‘Away we Go’
A couple (John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph) expecting their first child travel around the U.S. looking for the best place to raise their family. The trailers look hilarious. The film is directed by Sam Mendes, who doesn’t make bad movies (“American Beauty,” “Revolutionary Road”). Jeff Daniels, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Allison Janney and Catherine O’Hara also star.
‘The Hurt Locker’
This is an apolitical Iraqi war film which explores the addiction that war can be for an elite bomb-diffusing squad in Baghdad, Iraq. The screenplay is based on first-hand experience and is said to be “high voltage.” Jeremy Renner’s (“A Little Trip to Heaven”) portrayal of the protagonist is generating oodles of praise. It could be the role that gives him the recognition he deserves. Also starring Guy Pearce (“Memento”) and directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
Two of New York’s greatest neurotics team up for what has to be the best marriage made in comedy. Woody Allen actually wrote the leading part for Larry David, who wrote for “Seinfeld” and stars in “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” David plays a confrontational, overly rude racist who somehow manages to generate sympathy. This could be a classic.
This is my pick for best summer flick. Who better could glorify gangster John Dillinger than Johnny Depp? Under the direction of the magnificent and meticulous Michael Mann (“Heat”), this film should rock — big time. It sports a hit list of cast members including Christian Bale, Giovanni Ribisi, Billy Crudup, Stephen Graham and Oscar winner Marion Cotillard. Wow.
‘In the Loop’
A political satire of the United States/United Kingdom rush to the war in Iraq. Already being compared to “Dr. Strangelove,” this comedy exposes politicians as foul-mouthed spin-doctors. Starring James Gandolfini, aka Tony Soprano, as a Colin Powell-like general and Tom Hollander (“Pirates of the Caribbean” regular) as a “bumbling minister of information.” The movie is based on the British sitcom, “The Thick of It,” directed by Armando Iannucci, who also directs this film.
‘Death in Love’
Recipe for a dysfunctional family: mother (Jacqueline Bisset) is a concentration-camp survivor who had an affair with a Nazi doctor. Father (Stu Richel) is a weak-willed wuss. Eldest son (Josh Lucas) engages in S&M, while younger brother (Lucas Haas) is emotionally paralyzed. Reportedly strong performances, lush cinematography and beautifully directed by Boaz Yakin (“Fresh”).
‘The Boat that Rocked’
In the late ’60s, the only way Brits could hear rock-and-roll was via broadcasts from a boat manned by renegade deejays. The government actually tried shutting them down for God-knows-what-reason. See the film and find out. Got to be worth it with a cast that includes Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy and Kenneth Branagh. Brought to you by the director of such fun films as “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and “Love Actually.”
‘Julie and Julia’
Director/writer Nora Ephron (“Sleepless in Seattle”) adapts two best-selling memoirs based on two true stories. One is by Julie Powell about a young secretary (Amy Adams) who is obsessed with tackling all 524 recipes (within one year) in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” The other is based on Child’s autobiography. Seeing Meryl Streep play Julia Child has to be the crème de la crème that acting has to offer.
The tagline for the film is, “You haven’t seen war until you’ve seen it through the eyes of Quentin Tarantino.” Judging from the trailer, Tarantino is back in form in this World War II epic. He’s been working on the script for almost a decade. Brad Pitt is in charge of 13 Jewish-American soldiers who go behind enemy lines to exact revenge. He instructs them that “they will find the evidence of our cruelty in the disemboweled, dismembered, disfigured bodies we leave behind us.” Now that’s the Quentin Tarantino we all know and love!
“Woodstock was America’s last moment of innocence” according to Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain”). The film tells the story of how the iconic festival evolved into a “massive historic-making event.” Looks like fun for those of us who lived it and those who wished they had. Starring Demetri Martin, Imelda Staunton, Liev Schreiber and Emile Hirsch. The poster should be groovy.
‘World’s Greatest Dad’
Former stand-up comic Bobcat Goldthwait is the king of comedy. Now writing and directing, his screenplays go down some pretty raunchy paths (“Sleeping Dogs Lie”). But, he always gets it right. Robin Williams plays author, teacher and father to a son (Daryl Sabara) who hates everything. When the son attempts auto-erotic-asphyxiation, Dad gets creative.
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Did you notice a familiar name in the February issue of Southern Living magazine?
Packing on team spirit
No one can accuse of Diane Chechik of not representing her team, the Green Bay Packers.
Sarasota on the social map
… Well, we already knew that, right? Now apparently all of New York knows how wonderful our slice of paradise is, too.