Film Favorites and Calendar

Corpse Bride I wasn't crazy about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (both too sweet and too sour), but I loved Tim Burton's last stop-motion animation, The Nightmare Before Christmas. This time he's got a guy (voiced by Johnny Depp) accidentally betrothed to a dead chick (Helena Bonham Carter) who just won't let him go. And haven't we all been in relationships like that? Opens Fri., Sept. 23. A History of Violence There's plenty of festival buzz on David Cronenberg's latest, starring Viggo Mortensen as an innocuous small-town husband and father with some dark secrets in his past. Of course at Cannes, the French always love anything that makes Americans look like psycho killers. And Cronenberg is Canadian. Hmmm. Opens Fri., Sept. 23. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit Claymation rules! Nick Park and the Aardman Animations team expand the adventures of man and mutt to feature length. Here they must battle some kind of garden-raiding ghoul. And as we all know from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, rabbits can be fierce! Opens Fri., Oct. 7. Elizabethtown Part-time Northwest resident Cameron Crowe snagged a screenwriting Oscar for Almost Famous. His new rom-com pairs Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst, a very handsome couple, but we're guessing the real stars will be the words between them. After Crowe's Vanilla Sky, this looks like a return to terra firma. Opens Fri., Oct. 14. Jarhead I'm not sure, after Gunner Palace, if America is ready for more war movies. But under the direction of Sam Mendes (American Beauty), this adaptation of Marine Anthony Swofford's much-praised memoir of the first Gulf War should be noticed. Not that the current Gulf War is likely to be over by then. Opens Fri., Nov. 4. The Matador Bond is dead, long live Bond. Everyone at Sundance loved ex-007 Pierce Brosnan's louche, self-caricaturing turn as a hit man going to seed in Mexico. It's basically a mismatched-buddy comedy, with Greg Kinnear playing Felix to Brosnan's Oscar. This should also be about the right time in the fall to enjoy a flick that's not gunning for an Academy Award. Opens Fri., Nov. 4. The New World Every so often, Terrence Malick emerges from obscurity to prove he's a genius, and the recluse act sometimes works—as with The Thin Red Line. (Though it can be pushed too far, as with Kubrick.) This time he tackles the myth- encrusted 17th-century settlement of America, with Colin Farrell encountering our continent's original, rightful inhabitants. Shot by Emmanuel Lubezki (Sleepy Hollow) with mostly natural light, it's sure to be gorgeous, like all Malick works. Opens Wed., Nov. 9. Film Calendar Opening dates subject to change. Call theaters to confirm. SEPTEMBER 16 JUST LIKE HEAVEN Reese Witherspoon is dead in what sounds like a more cheery spin on Ghost. She falls for Mark Ruffalo, who may have commitment issues with a dead chick. 23 PROOF Math-heads Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins star in the Broadway adaptation. 23 CORPSE BRIDE See Fall Favorites. 23 EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED Liev Schreiber directs this adaptation of the Jonathan Safran Foer novel. Elijah Wood speaks English; the other guy doesn't. 23 FLIGHTPLAN It's Panic Room at 40,000 feet, as Jodie Foster must again defend her kid against sneering villains. Didn't we just see this movie when it was called Red Eye? 23 A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE See Fall Favorites. 29 NOIR AT SAM Ten classic film noirs are screened Thursdays through Dec. 8. Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St., 206-654-3121, 30 OLIVER TWIST Roman Polanski directs Charles Dickens. Because the Holocaust wasn't depressing enough. 30 SERENITY Based on some old cult TV show we've never heard of (2002's Firefly), it apparently concerns a space-ship crew made up of unusually young and good-looking people. What are the odds of that? OCTOBER 7 IN HER SHOES Toni Collette plays the "fat" resentful sister to carefree Cameron Diaz in this chick-lit adaptation. But Curtis Hanson (8 Mile) has a way of elevating genre material. 7 LOCAL SIGHTINGS Area auteurs get their due, through Oct. 13. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380, 7 MIRRORMASK Comic-book fans will recognize the names Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, then flock to this fantasy picture. Women, on the other hand, will be at In Her Shoes. 7 WALLACE AND GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT See Fall Favorites. 14 DOMINO Keira Knightley in image-makeover mode, playing a tough-as-nails bounty hunter whose father happened to be actor Laurence Harvey. Did we mention she's still a babe? 14 ELIZABETHTOWN See Fall Favorites. 14 INNOCENT VOICES The audience prize winner at SIFF, it dramatizes El Salvador's civil war of the 1980s. In Spanish. Without Oliver Stone. 21 CAPOTE We can't get enough of Catherine Keener, who plays writer Harper Lee, literary confidante to Philip Seymour Hoffman's weaselly Truman Capote. 21 DOOM What a novel idea! A movie based on a video game. They should really try more of those. 21 EARSHOT JAZZ FEST Through Oct. 30, crazy hepcats appear on celluloid. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380, 28 SAW 2 Because not enough limbs were sawed off in the original. 28 SHOPGIRL Steve Martin falls for Claire Danes in this somewhat belated treatment of his 2000 novel. He must've been busy with Cheaper by the Dozen. 28 WEATHER MEN We can already hear Nicolas Cage saying, "What are you going to do—put me in weather man jail?" Another midlife freak-out from the master. NOVEMBER 4 JARHEAD See Fall Favorites. 4 THE MATADOR See Fall Favorites. 4 PARADISE NOW A pair of nice Arab kids are recruited to become suicide bombers in Tel Aviv. It's not just topical but strongly reviewed at festivals. 9 GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN' Fiddy Cent! Fiddy Cent! The tattooed rap titan stars in his first movie. 9 THE NEW WORLD See Fall Favorites. 11 BEE SEASON Myla Goldberg's Kabala-infused 2000 novel became a slow, creeping best seller even before Spellbound; now Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche play the Jewish parents whose troubled marriage their daughter hopes to save through orthography. 11 ZATHURA Kids in space, courtesy of children's author Chris Van Allsburg and Elf auteur Jon Favreau. 18 HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE "Hermione . . . can't . . . touch . . . goblet . . . because . . . it's . . . on . . . fire!" Mike Newell directs the fourth Potter installment. 18 WALK THE LINE Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon are quite good as Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. 23 The Ice Harvest John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton are rip-off artists frozen into a small town with their loot. Then hell breaks loose in this black comedy. 23 Rent The 1996 off-Broadway musical smash finally gets made as a movie, with most of the original cast. Why didn't we buy East Village real estate when we could afford it? 28 Yours, Mine & Ours Eight Is Enough was not enough. Cheaper by the Dozen was not enough. Now Dennis Quaid and Renee Russo have to raise 18 kids in their blended family. And it's a remake. Haven't these people heard of Norplant?

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