All genres covered in
By Geronimo Rodriguez
Daily Cougar Staff
Films opening this weekend offer more than
a few different ways to enjoy an evening of entertainment. From a swashbuckling
adventure to a
science-fiction flick, the silver screen
is prepared to entertain.
Also, Sean Penn, arguably the best actor
in America, can be seen burning the screen in a dramatic role, while acclaimed
director Todd Solondz
releases his latest work.
The latest adaptation of Alexandre Dumas'
famous novel of the same title, The Count of Monte Cristo retells the story
of Edmund Dantes' (James
Caviezel) false imprisonment for treason.
With the help of Faria (Richard Harris), Dantes escapes and becomes wealthy,
yet still seeks revenge
on the man responsible for framing him,
Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce).
This new adaptation is directed by Kevin
Reynolds and stars Dagmara Dominiczyk, James Frain, Michael Wincott and
Kung Pow!: Enter the Fist mocks dubbed
martial arts films. Written and directed by Steve Oedekerk (Ace Ventura:
When Nature Calls), the film
patches a story together by inserting
Oedekerk within an existing kung fu movie. The comedy also stars Tad Horino,
Philip Tan and Jennifer
Penn's latest film, I Am Sam, is the story
of a disabled man and the challenges he faces during a hearing that would
allow him custody of his
daughter. Penn's performance in this film
as a man with the mental capacity of a 7-year-old has been praised and
may be worthy of an Academy
The film is also backed by a strong soundtrack
that is climbing the Billboard charts. The soundtrack features artists
of today singing the classic
Beatles songs of yesterday.
During the filming of Sam, director Jessie
Nelson made it a point for the actors and the rest of the action to move
in the rhythm of certain songs
from the Beatles' catalogue.
Sarah McLachlan includes her rendition
of "Blackbird," Rufus Wainright sings "Across the Universe" and The Black
Crowes contribute with a
rocking version of "Lucy in the Sky with
Penn's musician brother, Michael, is also
featured on the soundtrack singing "Two of Us," a duet with Aimee Mann.
Other songs covered include "Let It Be,"
"Strawberry Fields Forever," "I'm Only Sleeping" and "Revolution."
Jessie Nelson directs Sam, which also stars
Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard Schiff, Laura Dern and Dianne Wiest.
In the science-fiction thriller The Mothman
Prophecies, reporter and widower John Klein leaves his job to investigate
strange reports on the
belief that an alien invasion of Earth
is occurring in a small West Virginia town.
Based on John A. Keels' 1975 novel, the
film is directed by Mark Pellington (Arlington Road) and stars Richard
Gere, Laura Linney, Will &
Grace's Debra Messing and Will Patton.
The latest teen romance, A Walk to Remember,
stars pop star Mandy Moore, Shane West, Peter Coyote and Daryl Hannah
Directed by Adam Shankman (The Wedding
Planner), Walk tells the story of what happens when the daughter of the
town's minister and the
only son of a wealthy family find love
during the town's Christmas pageant.
Lantana is a film that tells the stories
of four couples framed by the discovery of a murdered woman. Set in Australia,
the film is based on the play
Speaking in Tongues by Andrew Bovell and
is directed by Ray Lawrence (Bliss).
This thriller stars Anthony LaPaglia (Autumn
in New York), Geoffrey Rush (The Tailor of Panama) and Barbara Hershey.
In Storytelling, a series of stories follow
characters that include an aspiring actor with cerebral palsy and his girlfriend,
an author, a documentary
filmmaker, a young slacker and a slew
Selma Blair, Paul Giamatti, John Goodman,
Julie Hagerty and Leo Fitzpatrick are directed by Todd Solondz (Happiness),
who divided the film
into two parts, fiction and non-fiction.