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ISSUE 115 VOL 14 PUBLISHED 3/8/2002

Hollywood springing up

By Anonymous
Contributing Writer


Friday, March 8, 2002

Now that the Oscar favorites are simmering down, some new blood is about to hit the multiplexes. And Im not talking about slasher movies. Heres a guide to some of the most notable films heading your way this spring. There are many familiar faces, fun plots and just a few surprises. Full Frontal Steven Soderbergh doesnt waste any time. Fresh off the success from his glossy Oceans 11, the acclaimed director shot Full Frontal in less than three weeks on a budget of a modest $2 million. As if the low production cost wasnt enough to guarantee the films success, Soderbegh has something else up his sleeve: Julia Roberts. Roberts plays a journalist in this sequel to Sex, Lies and Videotape, which features none of the original characters. Shes joined by Blair Underwood (who plays a movie star) and X-Files star David Duchovny. He might need to call in Scully if this one flops. (Mar. 8) Enigma Michael Apteds World War II thriller has been stuck on the shelf since it premiered at Sundance in Jan. 2001, which seems inexplicable, with its impressive cast and behind-the-scenes team. It has already earned strong reviews. Dougray Scott stars as an English math genius hired to break Nazi codes. Hes joined by Oscar nominee Kate Winslet and Gosford Parks Jeremy Northam in a script from Shakespeare in Love scribe Tom Stoppard. Even with its delayed release dates, usually not an encouraging sign from studios, this is one of the seasons most promising arrivals. (Apr. 19) Death to Smoochy Are you sick of Robin Williams yet? Well, even if you are, this is a far cry from Patch Adams. Williams plays a kiddie-show host called Rainbow Randolph, who gets fired and replaced by a Barney knockoff named Smoochy (Edward Norton). Lets just say that Rainbow doesnt take the news well and plots revenge against the rhino. Dark comedy is always a risky sell, but if anyone can pull it off, Williams can. So can director Danny DeVito, who tapped an impressive cast (including Jon Stewart and Being John Malkovichs Catherine Keener) to take down the dinosaur. As long as they dont all join hands and sing, I love you, you love me... (Mar. 29) Ice Age You might as well call it Monsters, Inc. 2. Fox is hoping kids havent gotten enough of cute, furry creatures, and if the preview audiences are any indication, they havent. Ice Age follows a sloth (John Leguizamo), mammoth (Ray Romano) and a tiger (Denis Leary), who journey to help return a baby to its family. Budgeted at a reported $75 million, Foxs main disadvantage is that it doesnt have the Disney name. But its unlikely that will deter kids from going. (Mar. 15) Panic Room Jodie Foster stars in this action thriller, which was plagued with problems from the get-go. For starters, Nicole Kidman was originally set to star, but had to withdraw after her knee injury she suffered making Moulin Rouge wouldnt heal fast enough. Once Foster was on board, she got pregnant and filming was halted briefly. All of that shouldnt affect the finished product, however. Director David Fincher has assembled an impressive cast, which features Jared Leto, Dwight Yoakam and Forest Whitaker as burglars who stalk Foster and her daughter. Luckily, they live in a townhouse with a panic room, complete with video monitors, phones and a steel door. If the movie is anything like the trailer, watch out for a chiller. (Mar. 29) Stolen Summer This is the debut feature of director Pete Jones, who was hired by producers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to helm this $1.5 million indie. The making of the film was chronicled on HBOs series Project Greenlight. Even though Jones is a newcomer, hes surrounded by veterans, including Aidan Quinn, Brian Dennehy, and funny lady Bonnie Hunt. And since you should see anything with Hunt in it, give this one a shot. (Mar. 22)





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