The Early Report for July 29, 2002

A weekly rundown of the upcoming releases.

Opens July 31, 2002

Merci Pour Le Chocolat (Fist Run Features): Isabelle Hupert stars in Claude Chabrol’s latest, which features Jacques Dutronc as a concert pianist whose past catches up with him after he marries a successful businesswoman. In French with English subtitles. Opens at the Film Forum in New York on Wednesday July 31. Not rated. 99 minutes. 1.66:1. Sound formats: Donby SR and SRD

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 on 200 screens on August 2. Rated R for language and some sexual content. 111 minutes. 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

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 725 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 3,200 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 2,300 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 serial killer 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. 111 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 PG-13 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 PG-13 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 PG-13 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

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 16. Rated R for language, sexuality and some drug use. 115 minutes. 1.85:1

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

One Hour Photo (Fox Searchlight): Robin Williams takes another turn to the dark side as Sy, a lonely photo lab technician who slowly beings to obsess about a young suburban family. Open in New York City on August 21. Select expansion on August 23, September 6 and September 13. Rated R for sexual content and language) – 96 minutes. Flat. SR, SRD, DTS. Production company: Killer Films. Robin Williams is excellent asa psychopath in this well crafted drama with crossover potential

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 1800 plus screens on August 16. Rated PG-13 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

Merci Pour Le Chocolat: Expands to five screens in Los Angeles

Week of August 23 to 29, 2002

Children On Their Birthdays (Artisan): In the summer of 1947, a young teenage girl moves to a small town in Alabama with her mute mother. When two young teenage boys fall deeply in love with her, they find themselves on a collision course with one another that could not only destroy their friendship, but take their town with them. Based on the short story by Truman Capote. Opens in limited release on August 23. Rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief language. 102 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound format: Dolby SR

How I Killed My Father (New Yorker): A successful gerontologist living in the wealthy Parisian suburb of Versailles finds his world overthrown by the unexpected arrival of his long estranged father. InFrench with English subtitles. Opens in New York City on August 23. Expands to Los Angeles on September 13. Not rated. 100 minutes. 1.66:1. Sound format: Dolby SR

In Praise Of Love (Manhattan): Jean-Luc Godard’s seventieth film in fifty years features the usual play on reality he has become famous for. This time, his cameras are focused on Edgar, a filmmaker who is planing a new production. Edgar meets Elle and is sure that she will be perfect for the lead role but there is something strangely familiar about her. In flashback, we learn that Edgar and the girl met two years earlier when Edgar visited the house of an elderly couple who survived the Nazi occupation, wishing to sell their story to Hollywood. Elle is the old couple’s granddaughter and helping her relatives to make money from their suffering. In French with English subtitles. Opens in New York City on August 23. Expands to Los Angeles on September 6. Not Rated. 97 minutes. 1.66:1. Sound format: Dolby SR

Little Secrets (IDP): A plucky pre-teen sets up a booth in her backyard every Wednesday, which attracts the guilty young souls of the neighborhood. General wackiness ensues when the normally trustworthy secret keeper suddenly finds it difficult to keep all of her neighbors’ secrets to herself. Opens in limited release on August 23. Rated PG for thematic elements. 95 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound format: Dolby SR.

Lawless Heart (First Look): Shocked by the death of a friend, three men decide to put their lives in perspective in this indie romantic comedy/drama. Opens in New York and Los Angeles on August 23. Rated R for strong sexuality/nudity and language. 86 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound format: Dolby SR

Love And A Bullet (Screen Gems): A tough-as-nails gangster kid turned elite hit man reflects on the dark path he’s chosen but cannot escape. Torn between his sense of duty and his newfound sense of humanity, he finds that the only way out is a perilous showdown with men who are every bit as cold-blooded as he is. Opens in New York and Los Angeles on August 23. Rated R for strong violence, language, and for sexuality and drug use. 86 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD, DTS, SDDS

Serving Sara (Paramount): A glib, jaded ex-lawyer becomes a process server who falls in love with a woman who he serves divorce papers to, in this comedy starring Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Hurley. Opens on 1,500 plus screens on August 23. Rated PG-13 for crude humor, sexual content and language. 100 minutes. 1.85:1. Sound formats: Dolby SR and SRD, DTS

Expanding this week

Lan Yu: Opens in Los Angeles

Merci Pour Le Chocolat: Opens at the Music Box in Chicago
Possession: Expands into major markets

Recent release date changes:

All The Queen’s Men (Strand): Formerly October 4 2002 NYC/LA/SF. Now October 25 2002 NYC/LA/SF

Cet Amour-La (New Yorker): Scheuled for December 20 2002 NYC

Chaos (New Yorker): Formerly October 25, 2002 NYC. Now January 10 2003 NYC

The Darkness (Miramax): Formerly 1Q 2003. Now Off Schedule

Drumline (Fox): Formerly November 27 2002 Wide. Now January 10 2003 Wide
The Emperor’s Club (Universal): Formerly September 27 2002 Wide. Now November 22 2002 Wide

Femme Fatale (Warner Bros.): Scheduled for November 8 2002 Wide

Gang Tapes (Urbanworld): Formerly August 16 2002 LA. Now September 13 2002 NYC/LA

Gerry (THINKfilm): Formerly October 18 2002 NYC. Now Off Schedule

A Guy Thing (MGM): Formerly September 20 2002 Wide. Now January 17 2003 Wide

Hansel And Gretel (Innovation Film Group): Scheduled for October 18 2002 LA

His Secret Life (Strand): Formerly September 6 2002 NYC. Now September 20 2002 NY, October 4 2002 LA

Hush! (Strand): Formerly September 27 2002 NYC. Now October 18 2002 NYC, October 25 2002

LA.The Last Kiss (THINKfilm): Formerly August 2 2002 NYC/LA. Now August 16 2002 NYC/LA

Love In The Time Of Money (THINKfilm): Formerly September 13 2002 NYC/LA. Now October 18 2002 NYC/LA

Mona Lisa Smile (Sony): Formerly Just 25 2003 Wide. Now July 11 2003 Wide

Moonlight Mile (Buena Vista): Formerly September 13 2002 Limited, September 20 2002 Wide. Now September 27 2002 Limited, October 4 2002 Wide

Only The Strong Survive (Miramax): Scheduled for 2Q 2003

Smokers Only (Strand): Scheduled for November 22 2002 NYC

Solaris (Fox): Formerly December 13 2002 Wide. Now November 27 2002 Wide

SWAT (Sony): Scheduled for August 8 2003 Wide

Swept Away (Sony): Formerly October 18 2002 Wide. Now October 25 Limited

Untitled Reese Witherspoon Tennis Movie (Sony): Formerly Summer 2003 Wide. Now Fall 2003 Wide

The Touch (Miramax): Scheduled for August 2003

The Transporter (Fox): Formerly September 20 2002 Wide. Now September 13 2002 Wide

Two Cops (Sony): Formerly July 11 2003 Wide. Now August 1 2003 Wide

Untitled Vin Diesel (aka El Dorado) (New Line): Formerly January 10 2003 Wide. Now March 8 2003 Wide.

Share