t's that time of year again the time for young lovebirds to emerge from their nests and sing the sweet song of romance. And it's no different for our friends on the big screen. We've got Val Kilmer massaging his way to Mira Sorvino's heart, Sarah Michelle Gellar enchanting New York businessmen, and a teenager trying to pork a first-grade teacher. So, grab your sweetheart and head to the theater nearest you!
Val Kilmer's in for the sight of his life. In what's shaping up to be this year's premier chick-flick, the former Batman assumes the role of Virgil Adamson, a massage therapist who has been blind since birth, but decides to have his vision surgically restored at the urging of his newfound love (Mira Sorvino). Gotta wonder how Kilmer adjusts we haven't been able to take our eyes off Sorvino since Mighty Aphrodite.
20th Century Fox
You might want to pass on the candy and popcorn for this one. Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential) plays a psycho army captain with a curious appetite for human flesh. Kind of bites for the eight other soldiers who are stuck with him at a Sierra Nevada fort. Hopefully, Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty) and David Arquette (Scream 2) won't wind up as minced meat in the end.
Nicolas Cage plays a private investigator whose obsession with unraveling a mystery takes him away from his quiet Pennsylvania life to the streets of Hollywood and the slums of New York's meat-packing district. Joaquin Phoenix co-stars as Cage's street-smart companion and Catherine Keener (Your Friends and Neighbors) plays Cage's wife. Hang on to that stress ball for this one.
20th Century Fox
A movie about a couple of twentysomething yuppies going through mid-life crises seems right up Jennifer Aniston's alley. What might catch you by surprise, though, is this flick's director "Beavis and Butthead" and "King of the Hill" creator Mike Judge. Based loosely around a series of animated shorts Judge created early in his career, the movie revolves around a fed-up waitress (Aniston) and a disgruntled computer programmer (Ron Livingston, Swingers) in search of a better life. Wonder if Livingston's "money" enough to get with his newfound friend?
End of The Ocean
It's a parent's worst nightmare having a child suddenly disappear. But imagine seeing that child nine years later, and he doesn't even remember you. Michelle Pfeiffer plays the role of a mother who reunites with her 12-year-old son Ben, only to find out he's since forged a new life with his adoptive folks. Treat Williams (Deep Rising) plays Pfeiffer's husband, and Jonathan Jackson ("General Hospital") assumes the role of Ben's troubled brother. Don't forget the Kleenex for this one.
From The Past
First, he played a Neanderthal-turned-high school student in "Encino Man," then he jumped out of the trees to bring us George of the Jungle. Now, Brendan Fraser's back to play another character who's lived a pretty sheltered life. Thirty years in a bomb shelter has taken its toll on this man, who sets out into the modern-day world to re-stock supplies and search for a wife. May we suggest the supermarket for both?
It's every schoolboy's dream hooking up with a hot teacher. Unfortunately for ambitious 10th grader Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), a rich steel tycoon (Bill Murray) stands in the way of his fantasy. Jealousy rages and an all-out battle to win the heart of sexy first-grade teacher Ms. Blume (Olivia Williams) ensues. Mary Kay LeTourneau would be so flattered.
A lot of guns and a scene where someone shows off his penis familiar territory for Mark Wahlberg. But, don't get us wrong, even though this film's got both, it's far from your everyday flick. The pairing of Wahlberg with legendary Hong Kong action hero Chow Yun-Fat and executive producer Oliver Stone is reason enough to get excited. Wahlberg plays an NYPD rookie who learns the politics of Chinatown through a veteran cop (Yun-Fat). Sound like Rush Hour? Don't worry, you won't be laughing at the end of this one.
In the grand tradition of Heathers and Carrie comes this dark comedy about three snotty high school babes who accidentally kill their best friend during a prank. Rose McGowan, Rebecca Gayheart and Julie Benz (As Good as it Gets) star as the stuck-up girls of Reagan High, while newcomer Judy Greer (Kissing a Fool) plays the nerd-turned-knockout who knows their naughty secret. Look for a cameo by McGowan's real-life boyfriend Marilyn Manson.
Val Kilmer's in for the sight of his life. In what's shaping up to be this year's premiere chick-flick, the former Batman assumes the role of Virgil Adamson, a masseuse who has been blind since birth, but decides to have his vision surgically restored at the urging of his newfound love (Mira Sorvino). Gotta wonder how Kilmer adjusts we haven't been able to take our eyes off Sorvino since Mighty Aphrodite.
20th Century Fox
Everybody's favorite vampire slayer is back on the big screen, but she won't be running away from serial killers or driving stakes through anyone's heart in this one. Actually, Sara Michelle Gellar's captured the heart of a Manhattan executive (Sean Patrick Flanery). But Flanery's onto her game, he suspects she has magical powers. How charming.
Out of luck and out of love?
You can learn a lesson from Myles Berkowitz, the thirty-something bachelor with unfulfilled Hollywood dreams and a "non-existent" love life, who turned his personal follies into one of this year's most outrageous romantic comedies.
It's 20 Dates, a real-life chronicle of Berkowitz's dating dilemmas. That's right, to truly explore the intricacies of single life, he had his camera crew go undercover and film 20 of his not-so-romantic rendezvous. "If we used real people and real footage, we would catch snippets of reality that would really hit home with the audience," he says.
For Berkowitz, this reality included running out of money at a fancy restaurant and confronting a date's psycho boyfriend. "When students are in college, I don't think they can appreciate that when you're in your 30s in a city, dating is not easy!"
And while the actor/director assures us "the only person I'm making fun of in the movie is me," not every woman he courted was amused with his candid camera. One of the women featured in the film is suing Berkowitz, while another case has already been settled.
But it wasn't just the lawsuits that took Berkowitz by surprise. He actually catches a romantic break by the end of the film. "I started out to make a really mean, little comedy about dating, but I never actually thought I'd meet somebody. And I never, ever thought I'd actually fall in love."
Guess anything's possible this is Hollywood after all.
Now you won't need anyone to take you to Funkytown it's coming to a campus near you. Directed by Steven Greenberg, the guy who wrote the disco hit of the same name, this indie documentary explores the trials and tribulations of the music biz. And you don't even need polyester pants to enjoy it. Check www.flixtour.com to see if Funkytown will be coming to your campus.
By Jamie Pietras, Assistant Editor