Picture This

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

Red Planet
(November 3)

We've destroyed the earth, mankind has to relocate to Mars, and the fate of the planet rests with intrepid astronaut . . . Val Kilmer! Terence Stamp, Tom Sizemore, and Carrie-Anne Moss tag along.

The Weekend
(November 3)

Grief, more grief, and heartwarming resolution await a family during a post-funeral couple of days; Gena Rowlands and Deborah Kara Unger do the emoting.

Little Nicky
(November 10)

Adam Sandler is the son of Satan (Harvey Keitel) who just won't toe the company line. Hey, here's a Sunday Timesthink piece: Devil comedies, why now? With Ozzy Osbourne (as himself), Quentin Tarantino, Patricia Arquette, and Rodney Dangerfield.

Maléna
(November 10)

Guiseppe Tornatore's newest heart-warmer, about a Sicilian vamp who initiates, one way or another, a group of teenagers' en masse cherry-popping. Written by Luciano Vincenzoni, master scripter of spaghetti westerns. Kids watching sex in a hayloft seems inevitable.

Men of Honor
(November 10)

The story of the Navy's first black diver, Carl Brashear, played by Cuba Gooding Jr. Boilerplate Hollywood-smooching-military hokum, with Robert De Niro as Brashear's superior officer.

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(November 17)

Jim Carrey, unrecognizable under prosthetics and digital effects, extrapolates a gag-and-slalom-filled feature from a single 23-minute cartoon. We'll miss Boris Karloff.

Original Sin
(November 17)

Antonio Banderas makes the beast with two backs with femme fatale Angelina Jolie. Try to spot if her "Billy Bob" tattoo was one of those iron-on deals.

Rugrats in Paris: The Movie
(November 17)

The lovable, malapropism-spitting cartoon brats dismantle France and experience virtual reality; along the way, bespectacled worrywart Chuckie gets a new mom. If it's half as witty as the reruns, it'll be a gift to parents.

The 6th Day
(November 17)

Arnold Schwarzenegger narrowly survives a helicopter crash and returns home to discover he's been replaced by a clone. Didn't they clone Arnold years ago?

What's Cooking?
(November 17)

Black, Latino, Asian, and Jewish neighbors come together. Thanks-giving, multiculti Sundance style.

You Can Count on Me
(November 17)

Directed by Kenneth Lonergan, this brother-sister indie won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance.

102 Dalmatians
(November 22)

We can see it now: scampering puppies, wagging tails, and Glenn Close's tonsils.

The Trench
(November 22)

Brit novelist William Boyd's first film is a Remarque-esque WWI odyssey for a group of young Englishmen as they head into the meat-grinder of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Unbreakable
(November 22)

Bruce Willis (reteaming with The Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan) plays the miraculous sole survivor of a train wreck who bonds with a frail Samuel L. Jackson (like Rosie Perez in Fearless?).

Cherry Falls

Romper Stomper's Geoffrey Wright directs this teen-slasher parody, which apparently has as many hymen and virgin gags as Dr. Strangelove had dicks. What there could be left to satirize, you tell us.

Dungeons and Dragons

We almost completely forgot about this decades-old role-playing idiocy. With a script that is, we'll bet, just loaded with Pinterisms.

Lockdown

Master P exec-produces a prison drama.

Signs & Wonders

This second feature by Sundaydirector Jonathan Nossiter was blasted at Berlin for its pretentious opacity—a quality that could, arguably, only have improved any given Sundance entry this year. Stars Stellan Skarsgård and Charlotte Rampling, so it can't be all bad.

Simon Mágus

Devil-worshiping Jewish boy builds railroad. We're not making this up.

Sweet November

Middlebrow bore Pat O'Connor remakes the '60s Sandy Dennis disease melodrama/romantic comedy, reuniting Devil's Advocate stars Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron. Start praying now for a cameo by the devil—or at least Al Pacino.


December

Hillbrow Kids
(December 6)

German doc-makers Michael Hammon and Jacqueline Görgen chronicle Johannesburg street children.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
(December 8)

Ang Lee's intermittently dazzling martial-arts crowd-pleaser makes the most of fight choreographer Yuen Wo-Ping (The Matrix) and a high-wattage quartet (Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, and Chang Chen, the kid from Happy Together), though it doesn't so much revitalize the genre as discerningly repackage it for Western consumption.

Songcatcher
(December 8)

Another Sundance victor collects its spoils; this one finds Janet McTeer trading academia for Appalachia.

Vertical Limit
(December 8)

Bond vet Martin Campbell directs a mountain-climbing rescue thriller, with Chris O'Donnell, Bill Paxton, and Robin Tunney suffering in the snow. Feels like you just saw the whole movie right now, doesn't it?

Chocolat
(December 15)

Clash of the cheekbones: Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp star in a romantic comedy centered around a chocolate shop in a French village. One hopes for lots of wordless gazing on the order of Beau Travail, but unfortunately Lasse Hallström directs. So long as he lights them well.

The Emperor's New Groove
(December 15)

Disney animation about Incan rulers and llama herders. For a change, the assortment of voices is intriguing: Tom Jones, Eartha Kitt, John Goodman, Patrick Warburton.

The Family Man
(December 15)

Genius auteur Brett (Rush Hour) Ratner handles this identity-switching comedy (wealthy single banker Nicolas Cage gets plopped into a middle-class, soccer-mom existence) with his characteristic insight and irony. Just the sort of thing you hate Hollywood for in the morning.

What Women Want
(December 15)

Nancy Meyers, without her sty-mate Charles Shyer, helms this looming horror about a man (Mel Gibson) who can suddenly read the minds of women. Prognosis: sexist jokes followed by comeuppance and turnaround. Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Lauren Holly, Bette Midler, and Delta Burke get read; we get sick.

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