washingtonpost.com

Summer Movie Guide - August and September

By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 14, 2004; Page H03

August

ALIEN VS. PREDATOR

Who's Who: Sanaa Lathan and Lance Henriksen star.


Callum Blue, Anne Hathaway and Chris Pine star in "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement." (Ron Batzdorff)


___Summer Movies 2004___
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May Releases
The ogre returns in "Shrek 2," while disasters abound in "The Day After Tomorrow."


June Releases
The wizard is back in "Harry Potter," and Tobey spins webs in "Spider-Man 2."


July Releases
Will Ferrell breaks some news in "Anchorman"; Denzel stars in "Manchurian Candidate" remake.


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_____Aug./Sept. Trailers_____
'Alien vs. Predator'
'Collateral'
'Garden State'
'Princess Diaries 2'
'Danny Deckchair'
'Hero'
'Open Water'
'The Cookout'
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What's What: It's the Battle of the Horror Movie All-Stars. May the better beast win. (Aug. 6)

COLLATERAL

Who's Who: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith and Mark Ruffalo star. Michael Mann directs.

What's What: A silver-haired Cruise plays against hero-type in director Mann's thriller about a coldblooded contract killer with a lengthy hit list who commandeers a Los Angeles taxi and its hapless human "collateral" (Foxx), who is forced to chauffeur the assassin on his appointed rounds. Will the actors' chemistry -- and unorthodox casting -- work? (Aug. 6)

GARDEN STATE

Who's Who: Zach Braff, Ian Holm, Method Man, Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard star. Braff writes and directs.

What's What: This Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee -- the writing and directorial debut of "Scrubs" actor Braff -- centers around a depressed young man (Braff again) who quits his meds, returns to his home in New Jersey and meets a quirky, difficult beauty. Sounds like "Jersey Girl," if Kevin Smith had made it 10 years ago, instead of "Clerks." (August 6)

OPEN WATER

Who's Who: Chris Kentis writes and directs.

What's What: Based on a true story, this low-budget digital video feature -- with nary a special effect in it -- tells the harrowing story of divers who became stranded in shark-infested waters off the Great Barrier Reef. (Aug. 6)

THE BLIND SWORDSMAN: ZATOICHI

Who's Who: Takeshi "Beat" Kitano writes, directs and stars.

What's What: Japanese comedian-turned-cult-sensation Kitano plays a sightless killing machine in this slice 'n' dice comedy hybrid about a masseur-assassin. (August 6)

INTIMATE STRANGERS

Who's Who: Sandrine Bonnaire and Fabrice Luchini star. Patrice Leconte directs.

What's What: Mistaken for a psychiatrist, financial adviser Luchini continues to let a distraught Bonnaire confide her marital woes to him, one office visit after another. (Aug. 6)

PRINCESS DIARIES 2: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT

Who's Who: Anne Hathaway, Heather Matarazzo, Hector Elizondo, John Rhys-Davies and Julie Andrews star. Garry Marshall directs.

What's What: The heir apparent to the throne of the mythical Genovia (Hathaway) moves from protocol gaffes to marriage proposals in this sequel to the genial 2001 comedy, which finds our young heroine in need of a quickie marriage in order to keep the crown. They grow up so quickly these days, don't they? (Aug. 11)

ALIEN VS. PREDATOR

Who's Who: Sanaa Lathan and Lance Henriksen star.

What's What: It's the Battle of the Horror Movie All-Stars. May the better beast win. (Aug. 13)

CODE 46

Who's Who: Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton star. Michael Winterbottom directs.

What's What: Set in a repressive "1984"-like future in which travel from city to city is restricted to those with proper documentation, a roving investigator (Robbins) has an affair with a woman (Morton) who has been accused of forging illegal travel documents. Once their tryst has ended, he wants to see her again, but because he does not have the necessary paperwork, he can visit her only by breaking the law himself. (Aug. 13)

TOUCH OF PINK

Who's Who: Jimi Mistry and Kyle MacLachlan star.

What's What: A Londoner (Mistry) resists the efforts of his traditional mother back in Canada to fix him up with a nice Muslim girl -- not because he isn't Muslim, but because he's gay. (Aug. 13)

YU-GI-OH!

Who's Who: Um, no one you ever heard of. Trust me.

What's What: The multimedia kiddie entertainment phenomenon (think Pokemon) attempts to branch out of television, milking the movie cash cow with its own feature-length orgy of esoteric anime-style nonsense intelligible mainly to 5-year-olds. (Aug. 13)

TOM DOWD AND THE LANGUAGE OF MUSIC

Who's Who: Mark Moormann directs.

What's What: Legendary recording engineer and record producer Tom Dowd, who helped define the sound of such Atlantic Records artists as Aretha Franklin, is profiled. (Aug. 13)

WITHOUT A PADDLE

Who's Who: Matthew Lillard, Seth Green, Dax Shepard, Ethan Suplee, Abraham Benrubi and Burt Reynolds star.

What's What: How can you not care that Burt Reynolds, in a twist on "Deliverance," plays a psychotic mountain man stalking a trio of lost canoeists in the Oregon wilderness? (Aug. 18)

WE DON'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE

Who's Who: Mark Ruffalo, Naomi Watts, Peter Krause and Laura Dern star.

What's What: Director John Curran's adaptation of an Andre Dubus story about two ultra-competitive, self-loathing couples sounds like "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice." (Aug. 20)

EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING

Who's Who: Stellan Skarsgard stars.

What's What: Father Merrin meets the demon Pazuzu for the first time in Renny ("Cutthroat Island") Harlin's "Exorcist" prequel. Considering that there is already one other shelved version of this story (by Paul Schrader, no less), it doesn't bode well. (Aug. 20)

DONNIE DARKO -- THE DIRECTOR'S CUT

Who's Who: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone and Noah Wyle star.

What's What: The cult film about a high-school boy (Gyllenhaal) who takes orders from a giant, malevolent rabbit returns with 20 minutes of additional footage. (August 20)

SHE HATE ME

Who's Who: Bai Ling, Ellen Barkin and Monica Bellucci star. Spike Lee writes and directs.

What's What: A fired biotech executive contracts out his stud services to lesbians looking to get impregnated. (Aug. 20)

ROSENSTRASSE

Who's Who: Margarethe von Trotta directs and writes (with Pamela Katz).

What's What: Using flashback, director von Trotta revisits the World War II-era protest by Aryan women to save their Jewish husbands, who, despite assurances that the men would be immune from persecution, were imprisoned by the Nazis. (Aug. 20)

STANDER

Who's Who: Thomas Jane stars.

What's What: "The Punisher's" Jane plays a Robin Hoodesque South African cop-turned-bank-robber in this 1980s-set drama, based on the true story of a man disillusioned with the apartheid system. (Aug. 20)

BONJOUR MONSIEUR SHLOMI

Who's Who: Shemi Zarhin writes and directs.

What's What: In a refreshing departure from the obvious, the Israeli film "Bonjour" focuses not on the politics of the Middle East but on the very human tale of a kindhearted Israeli boy (Oshri Cohen) who offers a helping hand, an occasional ear and a knack for home cooking to the members of his eccentric family. (Aug. 20)

DANNY DECKCHAIR

Who's Who: Rhys Ifans and Miranda Otto star.

What's What: An Australian man (Ifans) becomes a celebrity after taking flight in a folding chair tied to helium balloons. (Aug. 27)

HERO

Who's Who: Jet Li, Maggie Cheung and Zhang Ziyi star. Zhang Yimou directs.

What's What: Warriors clash and swords clang in this Oscar-nominated film about pre-unification China. (Aug. 27)

ANACONDAS: THE HUNT FOR THE BLOOD ORCHID

Who's Who: Morris Chestnut and Matthew Marsden star.

What's What: Killer snakes threaten a flower-hunting expedition in this horror sequel, which gets my prize for best title of the summer. (Aug. 27)

ZHOU YU'S TRAIN

Who's Who: Gong Li stars.

What's What: A woman (Li) embarks on an affair with a man she meets during her weekly commute to visit her boyfriend. (Aug. 27)

September

VANITY FAIR

Who's Who: Reese Witherspoon, Eileen Atkins, Jim Broadbent, Gabriel Byrne, Bob Hoskins and Rhys Ifans star.

What's What: Ruthless social climber Becky Sharp (Witherspoon) makes her way up the rungs of the high-society ladder in director Mira "Mississippi Masala" Nair's film -- the latest of several based on William Makepeace Thackeray's satiric novel of 1847-48. (Sept. 1)

THE COOKOUT

Who's Who: Eve, Queen Latifah, Danny Glover, Tim Meadows and Ja Rule star.

What's What: A newly signed pro basketball player throws his family and friends a celebratory barbecue, where high jinks ensue. (Sept. 3)

FESTIVAL EXPRESS

Who's Who: Bob Smeaton directs.

What's What: Cobbled together from hours of footage shot during a traveling Canadian rock festival in 1970 featuring Janis Joplin, the Band and others, "Festival Express" attempts to evoke an earlier, more stoned time. (Sept. 3)

Remember, opening dates may change. For the latest on summer movies, including trailers of upcoming releases, visit www.washingtonpost.com/summermovies.


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