Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Hartnett in Rod Lurie’s Resurrecting the Champ
This week’s wide releases:
- Resurrecting the Champ. Josh Hartnett plays a sports writer whose career and marriage are stalling when he encounters Samuel L. Jackson, a homeless man who turns out to be a former boxing champion. Telling the forgotten champion’s story could be the key to turning the lives of both men around, don’t you think? It’s kind of a movie dead zone right now so it seems like strange timing for this independent inspirational drama, but maybe it’s just late enough to avoid the blockbuster season yet early enough to get a jump on the fall rush. Jackson is always enjoyable to watch. Rod Lurie (The Contender) co-wrote and directed.
- The Nanny Diaries. Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney and the writer/director team behind American Splendor give me hope that this comedy might rise above the Garry Marshall level schlock it sounds like on paper. Maybe I’m just confusing the title with The Princess Diaries. Maybe I’m just afraid Scarlett Johansson will never prove to be anything more than a pretty face. Anyway, Giamatti and Linney are a rich couple and Scarlett is the nanny to their bratty kid. Yeah, see there I go again getting bored just writing about it.
- Mr. Bean’s Holiday. I like Rowan Atkinson so forgive me when I say this looks like a noisier, less whimsical hack job on Jacques Tati. No thanks.
- September Dawn. Based on the 1857 true story of a wagon train of settlers who run into conflict with Brigham Young and a congregation of Mormons in what came to be known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Terence Stamp is Brigham Young. Jon Voight also stars. Sharks and Jets? Meet Mormons and Settlers…
- War. Jet Li and Jason Statham in a martial arts thriller about…really does it matter? You’ve already decided whether or not you’re going and I’m guessing the story doesn’t factor into your decision either way.
- Illegal Tender. A college student and his mother seek revenge on the gang members that killed the young man’s father. Produced by John Singleton.
And in limited release:
- The Hottest State. It’s just not enough for Ethan Hawke to be a successful actor. Nor enough to have gotten Uma Thurman pregnant. And it’s not enough to have written a novel. No, now Ethan Hawke must rub his success in our noses by directing that novel for the big screen. Oh and the novel is supposedly based on the true story of Hawke sticking it to Lisa Loeb when he was a struggling actor in New York. Jerk.
- Closing Escrow. A comedy about the laugh-a-minute world of real estate agents…(sound of crickets chirping).
- Dedication. Actor Justin Theroux’s feature directorial debut is a black comedy starring Bill Crudup as a writer of children’s books who doesn’t like children. Harvey Keitel and Mandy Moore also star.
- Deep Water. Documentary about the first solo boat race around the world in 1968.
- Right at Your Door. Thriller about a dirty bomb going off in LA. because, you know, normally LA is so clean…