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Summer Sneaks

Only the strong survive

May 04, 2003

July 2

Legally Blonde 2:

Red, White & Blonde



With: Reese Witherspoon, Sally Field, Bob Newhart, Luke Wilson.

The idea: Now a lawyer (make that a fired lawyer), Elle negotiates Washington's corridors of power, and she almost never goes anywhere without her Chihuahua.

Writer: Kate Kondell; story by Eve Ahlert & Dennis Drake and Kate Kondell; based on characters created by Amanda Brown.

Director: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld.

So? Blond momentum.

Taking Sides


New Yorker Films

With: Harvey Keitel, Stellan Skarsgard

The idea: The name of conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler, who elected to remain in Germany during WWII, is tainted after he is forced to appear before the American De-Nazification Committee.

Writer: Ronald Harwood, based on his play.

Director: Istvan Szabo.

So? Morality play.

July 4

The Housekeeper



With: Jean-Pierre Bacri, Emilie Dequenne.

The idea: After his wife walks out, a fiftysomething Parisian takes a shine to his new housekeeper.

Writer: Claude Berri, based on the novel by Christian Oster.

Director: Berri.

So? A French midlife crisis.

A Woman Is a Woman



With: Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean-Claude Brialy.

The idea: Romantic roundelay with a lovesick stripper, her dull boyfriend and his vagabond pal.

Writer-director: Jean-Luc Godard.

So? The 1961 work was Godard's first in color and CinemaScope.

July 9

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl


Walt Disney

With: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley.

The idea: Captain pursues pirates who have stolen his ship and kidnapped the governor's daughter.

Writers: Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio; story by Stuart Beattie; based on Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean.

Director: Gore Verbinski.

So? Promises to be as much fun as the ride that inspired it.

July 11

I Capture the Castle


Samuel Goldwyn

With: Romola Garai, Marc Blucas, Rose Byrne.

The idea: Family moves to remote castle in Suffolk, England, so Dad can finish a book. It doesn't work out.

Writer: Heidi Thomas, based on novel by Dodie Smith ("101 Dalmatians").

Director: Tim Fywell.

So? Impoverished Europeans court rich Americans.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen



With: Sean Connery, Shane West, Stuart Townsend, Peta Wilson.

The idea: Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man and other proto-superheroes try to save the world.

Writer: James Dale Robinson; based on the comic books by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill.

Director: Stephen Norrington.

So? Super stew: Norrington directed "Blade."

Lucia, Lucia


Fox Searchlight

With: Cecilia Roth, Kuno Becker, Carlos Alvarez-Novoa.

The idea: The mysterious disappearance of her husband leads a woman to reinvent her life.

Writer-director: Antonio Serrano, based on the Rosa Montero novel.

So? In Mexico, it was intriguingly titled "The Cannibal's Daughter."



Paramount Classics

With: Peter Coyote, Anthony Edwards, Duel Farnes, Daryl Hannah, Nick Nolte.

The idea: Locals hold out against plans to flood a Montana village.

Writers: Mark Polish, Michael Polish.

Director: Michael Polish.

So? Idiosyncratic to the max.




With: August Diehl, Christian Redl, Nadeshda Brennicke.

The idea: Investigators trail a serial killer into a fetishistic criminal underground.

Writer-director: Robert Schwentke.

So? Grisly suspense.

July 18

The Anarchist Cookbook


Innovation Film Group

With: Devon Gummersall, Dylan Bruno, Katharine Towne.

The idea: College dropout joins a freewheeling commune.

Writer-director: Jordan Susman.

So? Familiar cuisine.

Garage Days


Fox Searchlight

With: Kick Gurry, Maya Stange, Pia Miranda, Brett Stiller.

The idea: The struggles of an aspiring Australian garage band.

Writers: Dave Warner, Alex Proyas, Michael Udesky.

Director: Proyas.

So? Change of pace for director of "The Crow," "Dark City."

How to Deal


New Line

With: Mandy Moore, Trent Ford, Allison Janney, Peter Gallagher.

The idea: Disillusioned teen finds unexpected love.

Writer: Neena Beber, based on novels by Sarah Dessen.

Director: Clare Kilner.

So? Based on series of successful teen novels.

The Magdalene Sisters



With: Geraldine McEwan, Dorothy Duffy, Annie-Marie Duff, Eileen Walsh.

The idea: Follows four "fallen women" forced into servitude by the Catholic Church in 1960s Ireland.

Writer-director: Peter Mullan.

So? Not a flattering portrait.

Bad Boys II



With: Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Jordi Molla, Gabrielle Union.

The idea: Mismatched cops tackle a drug kingpin.

Writers: Ron Shelton, Jerry Stahl, John Lee Hancock; based on characters created by George Gallo.

Director: Michael Bay.

So? Fast, funny, loud.

On the Run / An Amazing Couple / After the Life


Magnolia Pictures

With: Ornella Muti, Francois Morel, Catherine Frot, Lucas Belvaux.

The idea: An escaped convict, a deceitful couple, a drug-addict teacher and her policeman husband figure in the three separate, linked movies.

Writer-director: Belvaux.

So? Interesting but less than epic.

Johnny English



With: Rowan Atkinson, Natalie Imbruglia, Ben Miller, John Malkovich.

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