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Evan Almighty
directed by Tom Shadyac
Steve Carell is back in the sequel to the hit comedy Bruce Almighty, dishing out biblical lessons through family-oriented humor. Evan, a newly selected congressman, is hoping to serve his country, but when called upon by God (Morgan Freeman, of course) to build an ark that will serve all humanity, he realizes his calling is greater than he could’ve imagined. Carell is always entertaining, and jokes played off religion are an easy laugh, but can the film maintain its entertainment factor for its 90-minute running time? God willing, you’ll leave with a few good chuckles and maybe some moral gain. Say Amen, somebody.

1408
directed by Mikael Hafstrom
It seems that as the horror market grows, even actors better known for their comedic turns like Jim Carrey and now John Cusack are trying their hand at fright (and, well, we all remember how well The Number 23 was received… or more likely don’t remember it at all). A far cry from romantic comedies like High Fidelity or Say Anything, this Stephen King thriller, about a paranormal investigative writer who takes his chances by staying in an allegedly haunted hotel room, claims to terrify audiences. Any hopes that the deadly room is a myth are quickly debunked. It’s a little hard to take 1408 seriously though when images of a lovesick teen holding a boom box over his head get in the way.

A Mighty Heart
directed by Michael Winterbottom
Oscar alert! Angelina Jolie lands a dream role, her chance for a shot at Best Lead Actress (to match her Best Supporting Actress statue for Girl, Interrupted), playing Mariane Pearl in the harrowing, true story of a woman struggling to save her husband, Daniel (Dan Futterman), the American reporter who was brutally murdered by a Pakistani militant group in 2002. Although Mrs. Pearl is of mixed race, Jolie manages to look uncannily like her, and apparently it was Mrs. Pearl’s request that Jolie have the part (though Brad Pitt did produce the film…). A Mighty Heart promises to be the most heart-wrenching film of summer. Bring tissues and a loved one.

You Kill Me
directed by John Dahl
Oh, another Hollywood contribution to women’s rights where the on-screen couple involves a young hot woman with a male partner who could be her father. In You Kill Me, Ben Kingsley is a hit man whose drinking has gotten the best of him, so he’s sent away by his Polish mob family to sober up in San Francisco. Working at a mortuary he befriends the “tart-tongued” Laurel (Téa Leoni) and the two form an unlikely partnership. Luke Wilson and Dennis Farina also star in this black comedy.

–Nina Boutsikaris

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