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FALL SNEAKS

Bountiful harvest

Studios Usually Get Serious In Autumn, With An Eye Toward The Oscars. But There's Room For Laughs.

September 12, 2004

Sept. 17

Cowboys & Angels

Comedy

TLA Releasing

With: Michael Legge, Allen Leech, Amy Shiels, David Murray

The idea: An awkward young man gets a faster life than he bargained for when he gets a gay roommate, a new girl and a job as a drug-runner.

Writer-director: David Gleason

* So? Not your usual Irish movie

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Animation

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday September 12, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 26 words Type of Material: Correction
"Untold Scandal" -- A Korean adaptation of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" titled "Untold Scandal" is incorrectly listed as "Untold Story" in today's Calendar section Fall Sneaks issue.

Go Fish Pictures

The idea: Cyborg detective investigates the case of a female sex robot that slaughtered its owner.

Writer-director: Mamoru Oshii

* So? Worthy but not groundbreaking

Head in the Clouds

Drama

Sony Pictures Classics

With: Charlize Theron, Stuart Townsend, Penelope Cruz, Thomas Kretschmann, Steven Berkoff

The idea: The Spanish Civil War tears apart three bohemian friends.

Writer-director: John Duigan

* So? Lavish but superficial

Incident at Loch Ness

Documentary

Step Two

With: Werner Herzog, John Bailey, Zak Penn

The idea: A film within a film within a film chronicling Herzog's unfinished doc about the Loch Ness monster.

Director: Penn

* So? Herzog has a sense of humor

Merci Docteur Rey

Comedy

here! Films/Regent Releasing

With: Dianne Wiest, Jane Birkin, Stanislas Merhar, Jerry Hall, Simon Callow, Vanessa Redgrave

The idea: French bedroom farce about an American opera star, her gay son and his increasingly screwball encounters, including a visit to the shrink of the title.

Writer-director: Andrew Litvack

* So? Less than the sum of its parts

Mr. 3000

Comedy

Touchstone Pictures

With: Bernie Mac, Paul Sorvino, Chris Noth, Michael Rispoli, Angela Bassett

The idea: Retired egomaniacal baseball player returns to the game 10 years (and many pounds) later to try to reestablish his Hall of Fame credentials.

Writers: Eric Champnella & Keith Mitchell and Howard Michael Gould; story by Champnella & Mitchell

Director: Charles Stone III

* So? Is Bernie Mac ever not funny?

National Lampoon's

Gold Diggers

Comedy

Voyage Entertainment/ Delfino Entertainment

The idea: Will Friedle, Chris Owen, Louis Lasser, Renee Taylor, Nikki Ziering, Rudy DeLuca

The idea: Two failed con men turn their attention to marrying two aging, wealthy sisters.

Writer-director: Gary Preisler

* So? Milking the brand.

Reconstruction

Drama

Palm Pictures

With: Maria Bonnevie, Nikolaj Lie Kaas

The idea: A young Danish photographer's fling with an alluring Swede renders him a stranger to those he thought he knew.

Writer-director: Christoffer Boe & Mogens Rukov

* So? The wages of adultery

Silver City

Political satire

NewMarket Films

With: Chris Cooper, Richard Dreyfuss, Daryl Hannah, Maria Bello, Danny Huston, Thora Birch, Tim Roth, Kris Kristofferson, Michael Murphy, Mary Kay Place

The idea: The gubernatorial campaign of a language-mangling scion is complicated by a corpse with bad timing.

Writer-director: John Sayles

* So? Amusing but too obvious

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Adventure

Paramount

With: Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Giovanni Ribisi, Bai Ling, Omid Djalili, Angelina Jolie

The idea: Lady journalist and flashy aviator look into mysterious disappearances of famous scientists in retro environs.

Writer-director: Kerry Conran

* So? Visually fascinating, kinetic

Wimbledon

Comedy

Universal

With: Kirsten Dunst, Paul Bettany, Sam Neill, Jon Favreau

The idea: A lowly Brit tennis player finds his way into the world-famous All-England tournament and falls for U.S. star.

Writers: Adam Brooks and Jennifer Flackett & Mark Levin

Director: Richard Loncraine

* So? Courtiers

Zelary

Drama

Sony Pictures Classics

With: Ana Geislerova, Gyorgy Cserhalmi, Jaroslava Adamova, Miroslav Donutil, Jaroslav Dusek, Iva Bittova, Ivan Trojan, Jan Hrusinsky, Ondrej Koval, Juraj Hreka, Edita Malovcic, Michael Hofbauer, Jan Toiska, Imre Boraros, Reinhard Simonischek, Tomas Zateeka, Anieka Vitrelaoova

The idea: A Czech resistance fighter is forced into hiding, posing as the wife of a mountain man.

Writer: Petr Jarchovsky, based on the novel "Jozova Hanule" by Kvita Legatova

Director: Ondrej Trojan

* So? Adroitly epic and intimate

Sept. 24

Anatomy of Hell

Drama

Tartan Films

With: Amira Casar, Rocco Siffredi

The idea: A woman pays a gay man to watch her over four days and nights in which they bare more than their souls.

Writer-director: Catherine Breillat, based on her book "Pornocracy"

* So? Aggressively frontal

A Dirty Shame

Comedy

Fine Line

With: Tracey Ullman, Chris Isaak, Johnny Knoxville, Selma Blair

The idea: A blow to the head causes a repressed housewife to become sexually insatiable.

Writer-director: John Waters

* So? Frontal nudity is the least outrageous thing about it

Distant

Drama

New Yorker Films

With: Muzaffer Ozmedir, Emin Toprak

The idea: The life of a photographer in Istanbul is disrupted by the arrival of a distant relative.

Writer-director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

* So? Seriously but effectively minimal

The Final Cut

Thriller

Lions Gate Films

With: Robin Williams, Mira Sorvino, Jim Caviezel, Mimi Kuzyk, Stephanie Romanov, Thom Bishops

The idea: Futuristic technology allows for a chip in the brain to record the entire life of wealthy individuals with an edited version shown at their funeral.

Writer-director: Omar Naim

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