October 11, 2006
The Departed, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg (R, 149 min). Director Martin Scorsese takes on the subject of the Irish mafia in the tale of an undercover cop (DiCaprio) who infiltrates the Boston mafia in attempt to take down mob boss Frank Castello (Nicholson). Damon is the dirty cop in cahoots with Castello, determined to flush out the mole. Word is Nicholson is up to his ultra-scary, ultra-violent tricks in the role.
A Royal Touch
The Queen, Helen Mirren, James Cromwell, Alex Jennings (PG-13, 97 min.). Mirren is getting raves for her turn as Queen Elizabeth in this Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, Dirty Pretty Things) directed film about the inner world of Queen Elizabeth in the aftermath of Princess Diana's death in 1997. The film depicts the struggle between Elizabeth and Tony Blair for control of Diana's legacy. Mirren won the best actress award at the Venice Film Festival for the part.
An Oscar for Simpson
Employee of the Month (PG-13, 103 min.). With an all-star cast that includes Jessica Simpson, Andy Dick and Dane Cook, it's the heartwarming tale of love and loss in Victorian England. One can only dream, no? Actually, it's a comedy about two losers who try to win the Employee of the Month title because the winner gets to date the "store hottie" (we're quoting the erudite press materials about the movie), played by Simpson, in a role sure to broaden her already expansive range. Director Greg Coolidge's extensive credits include a role in the classic Sorority Boys.
Williams for President
Man of the Year, Robin Williams, Laura Linney, Christopher Walken, Lewis Black (PG-13, Opens Friday). Drawing on the popularity of the fake news phenomenon, Williams plays the host of a late-night political show a la "The Daily Show" who runs for president on a lark and wins. He's the anti-politician with lines like: "I did inhale because I thought 'What the hell, it's lit, it's in my hand, I'll inhale it.'" While we wouldn't vote for Williams for president, the idea is good: the 1-2 of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert is a ticket we could get behind. Barry Levison (Rain Main, Good Morning Vietnam) directs.
The Grudge 2, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Amber Tamblyn (PG-13, Opens Friday). Everyone knows that a good grudge deserves a sequel, but having not seen the first incarnation of this film, it's a toss-up whether this sequel is worth it. Karen Davis (Gellar) is a woman who is plagued by a mysterious curse that drives a person insane with rage; her sister Audrey (Tamblyn) attempts to find the cure.