Picture This

Thrillers! Satires! Westerns! Indies! Blockbusters! Sequels!

Second-string Mystery Men, with Rob Lowe and Melissa Joan Hart.

(September 22)

A Louisiana pre-Nam boot camp circa 1971, as imagined by repentant hack Joel Schumacher—the unknown cast and minuscule budget are supposed to signal integrity. Name actors and glossy production values are not the problem with Joel Schumacher movies.

Willem Dafoe as real vampire Max Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire
photo: Jean-Paul Kieffer
Willem Dafoe as real vampire Max Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire

Under Suspicion
(September 22)

Seasoned hack Stephen Hopkins traps Gene Hackman's lawyer and Morgan Freeman's cop on a Caribbean isle for murder-related mind games.

Urban Legends: Final Cut
(September 22)

Can there be a a thin drop left of anemic blood in po-pomo slasher decon? And could it be sucked from the chicken neck to a sequel nobody was waiting for?

Woman on Top
(September 22)

Doe-eyed Spanish pepper Penélope Cruz hits America in the lead of this frothy batch of formula, as a Brazilian cook escaping to San Francisco, making friends with drag queens, and struggling toward chef superstardom.

Best in Show
(September 27)

Tireless shooter of fish in barrels, Christopher Guest does a Waiting for Guffman on the dog-show circuit.

Twilight: Los Angeles
(September 27)

Slam director Marc Levin films Anna Deavere Smith's acclaimed one-woman show about the Rodney King incident and its aftermath.

Barenaked in America
(September 29)

Jason Priestley documents the Barenaked Ladies' latest tour of the States. There is at least one Voice staffer who thinks "It's All Been Done" is a pretty good song.

(September 29)

The tag line is all you need: "Sometimes you have to give up the life of your dreams, to discover the dream of your life." Ensuring maximum treacle carnage for this beauty-pageant "satire," Sally Field directs.

The Broken Hearts Club—A Romantic Comedy
(September 29)

Variously described as a gay Big Chill and a millennial Boys in the Band. Consider yourself warned.

(September 29)

Karyn Kusama's gritty but clumsy Sundance hit about girl boxing in Red Hook bears the great weight of buzz on its shoulders, but if you don't expect much, it may pay off.

Remember the Titans
(September 29)

Denzel Washington does noble suffering again as a high school football coach in barely integrated 1970s Virginia. Director Boaz Yakin becomes a formulaic Hollywood utility man.

Sexy Beast

Crime boss Ben Kingsley lures ex-con Ray Winstone out of retirement in this invariably Lock-Stock-ish crime caper, given requisite flash by Jonathan Glazer, best known for his Radiohead underpass-collision clip.


(October 6)

Spike Lee satirizes network television. The target's hardly fresh, but wait, there's a gimmick—it's Lee's first venture into digital video. With Damon Wayans, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Savion Glover.

(October 6)

Is Adam Garcia, stage star of London's Saturday Night Fever, the new John Travolta or the new Jennifer Beals? Here he's an Australian steelworker who pursues a tap-dancing career. Like a maniac, maniac on the floor, no doubt.

(October 6)

Tours the brief history of computer animation with a "saucy synthetic hostess" named Phig, voiced by Jenna Elfman.

Digimon: The Movie
(October 6)

Like Pokémon, only digital, we presume.

Get Carter
(October 6)

Gratuitous remake of the hard-boiled 1971 Brit-noir that earned Mike Hodges (surprise indie success story of this year with smash hit Croupier) his cult rep. For some reason, Stephen T. Kay, who last made The Mod Squad, directs, and Sylvester Stallone takes the Michael Caine role.

Meet the Parents
(October 6)

Austin Powers helmer Jay Roach does a wedding-jitters comedy with Ben Stiller as a nurse (named Greg Focker) who clashes with his fiancée's dad (Robert De Niro).

Mercy Streets
(October 6)

Not a bio of Anne Sexton (when's that going to happen?), but a tough priest-vs.-crooks programmer that marks Eric Roberts's return from straight-to-tape land.

Requiem for a Dream
(October 6)

Pi's indie cherry bomb Darren Aronofsky takes on Hubert Selby Jr.'s novel and sets out to make a normal, albeit druggy, movie. With Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly as two of those really, really beautiful junkies.

Two Family House
(October 6)

A pair of clans unexpectedly come together in this Sundance Audience Award winner.

Whispers: An Elephant's Tale
(October 6)

Animated fluff about pachyderms, with voices by Anne Archer, Angela Bassett, and Joan Rivers.

The Red Stuff
(October 11)

Leo De Boer's amused doc visits with the last living icons of Soviet self-celebration, the cosmonauts from the early '60s, and swathes them in archival visions of Red festoonery. On a Film Forum double bill with Aki Kaurismaki's Total Balalaika Show, in which the Leningrad Cowboys join the Red Army Choir for a concert in Helsinki.

The Animal Factory
(October 13)

Steve Buscemi, who could have made a terrific movie called The Tao of Steve, returns to directing with a dark prison tale starring Edward Furlong and Willem Dafoe.

(October 13)

Already smirking through daydream-believer poses on posters blanketing Lower Manhattan, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck ask us to fall in love all over again, with them. The premise sounds like another Random Hearts; Paltrow will be sure to do lots of tearless crying.

The Contender
(October 13)

A sex scandal returns to haunt a female vice presidential candidate. Given Rod Lurie's last thudding attempt at political commentary (the war-what-is-it-good-for sermon Deterrence), this could be less diverting than the real contest.

(October 13)

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