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July Release Calendar
Movies are rated on a scale of one to five, with five
denoting a classic. For more information on how we rate, check out our
January 2006 Releases
- July 4
Johnny Depp stars as the scandalously decadent John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester. The film follows the Earl's adventures in 17th century London. A close confidante of the high-living King Charles II (John Malkovich),
the Earl delights in lampooning England's royals with his subversive wit and scandalizing London society with his sexual escapades -- all the while reveling in getting away with anything he can. But then the Earl falls in love with the brilliant and fiercely independent
Elizabeth Barry (Samantha Morton), the theatrical protege he plans to turn into England's biggest star. Their affair and the writing of a scurrilous play that blisteringly and bawdily lampoons the very monarch who commissioned it will be the start of the Earl's plunge
from the heights of social celebrity to the depths of ruin.
Vitals: Director: Laurence Dunmore. Stars: Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton, John Malkovich, Paul Ritter, Stanley Townsend, Francesca Annis, Rosamund Pike. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: R, 114 min.,
Drama, Box office gross: $4.829 million,
Julian Noble (Pierce Brosnan) is a hit man who's very good at what he does. He's in Mexico City doing another job but sadly for Julian, he has reached a low point in his life -- the murder business has all but killed him. Danny
Wright (Greg Kinnear) is also in Mexico City on business, although a decidedly different kind of business. Danny lives in Denver with his wife Bean (Hope Davis), and while they may have troubles financially, there is a youthful lust between them that belies 10 years of
marriage. Danny finds himself in Mexico City for a business opportunity whose outcome could be the difference between solving all his financial problems or falling even deeper into debt. One night, at the hotel bar, these two men meet. Before long, they find themselves
involved in a strange friendship -- built on the dark and drunken honesty shared among strangers who believe they will never see each other in the light of day. Spanning four countries, six months and many margaritas, the dark comedy takes the hit man film and spins
it on its head, creating a character-driven story strange and full of unexpected heart.
Vitals: Director: Richard Shepard. Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Arlin Miller, Azucena Medina, Jonah Meyerson, Greg Kinnear, Hope Davis, Philip Baker Hall. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: R, 96 min., Dark
Comedy, Box office gross: $12.570 million,
Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School
The moving story of Frank Keane (Robert Carlyle), a widowed man consumed by his wife's death. But everything changes when he pulls over on a rural highway to help a dying stranger
(John Goodman) entangled in a car wreck. En route to fulfill a forty-year promise to his childhood sweetheart, the stranger shares a compelling tale of adolescent love replete with first kisses, youthful innocence and ballroom dancing. Frank promises to fulfill the
stranger's wish and finds himself at the doorsteps of Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School. It's here that he finds an odd path to a new beginning when he meets Meredith (Maris Tomei) and the infectious world of dance, which allow his heart to open up
and find love again.
Vitals: Director: Randall Miller. Stars: Robert Carlyle, Marisa Tomei, John Goodman, Mary Steenburgen, Sean Astin, Danny DeVito, Donnie Wahlberg, David Paymer, Camryn Manheim, Adam Arkin, Sonia
Braga, Elden Henson, Ernie Hudson, Miguel Sandoval. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 103 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.092 million,
Sony, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
- July 11
Basic Instinct 2
In this rude and exploitive psychological thriller, best-selling crime novelist Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) once again finds herself on the wrong side of the law after re-locating from San Francisco to London: She's been
linked to the mysterious death of a famous sports star. Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey), a respected London criminal psychiatrist, is brought in by Scotland Yard detective Roy Washburn (David Thewlis) to perform a psychiatric profile and evaluation of Tramell.
Physically drawn to Tramell and mentally intrigued by her, Glass, against the advice of his mentor, Dr. Milena Gardosh (Charlotte Rampling), is quickly sucked into her web of lies and seduction -- the professional boundaries between the two are obliterated when she
uncovers his "basic instincts." As people around him are murdered one by one, a deadly battle of wits ensues between Glass and Tramell, climaxing as Glass faces a choice that will change both their lives forever.
Vitals: Director: Michael Caton-Jones. Stars: Sharon Stone, David Morrissey, Charlotte Rampling, David Thewlis, Hugh Dancy. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: R, 114 min., Drama, Box office gross:
$5.851 million, Sony.
Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
Flipping back and forth between the 18th century and the hapless efforts of the 21st century filmmakers, "Tristram Shandy" is the making of a movie adapted from the notoriously unfilmable English
literature masterpiece, "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentlemen," written by Laurence Sterne. The story begins with Tristram Shandy (Steve Coogan) narrating his life story as he sees it. Crammed with literary jokes and dark humor, Shandy's warped
childhood tales are constantly interrupted by his family and household, inadvertently revealing far more about himself than any conventional autobiography. At the dramatic moment of Tristram's birth, the 1st Assistant Director calls cut, marking the end of a filming day
on the set of Tristram Shandy. We then see Steve Coogan, the other actors and crew through the course of a chaotic evening on set. Steve Coogan's wife arrives with their six-month-old baby, a journalist is chasing him about a scandalous story, his agent has arrived with
a load of Hollywood scripts and the film financiers are threatening to pull the plug. A clever, postmodern take on the construction of a film, from an intricate hilariously complex autobiographical novel.
Vitals: Director: Michael Winterbottom. Stars: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon,
Gillian Anderson, Jeremy Northam , James Fleet, Ian Hart, Shirley Henderson. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: R, 94 min., Literary Drama, Box office gross: $1.247 million, HBO Video.
- July 18
Based on a novel by Athol Fugard. Emotionally-charged film about the struggle of power, rage and redemption in the gritty streets of Johannesburg, South Africa. Tsotsi (Johannesburg street slang for thug) is a young, violent gang
leader living in the Johannesburg slums. Having grown up impoverished, with a violent father and a desperately sick mother, Tsotsi neither loves nor trusts anyone. After Tsotsi shoots a young woman and steals her car, he realizes he has also accidentally kidnapped the
victim's infant child. The complications from this act begin Tsotsi's self-discovery and his road to personal redemption as he decides to raise the child as his own. In Zulu, Xhosa and Afrikaans with English subtitles.
Vitals: Director: Gavin Hood. Stars: Presley Chweneyagae, Terry Pheto, Kenneth Nkosi, Mothusi Magano, Zenzo Ngqobe, Zola. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: R, 94 min., Drama, Box office gross:
$1.639 million, Miramax, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
She's the Man
Teen comedy of errors about kids, mistaken identities and love. Amanda Bynes plays Viola Johnson, a teen girl who impersonates her twin brother Sebastian (James Kirk) and enrolls in his place at his new boarding school, Illyria
Prep. She was counting on Sebastian being AWOL from school as he tried to break into the music scene in London. What she didn't count on was falling in love with her hot roommate, Duke (Channing Tatum), who in turn only has eyes for the beautiful Olivia (Laura
Ramsey). Making matters worse, Olivia is starting to fall for the female Sebastian, who -- for reasons Olivia couldn't begin to guess -- appears to be the sensitive type of guy she'd always dreamed of meeting. If things weren't complicated enough, the real Sebastian has
come back from London two days earlier than expected and arrives on campus having no clue that he's been replaced... by his own twin sister.
Vitals: Director: Andy Fickman. Stars: Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey, Robert Hoffman, Jonathan Sadowski, Alex Breckenridge, Julie Hagerty. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 105
min., Comedy, Box office gross: $32.694 million, DreamWorks.
Emily Wang (Maggie Cheung) is a woman who wrestles with her dream of becoming a singer, her fitness as a mother, and daily life without her partner Lee (James Johnston). Her past is riddled with drugs and regrets, the result of which left Lee dead in a desolate motel
room in Hamilton, Ontario, and landed Emily with a six-month jail sentence. The only thing that she desires for the future is a loving relationship with her son Jay, who is being cared for by Lee's parents, Albrecht (Nick Nolte) and Rosemary (Martha Henry). While
Rosemary blames Emily for the death of Lee, Albrecht recognizes the importance of the bond between a mother and her son, and his faith sets the standard for the faith Emily must find in herself. Clean follows Emily to Hamilton, Paris, London and San Francisco and in
three languages (English, French and Cantonese), as she battles for a place in a world reluctant to forget the woman she has been and unwilling to accept her as the woman she longs to be.
Vitals: Director: Olivier Assayas Stars: Maggie Cheung, Nick Nolte, James Johnston, Beatrice Dalle, Martha Henry, Jeanne Balibar, Don McKellar. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: R, 111 min., Drama, Box
office gross: $.110 million, Palm Pictures.
ATL tells the story of four teens coming of age in a working class Atlanta neighborhood where hip-hop music and roller skating rule. As the group prepares for life after high school, challenges on and off the rink bring about turning
points in each of their lives. The film is loosely based on Dallas Austin and Tionne Watkins' experiences growing up in Atlanta and hanging out at a local skating rink called Jellybeans.
Vitals: Director: Chris Robinson. Stars: T.I., Evan Ross, Lauren London, Mykelti Williamson, Albert Daniels, Jackie Long, Jason Weaver, Keith David, Lonette McKee, Big Boi. 2006, CC, MPAA
rating: PG-13, 105 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $21.160 million, Warner.
- July 25
Final Destination 3
On what should be one of the happiest days of her life, high school senior Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) joins her friends for a graduation night celebration at a local amusement park. As they're about to board a roller
coaster, Wendy is suddenly spooked. Her boyfriend Jason (Jesse Moss) reassures her that it's merely the act of relinquishing control that's giving her the jitters. Wendy overcomes her fear, but no sooner has the pneumatic harness descended, securing her in her seat, than
Wendy experiences a vivid premonition of a fatal accident in which the roller coaster becomes a death trap for her and her friends. Emerging from her terrifying vision and still on the ride platform, Wendy freaks out and demands to be let off. Her classmate, Kevin
(Ryan Merriman), who's seated beside her, feels compelled to accompany Wendy. As they're leaving, Lewis (Texas Battle) taunts Kevin, calling him a wimp. Insults turn to blows, others join the scuffle, and soon a handful of students are forcibly ejected from the ride.
As they watch from below, Wendy's premonition proves nightmarishly true -- the coaster careens out of control, and all those aboard perish. But that's only the beginning. As in the previous editions of the franchise, those who survive the disaster discover that fate is
hard to escape. They were meant to die ... and death is not so easily cheated. Wendy's friends lose their lives via decapitation, squashing, and even in a tanning parlor, while Wendy tries to figure out how to save the day. For fans of the first two outings only.
Vitals: Director: James Wong. Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ryan Merriman, Kris Lemche, Alexz Johnson, Sam Easton, Jesse Moss, Gina Holden. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: R, 93 min., Horror
Thriller, Box office gross: $53.511 million,
New Line, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Three nerds (Rob Schneider, David Spade and Jon Heder) team up to create a three-man baseball team in an effort to make up for their lack of athleticism when they were younger. The determined trio compete against a full
squad of elementary school baseball players and along the way, develop a large following of left-out kids as they head into a high-stakes, winner takes all game against the best little league in the state. In order to prepare for the tournament, they hire baseball legend
Reggie Jackson to train them. Reggie works with them on timing by having them sit in the back of a truck as it drives down the street, swinging a bat and demolishing mailboxes. He also teaches them fielding by tossing a hot potato at them, which they catch barehanded
and toss quickly to one another. Amazingly, the training pays off and they become an inspiration to benchwarmers everywhere. Vitals: Director: Dennis Dugan. Stars: Rob Schneider, David Spade, Jon Heder,
Jon Lovitz, Craig Kilborn, Molly Sims. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 80 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $57.651 million, Sony.
Ask the Dust
Colin Farrell is Arturo Bandini, a young would-be writer who comes to Depression-era Los Angeles to make a name for himself. While there, he meets beautiful barmaid Camilla (Salma Hayek), a Mexican immigrant who hopes for
a better life by marrying a wealthy American. Both are trying to escape the stigma of their ethnicity in blue-blood California. The passion that arises between them is palpable -- if they could only set aside their ambitions and submit to it.
Vitals: Director: Robert Towne. Stars: Colin Farrell, Salma Hayek), Donald Sutherland, Eileen Atkins. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: R, 116 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.742 million,
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a
Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center),
and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.
February 2006 Releases
March 2006 Releases
April 2006 Releases
May 2006 Releases
June 2006 Releases
August 2006 Releases
September 2006 Releases
October 2006 Releases
November 2006 Releases
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June 22, 2006