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FALL MOVIE SNEAKS

For now, what's not to like?

Wars Old And New, Capote Redux, President Robin Williams -- On Paper, It's Thumbs Up All Around.

September 10, 2006

Friday

Artie Lange's Beer League

The comedian goes from Howard Stern's radio sidekick to leading man, playing an unemployed schlub who attempts to lead his softball team of misfits to victory when love changes his priorities in life. With Cara Buono, Ralph Macchio, Seymour Cassel, Jerry Minor and Jimmy Palumbo. Written by Frank Sebastiano & Artie Lange. Directed by Frank Sebastiano. Echo Bridge

* So? Chugalug.

The Black Dahlia

Director Brian DePalma enters "L.A. Confidential" territory with an adaptation of James Ellroy's bestselling novel that combines the facts of the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short with the fictional story of two LAPD detectives (Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart) who get too involved in the case. With Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank, Mia Kirshner, Mike Star and Fiona Shaw. Screenplay by Josh Friedman. Universal

* So? L.A. noir.

Confetti

Improvised mockumentary about three couples competing to create the most amazing wedding ceremony they can imagine. With Martin Freeman, Jessica Stevenson, Stephen Mangan, Meredith MacNeill, Robert Webb, Olivia Colman and Jimmy Carr. Conceived and directed by Debbie Isitt. Fox Searchlight

* So? High fear factor.

Gridiron Gang

A 1993 documentary about juvenile detention camp inmates who gain self-respect through their football team gets the inspirational sports-movie treatment. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson dons the whistle as the tough-but-fair coach. With Xzibit, L. Scott Caldwell, Kevin Dunn and Leon Rippy. Written by Jeff Maguire, based in part on the documentary film "Gridiron Gang." Directed by Phil Joanou. Columbia Pictures

* So? Seven years post-"Entropy."

The Ground Truth

The war in Iraq is seen through the eyes of rank-and-file soldiers as documentarian Patricia Foulkrod follows six men and women through recruitment, basic training, operations in Iraq and the eventual struggles to deal with their lives when they return home. Focus Features

* So? Recruitment versus reality.

Haven

Multiple story lines and shifting timeframes mark writer-director Frank E. Flowers' ensemble film about criminals on the run in the Cayman Islands and the chain reaction their arrival sets off among the locals. With Bill Paxton, Orlando Bloom, Stephen Dillane, Zoe Saldana, Agnes Bruckner and Bobby Cannavale. Yari Releasing Group

* So? Talent parade.

I Trust You to Kill Me

"24" star Kiefer Sutherland tries out the role of road manager when he takes his own record label's act, Rocco DeLuca & the Burden, on their first tour across Europe in this documentary. Directed by Manu Boyer. First Independent Pictures

* So? Title refers to band's first album.

The Last Kiss

Zach Braff (above right with Rachel Bilson) and an ensemble cast including Casey Affleck, Jacinda Barrett, Michael Weston and Eric Christian Olsen, deal with the joys and fears of turning 30 in a comedy-drama remake of the Italian film "L'Ultimo Bacio." With Harold Ramis, Blythe Danner and Tom Wilkinson. Screenplay by Paul Haggis. Directed by Tony Goldwyn. Paramount

* So? Appealing actors, unappealing characters.

Musica Cubana

Maestro Pio Leyva, the octogenarian star of 1999's "Buena Vista Social Club," passed away in March but did live to shepherd the creation of a new band, "The Sons of Cuba," made up of the next generation of hot, young Cuban musicians in this documentary that follows the band from inception to its triumphant performance in Tokyo. Written by German Kral and Stephan Puchner. Directed by German Kral. Cinema Libre

* So? Topically thought-provoking.

My Country, My Country

Filmed in Iraq over eight months, director Laura Poitras follows Dr. Riyadh, a Sunni doctor, who must contend with an increasing number of patients due to the country's violence while simultaneously running for political office in the January 2005 elections. Zeitgeist Films

* So? The human toll.

**

Sept. 22

Aurora Borealis

A shiftless young man (Joshua Jackson) must choose between caring for his ill and suicidal grandfather (Donald Sutherland) and pursuing a romance and new life in California. With Juliette Lewis, Louise Fletcher and Steven Pasquale. Written by Brent Boyd. Directed by James Burke. Regent

* So? Dramatic lights.

Al Franken: God Spoke

The political satirist and talk-radio host takes on right wingers, the Bush administration and other talk-radio hosts as the makers of "The War Room" follow his life and career over the course of two years. Directed by Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus. Balcony Film

* So? Contemporary politics.

All the King's Men

Robert Penn Warren's novel about the politics of power and corruption gets an all-star remake courtesy of writer-director Steven Zaillian. Sean Penn plays the Louisiana politician inspired by real-life Gov. Huey P. Long. With Jude Law, Kate Winslet, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson and Anthony Hopkins. Columbia Pictures

* So? Legendary politics.

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