directed by Fernando Meirelles
Acclaimed moviemaker Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener) helms this risky adaptation of José Saramago’s seemingly unfilmable novel. Set in a nameless city in the near future, the film stars Julianne Moore as the only person who remains able to see, while the rest of society suffers from an inexplicable epidemic of sudden blindness. Despite an intriguing premise and trailer, top-notch cast (which includes Mark Ruffalo as Moore’s husband) and visionary director at the helm, the film received a surprisingly unfavorable response at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, making the future of this once seemingly sure-fire hit rather uncertain.
How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
directed by Robert B. Weide
Shaun of the Dead fans, cross your fingers. Simon Pegg leads the cast of How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, as a British writer struggling to fit in at a high-profile New York magazine. Pegg is an impressive comic, standing out even in bit roles like Benji in Mission: Impossible lll, but will he be successful in topping the flop that was his last film, Run Fatboy Run? With a screenplay based on Toby Young’s memoir, and costars like Kirsten Dunst, Jeff Bridges and Gillian Anderson, chances are he will.
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
directed by Peter Sollett
Comedy Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist centers on the teen romance and wild Manhattan night of a nerdy musician (Michael Cera of Superbad and Juno) and the girl who helps him make his ex jealous (Kat Dennings of The 40-Year-Old Virgin). Despite the fact that the movie follows a formula common to many recent comedies (see Knocked Up), where two people are randomly thrown together and eventually realize they’re in love, Cera has eloquently perfected the role of the quirky geek and will probably charm audiences once again with his understated comic timing.
directed by Larry Charles
The latest in a string of provocative documentaries addressing politics, the environment and human beliefs, Religulous, starring Bill Maher, is a comedic and controversial look at faith in the modern world, directed by Larry Charles of Borat fame (or infamy). Much like Borat, Religulous is sure to stir up equal amounts of appreciation and harsh criticism. With such a sensitive subject matter, it’s tough to entertain and inform people without offending them. The film’s tagline reads, “Do you smell something burning?” Hopefully it’s not Maher’s career after audiences are through with him.
directed by Gary Fleder
The Express follows the moving true story of college football hero Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. Brown is no stranger to portraying strong-willed characters—he played a similar role to great effect in Finding Forrester. In both the actor turns in a performance as a young man overcoming racial prejudices to achieve his dreams. The inspirational and historical aspects of this film will most likely set it apart from common plots and put it among greats like The Jackie Robinson Story and Remember the Titans.
Beverly Hills Chihuahua
directed by Raja Gosnell
It’s “The Hills” meets Homeward Bound. Imagine yet another spoiled princess from Beverly Hills. Now imagine her lost in Mexico. Finally, imagine that girl as a Chihuahua with the voice of Drew Barrymore. While this sounds like a strange recipe for a movie, Beverly Hills Chihuahua has the possibility of success thanks to Disney’s uncanny ability to crank out crowd-pleasers that defy age. With an all-star cast including Jamie Lee Curtis and Andy Garcia, this is another Disney feature to which parents might not mind being dragged.