OnVideo OCTOBER Video Reviews
An innocent whirlwind romance culminates in extremely violent and psychologically-damaging actions in the critically acclaimed documentary. The electrifying film relays the true story of the obsessive real-life romance between a 32-year-old married attorney, who out of desperation deliberately blinded the love of his life, a beautiful 20-year-old girl living in the Bronx, shocking the nation and dominating headlines during the summer of 1959. Written and directed by award winning filmmaker Dan Klores and co-directed and produced by Fisher Stevens, the film premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and earned the Best Documentary Award at the 2007 Santa Barbara Film Festival. The film brilliantly conveys the dysfunctional relationship between Burt and Linda Pugach while it examines the human psyche and the concepts of love, obsession, insanity, hope and forgiveness. Burt and Linda -- still together -- become willing participants, confessing their dark secrets about their tragic romantic tale. The fascinating documentary interlaces actual archived footage, interviews and nostalgic music that dives into the heart of their actions.
Four years after being flummoxed by Bruce in "Bruce Almighty," Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) is a newly elected Congressman. Evan has left Buffalo behind to shepherd his wife, Joan (Lauren Graham), and three sons to the suburban town of Huntsville, Virginia, where they will begin the next chapter of their lives. As the Baxters become ensconced in their enormous home nestled within the pristine hills of northern Virginia, Evan prepares for his first day on the job as the freshman congressman from New York. The casually spiritual politico offers a prayer to God to "change the world." Little does he know that The Man (Morgan Freeman) upstairs already has big plans for him. Invited to co-sponsor a high-profile bill by one of the House's most powerful members, Congressman Long (John Goodman), Evan is sure that his prayers have been answered. His crackerjack team of aides -- assistant Rita (Wanda Syke), chief of staff Marty (John Michael Higgins) and intern Eugene (Jonah Hill) -- couldn't be more thrilled at this opportunity, although Evan realizes it will take him away from his oft-neglected family. However conflicted, power is important to Evan, and so he accepts the offer. Almost immediately, odd things begin occurring, and the self-centered representative's life becomes officially turned upside down. From mysterious deliveries of ancient tools and large parcels of wood to curious stalkings by birds of every feather, Evan is certain he's losing it. His certain descent into comic confusion culminates with a visit from a tall stranger claiming to be God who has one simple, albeit ludicrous, command: Evan must build an ark to prepare his friends and family for a mighty flood. With the help of his three boys and armed with a first edition "Ark Building for Dummies," Evan begrudgingly begins to build the ship, not knowing what's in store once it's completed. To his utter dismay, animals of all shapes and sizes begin appearing two by two, until a menagerie of God's creatures inhabits the wooded forest surrounding his home. That's not the only thing changing. Evan's normally manicured appearance heads south as his befuddled wife observes him transforming into a barely recognizable bearded, longhaired, robe-wearing weirdo. No amount of trimming, tussling or trickery keeps the beard from growing ... and growing. Despite being on the verge of losing everything he previously held precious, Evan continues to build for the flood that will either destroy the land or prove to be a figment of his imagination. And while all around him shake their heads and stare, one man must discover whether he is having an extraordinary midlife crisis or is truly onto something of biblical proportions.
Director: Tom Shadyac. Stars: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, Johnny Simmons, Graham Phillips, Jimmy Bennett, John Goodman, Wanda Sykes, John Michael Higgins, Jonah Hill, Molly Shannon, Harve Presnell. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 96 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $97.378 million, Universal. Available: 10/9.
FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER
The Fantastic Four meet their greatest challenge yet in this sequel to the 2005 hit, as the enigmatic, intergalactic herald, The Silver Surfer, comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction. As he races around the globe wreaking havoc, Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben must unravel the mystery before all hope is lost. The Silver Surfer joins the returning family of superheroes from the Marvel Comics universe, including Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards, who can stretch and contort his body into any shape he can imagine and, as the group's leader, is known as Mister Fantastic; Jessica Alba as Sue Storm, who is able to render herself invisible and to create and project powerful force fields as Invisible Woman; Chris Evans as Johnny Storm, known as The Human Torch, who can engulf his body in flames and take flight at will; and Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm, whose freakish transmutation into a rock-like, superhumanly strong creature led him to be called The Thing. Julian McMahon reprises his "Fantastic Four" role as the Four's steely-eyed, iron-fisted nemesis, Dr. Doom.
Director: Tim Story. Stars: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington, Andre Braugher, Gonzalo Menendez, Laurence Fishburne. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 92 min., Action, Box office gross: $131.117 million, Fox. Available: 10/2.
Based on a Stephen King story. Renowned horror novelist Mike Enslin (John Cusack) only believes what he can see with his own two eyes. After a string of bestsellers discrediting paranormal events in the most infamous haunted houses and graveyards around the world, he scoffs at the concept of an afterlife. Enslin's phantom-free run of long and lonely nights is about to change when he checks into suite 1408 of the notorious Dolphin Hotel for his latest project, "Ten Nights in Haunted Hotel Rooms." Defying the warnings of the hotel manager (Samuel L. Jackson), the author is the first person in years to stay in the reputedly haunted room -- where there have been 57 deaths since it's opening. Another bestseller may be imminent, but like all King heroes, Enslin must go from skeptic to true believer -- to ultimately survive the night.
Director: Mikael Hafstrom. Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack, Tony Shalhoub, Jasmine Jessica Anthony, Len Cariou. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 104 min., Horror-Thriller, Box office gross: $71.519 million, The Weinstein Co./Genius Products. Available: 10/2.
In 1971, Clifford Irving achieved the very heights of American journalism, nabbing a series of unprecedented interviews with the most famous man in the world -- ultra-reclusive, immensely powerful, superstar billionaire Howard Hughes -- revealing his most intimate memories and controversial secrets. Actually, that's a lie. In 1971, writer Clifford Irving told an incredible whopper -- one that became one of the most audacious and outrageous hoaxes ever perpetrated on the media and American public. Claiming to have obtained Howard Hughes' long sought-after memoirs, Irving pulled the wool over the entire publishing industry's eyes, and nearly made off with major cash and worldwide fame, until his clever yarn unraveled into a serious crime. Jumping off from the still controversial facts surrounding Irving's ruse into a fictional reverie, the film mischievously and imaginatively explores how a man, an industry and an entire nation could become intoxicated by a good story . . . in sheer defiance of the fact that it never really happened. Richard Gere takes on the roguish role of Irving, an ambitious yet struggling writer who's been looking for that one big story for so long, he brazenly decides to make one up. At first the idea is just a savvy artistic prank, but if that's what the world wants, Irving believes he can take it further. Shrouding himself in a clever cloud of secrecy, he drops the news to a major publisher that he has been approached by the one man the entire world most wants to know about -- aviator, movie mogul, ladies man and eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes -- to ink his priceless biography. Irving banks on the idea that Hughes' seclusion and notoriously thin hold on reality will allow the con to succeed. Hughes has not been seen or heard from in public for more than a decade. He is a total recluse. Irving relies on this fact to protect his bogus story -- as Hughes refuses to confirm or deny anything so prevalent is his fear of appearing in public. Recruiting his anxiety-prone but loyal best friend Dick Suskind (Alfred Molina) and European artist wife Marcia Gay Harden) into the scheme, Clifford soon finds himself in a wild maze of treachery, as he is forced to dodge the fallout of his falsehoods at every turn. What started as an adventurous lark soon turns into a seemingly inescapable maze of forgeries, thefts, tall tales, deceptions and impersonations. Yet Clifford's plan works like magic as his publishers, hungry for a bestseller at any cost, are hoodwinked by the thrill of it all. When Clifford stumbles upon possible links between Hughes and the corrupt administration of president Nixon, the stakes for his book grow even higher. Clifford is on top of the world, until the real Howard Hughes shockingly emerges to pull the rug out from under him. Only now, Clifford is so caught up in the tale he created that he may no longer know where his incredible story ends and reality begins.
Director: Lasse Hallstrom. Stars: Richard Gere, Alfred Molina, Marcia Gay Harden, Julie Delpy, Hope Davis. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: R, 116 min., Drama, Box office gross: $7.156 million, Miramax. Available: 10/16.
HOSTEL PART II
Gruesome sequel. Three young Americans studying abroad in Rome set off for a weekend trip when they run into a beautiful model from their art class. Also on her way to an exotic destination, the gorgeous European invites the co-eds to come along, assuring them they can relax and rejuvenate. Will the women find the oasis they are looking for? Or are they poised to become victims for hire, pawns in the fantasies of the sick and privileged around the world who secretly travel here to savor more grisly pursuits?
IN THE LAND OF WOMEN
Aspiring writer Carter Webb (Adam Brody) has just been dumped by his true love Sophia. Heartbroken and depressed, Carter escapes Los Angeles to suburban Michigan to care for his ailing, eccentric grandmother (Olympia Dukakis) and to work on a book he has always wanted to write. Soon after his arrival, Carter stumbles into the lives of the family living directly across the street: Sarah Hardwicke (Meg Ryan), the mother of two daughters: Paige (Makenzie Vega), a precocious, effervescent 11-year-old and her older sister Lucy (Kristen Stewart), an angst-ridden teenager. While Sarah faces her own personal crisis, Lucy wrestles with the fears that define her. Through his relationships with these women, as well as his grandmother, Carter begins to discover that what felt like the end was really only just the beginning of his adventure.
Director: Jonathan Kasdan. Stars: Adam Brody, Kristen Stewart, Makenzie Vega, Clark Gregg, Elena Anaya, Meg Ryan. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 98 min., Drama-Comedy, Box office gross: $11.043 million, Warner. Available: 10/30.
Supernatural thriller about a teenager who finds himself trapped between two worlds: invisible to the living and all too close to the dead. A high school senior with a bright future, Nick Powell (Justin Chatwin) is suddenly attacked on a dark night, his shattered body left for dead. Now, caught in a haunting limbo where he can observe the world of the living but they can't see him, his only chance at a future is to figure out the mystery of what happened to him and why before time runs out. But how do you solve a murder when the victim is you? As Nick attempts to uncover the ominous truth behind his ghostly condition, the trail leads from his mother (Marcia Gay Harden) to his best friend (Chris Marquette) to a shady criminal (Alex O'laughlin) to the tough, troubled girl (Margarita Levieva) who Nick comes to realize may hold the key to his awakening from the unexplainable. His only hope at returning to his life is to become an ethereal detective on the trail of his own murder, to try to piece together the puzzle of where his near-lifeless body is and how he got there.
Director: David S. Goyer. Stars: Justin Chatwin, Marcia Gay Harden, Margarita Levieva, Chris Marquette, Alex O'laughlin. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 97 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $20.568 million, Buena Vista.Available: 2/21.
On an annual fishing trip, in isolated high country, Stewart, Carl, Rocco and Billy find a girl's body in the river. It's too late in the day for them to hike back to the road and report their tragic find. The next morning, instead of making the long trek back, they spend the day fishing. When the men finally return home to Jindabyne, and report finding the body, all hell breaks loose. Their wives can't understand how they could have gone fishing with the dead girl right there in the water -- she needed their help. The men are confused -- the girl was already dead, there was nothing they could do for her. Stewart's wife Claire is the last to know and, as details filter out, Claire's faith in her relationship with her husband is shaken to the core.
Director: Ray Lawrence. Stars: Laura Linney, Gabriel Byrne, Deborra-Lee Furness, John Howard, Leah Purcell. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: R, 123 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.354 million, Sony. Available: 10/2.
LICENSE TO WED
Newly engaged Ben Murphy (John Krasinski) and his fiancee, Sadie Jones (Mandy Moore), have always dreamed of getting married in a traditional wedding at her family church. The problem is St. Augustine's only has one wedding slot available in the next two years, and its charismatic pastor, Reverend Frank (Robin Williams), won't bless Ben and Sadie's union until they pass his patented, foolproof marriage-prep course. Through outrageous classes, outlandish homework assignments, some pious manipulation, and outright invasion of privacy, Reverend Frank's rigorous curriculum puts Ben and Sadie's relationship to the test.
MEET THE ROBINSONS
Based on William Joyce's book "A Day With Wilbur Robinson," this comedic-adventure follows Lewis, a brilliant 12-year-old with a surprising number of clever inventions to his credit. His latest and most ambitious project is the Memory Scanner, which he hopes will retrieve early memories of his mother and maybe even reveal why she put him up for adoption. But before he can get his answer, his invention is stolen by the dastardly Bowler Hat Guy and his diabolical hat -- and constant companion -- Doris. Lewis has all but given up hope in his future when a mysterious boy named Wilbur Robinson whisks our bewildered hero away in a time machine and travels forward in time to spend a day with Wilbur's eccentric family. In a world filled with flying cars and floating cities, they hunt down the Bowler Hat Guy, save the future and uncover the amazing secret of the Robinson family.
Director: Stephen J. Anderson. Voices: Angela Bassett, Tom Selleck, Harland Williams, Adam West, Tom Kenny, Ethan Sandler. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: G, 95 min., Animated, Box office gross: $96.173 million, Disney. Available: 10/23.
MIGHTY HEART, A
Based on Mariane Pearl's memoir detailing the terrifying and unforgettable story of her husband, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl's life and death. The story covers Pearl's (Dan Futterman) reasons for being in Karachi, Pakistan, the complete story of his abduction, the intense effort of his wife, Mariane Pearl (Angelina Jolie) to find him during the weeks following his disappearance and his eventual murder. In the five years since Daniel Pearl's death, nearly 230 journalists have been killed in the line of duty. On January 23, 2002, Mariane Pearl's world changed forever. Her husband Daniel, the South Asia Bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, was researching a story on shoe bomber Richard Reid. The story drew them to Karachi where a go-between had promised access to an elusive source. As Daniel left for the meeting, he told Mariane he might be late for dinner. He never returned. In the face of death, Daniel's spirit of defiance and his unflinching belief in the power of journalism led Mariane to write about his disappearance, the intense effort to find him and his eventual murderer in her memoir "A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl." Six months pregnant when the ordeal began, she was carrying a son that Daniel hoped to name Adam. She wrote the book to introduce Adam to the father he would never meet. Transcending religion, race and nationality, Mariane's courageous desire to rise above the bitterness and hatred that continues to plague this post 9/11 world, serves as the purest expression of the joy of life she and Daniel shared.
Director: Michael Winterbottom. Stars: Angelina Jolie, Dan Futterman, Sajid Hasan, Aly Khan, Irfan Khan, Denis O'Hare, Archie Panjabi, Will Patton. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: R, 108 min., Drama, Box office gross: $9.176 million, Paramount. Available: 10/16.
Consider Mr. Brooks. A successful businessman, a generous philanthropist, a loving father and devoted husband. Seemingly, he's perfect. But Mr. Brooks has a secret -- he is an insatiable serial killer, so lethally clever that on one has ever suspected him -- until now. Kevin Costner stars as Earl Brooks, a man who has managed to keep his two incompatible worlds from intersecting by controlling his cunning, wicked alter ego Marshall (William Hurt) whom he blames for his wrongdoings. But now, as Mr. Brooks succumbs to one last murderous urge, an amateur photographer (Dane Cook) witnesses the crime. Suddenly Brooks finds himself entangled in the dark agenda of an opportunistic bystander, as well as hunted by the unorthodox and tenacious detective Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore). Can Mr. Brooks outsmart his adversaries and conceal his shocking double life from his wife (Marg Helgenberger) and daughter (Danielle Panabaker) or will someone expose his crimes and his identity once and for all?
Director: Bruce A. Evans. Stars: Kevin Costner, William Hurt, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, Marg Helgenberger, Rubin Santiago-Hudson, Danielle Panabaker. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: R, 120 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $28.320 million, MGM. Available: 10/23.
MY BEST FRIEND
Multiple award-winning director Patrice Leconte has been nominated 11 times for the Cesar Award, winning Best Director and Best Film for "Ridicule"; and was nominated three times for a BAFTA, also winning for "Ridicule." Daniel Auteuil was nominated 12 times for the Cesar, winning Best Actor trophies for "Jean de Florette" (for which he also won a BAFTA) and "The Girl on the Bridge." Francois (Auteuil), an unlikable, self-centered middle-aged antique dealer, still manages to lead a fabulous life in Paris. However, at a dinner with a group he considers his dearest acquaintances, he is blindsided by the revelation that none of them actually likes him. His business partner Catherine (Julie Gayet) challenges him with a bet: she wants to meet his best friend. Scrambling to find someone willing to pose as his best pal, Francois enlists the services of a charming taxi driver Bruno (Dany Boon) to play the part. Bruno teaches Fran¨ois how to make friends and sets about learning the "three S's" -- being sociable, smiling and sincere -- though they don't come easy. In French with English subtitles.
Director: Patrice Leconte. Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Dany Boon, Julie Gayet, Julie Durand. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 94 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $.620 million, Genius Products. Available: 10/16.
Robert Rodriguez's half of the cult film "Grindhouse," which was two films in one: "Planet Terror" and "Death Proof." The Weinstein Co. split the film in half for release to DVD. Deep in the heart of Texas, married doctors William and Dakota Block (Josh Brolin and Marley Shelton) find their graveyard shift inundated with townspeople ravaged by gangrenous sores and a suspiciously vacant look in their eyes. Among the wounded is Cherry (Rose McGowan), a go-go dancer whose leg was ripped from her body during a roadside attack. Wray (Freddy Rodriguez), her former significant other, is at her side. This mixture of lost souls must fight off the zombie-like humanoids who are slowly taking over the planet.
Director: Robert Rodriguez. Stars: Freddy Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, Josh Brolin, Naveen Andrews, Marley Shelton, Michael Biehn, Stacy Ferguson, Jeff Fahey, Michael Parks. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: R, Drama, Box office gross: $25.031 million, The Weinstein Co./Genius Products. Available: 10/16.
Hilary Swank plays a former Christian missionary who lost her faith after her family was tragically killed, and has since become a world renowned expert in disproving religious phenomena. But when she investigates a small Louisiana town that is suffering from what appear to be the Biblical plagues, she realizes that science cannot explain what is happening and she must regain her faith to combat the dark forces threatening the community. Hidden among the woods and swamplands of Louisiana, Haven is a town where the rules of reason seem to have been rewritten. A child has died and the river has turned to blood, which is only the beginning of what appears to be a revisiting of the Biblical 10 plagues upon the town. For the first time in her professional career, Katherine can't explain these phenomena with science. The townspeople believe an enigmatic child named Loren McConnell (AnnaSophia Robb) has brought God's wrath to their doorstep, but what they see as a harbinger of evil, Katherine sees as a lost child needing her help. The more she is drawn into the dark heart of the mystery, the more Katherine discovers her own role in a conspiracy that threatens to shroud the world in darkness.
Director: Stephen Hopkins. Stars: Hilary Swank, David Morrissey, Idris Elba, AnnaSophia Robb. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: R, 96 min., Supernatural Thriller, Box office gross: $25.117 million, Warner. Available: 10/16.
REIGN OVER ME
lan Johnson (Don Cheadle) is surprised when he sees his old college roommate, Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler) cruising the streets of Manhattan on a scooter. Alan has a seemingly perfect life: a successful career as a dentist, a loving wife (Jada Pinkett Smith), and two beautiful daughters. Yet he feels bored and unfulfilled, and no longer the carefree college student he once was with his buddy Charlie. Charlie, on the other hand, lost his family in the September 11 attack on New York City and has slowly built a life of isolation until the fateful run-in with his former college roommate. The chance encounter rekindles their friendship, and together with psychiatrist Angela Oakhurst (Liv Tyler), Alan and Charlie slowly reconnect to their former, happy and grateful selves.
Director: Mike Binder. Stars: Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler, Saffron Burrows, Donald Sutherland, Robert Klein, Melinda Dillon. 2007, CC, MPAA rating:R, 124 min., Drama, Box office gross: $19.661 million, Sony. Available: 10/9.
Peter Parker has finally managed to strike a balance between his devotion to girlfriend M.J. and his duties as a superhero. But there is a storm brewing on the horizon. When his Spider-Man suit suddenly changes, turning jet-black and enhancing his powers, it transforms Peter as well. Under the influence of the suit, Peter becomes prideful and overconfident and he begins to neglect the ones he cares about the most. As two of the most-feared villains yet, Sandman and Venom, gather unparalleled power and a thirst for retribution, Peter's greatest battle is the one within himself. Spider-Man will need to rediscover the compassion that makes him who he is: a hero.
Director: Sam Raimi. Stars: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Daniel Gillies, Ted Raimi, Adrian Lester, Theresa Russell, James Cromwell, Elizabeth Banks, Steve Valentine. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 139 min., Action, Box office gross: $336.027 million, Sony. Available: 10/30.
Animated adventure that goes "behind the scenes" of the high-octane world of competitive penguin surfing. Inspired by his hero, the legendary wave rider Big Z, Cody Maverick leaves his family and his town of Shiverpool, Antarctica to travel to Pen Gu Island for the Big Z Memorial Surf Off -- Cody's first pro competition. Cody believes that winning will bring him the admiration and respect he deserves. But when he unexpectedly comes face to face with Geek, a washed up old surfer, Cody begins to understand that the greatest champion isn't always the one who comes in first.
Director: Ash Brannon and Chris Buck: Voices of : Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder, James Woods. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 85 min., Animated, Box office gross: $57.329 million, Sony. Available: 10/9.
TALK TO ME
Powerful real-life story of Ralph Waldo "Petey" Green (Don Cheadle), an outspoken ex-con who talked his way into becoming an iconic radio personality in the 1960s, in Washington, D.C. Sparked by both the era's vibrant soul music and exploding social consciousness, Petey openly courted controversy at a white-owned station. Relying on his producer Dewey Hughes to run interference, Petey's unprecedented "tell it like it is" on air style gave voice and spirit to the black community during an exciting and turbulent period in American history.
Director: Kasi Lemmons. Stars: Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Taraji P. Henson, Mike Epps, Vondie Curtis Hall, Cedric the Entertainer, Martin Sheen. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: R, 119 min., Drama, Box office gross: $4.436 million, Universal. Available: 10/30.
For centuries, two races of robotic aliens -- the Autobots and the Decepticons -- have waged a war, with the fate of the universe at stake. When the battle comes to Earth, all that stands between the evil Decepticons and ultimate power is a clue held by young Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf). An average teenager, Sam is consumed with everyday worries about school, friends, cars and girls. Unaware that he alone is mankind's last chance for survival, Sam and his friend Mikaela (Megan Fox) find themselves in a tug of war between the Autobots and Decepticons. With the world hanging in the balance, Sam comes to realize the true meaning behind the Witwicky family motto -- "No sacrifice, no victory!"
Director: Michael Bay. Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Rachael Taylor, Anthony Anderson, Jon Voight, John Turturro. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 143 min., Sci-Fi Action, Box office gross: $308.597 million, Paramount. Available: 10/16.
28 WEEKS LATER
The creative team of Danny Boyle, Alex Garland, and Andrew Macdonald are back to re-invent the zombie movie yet again with the sequel to "28 Days Later." Lead by director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, "28 Weeks Later" picks up six months after the Rage virus has annihilated the British Isles. The U.S. Army declares that the war against the infection has been won, and that the reconstruction of the country can begin. In the first wave of returning refugees, a family is reunited -- but one of them unwittingly carries a terrible secret. The virus is not yet dead, and this time, it is more dangerous than ever. Sometimes sequels can't keep up with the original -- this one surpasses its predecessor. Lovely.
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. Stars: Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau, Catherine McCormack, Imogen Poots, Idris Elba, Mackintosh Muggleton. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: R, 113 min., Horror, Box office gross: $28.611 million, Fox. Available: 10/9.
YOU KILL ME
Frank Falenczyk (Ben Kingsley) is a troubled man whose drinking problem is getting in the way of his job ... as a hit man. When he sleeps through a hit, his mob boss uncle (Phillip Baker Hall) banishes Frank from Buffalo and sends him to San Francisco to sober up. There he lands a job at a mortuary and meets an usual cast of characters, including his 12-step sponsor Tom (Luke Wilson), an eccentric real estate agent (Bill Pullman), and Laurel (Tea Leoni), a smart-talking woman who's dangerously devoid of boundaries. Meanwhile, back in Buffalo, gangster Edward O'Leary (Dennis Farina) is bent on destroying Frank's mobster family, and Frank must return to seek vengeance.
Director: John Dahl. Stars: Ben Kingsley, Tea Leoni, Phillip Baker Hall, Luke Wilson, Bill Pullman, Dennis Farina. 2007, CC, MPAA rating: R, 92 min., Drama, Box office gross: $2.385 million, Genius Products. Available: 10/9.
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.
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October 3, 2006