Spring Movie Previews | EW.com

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Spring Movie Previews

2.29.08

The Other Boleyn Girl

STARRING Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana

DIRECTED BY Justin Chadwick

In this period potboiler, Portman and Johansson star as history’s famous Boleyn sisters, who vie for the courtly favor (and royally hot bod) of Eric Bana’s King Henry VIII. Adapted by Peter Morgan (The Queen) from the best-selling novel, Boleyn has a pedigree worthy of its inspiration. As if the mere thought of a corseted catfight between these two weren’t enough to make some lose their heads.

Semi-Pro

STARRING Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson

DIRECTED BY Kent Alterman

You won’t hear ”Stay classy, Flint, Michigan,” but the 1970s mojo of Ron Burgundy lubricates the hardwood of this basketball period piece. Ferrell plays the crooning player/coach/owner of the moribund Flint Tropics, who are struggling to survive the imminent merger between the NBA and ABA. Will Arnett, Rob Corddry, and Jackie Earle Haley all show up?alongside Afros, short shorts, and, yes, actual ball-playing. FEB. 29

10,000 BC

STARRING Camilla Belle, Steven Strait

DIRECTED BY Roland Emmerich

If you like your historical epics to be, you know, historically accurate, this isn’t for you. Instead, think of 10,000 BC as a kind of goofy What If, as in, What if an English-speaking, buffed-up woolly-mammoth hunter with great teeth (Strait) took on an Egypt-like civilization that kidnapped his beloved (Belle)?who also has great teeth? We’re thinking the answer may have something to do with floss. MARCH 7

Married Life

STARRING Chris Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Patricia Clarkson, Rachel McAdams

DIRECTED BY Ira Sachs

Based on a ’50s pulp novel, Married Life takes us back to a time when men were men and marriages were built to last?unless the men were trying to poison their wives so they could run off with their mistresses. Cooper and Brosnan star as chums battling for the love of a younger woman (McAdams); Clarkson slips back into Far From Heaven-era housewife mode as the poisonee in question. ‘Til death! MARCH 7

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

STARRING Frances McDormand, Amy Adams

DIRECTED BY Bharat Nalluri

Adams plays a bubbly American actress who takes on the frumpy ex-governess Miss Pettigrew (McDormand) as her social secretary, then drags her new hire along on a whirlwind London day during which the ingenue bounces between three different men. Let’s just hope the film?based on the 1938 novel by Winifred Watson?doesn’t take that title too literally. MARCH 7

Funny Games

STARRING Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt

DIRECTED BY Michael Haneke

A married couple (Roth and Watts) and their young son (Devon Gearhart) are the victims of a home invasion by two blond sociopaths. The psychos bet the family that they cannot survive the pair’s sadistic games until the next morning. Those who saw Haneke’s 1997 German-language original will know what happens. Those who didn’t…ouch. Prepare to be implicated in a wickedly self-aware exploration of cinematic sadism. MARCH 14

Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who!

STARRING Jim Carrey, Steve Carell

DIRECTED BY Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino

Remember the timid mien of Hans Conried as the voice of Horton in the 1970 TV-‘toon version of Dr. Seuss’ book? Well, forget about that: Carrey takes a typically hyperactive tack in this CG feature from the Ice Age team. Carell is the teeny Who mayor trying to convince the citizenry that their dust-speck world is in ecosystemic peril. Yes, that means a lot of allusions to global warming. MARCH 14

Drillbit Taylor

STARRING Owen Wilson, Leslie Mann

DIRECTED BY Steven Brill

A fantasy about three dorks who hire a bodyguard (Wilson) to protect them from bullies at school. Produced by Judd ”Comedy Gold” Apatow and co-written by Knocked Up star Seth Rogen, this latest addition to the geeks-make-good canon (and to the ever-expanding Apatow empire) will probably strike home with anyone who has ever found themselves on the business end of a locker-stuffing. MARCH 21

Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns

STARRING Angela Bassett, Rick Fox, Jenifer Lewis

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY Tyler Perry

Perry again adapts material from his own theatrical oeuvre, this time tapping Bassett as a single mom who attempts to bond with eccentric relatives, led by the scene-stealing, loud-dressing Mr. Brown (David Mann)?a recurring Perry character who rivals Madea as a fan favorite. Laughs and tears ensue, as does a Madea cameo. MARCH 21

The Grand

STARRING Woody Harrelson, David Cross

DIRECTED BY Zak Penn

A Best in Show-style comedy set in the world of pro poker, The Grand stars Harrelson, Cross, Cheryl Hines…and Rescue Dawn/Grizzly Man director Werner Herzog, who plays a gambler. How’d the art-house auteur end up doing improv comedy? Most likely as a favor to Penn (they worked together on 2004’s Incident at Loch Ness). Either way, it’s gotta be funnier than watching a guy get eaten by a bear. MARCH 21

Chapter 27

STARRING Jared Leto, Lindsay Lohan

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY J.P. Schaefer

Last month’s The Killing of John Lennon traced the lead-up to Mark David Chapman assassinating the Beatles legend. This biopic?which premiered at last year’s Sundance?takes on the same topic, but with plus-size star power: Leto gained so much weight for the role that he came down with gout. Lohan costars as a pixie who keeps the big guy company as he waits outside the Dakota. MARCH 28

Stop-Loss

STARRING Ryan Phillippe, Abbie Cornish, Channing Tatum

DIRECTED BY Kimberly Peirce

Nine years after directing Boys Don’t Cry, Peirce is back with a gritty drama about the Iraq war. Phillippe stars as a sergeant who returns home, only to learn the Army is threatening to send him back to Iraq against his wishes. Stop’s subject matter is sure to stir up controversy. We’ll see if it can become the first current Iraq-war movie to stir up any real business. MARCH 28

4.4.08

My Blueberry Nights

STARRING Norah Jones, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz

DIRECTED BY Wong Kar-Wai

The Hong Kong director’s first English-language film hopes to do for Norah Jones what Ang Lee could not with Jewel (in 1999’s largely ignored Ride With the Devil): turn a demure singer into a serious actress. Jones stars as a waitress on a road trip that leads to adventures with a bad girl (Portman) in Nevada, while Law plays a cafe owner whose berry pie gives the film its fruity title.

Superhero Movie

STARRING Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Leslie Nielsen

DIRECTED BY Craig Mazin

Hard to believe they’re only now getting around to this: Producers of Scary Movie and Airplane! set their spoof sights on comic-book blockbusters, tapping Bell (Drake & Josh) to star as Rick Riker, a high schooler who gets bitten by a genetically altered dragonfly and becomes, um, Dragonfly. As Rick’s uncle Albert, expect Nielsen to once again prove himself this genre’s king. MARCH 28

21

STARRING Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Spacey

DIRECTED BY Robert Luketic

Based on Ben Mezrich’s 2002 nonfiction best-seller Bringing Down the House, 21 is the tale of an MIT whiz (Sturgess) who, with the help of a math prof (Spacey), learns to cheat at blackjack by counting cards. Naturally, he heads to Vegas to make some cash. Bosworth is one of the math nerds in his card crew, and Fishburne plays the casino heavy who catches on to the kid’s shenanigans. MARCH 28

Leatherheads

STARRING George Clooney, John Krasinski, Ren?Zellweger

DIRECTED BY George Clooney

Leave it to the eclectic Clooney to find inspiration for his 1920s football film in a screwball romantic comedy like The Philadelphia Story. The actor plays a charming rogue who recruits a Princeton star (Krasinski) to clean up his team’s image. When a reporter (Zellweger) chases a story into their huddle, the teammates go toe-to-toe for her attention. APRIL 4

Nim’s Island

STARRING Jodie Foster, Abigail Breslin, Gerard Butler

DIRECTED BY Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin

An adventure-novel fan (Breslin) calls on her favorite author (Foster) for help when her island paradise is threatened by invaders. Equal parts Romancing the Stone and Home Alone, Island promises kidventure thrills and some unexpected slapstick from Foster, who plays a klutz who gets licked by the likes of a tree, a treadmill, and an affectionate seal (and that’s just in the trailer). APRIL 4

The Ruins

STARRING Jena Malone, Shawn Ashmore

DIRECTED BY Carter Smith

Former fashion photographer Smith exchanges beauties for a beast?in this case, a nefarious…something (no spoilers here!) that lurks deep in the jungles of Mexico, methodically picking off a clutch of unfortunate American tourists that includes actors Malone (Into the Wild) and Ashmore (X-Men). Based on a seriously scary best-selling book by Scott Smith (who also penned the novel-turned-film A Simple Plan). APRIL 4

Smart People

STARRING Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Page, Thomas Haden Church

DIRECTED BY Noam Murro

Amazing what a bump on the head can do for a widowed professor’s sex life. Quaid stars in this dramedy as a grumpy professor who, while recuperating from a concussion, starts dating a former student (Parker). This doesn’t sit well with his teen daughter (Page), so she rebels as anyone would: by getting drunk with her ne’er-do-well uncle (Church). APRIL 11

Shine a Light

STARRING The Rolling Stones

DIRECTED BY Martin Scorsese

When a Stones riff uncoils on the soundtrack of a Scorsese movie?say, in Mean Streets or The Departed?it’s always a moment of audiovisual perfection. That bodes well for this concert film, shot in fall 2006 in New York City. Christina Aguilera, Buddy Guy, and Jack White join in on a few songs, and there’s some brief archival and backstage footage, but mostly it’s Mick muggery captured in huge, craggy close-ups. APRIL 4

Prom Night

STARRING Brittany Snow, Scott Porter

DIRECTED BY Nelson McCormick

When Hollywood throws a prom, you can often count on attractive teens, a loud soundtrack, and buckets of blood. Snow (Hairspray) plays a high schooler whose big night is ruined when a psycho from her past shows up with the goal of murdering her and all of her horny teenage friends. And they don’t even get to dance to that nifty remake of Cyndi Lauper’s ”Time After Time” like they do in the trailer! Evil marketers?er, serial killers! APRIL 11

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

STARRING Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis

DIRECTED BY Nicholas Stoller

Hawaii’s a perfect place to mend a broken heart?unless your ex is vacationing there at the same time with her new love. Such is the dilemma that faces poor Peter (Segel, who also wrote the script) as he tries to get over Sarah (Bell). It’s a comedy filled with raunch?hello, full-frontal male nudity!?that stars a Freaks and Geeks alum, which can mean only one thing: Judd Apatow produced it. APRIL 18

Street Kings

STARRING Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker

DIRECTED BY David Ayer

Fourteen years ago, Reeves played a Los Angeles cop in Speed. Now he’s back in uniform in the latest L.A.-streets thriller from Training Day writer David Ayer, playing a police officer who’s gotta fight the cops (and everybody else) to prove that he didn’t ice a fellow officer. Famous L.A. crime novelist James Ellroy co-wrote the script, and famous rappers (Common, The Game) round out the cast. APRIL 11

Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay

STARRING Kal Penn, John Cho, Neil Patrick Harris

DIRECTED BY Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg

Like stoners craving Doritos, fans of 2004’s Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle have been jonesing for more from the duo. For the sequel, this modern-day Cheech and Chong are accused of terrorism after smuggling a bong onto a flight. And fear not: Harris appears in another self-skewering cameo, continuing his reinvention. APRIL 25

Baby Mama

STARRING Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Greg Kinnear, Sigourney Weaver

DIRECTED BY Michael McCullers

Yet another bun-in-the-oven comedy? Yes, but this one’s got Tina Fey in it! She stars as a 37-year-old single exec at a Whole Foods-like company who enlists a coarse South Philly woman (Amy Poehler) as a surrogate mother. A bonus: Greg Kinnear shows up as the local grocer who catches Fey’s eye, and he’s definitely no Seth Rogen. APRIL 25

The Tourist

STARRING Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams

DIRECTED BY Marcel Langenegger

Don’t be fooled by the innocent-sounding title: There are a whole lot more fannies than fanny packs in this steamy morality tale from first-time director Langenegger. McGregor stars as a naive accountant who ventures into the dark under-world of New York City sex clubs under the guidance of a devilish co-worker (Jackman) and a mysterious lover (Williams). APRIL 25

Also Due…

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Also Due…

The Bank Job

STARRING Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows 3.7.08

Paranoid Park

STARRING Gabe Nevins, Jake Miller 3.7.08

Snow Angels

STARRING Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell 3.7.08

Sleepwalking

STARRING Nick Stahl, Charlize Theron, Dennis Hopper 3.14.08

Shutter

STARRING Joshua Jackson, Rachael Taylor 3.21.08

88 Minutes

STARRING Al Pacino, Alicia Witt, Leelee Sobieski 4.18.08

The Visitor

STARRING Richard Jenkins, Haaz Sleiman 4.18.08

Redbelt

STARRING Tim Allen, Alice Braga, Rodrigo Santoro 4.25.08

Then She Found Me

STARRING Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, Bette Midler 4.25.08