- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 7, 2007


{bullet} Crazy Love (2007) (PG-13). A documentary feature that recalls an infamous tabloid romance of the late 1950s, matching a married New York lawyer with an incendiary young consort. The prototypes, now senior citizens, cooperated with the production. Directed by the theatrical luminary George C. Wolfe from a screenplay by Stephen Adly Guirgis.

{bullet} Day Watch (2007) (R). The second installment in a Russian science-fiction allegory that began with “Night Watch” in 2004. Derived from novels by Sergei Lukyanenko, the series envisions contemporary Moscow as a setting for medieval clashes between good and evil. Adapted and directed by Timur Bekmambetov. In Russian with English subtitles.

{bullet} Hostel: Part II (2007) (R). More terrors lurk behind the threshold of a hostel in Slovakia for vacationing and unwary college students. With Bijou Phillips, Jay Hernandez, Lauren German, Roger Bart and Heather (“Welcome to the Dollhouse”) Matarazzo. Written and directed by Eli Roth.

{bullet} Ocean’s Thirteen (2007) (PG-13). The updated caper series becomes a trilogy. The gang has an absurdly short time to organize a mission impossible aimed at the Las Vegas casino acquired by a ruthless new menace, Al Pacino, who has gravely injured a senior member of the Ocean apparatus, Elliott Gould. With aging standbys George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Scott Cain and Carl Reiner, plus outsider Ellen Barkin, cast as Mr. Pacino’s crony. Directed by Steven Soderbergh from a screenplay by the team of Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who wrote the savvy gambling melodrama “Rounders.”

{bullet} Surf’s Up (2007) (PG). Another animated comedy with penguins as the principal characters, now envisioned as surfing enthusiasts or competitors. The plot revolves around a hotshot surfer called Rockhopper, dubbed by Shia LaBeouf, whose vanity needs to chastened. He acquires an invaluable mentor in Geek, a retired surfer impersonated by Jeff Bridges. The vocal cast also includes Zooey Deschanel, James Woods, Michael McKean and Jon Heder. Co-directed by Ash Brannon and Chris Buck.

{bullet} Ten Canoes (2006) (No MPAA rating: Adult subject matter). A seriocomic fable of sexual jealousy set during the tribal antiquity of Australia. Written and directed by Rolf de Heer, who uses both English narration and Ganalbingu, an aboriginal language, with English subtitles. Exclusively at the Landmark E Street Cinema.


{bullet} Away From Her (2007) (PG-13: Some sexual references) — ***1/2. A deeply intelligent film about the burdens of marriage and memory. Julie Christie, in a bravura performance, stars as Fiona, who moves into a nursing home and seemingly forgets her husband after she’s diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Her husband Grant (Gordon Pinsent) has to watch his wife form an attachment to another man. Actress Sarah Polley directed and adapted the screenplay from an Alice Munro short story in a stunningly accomplished debut. — Kelly Jane Torrance

{bullet} Bug (2007) (R:Strong violence, sexuality, nudity, language and drug use) — **1/2. Ashley Judd stars as a divorced woman who begins dating a new man who believes he has bugs living in his body. “Bug” begins as an earnest character study but devolves into gory psycho-horror. It’s still riveting along the way, even if the payoff is a bust. — Christian Toto

{bullet} Disturbia (2007) (PG-13: Some violent scenes and sensuality) — ***. This suspenseful thriller swiftly draws viewers into its current, then picks up speed slowly before finally leaving its audience to gasp on the other side of the finale’s ripping rapids. After his father’s death leads him down a troubled path, Kale (the talented young Shia LaBeouf) finds himself under house arrest, where he learns to amuse himself with what’s outside his windows — particularly his creepy and possibly serial-killer next-door neighbor, Mr. Turner (David Morse). — Jenny Mayo

{bullet} Even Money (2007) (PG-13). A saga of compulsive gamblers, written by Robert Tannen and directed by Mark Rydell, who attracted an intriguing cast: Forest Whitaker, Ray Liotta, Kim Basinger, Danny De Vito, Carla Gugino, Nick Cannon, Kelsey Grammer and Jay Mohr. Not reviewed.

{bullet} Fay Grim (2007) (R: Language, some violent scenes and sexuality) — **1/2. Writer-director Hal Hartley’s 10-years-later sequel to “Henry Fool.” Fay Grim (Parker Posey) learns that her husband, who disappeared years ago, may have been involved in international espionage and is coerced by a CIA agent (Jeff Goldblum) to travel to Europe to reclaim journals he kept that may contain national secrets. The picture probably won’t win back the indie-film-ace status that Mr. Hartley has lost in recent years, but fans will welcome Fay’s familiar face and Miss Posey’s delicious performance. — Jenny Mayo

{bullet} The Flying Scotsman (2007) (PG-13: Some mildly violent scenes, dark themes and language) — **1/2. Jonny Lee Miller (“Afterglow,” “Trainspotting”) stars as legendary Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree in this British-made biopic about the athlete’s struggles to conquer world records as well as his own depression. Around the tumultuous main storyline — by turns dark and uplifting — the script’s supporting characters (played by Brian Cox, Billy Boyd and more) create a lighter counterpoint. — Jenny Mayo

{bullet} Fracture (2007) (R). Anthony Hopkins echoes Hannibal Lecter again while cast as a suspected murderer who relishes interrogation by Ryan Gosling, a young assistant D.A. Director Gregory Hoblit’s first successful movie was in this genre — “Primal Fear,” in which client Edward Norton outwitted criminal attorney Richard Gere. The cast includes David Strathairn, Embeth Davidtz and Rosamund Pike. Not reviewed.

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