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Summer Sneaks

Only the strong survive

May 04, 2003

Aug. 1

Gigli

Comedy

Columbia

With: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bartha, Lainie Kazan.

The idea: Gorgeous gangster tries to sort out a bungled kidnapping.

Writer-director: Martin Brest.

So? Fairly high curiosity factor.

Dirty Pretty Things

Thriller

Miramax

With: Audrey Tautou, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sergi Lopez, Sophie Okonedo.

The idea: A shocking discovery at the London hotel where they work propels a desperate man and woman into the city's underworld.

Writer: Steve Knight.

Director: Stephen Frears.

So? Unsavory business.

Freaky Friday

Comedy

Walt Disney

With: Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, Harold Gould, Chad Michael Murray.

The idea: Mother and teenage daughter get a new perspective when they switch bodies on the eve of Mom's wedding.

Writers: Leslie Dixon and Heather Hach; based on the novel by Mary Rodgers.

Director: Mark Waters.

So? A remake that may work on its own terms.

Aug. 8

And Now Ladies and Gentlemen

Drama

Paramount Classics

With: Jeremy Irons, Patricia Kaas, Thierry Lhermitte, Allesandra Martines.

The idea: Jewel thief and nightclub singer have an eventful encounter in Morocco.

Writer-director: Claude Lelouch.

So? Chanteuse Kaas' screen debut.

Le Divorce

Comedy

Fox Searchlight

With: Jean-Marc Barr, Leslie Caron, Stockard Channing, Glenn Close, Romain Duris, Kate Hudson.

The idea: Cultures clash when American sisters find romance and scandal in Paris.

Writers: James Ivory and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala; based on the novel by Diane Johnson.

Director: Ivory.

So? Attractive material.

Shaolin Soccer

Action comedy

Miramax

With: Stephen Chow, Ng Mang-Tat, Li Hui. Zhou Wei.

The idea: Disciples of the Shaolin martial arts school bring their tradition to the game of soccer.

Writers: Chow, Tsang Kan Cheong.

Director: Chow.

So? Soccerrific.

Matchstick Men

Comedy

Warner Bros.

With: Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman.

The idea: Obsessive-compulsive con man's life is complicated by the unexpected arrival of his teenage daughter.

Writers: Nicholas Griffin & Ted Griffin; based on the book by Eric Garcia.

Director: Ridley Scott.

So? A girl in their soup.

Aug. 15

American Splendor

Drama

HBO/Fine Line

With: Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis, James Urbaniak.

The idea: Comic-book writer Harvey Pekar chronicles the adventures not of a superhero, but of an everyman -- himself.

Writer-directors: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini; based on Pekar's comic book series.

So? Insightful, creative, took Grand Jury Prize at 2003 Sundance Festival.

Battle of Shaker Heights

Comedy-drama

Miramax

With: Not available.

The idea: High schooler's life is changed when he meets someone who shares his passion: reenacting World War II battles.

Writer: Erica Beeney.

Directors: Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin.

So? Project Greenlight No. 2.

Freddy vs. Jason

Horror

New Line

With: Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger.

The idea: Clash of the slashers.

Writers: Damian Shannon & Mark Swift and David S. Goyer; story by Shannon & Swift.

Director: Ronny Yu.

So? Hong Kong's Yu drops in on Elm Street.

The Medallion

Action

Screen Gems

With: Jackie Chan, Claire Forlani, Julian Sands, Lee Evans.

The idea: A mysterious medallion gives Chan superhuman powers.

Writers: Gordon Chan, Bey Logan.

Director: Gordon Chan.

So? We already thought he was super.

Once Upon a Time in the Midlands

Comedy

Sony Pictures Classics

With: Robert Carlyle, Rhys Ifans, Kathy Burke, Shirley Henderson.

The idea: A former boyfriend meets resistance when he shows up to rekindle an old flame.

Writers: Paul Fraser and Shane Meadows.

Director: Meadows.

So? Hooks and crooks.

Passionada

Romantic drama

IDP/Samuel Goldwyn/Fireworks

With: Sofia Milos, Jason Isaacs, Emmy Rossum, Lupe Ontiveros, Seymour Cassel, Theresa Russell.

The idea: Portuguese American singer and single mom falls for the wrong man.

Writers: Jim Jermanok, Steve Jermanok.

Director: Dan Ireland.

So? Seductive.

Aug. 20

Thirteen

Drama

Fox Searchlight

With: Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter, Nikki Reed, Jeremy Sisto.

The idea: L.A. teenager falls under the spell of some fast-paced peers.

Writers: Catherine Hardwicke and Nikki Reed.

Director: Hardwicke.

So? Reed was 13 when she co-wrote the story, based on her experiences.

Aug. 22

Bukowski: Born Into This

Documentary

Magnolia Pictures

The idea: Close look at hard-living poet.

Director: John Dullaghan.

So? True grime.

Grind

Comedy

Warner Bros.

With: Mike Vogel, Vince Vieluf, Adam Brody, Joey Kern.

The idea: Wannabes follow a skateboard star on his summer tour.

Writer: Ralph Sall.

Director: Casey La Scala.

So? Boarders hit the road.

Marci X

Comedy

Paramount

With: Lisa Kudrow.

The idea: Record exec's daughter takes over rap label.

Writer: Paul Rudnick.

Director: Richard Benjamin.

So? Culture clash for laughs.

My Boss' Daughter

Comedy

Dimension

With: Ashton Kutcher, Tara Reid, Jeffrey Tambor, Andy Richter.

The idea: Young exec house-sits for the boss, tries to stave off disaster.

Writer: David Dorfman.

Director: David Zucker.

So? House of mirth.

Aug. 27

Highwaymen

Thriller

New Line

With: Jim Caviezel, Rhona Mitra.

The idea: Serial killer wields a '72 El Dorado.

Writers: Hans Bauer & Craig Mitchell.

Director: Robert Harmon.

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