September 13, 2006
A Touching Touchdown
Invincible, Mark Wahlberg, Greg Kinnear (PG, 2 hrs., 8 min.). A film that gives hope to armchair quarterbacks the world over, it's Rocky on the gridiron. Wahlberg is a 30-year-old teacher and bartender who tries out for the Philadelphia Eagles, having never played college football. Since Hollywood doesn't deal in tackled dreams, shall we take bets that he makes the team?
Here She Is . . .
Little Miss Sunshine, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Greg Kinnear (R, 1 hr., 42 min.). Steve Carell plays a gay, suicidal scholar in this comedy about a family's road trip to a kid's beauty pageant . . . no more comic bona fides are necessary. Also along for the ride are Alan Arkin, the grandfather recently booted from his retirement home for snorting heroin, and Paul Dano, the existentialist teen who's taken a vow of silence until he gets accepted into the Air Force Academy.
The Illusionist, Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti (PG-13, 1 hr., 50 min.). Set in Vienna, Norton plays a master magician, Eisenheim, whose sleight of hand has no place in the rigid world of Chief Inspector Uhl (Giamatti). Uhl's boss, Crown Prince Leopold, is determined to expose Eisenheim as a fraud, not knowing that his fiancée (Jessica Biel), who knows the monarchy's deepest secrets, was Eisenheim's childhood love.
It's A Bird . . .
Hollywoodland, Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, Ben Affleck (R, 2 hrs., 6 min.). As Superman, George Reeves (Affleck) was invincible, but off the silver screen was the gunshot wound that felled him in June of 1959 self-inflicted or done in cold blood? The suspects include Diane Lane playing Toni Mannix, the wife of studio honcho Eddie Mannix (Bob Hoskins), and the object of Reeve's adulterous affections. Reeve's starlet fiancée Leonore Lemmon (Robin Tunney) mightn't be as innocent as she seems, either. Brody plays the dogged detective investigating the Man of Steel's death.
The Black Dahlia, Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansonn, Hilary Swank (R, Opens Friday). The 1947 murder of aspiring actress Elizabeth Short stunned Hollywood and created the legend of the Black Dahlia around the deceased starlet. Hartnett, playing the detective investigating the murder, soon discovers that Short's death may have been linked to widespread corruption within the LAPD. Brian De Palma directs.
A Final Smooch
The Last Kiss, Zach Braff, Jacinda Barrett, Rachel Bilson (R, Opens Friday). Does love conquer all, or is the idea of spending the rest of one's life with one person enough to send the most committed man in search of something fresh? Braff and Barrett play the happy couple on the verge of crisis; heavy hitters Blythe Danner and Tom Wilkinson round out the cast as Braff's character's parents.