For movies opening Christmas Day, 2008
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Bedtime Stories (PG for crude humor and mild epithets) Adam Sandler stars in this fanciful fairy tale about a hotel handyman whose life changes when the imaginative bedtime stories he shares with his niece (Laura Ann Kesling) and nephew (Jonathan Morgan Heit) magically start becoming true. Cast includes Courteney Cox, Richard Griffiths, Gut Pearce, Keri Russell and Tessa Palmer.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, smoking and brief war violence) Brad Pitt shares the title role with several other actors in David Fincher’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic tale about a man born old who gradually grows younger over the course of his life. Cast includes Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Taraji P. Henson and Elle Fanning.
Last Chance Harvey (PG-13 for brief profanity) Midlife crisis drama about a down-on-his-luck, divorced jingle writer (Dustin Hoffman) from New York who travels to London for the wedding of his estranged daughter (Liane Balaban) only to embark on a whirlwind romance with a lonely British bureaucrat (Emma Thompson) he meets in a pub. With James Brolin, Kathy Baker and Eileen Atkins.
Marley & Me (PG for mature themes and suggestive language) Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson co-star in this family comedy about a couple of newlyweds who move from Michigan to Florida where they learn a host of life lessons from their mischievous Labrador retriever as he grows from a cute puppy into an uncontrollable,100-pound steamroller. Supporting cast includes Alan Arkin and syndicated columnist Dave Barry.
Revolutionary Road (R for profanity, sexuality and nudity) Titanic’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet reunite for this screen adaptation of Richard Yates’ best-seller, set in the Fifties, about a married couple in crisis who move from Connecticut to Paris to escape suburbia while trying to revitalize their relationship.
The Spirit (PG-13 for stylized violence, sexuality and brief nudity) Frank Miller directs this screen adaptation of Will Eisner’s superhero comic book series about a murdered rookie cop (Gabriel Macht) who returns from the dead as a crime-fighting masked crusader. Cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson and Eva Mendes.
Valkyrie (PG-13 for violence and brief profanity) Tom Cruise stars in this true World War II tale about several high-ranking Nazi officers who conspire to assassinate Adolf Hitler (David Bamber) in July of 1944. Ensemble includes Bill Nighy, Terence Stamp, Carice van Houten, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Izzard and Tom Wilkinson and Thomas Kretschmann. (In English and German with subtitles)
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
The Secret of the Grain (Unrated) Cross-cultural drama, set in the seacoast town of Sete, revolving around the frustrating adjustment to life in France by a family of Arab immigrants headed by a divorced and depressed, 61 year-old patriarch (Habib Boufares) who dreams of opening his own restaurant. (In French, Arabic and Russian with subtitles)
Theater of War (Unrated) Drama-driven documentary featuring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Tony Kushner takes a look at the life and ideas of playwright Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) via a NYC Public Theater production of his play “Mother Courage.” (In English and German with subtitles)
Waltz with Bashir (R for grisly violence, disturbing images of atrocities, a scene containing graphic sexuality and brief nudity) Animated bio-pic about an Israeli Army veteran (Ari Folman) left haunted by amnesia about a mission he participated in during the first war with Lebanon back in the Eighties. (In Hebrew, German and English with subtitles)