They follow a trail of clues across England to the Continent, echoing the journey of the impassioned couple a century earlier. Opens in select markets on August 16. Expands on August 30. Rated PG-13 for sexuality and some thematic elements. 102 minutes. 2.40:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD

Satin Rouge (Zeitgeist): A widowed Tunisian seamstress takes an unlikely journey of self-discovery when she becomes drawn to an exotic nightclub, striking up a friendship with one of the dancers, eventually taking the stage herself. In Arabic with English subtitles. Opens in New York City on August 16. Not rated. 100 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD

Simone A contemporary satire of Hollywood, Simone is the story of a disillusioned director, played by Al Pacino, who creates the first totally believable synthetic actress. However, swept up by her success, including a major singing career, the producer cannot bear to admit his fraud to the world or to himself. Opens on 1500 plus screens on August 16. Rated PG13 for some sensuality. 117 minutes. 2.40:1

Expanding this week

The Business Of Fancy Dancing (Outrider): Opens in Seattle. Not rated. 103 minutes. 1.85:1. Dolby SR
The Kid Stays In The Picture (Focus Features): Expands to select markets

Recent release date changes:

Adaptation (Sony): December 6, 2002 Limited

Basic (Sony): February 7, 2003 Wide

The Chambermaid (Sony): December 13, 2002 Wide (was December 25, 2002 Wide)

Children Of The Century (Empire Pictures): September 13, 2002 NYC

Comedian (Miramax): August 30, 2002 NYC

Confidence (Lions Gate): December 26, 2002 NY/LA (was December 2, 2002 TBD)

Formula 51 (Screen Gems): October 18, 2002 Wide (was October 25, 2002 Wide)

God Is Great, I’m Not (Empire Pictures): December 2002 TBD

Lil’ Pimp (Sony): March 14, 2003 Wide

Moonlight Mile (BV): September 13, 2002 Limited (was September 20, 2002 Wide)

On Guard! (Empire Pictures): November 2002 TBD

Punch Drunk Love (Sony): December 11, 2002 Limited

Ripley’s Game (Fine Line): April 4, 2003 Wide (was October 4, 2002 Wide)

Safe Passage (Empire Pictures): October 2002 TBD

Shaolin Soccer (Miramax): 1Q 2003 TBD (was August 30, 2002 Wide)

Tears Of The Sun (Sony): March 7, 2003 Wide

They (Miramax): 4Q 2002 TBD (was August 23, 2002)

Tooth Fairy: The Ghost Of Matilda Dixon (Sony): January 31, 2003 Wide (was December 6, 2002 Wide)

Undisputed (Miramax): August 23, 2002 Wide (was October 18, 2002 Wide)

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