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Sneaks `05

Projecting the year at the movies

For A Fresh Slate Of Films, The Axiom Holds True: Most Everything Sounds Promising In January.

January 16, 2005|Capsules compiled by Kevin Crust and Kinsey Lowe

Doom. The movie version of the popular computer game is a science-fiction adventure set in the distant future. Starring Karl Urban and the Rock. Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak ("Cradle 2 the Grave"). Universal Pictures, Aug. 5.

Fantastic Four. Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch and Thing are the latest comic-book heroes to move to the big screen. Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis star. Directed by Tim Story ("Barbershop"). Fox, July 1.

The Great Raid. The U.S. Army's 6th Ranger Battalion attempts to rescue 500 prisoners of war in the Philippines during World War II. Benjamin Bratt and James Franco star. Directed by John Dahl. Miramax, Dec. 2.

Hostage. Bruce Willis plays a former L.A. hostage negotiator whose peaceful tour as a small-town police chief is interrupted by a dangerously complex situation requiring his expertise. Directed by Florent Emilio Siri. Miramax, March.

Into the Blue. Four young divers discover a famous shipwreck believed to hold millions in gold only to be thwarted by a nearby plane wreck full of illegal cargo. Paul Walker and Jessica Alba star and look good in swimsuits. Directed by John Stockwell ("Blue Crush"). MGM, July 15.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Million-dollar screenwriter Shane Black ("Lethal Weapon") directed this yarn about a petty thief who gets a taste of Hollywood and a murder investigation. Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer (above left and right) and Michelle Monaghan star. Warner Bros., summer.

The Lords of Dogtown. Fictionalized version of Stacy Peralta's documentary "Dogtown and Z-Boys," about the nascent skateboard culture in 1970s Venice. Heath Ledger, Johnny Knoxville and Emile Hirsch star. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke ("Thirteen"). TriStar Pictures, June 10.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Married assassins played by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (above) are unaware of each other's vocation until they receive orders to kill each other. Directed by Doug Liman ("The Bourne Identity"). Fox, June 10.

Old Boy. After being framed for his wife's murder by an unknown enemy and imprisoned for 15 years, a Seoul businessman sets out to unravel the mystery. Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2004. Directed by Park Chan-Wook. Tartan Films, March.

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior. Tony Jaa stars as the defender of a rural village who is called upon to retrieve the stolen head of the town's Buddha statue. Directed by Prachya Pinkaew. Magnolia Pictures, Feb. 11.

Unleashed. Jet Li stars as a man raised by the mob to be a killing machine who forsakes that life and takes up with the family of a blind piano tuner. Bob Hoskins and Morgan Freeman also star. Directed by Louis Leterrier ("The Transporter"). Rogue Pictures, April 8.

V for Vendetta. In a totalitarian Britain of the future, a mystery man incites a revolution with the help of a seemingly mild-mannered woman. Directed by James McTeigue. Warner Bros., TBA.

XXX: State of the Union. An NSA agent (Samuel L. Jackson) taps another outside recruit (Ice Cube) to track down a renegade military group in this sequel. Willem Dafoe co-stars. Directed by Lee Tamahori. Columbia Pictures, April 29.

Zu Warriors. Producer-director-writer Tsui Hark ("Once Upon a Time in China") teams with martial arts director Yuen Wo-Ping ("The Matrix," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") and star Ziyi Zhang in a Hong Kong action yarn. Miramax Films, Aug. 19.



All the King's Men. Steven Zaillian adapted and directs Robert Penn Warren's classic novel, previously filmed in 1949, about a beguilingly

powerful Southern political boss. Sean Penn, Jude Law and Kate Winslet head an

impressive cast. Columbia Pictures, TBA.

American Gun. Intertwining stories reflect the impact the propagation of firearms has on U.S. society. With Donald Sutherland, Forest Whitaker and Marcia Gay Harden. Directed by Aric Avelino. IFC Films, Fall.

Annapolis. A blue-collar kid (James Franco) aims to become both an officer and a gentleman through a Naval Academy boxing competition. With Tyrese Gibson and Jordana Brewster. Directed by Justin Lin ("Better Luck Tomorrow"). Touchstone Pictures, TBA.

The Ballad of Jack and Rose. Rebecca Miller directs her husband, Daniel Day-Lewis, in this story about a single father who brings his lover and her two sons to live with him and his teenage daughter on a secluded island in the Pacific Northwest. Catherine Keener and Camilla Belle co-star. IFC Films, March 25.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. Two urban teens are sent to a rural mountain region for reeducation toward the end of China's cultural revolution and both fall in love with the local tailor's daughter. With Xun Zhou, Kun Chen and Ye Liu. Directed by Dai Sijie. Empire Pictures, April 22.

Beautiful Boxer. A Thai kickboxing champ believes he's a female trapped in a man's body and fights to earn the money for a sex-change operation. Asanee Suwan stars. Directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham. here!/Regent Releasing, Feb. 18.

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