The Rock gets cutesy in an attempt to revive a flagging movie career, FBI agents invade Saudi Arabia in search of a killer, and Ang Lee indulges in some rough sex in World War II-era Shanghai. Those are just three of your choices this weekend. Also opening in limited release is Wes Anderson’s “The Darjeeling Limited”, a movie getting more press for Natalie Portman nudity than quality, while the white slavery movie “Trade” has been stacking up the controversy something awful. Meanwhile, there’s something called “Feast of Love” that is sure to continue Greg Kinnear’s streak of movies no one but his mom has seen. Here, then, is your weekend movie preview for September 28, 2007.
When a terrorist bomb detonates inside a Western housing compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, an international incident is ignited. While diplomats slowly debate equations of territorialism, FBI Special Agent Ronald Fleury quickly assembles an elite team and negotiates a secret five-day trip into Saudi Arabia to locate the madman behind the bombing. Upon landing in the desert kingdom, however, Fleury and his team discover Saudi authorities suspicious and unwelcoming of American interlopers, into what they consider a local matter. Hamstrung by protocol–and with the clock ticking on their five days–the FBI agents find their expertise worthless without the trust of their Saudi counterparts, who want to locate the terrorist in their homeland on their own terms. Fleury’s crew finds a like-minded partner in Saudi Colonel Al-Ghazi, who helps them navigate royal politics and unlock the secrets of the crime scene. With these unlikely allies sharing a propulsive commitment to crack the case, the team is led to the killer’s front door. Now in a fight for their own lives, strangers united by one mission won’t stop until justice is found.
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, and Ashraf Barhoum
Directed by: Peter Berg
Quarterback Joe Kingman is known as one of the toughest players to ever take the field. Blessed with amazing strength and agility, he’s famed for being able to handle any hit, no matter how ferocious. Kingman’s Boston-based pro football team, The Rebels, is chasing their long-awaited championship and Joe has been living the ultimate bachelor fantasy: he’s cool, rich, famous and the life of every party–and there are a lot of parties. But his dream is suddenly sacked for a loss when he discovers Peyton, the 8-year-old daughter he never knew existed, on his doorstep. Now, just as his career is soaring, Joe must learn to juggle his old lifestyle of parties, practices and dates with supermodels while tackling the new challenges of ballet, bedtime stories and baby dolls–all without fumbling. Equally perplexed is his hard-edged mega-agent, Stella Peck, herself without a parental bone in her body. But, as the championship grows nearer, Joe is about to realize that the game that truly matters has nothing to do with money, endorsements or even touchdowns–it’s all about the really tough stuff: patience, teamwork, selflessness and winning the heart of the one little fan who turns out to count the most.
Starring: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Roselyn Sanchez, Bebe Neuwirth, Morris Chestnut, Brian J. White
Directed by: Andy Fickman
In a coffee shop in a tight-knit Oregon community, local professor Harry Stevenson witnesses love and attraction whipping up mischief among the town’s residents. From the unlucky in love, die-hard romantic coffee shop owner Bradley who has a serial habit of looking for love in all the wrong places; to the edgy real estate agent Diana who is caught up in an affair with a married man; to the beautiful young newcomer Chloe who defies fate in romancing the troubled Oscar; to Harry himself, whose adoring wife is looking to break through his wall of grief after the wrenching loss of a beloved…they all intertwine into one remarkable story in which no one can escape being bent, broken, befuddled, delighted and ultimately redeemed by love’s inescapable spell.
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinnear, Radha Mitchell, Jane Alexander, Alexa Davalos
Directed by: Robert Benton
Shanghai, 1942. The World War II Japanese occupation of this Chinese city continues in force. Mrs. Mak, a woman of sophistication and means, walks into a cafe, places a call, and then sits and waits. She remembers how her story began several years earlier, in 1938 China. She is not in fact Mrs. Mak, but shy Wong Chia Chi. With WWII underway, Wong has been left behind by her father, who has escaped to England. As a freshman at university, she meets fellow student Kuang Yu Min. Kuang has started a drama society to shore up patriotism. As the theater troupe’s new leading lady, Wong realizes that she has found her calling, able to move and inspire audiences–and Kuang. He convenes a core group of students to carry out a radical and ambitious plan to assassinate a top Japanese collaborator, Mr. Yee. Each student has a part to play; Wong will be Mrs. Mak, who will gain Yee’s trust by befriending his wife and then draw the man into an affair. Wong transforms herself utterly inside and out, and the scenario proceeds as scripted–until an unexpectedly fatal twist spurs her to flee. Shanghai, 1941. With no end in sight for the occupation, Wong–having emigrated from Hong Kong–goes through the motions of her existence. Much to her surprise, Kuang re-enters her life. Now part of the organized resistance, he enlists her to again become Mrs. Mak in a revival of the plot to kill Yee, who as head of the collaborationist secret service has become even more a key part of the puppet government. As Wong reprises her earlier role, and is drawn ever closer to her dangerous prey, she finds her very identity being pushed to the limit…
Starring: Tang Wei, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Wang Lee Hom, Joan Chen, Chih-ying Chu
Directed by: Ang Lee
Three American brothers who have not spoken to each other in a year set off on a train voyage across India with a plan to find themselves and bond with each other — to become brothers again like they used to be. Their “spiritual quest”, however, veers rapidly off-course (due to events involving over-the-counter pain killers, Indian cough syrup, and pepper spray), and they eventually find themselves stranded alone in the middle of the desert with eleven suitcases, a printer, and a laminating machine. At this moment, a new, unplanned journey suddenly begins.
Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Camilla Rutherford, Amara Karan
Directed by: Wes Anderson
When 13-year-old Adriana is kidnapped by sex traffickers in Mexico City, her 17-year-old brother, Jorge, sets off on a desperate mission to save her. Trapped by an underground network of international thugs who earn millions exploiting their human cargo, Adriana’s only friend throughout her ordeal is Veronica, a young Polish woman captured by the same criminal gang. As Jorge dodges overwhelming obstacles to track the girl’s abductors, he meets Ray, a Texas cop whose own family loss leads him to become an ally. From the barrios of Mexico City and the treacherous Rio Grande border, to a secret internet sex slave auction and a tense confrontation at a stash house in suburban New Jersey, Ray and Jorge forge a close bond as they frantically pursue Adriana’s kidnappers before she is sold and disappears into a brutal underworld from which few victims ever return.
Starring: Kevin Kline, Cesar Ramos Ceballos, Paulina Gaitan, Pasha D. Lychnikoff, Anthony Crivello
Directed by: Marco Kreuzpaintner