2004 Movie Previews

Kristen Di Leonardo

Mr. 3000 September 17Mr. 3000, Bernie Mac’s first shot at leading man, opens in theaters on Sept. 17th. Mac plays a retired Detroit Tiger who returns to the game after three of his past base hits are disallowed. But these aren’t just any three base hits; these hits drop him below the 3,000-hit record and out of the Hall of Fame. Stan Ross (Mac), once a passionate lover of the game now lover of fame, egotistically quits baseball right after hitting his 3,000th hit. Mac and his co-stars, Angela Bassett and Michael Rispoli, are hoping for a home-run with Mr. 3,000.

The Final Cut September 24Robin Williams stars in this spine-chilling psychological thriller as Alan Hackman, “sin eater” with the final cut. At birth, a chip is placed in the brain that records all memories. These recorded memories are edited and formatted into “Rememory” shown at ones funeral. Hackman is a “cutter” who edits the sins out of life. With an icy distant view of life Hackman becomes unable to experience life for himself. While cutting he uncovers a dark memory of his own and begins a search for his own redemption. Mira Sorvino and Jim Caviezel serve as foils to Williams’ dark side.

The Forgotten September 24Another psychological thriller for September starring Julianne Moore as Telly Paretta, a mother mourning the loss of her eight year old son. Her psychiatrist tells her she has fabricated eight years of memories and events. But she gradually starts to fight the idea that everything she ever knew to be real, everything she loved and believed in may have never existed. Everything that she depends on to prove her reality is disappearing and her only hope is in Ash Correll (Dominic West), the father of her son’s friend. Expect a great thriller ending and an attempt to redefine the thriller. Also starring Gary Sinise and Anthony Edwards.

Shark Tale October 1DreamWorks has gathered an all-star collaboration of voices including Will Smith, Jack Black, Robert De Niro, Renee Zellweger, Martin Scorsese and Angelina Jolie. After the fantastic success of “Shrek” and “Shrek 2,” DreamWorks is looking for another animated blockbuster film. Oscar is a tiny fish with a huge attitude who gets in trouble with the mob (great white sharks), led by De Niro. Loaded with mafia allusions and scenes improvised by famous actors, “Shark Tale” will attempt to be as successful as its rival company’s “Finding Nemo.”

Team America: World Police October 15Puppets. A film about killing puppets. Parker and Stone, the makers of South Park are purely interested in killing some puppets … that’s it. This action adventure follows Team America as they try to maintain global stability against a dictator harboring weapons of mass destruction. Current events and controversy are hot with the world police mocking conservatives as well as liberals. Along the way the team battles a team of Hollywood liberals: Alec Baldwin, Liv Tyler, Matt Damon, George Clooney and many more. Expect sarcastic and raunchy humor with a possible message hidden between the jokes.

The GrudgeOctober 22This years Halloween thriller, “The Grudge” starring Sarah Michelle Geller, promises to be the next Ring. The remake is being directed by its original Japanese director, something new to American film. This promises to be a very different type of horror movie: complicated, deep, and imaginative. Gellar’s character is sent to a house haunted and cursed by people who have died in a rage. Director Takashi Shimizu promises The Grudge to be even scarier than the last Japanese remake; a true horror film.

Alfie October 22 One of Jude Law’s six starring roles in the upcoming months finds him in a remake of the 1967 film “Alfie.” Alfie, a misogynistic womanizer, is forced to reexamine his life as a creep. Seemingly a shallow and one-dimensional plot, by the end viewers will find compassion for Alfie, or will they? Law is supported by Susan Sarandon, Omar Epps, Nia Long, Marissa Tomei and Sienna Miller.

Ray October 29Jaime Foxx is starring in his next major movie of 2004 as the beloved musical performer, Ray Charles. The untold story of the life of Ray Charles follows the legend’s struggle with blindness, drug addiction and segregation. For the film Jaime Foxx followed in the footsteps of Marlon Brando, method actor. Foxx threw himself into complete darkness for four weeks; simulating blindness to ensure reality in movement. This should be an Oscar-worthy performance by Foxx that will highlight his already spectacular career.

Alexander November 5Written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Rosario Dawson and Anthony Hopkins, “Alexander” is a film about the Macedonian conqueror that ruled most of the world by age 30. Stone’s important message is that “Alexander” will not have contemporary political overtones. While it is possible that Alexander could be attempting to hop on the success of movies like “Gladiator,” “The Last Samurai” and “Troy,” look for an interesting story line and a lover’s tale amidst all of the fighting.

The Polar Express November 10Tom Hanks has five roles in this touching family computerized version of Chris Van Allsburg’s children’s book. It kicks off the Christmas season early with the story of a young boy who finds himself on a train to the North Pole and Santa Claus himself. Computerized effects follow an actors actual movements making the animation extremely realistic. The talent of Hanks paired with impressive computer generation combine for a real holiday treat.

Finding Neverland November 12J.M. Barrie, author of the classic “Peter Pan,” was a different type of man: boyish, eccentric and mischievous. In other words, the perfect character for Johnny Depp and his long awaited first Oscar. A widowed mother (Kate Winslet) and her sons are befriended by Barrie and become the inspiration for his “Peter Pan.” The film follows the life of Barrie and his relationship with this family. Early screening reviews promise superb acting, a natural plot and tears from viewers of all ages.

Beyond the Sea November 24Could this be Kevin Spacey’s next big hit? In “Beyond the Sea,” director and star Spacey will play singer Bobby Darin. Darin had a life that not many knew about: a rocky marriage to Sandra Dee (Kate Bosworth) and a fatal heart condition among other things. To honor the late Bobby Darin Spacey sings his own versions of “Mack the Knife” and “Dream Lover” in the film. John Goodman costars.

Oceans Twelve December 10George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon and Catherine Zeta-Jones … need I say more? Steven Soderbergh’s sequel to the blockbuster hit “Ocean’s Eleven” introduces the twelfth member of the crew. A European crook and casino boss join forces to get revenge on the eleven and reclaim the stolen $160 million. The group reunites to pull off three more huge heists in different locations: Rome, London and Berlin.

The Life AquaticDecember 10Steve Zissou is an oceanographer and filmmaker who struggles to complete his under-water exploration video. Along the way viewers encounter a pilot for Air Kentucky, a reporter, a dissatisfied wife, a nemesis and a German crewmate. Wes Anderson’s film stars Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Houston, Willem Dafoe and Jeff Goldblum. This talented cast will make for a fun viewing experience.

The Aviator December 17Leonardo Di Caprio plays Howard Hughes, a aviation pioneer and billionaire Hollywood tycoon. Hughes was known for romancing some of the most beautiful women in early twentieth century Hollywood, such as Katharine Hepburn and Ava Gardner. Hughes also had many phobias, eccentricities and disabilities throughout his life. The film recounts the events that caused Hughes to rescind from the industry he helped create and the world. Martin Scorsese pulled together an all-star cast including Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, Gwen Stefani and Adam Scott.

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events December 17A crafty, sly, sneaky villain trying to swindle orphans out of their family fortune through outlandish masquerades and crazy schemes – the perfect role for Jim Carrey. “Snicket” is based on the series of novellas by Daniel Handler. Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep guarantee some interestingly concocted characters. Villainous adults and mischievous children … could this be the next “Harry Potter?” Director Brad Silberling hopes that is the case with this film.

Meet the Fockers December 22Yet another star packed sequel for December, “Meet the Fockers” opens in theaters two weeks later. The engaged couple, Ben Stiller and Teri Polo, introduce the Byrneses to the Fockers. Blythe Danner, Robert Deniro from “Meet the Parents” meet their in-laws to be: Dustin Hoffman (laidback former lawyer) and Barbara Streisand (sex therapist). The laughs will be countless and this movie will be no less than hysterical.