October Surprise!
Your Complete Fall Film Guide
by Devin D. O'Leary

October 7 - October 13, 1999

Cinema Countdown
Movie Trivia Quiz

The latest raves, rants and ramblings of our beloved readers

President Gary Johnson?
President of the United States?

Cap'n Opinion
Convulsing Over Sun Tran

Masterful Spinning
Creating a Scapegoat in the Wake of a Prison Riot

Teachers: $30,000 and Sinking

Odds & Ends
Time-released news capsules from the flipside

Skeletons in the Closet
Che Guevara Executed
32 Years Ago This Week

Community & Events Calendar
Lectures, workshops, meetings and other local events for the coming week

Old Guy
A Longer Perspective

Selecting 401K Investments

My Dealer Stole My Car

Up, Up and Away
An Unofficial Guide to Balloon Fiesta Hot Spots
(September 30, 1999)

Eat Up!
A Visitors' (and Locals') Guide to the Best Eats in Albuquerque
(September 30, 1999)

Grandfather Time
An Interview with Ray Bradbury
(September 23, 1999)


Girl Interrupted  

Summer is over, moviegoers. You can put away your light sabers, ghost witches and giant mechanical spiders for now. Fall and winter mean Oscar time around Hollywood. 'Tis the season for the studios to start cranking out all their highbrow, award-worthy material in an all-out effort to capture the attention of Academy voters. The money has been made -- now it's time to snatch a little respect. Get ready for family crises, dying children, crumbling marriages, courtroom dramas, British people in corsets and Al Pacino pounding on a table screaming about some injustice or other.

This fall's movie schedule seems unusually heavy on the literary adaptations. At least 17 films that reach the movie screen this season originated as best-selling novels. Maybe Hollywood is hedging its bets -- maybe it's just running out of ideas. Hollywood has also trotted out a huge parade of foreign directors. Again, Hollywood could be hedging its award-winning odds by lending a little European class to its productions -- or it could just have lost confidence in all the Southern California hacks who gave us such un-Oscar-worthy efforts as Wild Wild West. Tinseltown has included the tiniest scattering of family films (Stuart Little) and teen horror entries (Scream 3), but the vast majority of films are classy, adult attention-grabbers fighting to get onto movie screens before the December Oscar deadline arrives.

Here, then, is your guide to the "who, what, where, when, why" of fall filmgoing.

October 8

Random Hearts

What's it about? A cop and a Congresswoman meet after their respective spouses are killed in an airline crash -- and discover that the deceased were having an illicit affair.

Who's in it? Harrison Ford, Kristin Scott Thomas

Who directed it? Sydney Pollack?

What's his deal? Pollack's lengthy Hollywood résumé includes Tootsie, Out of Africa, Absence of Malice and The Firm.


What's it about? "Saturday Night Live's" sexually obsessed Catholic schoolgirl Mary Katherine Gallagher tries to capture the attention of the campus hunk.

Who's in it? Molly Shannon, Will Ferrell

Who directed it? Bruce McCulloch

What's his deal? McCulloch was a member of the cutting edge Canadian comedy troupe Kids in the Hall.

October 15

Body Shots

What's it about? A bunch of rowdy teens try to reconstruct what happened during a wild night of drinking and sex in Mexico.

Who's in it? Tara Reid, Jerry O'Connell

Who directed it? Michael Christofer

What's his deal? He's written several movies (Witches of Eastwick, Bonfire of the Vanities), but is best known for writing and directing the Emmy-winning TV biopic Gia.

Fight Club

What's it about? A bored office stooge is recruited by a charismatic anarchist into an underground world of ultraviolent street fighting.

Who's in it? Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf

Who directed it? David Fincher

What's his deal? The last time director David Fincher got together with Brad Pitt, they made a little movie called Seven.

The Story of Us

What's it about? A writer and a crossword editor attempt a trial separation after 15 years of marriage.

Who's in it? Bruce Willis, Michelle Pfeiffer

Who directed it? Rob Reiner

What's his deal? No longer known as simply "Meathead," the actor-turned-director has had a string of hits with The Princess Bride, Stand By Me, When Harry Met Sally and others.

October 22

Anywhere But Here

What's it about? A flighty, dysfunctional mom drags her stable daughter off to Hollywood to start a new life.

Who's in it? Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman

Who directed it? Wayne Wang

What's his deal? After a couple arthouse hits (Chan Is Missing, Eat a Bowl of Tea), Wang went mainstream with his adaptation of The Joy Luck Club.

The Best Man

What's it about? Seven old college friends get together for a wedding, but soon squabble after it's revealed that a "fiction" book written by one of them uncovers all their intimate secrets.

Who's in it? Taye Diggs, Nia Long

Who directed it? Malcolm Lee

What's his deal? Lee's cousin is director Spike Lee.

Bringing Out the Dead

What's it about? A burned-out ambulance driver in Hell's Kitchen is tormented by visions of victims he couldn't save.

Who's in it? Nicolas Cage, John Goodman, Patricia Arquette

Who directed it? Martin Scorsese

What's his deal? Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas: Ring any bells?

Crazy In Alabama

What's it about? A free-spirited Southern housewife kills her husband and heads out to Hollywood to become a star, inspiring her young nephew who remains behind during the height of the Civil Rights movement.

Who's in it? Melanie Griffith, Lucas Black

Who directed it? Antonio Banderas

House on Haunted Hill  

What's his deal? Mr. Banderas (last seen in The 13th Warrior) is trying his hand at directing. Believe it or not, his debut got some pretty respectable reviews on the film fest circuit.

Holy Smoke

What's it about? A cult deprogrammer engages in a physical, mental and sexual battle of wills with a young woman rescued from the clutches of an Indian cult.

Who's in it? Harvey Keitel, Kate Winslet

Who directed it? Jane Campion

What's her deal? The Australian director hit it big with The Piano.

Joe the King

What's it about? A young boy must deal with your basic dysfunctional family situation -- abusive father, crazy mother, all that fun stuff.

Who's in it? Noah Fleiss, Ethan Hawke

Who directed it? Frank Whaley

What's his deal? Another actor trying his hand at directing, Frank (The Doors, Swimming With Sharks) Whaley's debut nabbed an award or two at Sundance.

The Limey

What's it about? A crusty British ex-con comes to America to hunt down the man responsible for his estranged daughter's death.

Who's in it? Terrence Stamp, Peter Fonda

Who directed it? Steven Soderbergh

What's his deal? Soderbergh kicked off the indie film revolution back in 1989 with his sex, lies and videotape.

October 29

Being John Malkovich

What's it about? A disgruntled office worker finds a mysterious passage into John Malkovich's brain that allows anyone to take over the actor's body for a brief period of time. No, I'm not making this up.

Who's in it? John Malkovich (of course), John Cusack, Cameron Diaz

Who directed it? Spike Jonze

What's his deal? Jonze is best known as an innovative music video director (and as the leader of the Torrence Community Dance Troupe in Fatboy Slim's video for "Praise You").

Dreaming of Joseph Lees

What's it about? An Englishman is critically injured while on vacation in Italy and finds himself on the receiving end of a confused woman's romantic fantasy.

Who's in it? Rupert Graves, Samantha Morton

Who directed it? Eric Styles

What's his deal? The Brit director is making his debut with this one.

The House on Haunted Hill

What's it about? A rich nutcase offers a million dollars to anyone who will agree to spend the entire night in his ghostly mansion.

Who's in it? Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen

Who directed it? William Malone

What's his deal? A director of TV horror anthologies like "Freddy's Nightmares," "W.E.I.R.D. World" and "Perversions of Science," Malone is now stepping into the shoes of classic schlockmeister William Castle, who created the original 1958 version of House on Haunted Hill.

Music of the Heart

What's it about? True story of a Manhattan school teacher who brought the gift of music to her class of inner-city children.

Who's in it? Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett, Gloria Estefan

Who directed it? Wes Craven

What's his deal? Craven, best known for horror hits like Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, contributes a non-scary film for a change.

Princess Mononoke

What's it about? This animated film, the biggest domestic hit ever in Japan, tells the legend of a young girl raised by wolves who defends her forest home from intruders.

Who's in it? Voices of Claire Danes, Billy Crudup, Billy Bob Thornton, Gillian Anderson

Who directed it? Hayao Miyazaki

What's his deal? Called "The Walt Disney of Japan," Miyazaki's past hits have included Kiki's Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro. This film is described as his most "adult" feature to date.

November 5

The Bone Collector

What's it about? A paralyzed cop teams up with a female rookie to hunt down a serial killer.

Who's in it? Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie

Who directed it? Phillip Noyce

What's his deal? Aussie Phillip Noyce is most noted for directing adaptations of Tom Clancy's Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger (although he also directed The Saint, so ...).

The Insider

What's it about? The story recounts the true-life tale of a tobacco company insider who blew the whistle on his industry on "60 Minutes."


Man on the Moon  

Who's in it? Al Pacino, Russell Crowe, Christopher Plummer

Who directed it? Michael Mann

What's his deal? Mann created "Miami Vice," went on to helm some stylish crime films (Manhunter, Heat) and is now expanding his oeuvre with this newsworthy drama.

Last Night

What's it about? For reasons unstated, the Earth has exactly six hours left before assured destruction. An ensemble cast of characters deals with the brief timeframe in various ways.

Who's in it? Don McKellar, Sarah Polly, David Cronenberg

Who directed it? Don McKellar

What's his deal? McKellar, who scored arthouse hits by writing 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould and The Red Violin for director François Girard, now gets a chance to direct his own screenplay. He also stars in it, so he must think pretty highly of himself.

Light It Up

What's it about? A group of high school students takes an injured security guard hostage after their favorite teacher is fired.

Who's in it? Usher, Sara Gilbert, Forest Whitaker, Judd Nelson

Who directed it? Craig Bolotin

What's his deal? Writer/director Bolotin directed an episode of "Miami Vice" and wrote Straight Talk, that radio movie with Dolly Parton and James Woods.

Mansfield Park

What's it about? This revisionist version of Jane Austen's novel about money, class and sex (aren't they all) incorporates many of Austen's own personal letters for added realism.

Who's in it? Harold Pinter

Who directed it? Patricia Romeza What's her deal? Canadian filmmaker Romeza is best known for her lesbian romance flicks (I've Heard the Mermaids Singing and When Night Is Falling)

The Messenger

What's it about? The short but spectacular career of Joan of Arc.

Who's in it? Milla Jovovich, John Malkovich, Faye Dunaway, Dustin Hoffman.

Who directed it? Luc Besson

What's his deal? Besson (The Professional, The Fifth Element) is married to Jovovich, so naturally she came out on top of the casting process.

November 12

The Bachelor

What's it about? It's a remake of the old Buster Keaton film in which a millionaire must find a bride within 24 hours or risk losing his entire fortune.

Who's in it? Chris O'Donnell, Renée Zellweger

Who directed it? Gary Sinyor

What's his deal? Sinyor is a little known British director (Stiff Upper Lips), but he's got plenty of confidence, apparently, for tackling a classic like The Bachelor and replacing its legendary star with the kid who played Robin.

Felicia's Journey

What's it about? A pregnant Irish gal heads to England in search of her missing lover and falls into the arms of a dangerous sociopath.

Who's in it? Elaine Cassidy, Bob Hoskins

Who directed it? Atom Egoyan

What's his deal? Canadian director Egoyan made a big name for himself with his last masterpiece, The Sweet Hereafter.

Play It To the Bone

What's it about? Two washed-up boxers try to resurrect their career with a glitzy Vegas bout.

Who's in it? Antonio Banderas, Woody Harrelson

Who directed it? Ron Shelton

What's his deal? Shelton knows a thing or two about sports -- he wrote Bull Durham, White Men Can't Jump, The Great White Hype and Tin Cup?

Pokémon: The First Movie

What's it about? Two recent episodes of the Japanese cartoon are strung together in an attempt to convince Pokémon-crazed American kids that they are watching an actual movie.

Who's in it? What the hell kind of question is that?

Who directed it? Are you on drugs?

Ride With the Devil

What's it about? Two childhood pals end up on opposite sides in the Civil War. ... Hey, isn't that the same plot as that cheesy "North and South" miniseries with Patrick Swayze?

Who's in it? Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jewel

Who directed it? Ang Lee

What's his deal? The Vietnamese auteur is best known for his last stateside hit ,The Ice Storm?

Three to Tango

What's it about? A jealous tycoon asks a gay pal to watch over his fiancée -- only problem is, the pal isn't gay.


Who's in it? Dylan McDermott, Neve Campbell, Matthew Perry

Who directed it? Damon Santostefano

What's his deal? He was a production assistant on Abel Ferrara's exploitation classic Ms. 45, and he once cast Something Weird Video's resident movie host Johnny Legend in a horror movie about evil hands.

November 19

All About My Mother

What's it about? In this kitschy, tragicomic melodrama, a single mother loses her son and seeks comfort in a bizarre collection of acquaintances including a transvestite, a lesbian actress and a nun.

Who's in it? Cecilia Roth

Who directed it? Pedro Almodóvar

What's his deal? Spanish director Almodóvar is best known for his strange characters and colorful screen stories (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Labyrinth of Passions).


What's it about? Two renegade angels are willing to destroy the Earth in order to get back into heaven. It's up to the chosen prophets (drug dealers Jay and Silent Bob of Clerks and Mallrats fame) to save the day in this oddball religious parody.

Who's in it? Who isn't? Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, Alanis Morissette, Jason Lee, George Carlin

Who directed it? Kevin Smith

What's his deal? Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy) pissed off enough religious types with this one that Miramax dumped the film. It will now be distributed by rival indie Lion's Gate.

Sleepy Hollow

What's it about? The classic ghost story about the Headless Horseman gets a surreal tweak courtesy of Tim Burton

Who's in it? Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Christopher Walken

Who directed it? Tim Burton

What's his deal? Your guess is as good as mine, but with quirky hits like Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and Mars Attacks, we can only hope Burton keeps it up.


What's it about? A Southern mom tries to break her bad-relationship cycle by hitting the road with her 12-year-old daughter

Who's in it? Janet McTeer, Kimberly Brown

Who directed it? Gavin McConnor

What's his deal? McConnor is an unknown factor, but this debut wowed 'em on the film fest circuit and landed a $5 million deal at Sundance.

The World Is Not Enough

What's it about? Brit superspy James Bond goes toe-to-toe with a Bosnian bad guy bent on stealing the world's oil supply.

Who's in it? Pierce Brosnan, Denise Richards, Robert Carlyle

Who directed it? Michael Apted

What's his deal? The respected British director has directed award-winning dramas (Coal Miner's Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist, Nell) and an ongoing series of legendary TV documentaries (Seven Up, 21 Up, 28 Up, 35 Up, 42 Up). Now he's tackling Bond.

November 24

Anna and the King

What's it about? A non-musical version of the King and I tale.

Who's in it? Jodie Foster, Chow Yun-Fat

Who directed it? Andy Tennant

What's his deal? Tennant directed the classic Olsen twins opus It Takes Two and that Cinderella thing with Drew Barrymore.

End of Days

What's It About? An alcoholic cop goes toe-to-toe with Satan, who shows up on Earth looking for a bride.

Who's In It? Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne

Who Directed It? Peter Hyams

What's His Deal? Hyams is the guy they call in when the real director quits over "artistic differences" -- which was, in fact, the case with this movie. Hollywood's most prolific hack has ground out such fun, forgettable films as The Relic, Sudden Death, Timecop, Running Scared, 2010 and Outland?


What's it about? A stroke-injured cop turns to his transvestite neighbor for singing lessons as part of his vocal therapy.

Who's in it? Robert De Niro, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Who directed it? Joel Schumacher

What's his deal? After years of trying to be macho (Batman & Robin, 8mm), Schumacher finally surrenders to the macho man within for a film that could be fab-ulous.

Toy Story 2

What's it about? It's up to spaceman Buzz Lightyear to rescue Woody when the classic toy is stolen by an evil toy collector.

Who's in it? The voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Kelsey Grammer, Joan Cusack

Who directed it? John Lasseter with Ash Brannon and Lee Unkrich


Stuart Little  

What's his deal? Well, first of all there's three of him.

November 26

Angela's Ashes

What's it about? Frank McCourt's universally lauded memoir comes to the big screen to tell the depressing but lyrical tale of a struggling Irish family.

Who's in it? Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle

Who directed it? Alan Parker

What's his deal? This intriguing and frequently talented Brit is best known for his musical films (Fame, Pink Floyd's The Wall, The Commitments, Evita), but has also directed dark dramas like Midnight Express and Angel Heart? November 27

Liberty Heights

What's it about? A group of Baltimore youths come of age while hanging out at their local diner.

Who's in it? Joe Mantegna, Bebe Neuwirth

Who directed it? Barry Levinson

What's his deal? The Baltimore director seems more obsessed with his own childhood than most. This is the fourth of his semi-autobiographical films (after Diner, Tin Men and Avalon). Astute fans of Diner should recognize this film's primary setting.

December 3

Bicentennial Man

What's it about? Over the course of 200 years, a domestic robot grows closer to humanity thanks to the family he serves.

Who's in it? Robin Williams, Sam Neill, Hallie Eisenberg

Who directed it? Chris Columbus

What's his deal? He directed the first two Home Alone films -- a crime for which he'll spend at least a few decades in Purgatory. Here, Columbus is reuniting with the star of his 1993 smash Mrs. Doubtfire and hoping like hell lightning strikes twice.

Deuce Bigelow, Male Gigolo

What's it about? A fish tank cleaner in desperate need of money fills in for a male escort who's out of town.

Who's in it? Rob Schneider

Who directed it? Mike Mitchell

What's his deal? His 1999 short Herd played at the Birmingham Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival in Alabama earlier this year.

The End of the Affair

What's it about? A woman cheating on her husband during World War II makes a deal with God after her lover is injured during the London Blitz.

Who's in it? Ralph Fiennes, Julianne Moore, Stephen Rea

Who directed it? Neil Jordan

What's his deal? After the mainstream success of Interview With the Vampire, Brit director Jordan seems to have settled back into his early arthouse career (Mona Lisa, The Crying Game).

Sweet and Lowdown

What's it about? A jazz musician juggles gals during the 1930s.

Who's in it? Sean Penn, Uma Thurman, Samantha Morton

Who directed it? Woody Allen

What's his deal? Well, he married his stepdaughter.

December 5

Agnes Browne

What's it about? An Irish widow becomes a nanny to seven children in this translation of Brendan O'Carrol's 1999 novel The Mammy.

Who's in it? Angelica Huston

Who directed it? Angelica Huston

What's her deal? Her father was legendary director John Huston (Treasure of the Sierra Madre, African Queen, The Maltese Falcon), so the noted actress has probably absorbed a thing or two about directing.

December 10

The Cider House Rules

What's it about? A parentless boy returns to the orphanage that raised him in this adaptation of John Irving's best-selling novel.

Who's in it? Tobey Maguire, Michael Caine, Charlize Theron

Who directed it? Lasse Hallstrom

What's his deal? Swedish-born Hallstrom has already done such affecting and offbeat family dramas as My Life as a Dog and What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, so there's every reason to believe one of Irving's novels will finally see justice on the big screen.

The Cradle Will Rock

What's it about? This unusual drama focuses on the events that surrounded the controversial opening of the titular 1937 musical directed by Orson Welles. When the political play was shut down by government injunction, Welles performed the piece guerilla-style in a borrowed theater.

Who's in it? Susan Sarandon, Vanessa Redgrave, Emily Watson, John Cusack

Who directed it? Tim Robbins

The Bone Collector  

What's his deal? He's shacking up with Susan Sarandon, he's a great actor and his directing efforts (like 1992's acerbic Bob Roberts) aren't too shabby either.

Galaxy Quest

What's it about? The cast of a cancelled sci-fi series are mistakenly recruited by extraterrestrials to fight off an evil alien warlord.

Who's in it? Tim Allan, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman

Who directed it? Dean Parisot

What's his deal? Directed Home Fries with Drew Barrymore. Did some TV before that. He's young yet.

Scream 3

What's it about? 90 minutes.

Who's in it? Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette

Who directed it? Wes Craven

What's his deal? After a brief dramatic detour with October's Music of the Heart, Craven returns to the safety of the horror genre.

Stuart Little

What's it about? A childless couple adopt a small mouse. It's based on the long-running children's book series.

Who's in it? Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie

Who directed it? Rob Minkoff

What's his deal? As long as this former Disney animator (and co-director of The Lion King) doesn't get in the way of John (Star Wars) Dykstra's special effects, none of the kids in the audience is gonna care.

December 17

The Green Mile

What's it about? A Southern prison guard discovers that a death row inmate has the power to heal.

Who's in it? Tom Hanks, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt

Who directed it? Frank Darabont

What's his deal? Darabont's last stab at writing and directing a movie version of a Stephen King novel turned out pretty well -- it was The Shawshank Redemption.


What's it about? Three characters mired in the world of professional horse racing engage in a noirish love triangle. Based on the play by Sam Shepard.

Who's in it? Nick Nolte, Jeff Bridges, Sharon Stone

Who directed it? Matthew Warchus

What's his deal? Theatrical director Warchus staged Shepard's play once in London.

December 21

Girl, Interrupted

What's it about? A young woman enters a mental hospital in this adaptation of Susanna Kaysen's 1993 memoir.

Who's in it? Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Whoopi Goldberg

Who directed it? James Mangold

What's his deal? Mangold tried to do the "indie film with big stars" in the unsuccessful Cop Land. Here, he gives it another shot.

December 22

Snow Falling on Cedars

What's it about? Based on yet another best-selling novel, this icy drama tells of an interracial love affair and a contentious murder trial in the frigid Northwest.

Who's in it? Ethan Hawke, Youki Kudoh, Sam Shepard

Who directed it? Scott Hicks

What's his deal? Last time we heard from Hicks, he was racking up seven Oscar nominations for the film Shine?

December 23

Daddy and Them

What's it about? In this self-described "white trash romantic comedy," a poor married couple come to the aid of their jailed uncle.

Who's in it? Billy Bob Thornton, Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, Ben Affleck

Who directed it? Billy Bob Thornton

What's his deal? Thornton won an Oscar for his work on Slingblade. Not too shabby for a country boy.

December 24

The Talented Mr. Ripley

What's it about? A seemingly button-down young American is sent to Italy to retrieve an old school chum -- instead, our unethical antihero decides to bump off his pal and assume the rich fellow's identity.

Who's in it? Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett

Who directed it? Anthony Minghella

What's his deal? Minghella did pretty well with his last flick, The English Patient.

December 25

Any Given Sunday

What's it about? An aging pro football coach faces what could be his last season on the turf.

Who's in it? Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx, Charlton Heston, Cameron Diaz, James Woods

Who directed it? Oliver Stone

What's his deal? Before getting busted for driving around with a bunch of hash, Stone directed a couple movies (JFK, The Doors, Platoon).

Hanging Up

What's it about? Three squabbling sibs are forced to work out their relationship when daddy falls ill.

Who's in it? Lisa Kudrow, Diane Keaton, Meg Ryan

Who directed it? Diane Keaton

What's her deal? The Oscar-winning actress (Annie Hall) picked up a thing or two from longtime collaborator Woody Allen and has found herself bitten by the directing bug lately (Heaven, Unstrung Heroes).


What's it about? A massive ensemble cast navigates the highways and byways of Southern California's San Fernando Valley over one 24-hour period.

Who's in it? William H. Macy, Julianne Moore, Jason Robards, Tom Cruise

Who directed it? Paul Thomas Anderson

What's his deal? He's the guy who showed off Marky Mark's gigantic dipstick in Boogie Nights. What better résumé do you need?

Man in the Moon

What's it about? A dramatic biopic covering the short, tumultuous life of misunderstood comedian Andy Kaufman.

Who's in it? Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito

Who directed it? Milos Foreman

What's his deal? Foreman's last dramatic biopic, The People vs. Larry Flynt, fell just shy of Oscar success; this one could bring home the gold.

Next Friday

What's it about? A follow-up to the surprise 1995 hit, Friday, about some East Los Angeles residents who hang out on their porch all day and smoke dope.

Who's in it? Ice Cube, Tiny Lister

Who directed it? Steve Carr

What's his deal? No idea. He's probably pals with Cube.

Reindeer Games

What's it about? An ex-con is lured into robbing a casino on Christmas Eve.

Who's in it? Ben Affleck, Gary Sinise, Charlize Theron

Who directed it? John Frankenheimer

What's his deal? Back in the day, Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, The French Connection II) was king of the cinematic thriller.

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