This Week

by Alan Rapp on August 7, 2006

in Film News & Trailers

So what’s out there this week?  Well today we’ll take a look at the films scheduled to be released this week.  On Wednesday Oliver Stone’s 9/11 film World Trade Center will be released (check back for our review!).  Friday’s releases include Tim Allen and a bunch of kids trying to save the world, Kristen Bell hearing voices from the other side, and yet another film about dancing.  All that and a boatload of indie films out this week in limited release as well; read on…


Here’s what’s scheduled to hit theaters this week.  Want to know more?  Just click on the title for film info including a full cast list.  Want a closer look?  Just click on the poster to watch the trailer.

Opening Wednesday:

World Trade Center

Oliver Stone has never been more subtle.  This is the film United 93 wanted to be.  Stone tells the story of a pair of Port Authority cops (Nicholas Cage and Michael Pena) who are buried alive after entering the towers trying to save others on 9/11.  The film moves between their circumstances and those of their families (Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhaal as the wives) who watch in horror and desperation, not knowing if they are alive or dead.  Stone tells a basic story relying on human emotion and strong performances from a terrific cast.  The film opens on Wednesday and we’ll have the review.

Opening Friday:


Tim Allen plays the superhero Captain Zoom who sends off his daughter (Kate Mara) to a special academy called Sky High where the youngsters with super powers are taught how to develop them by Professor X.  (Sony was actually sued over the “similarities”).  At the academy the kids learn about the plot of a new super-villain and band together to stop the new menace.  If the trailers are true, and they never lie, looks like it could be fun.  Anyone else think director Peter Hewitt might have made more out of Fantastic Four franchise?  (‘Course so would a coma patient, or a rock).


Kristen Bell (the delectably cute Veronica Mars) stars in this English remake of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s 2001 Kairo.  The plot involves the discovery of an evil signal that is hacked into and can’t be shut off.  The film also stars Christina Milan (why does there always have to be a “musician” in the group?), Ian Omerhalder, Riki Lindhome, Jonathan Tucker, and Julie Newcaster.  The track record of Japanese horror flicks remade by Hollywood doesn’t exactly inspire (remember last year’s Dark Water?), but the trailer comes off as both creepy and intriguing.  We’ll have to see for ourselves.

Step Up

Yet another film where the main plot focuses around dancing.  Oh boy.  In this one Tyler (Channing Tatum) is sentenced to community service at a super elite dance school (yeah, riiiight…).  There he meets a young sexy ballet dancer (Jenna Dewan) who pulls him out of his shell and helps him discover his hidden talent, a new respect for life, and a love of dancing.  Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under), Diedre Lovejoy, Ryan Sands, Alyson Stoner, Schuster Vance, and Courtney Irons also star.  Also with Anne Fletcher, choreographer turned first time director.  Check back Friday for the review.

Currently in Limited Release, Opening Wide on Friday:

Peaceful Warrior

The latest from writer/director Victor Salva (Jeepers Creepers, Clownhouse, Powder) is an inspirational and emotional tale of a young collegiate gymnast (Scott Mechlowicz) who strikes up a student/mentor relationship with a gas station sage (Nick Nolte) who teaches him the “way of the peaceful warrior.”  The film is based on Dan Millman’s semi-autobiographical book of the same name.  The supporting cast for the film includes Amy Smart and Ashton Holmes.  It’s been playing in limited release for about two months and will open wide on more screens this Friday.  Check back for our review.

Opening Friday in Limited Release:

Conversations with Other Women

At a wedding reception sparks fly between a man (Aaron Eckhart) and woman (Helena Bonham Carter) who continue to flirt.  The pair steal away together to a hotel room where more about their past and future is to be discovered and revealed.  For fans of dialogue, instead of action, you may have found something here in director Hans Canosa and writer Gabrielle Zevin’s latest collaboration (they gave us 2002’s Alma Mater).  The film also stars Olivia Wile, Brian Geraghty, Brianna Brown, and Thomas Lennon.  It opens on Friday in limited release in New York, Los Angeles, and San Fransisco.

The House of Sand (Casa de Areia)

A pregnant woman (Fernada Torres) and her new husband take her mother (Fernada Montenegro) and move to a remote region of northern Brazil in 1910.  Despite her husband’s love for the land, Aureilla will spend her life, with her mother and daughter, in the arid desert hoping only to escape.  Directed by Andrucha Waddington, the film is banking heavily on Montenego’s presence (one of the most respected actors in Brazil) and the chemisty in casting her real life daughter to play the same role in the film.  The Brazilian film is presented in Portuguese with English subtitles; it opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday.

Waltzing Anna

Robert Capelli Jr. (who also co-wrote the script) stars as an unscrupuous New York doctor who thrives on the bureauracracy of the insurance system.  When found guilty he is sentenced to work six months at a nursing home where relationships with his patients and his romantic interest in a nurse (Emmanuelle Chriqui) begin to thaw the doctor’s cold heart.  The film also stas Marilyn Chris, Pat Hingle, Jeff Kovatch, Grant Shaud (of TV’s Murphy Brown), Casey Simasko, and Shelby Young.  The film was co-written and directed by Doug Bollinger; it opens in limited release on Friday.

Poster Boy

Matt Newton plays the title role of Henry, a closeted gay son of a conservative United States Senator (Michael Lerner).  When an openly gay friend (Jack Noseworthy) learns of Henry’s secret he decides to take advantage of the situation and get some revenge on the conservative right during the Senator’s re-election campaign.  Karen Allen, Valerie Geffner, Ian Reed Kesler, and Amanda Kaplan also star.  Co-written by Lecia Rosenthal and Ryan Shiraki, the film is directed by first timer Zak Tucker.  The only question is will anyone in the midwest get to, or want to, see it?  The film opens Friday in limited release.

Half Nelson

An inner-city junior high school techer (Ryan Gosling) is a favorite among students for his edgier approach and focus on teaching them to think for themselves.  When one of his students (Shareeka Epps) discovers his dark secret (drug addiction) an unlikely friendship forms as the two try to help each other.  Karen Chilton, Anthony Mackie, Tina Holmes, Monique Curnen, Stephanie Bast, and Bryce Silver also star.  The film is a longer version of writer/director Ryan Fleck’s 2004 short film Gowanus, Brooklyn (which also starred Epps and Chilton).  The film will be released in New York on Friday.

Viva Pedo!

Sony Pictures Classics is re-releasing eight of Pedro Almodovar’s films: Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, All About My Mother, Talk to Her, Flower of my Secret, Live Flesh, Law of Desire, Matador, and Bad Education.  Each film has been restored and new prints have been made for each film.  In November Almodovar’s latest film Volver will also be released.  The films will open in New York and Los Angeles on Friday and gradually expand to other cities this fall.  For more information check out the official site.

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