This week's premieres
photo: Saturn Entertainment
Calendar Girls (Hore bez) - Comedy/Drama by Nigel Cole. Based on the true story of a group of middle-aged women in North Yorkshire, England, who band together to pose for a nude calendar. Simply planning to raise money for research for leukemia, the disease that took the life of a group-member's husband, the women instead become an international sensation. If the prospect of nude and scantily clad middle-aged women is unappetizing, keep in mind that the film boasts an excellent cast of British actresses, led by the perpetually brilliant Helen Mirren (Gosford Park, the Prime Suspect series), who also happens to be ageing quite gracefully.
Other movies playing
Along Came Polly (Riskni to s Polly) - Romantic comedy by John Hamburg. The second directorial effort from the screenwriter responsible for the Ben Stiller vehicles Zoolander and Meet the Parents. In this film Stiller plays Reuben, a (surprise!) neurotic, uptight newlywed whose wife (Debra Messing) has left him for a French scuba instructor (Hank Azaria). Fortunately, the adventurous Polly (Jennifer Aniston) comes along to free him. Also starring the ubiquitous Philip Seymour Hoffman and Alec Baldwin.
photo: Continetal Films
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (Scooby-Doo 2: Príšery vypustené) - Comedy/Mystery by Raja Gosnell. The justly beloved cartoon series about an excitable mystery-solving dog and his four human companions returns to the silver screen in live-action/animated form. The first film provoked wildly differing responses (largely negative) and this one has been received even less enthusiastically. Fortunately, one can be sure that this film will not take itself too seriously (or at all, for that matter).
photo: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Mambo Italiano - Comedy drama by Émile Gaudrealt. In the wake of recently successful ethnic romantic comedies (Monsoon Wedding, Bend it Like Beckham, and - last and most certainly least - My Big Fat Greek Wedding) comes this tale of Italian immigrants in Montreal. Angelo (Luke Kirby) desperately wants to move out of his parents' house. But the traditional Italian couple (Paul Sorvino and Ginette Reno) are appalled by the idea of one of their own leaving home before getting married. The situation is slightly more complicated than the parents realise, however: The still closeted Angelo wants to move in with his boyfriend.
photo: SPI International
Dirty Pretty Things (Pekné svinstvo) - Thriller/Drama by Stephen Frears. Acclaimed British filmmaker Frears' (High Fidelity, The Grifters, Dangerous Liaisons) turns his camera to London's seedy underworld. The film could have easily crumbled, as its script occasionally lays things out a little too neatly and concretely for its own good. But Frears' assured hand keeps it a compelling and affecting portrait of the multi-faceted, dangerous world of London's illegal immigrant community. The film revolves around Owke (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a Nigerian forced to hide from his past, and Senay (Audrey Tautou), a devout Turkish muslim trying to honour her faith while still realising her dream of reaching New York. With their wide eyes and exquisite features, Ejiofor and Tautou both possess the sort of emotive faces the cinema was created for. Even as the film goes into territory that would normally cause us to step back, their performances constantly keep us with them, hanging onto their every move.
Gothika - Horror/Thriller by Mathieu Kassovitz. Halle Barry (Monster's Ball) plays a criminal psychologist who, after a rather frightening experience, wakes up one day to find herself committed in the asylum where she works. Unsure of how she got there, she tries to piece together her most recent memories after strange and disturbing things begin happening to her. Also starring Penelope Cruz (Vanilla Sky) and Robert Downey Jr (Wonder Boys), who used some of his precious time not spent behind bars making this movie, instead of the sort of small, off-beat, comedic films he is so perfectly suited for. Let's hope it was worth it.
photo: Saturn Entertainment
The Haunted Mansion (Strašidelný zámok) - Family comedy by Rob Minkoff. Following Pirates of the Caribbean, this is the second film in a year adapted from a Walt Disney theme park ride; unfortunately, this one does not fare as well. Whereas Pirates' Johnny Depp was given room to be as simultaneously charming and ridiculous as he wanted, Haunted Mansion star Eddie Murphy is merely annoying in a movie that already has little going for it.
Paycheck (Výplata) - Sci-fi/Thriller by John Woo. Hong Kong genius turned fairly boring Hollywood filmmaker Woo adapts a short story by cult novelist Philip K Dick, whose work has already been adapted for the screen as Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and Steven Spielberg's Minority Report. The good news: Uma Thurman. The bad news: Ben Affleck.
photo: Continental Film
The Rules of Attraction (Pravidlá vášne) - Comedy/Dra-ma by Roger Avary. After the film version of Bret Easton Ellis' extremely controversial novel American Psycho, about a homicidal Wall Street broker in the 1980s, became a cult hit, perhaps it seemed safer to adapt one of his earlier novels for the screen. And so comes The Rules of Attraction, which details the sexual exploits of a drug dealer and the young people of varying degrees of corruptness that surround him at a small, elite US college. James Van Der Beek of Dawson's Creek fame leads a cast of pretty young people.
Prepared by Jonathan Knapp
5. Apr 2004 at 0:00