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Only the strong survive

Aug. 1

Gigli

Comedy

Columbia

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With: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bartha, Lainie Kazan.

The idea: Gorgeous gangster tries to sort out a bungled kidnapping.

Writer-director: Martin Brest.

So? Fairly high curiosity factor.

Dirty Pretty Things

Thriller

Miramax

With: Audrey Tautou, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sergi Lopez, Sophie Okonedo.

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The idea: A shocking discovery at the London hotel where they work propels a desperate man and woman into the city’s underworld.

Writer: Steve Knight.

Director: Stephen Frears.

So? Unsavory business.

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Freaky Friday

Comedy

Walt Disney

With: Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, Harold Gould, Chad Michael Murray.

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The idea: Mother and teenage daughter get a new perspective when they switch bodies on the eve of Mom’s wedding.

Writers: Leslie Dixon and Heather Hach; based on the novel by Mary Rodgers.

Director: Mark Waters.

So? A remake that may work on its own terms.

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Aug. 8

And Now Ladies and Gentlemen

Drama

Paramount Classics

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With: Jeremy Irons, Patricia Kaas, Thierry Lhermitte, Allesandra Martines.

The idea: Jewel thief and nightclub singer have an eventful encounter in Morocco.

Writer-director: Claude Lelouch.

So? Chanteuse Kaas’ screen debut.

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Le Divorce

Comedy

Fox Searchlight

With: Jean-Marc Barr, Leslie Caron, Stockard Channing, Glenn Close, Romain Duris, Kate Hudson.

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The idea: Cultures clash when American sisters find romance and scandal in Paris.

Writers: James Ivory and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala; based on the novel by Diane Johnson.

Director: Ivory.

So? Attractive material.

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Shaolin Soccer

Action comedy

Miramax

With: Stephen Chow, Ng Mang-Tat, Li Hui. Zhou Wei.

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The idea: Disciples of the Shaolin martial arts school bring their tradition to the game of soccer.

Writers: Chow, Tsang Kan Cheong.

Director: Chow.

So? Soccerrific.

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Matchstick Men

Comedy

Warner Bros.

With: Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman.

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The idea: Obsessive-compulsive con man’s life is complicated by the unexpected arrival of his teenage daughter.

Writers: Nicholas Griffin & Ted Griffin; based on the book by Eric Garcia.

Director: Ridley Scott.

So? A girl in their soup.

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Aug. 15

American Splendor

Drama

HBO/Fine Line

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With: Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis, James Urbaniak.

The idea: Comic-book writer Harvey Pekar chronicles the adventures not of a superhero, but of an everyman -- himself.

Writer-directors: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini; based on Pekar’s comic book series.

So? Insightful, creative, took Grand Jury Prize at 2003 Sundance Festival.

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Battle of Shaker Heights

Comedy-drama

Miramax

With: Not available.

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The idea: High schooler’s life is changed when he meets someone who shares his passion: reenacting World War II battles.

Writer: Erica Beeney.

Directors: Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin.

So? Project Greenlight No. 2.

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Freddy vs. Jason

Horror

New Line

With: Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger.

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The idea: Clash of the slashers.

Writers: Damian Shannon & Mark Swift and David S. Goyer; story by Shannon & Swift.

Director: Ronny Yu.

So? Hong Kong’s Yu drops in on Elm Street.

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The Medallion

Action

Screen Gems

With: Jackie Chan, Claire Forlani, Julian Sands, Lee Evans.

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The idea: A mysterious medallion gives Chan superhuman powers.

Writers: Gordon Chan, Bey Logan.

Director: Gordon Chan.

So? We already thought he was super.

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Once Upon a Time in the Midlands

Comedy

Sony Pictures Classics

With: Robert Carlyle, Rhys Ifans, Kathy Burke, Shirley Henderson.

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The idea: A former boyfriend meets resistance when he shows up to rekindle an old flame.

Writers: Paul Fraser and Shane Meadows.

Director: Meadows.

So? Hooks and crooks.

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Passionada

Romantic drama

IDP/Samuel Goldwyn/Fireworks

With: Sofia Milos, Jason Isaacs, Emmy Rossum, Lupe Ontiveros, Seymour Cassel, Theresa Russell.

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The idea: Portuguese American singer and single mom falls for the wrong man.

Writers: Jim Jermanok, Steve Jermanok.

Director: Dan Ireland.

So? Seductive.

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Aug. 20

Thirteen

Drama

Fox Searchlight

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With: Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter, Nikki Reed, Jeremy Sisto.

The idea: L.A. teenager falls under the spell of some fast-paced peers.

Writers: Catherine Hardwicke and Nikki Reed.

Director: Hardwicke.

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So? Reed was 13 when she co-wrote the story, based on her experiences.

Aug. 22

Bukowski: Born Into This

Documentary

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Magnolia Pictures

The idea: Close look at hard-living poet.

Director: John Dullaghan.

So? True grime.

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Grind

Comedy

Warner Bros.

With: Mike Vogel, Vince Vieluf, Adam Brody, Joey Kern.

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The idea: Wannabes follow a skateboard star on his summer tour.

Writer: Ralph Sall.

Director: Casey La Scala.

So? Boarders hit the road.

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Marci X

Comedy

Paramount

With: Lisa Kudrow.

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The idea: Record exec’s daughter takes over rap label.

Writer: Paul Rudnick.

Director: Richard Benjamin.

So? Culture clash for laughs.

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My Boss’ Daughter

Comedy

Dimension

With: Ashton Kutcher, Tara Reid, Jeffrey Tambor, Andy Richter.

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The idea: Young exec house-sits for the boss, tries to stave off disaster.

Writer: David Dorfman.

Director: David Zucker.

So? House of mirth.

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Aug. 27

Highwaymen

Thriller

New Line

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With: Jim Caviezel, Rhona Mitra.

The idea: Serial killer wields a ’72 El Dorado.

Writers: Hans Bauer & Craig Mitchell.

Director: Robert Harmon.

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So? Harmon directed “The Hitcher” in ’86.

To Be and to Have

Documentary

New Yorker Films

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With: Georges Lopez.

The idea: In an isolated village in the French province of Auvergne, a dedicated teacher covers subjects ranging from math to making crepes.

Director: Nicolas Philibert.

So? Enlightening.

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Aug. 29

Jeepers Creepers 2

Horror

UA

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With: Ray Wise, Jonathan Breck.

The idea: Busload of basketball players and cheerleaders represents meals on wheels for a voracious creature.

Writer-director: Victor Salva, based on characters created by Salva.

So? Cheap thrills.

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Nola

Drama

IDP/Fireworks

With: Emmy Rossum, Mary McDonnell, Steven Bauer, James Badge Dale.

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The idea: Singer-songwriter leaves Kansas City for New York to search for father she never knew.

Writers: Jill Footlick & Rachel Peters.

Director: Alan Hruska.

So? Rossum, from “Songcatcher,” plays the title character.

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August TBA

Angela

Drama

First Look

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With: Donatella Finocchiaro.

The idea: Woman moves up in the world of Palermo’s Mafia, but struggles for respect.

Writer-director: Roberta Torre.

So? Based on true story.

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Autumn Spring

Comedy

First Look

With: Vlastimil Brodsky.

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The idea: To his wife’s dismay, an elderly gent keeps retirement interesting by posing as other people.

Writer: Jiri Hubac.

Director: Vladimir Michalek.

So? Pleasantly old-fashioned.

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Blue Gate Crossing

Comedy

Strand

With: Chen Bo-lin, Guey Lun-mei, Liang Shu-hui, Joanna Chou, Cheng Ming-gin.

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The idea: Complications ensue when a girl enlists a boy to convey her feelings for another girl.

Writer-director: Chin-Yen Yee.

So? Gender-bending Cyrano.

Civil Brand

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Drama

Lions Gate

With: LisaRaye, N’Bushe Wright, Mos Def, Da Brat, Monica Calhoun.

The idea: Nurse is incarcerated among hardened criminals for killing her abusive husband, only to discover exploitation of another type -- by the justice system.

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Writers: Preston A. Whitmore, Joyce Lewis.

Director: Neema Barnette.

So? Striking.

Hypnotic

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Thriller

First Look

With: Michelle Camarda, Goran Visnjic, Miranda Otto, Shirley Henderson.

The idea: Hypnotherapist’s ability to look into subjects’ minds leads him into the search for a killer.

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Writers: Nick Willing and William Brookfield; based on the novel “Doctor Sleep,” by Madison Smartt Bell.

Director: Willing.

So? Efficient chills. Visnjic played the kind-hearted thug in “The Deep End.”

The Princess Blade

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Fantasy

ADV Films

With: Hideaki Ito, Yumiko Shaku, Shiro Sano, Yoichi Numata, Kyusaka Shimada.

The idea: Futuristic samurai tale about an exiled royal and her outlaw band of assassins.

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Writer-director: Shinsuke Sato.

So? Hard-boiled kicks.

Wonderland

Drama

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Lions Gate

With: Val Kilmer, Lisa Kudrow, Kate Bosworth, Dylan McDermott, Josh Lucas, Frankie G., Tim Blake Nelson, Carrie Fisher, Eric Bogosian, Christina Applegate, Janeane Garofalo, Natasha Gregson Wagner.

The idea: Multiple-homicide investigation leads to ruined porn star John Holmes.

Writers: James Cox & Captain Mauzner and Todd Samowitz & D. Loriston Scott.

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Director: Cox.

So? So L.A. in the ‘80s.

Sept. 5

The Order

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Thriller

Fox

With: Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon, Mark Addy, Benno Furmann, Peter Weller.

The idea: Young priest journeys to Rome to investigate the mysterious death of his mentor.

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Writer-director: Brian Helgeland.

So? Occult chills.

Summer TBA

Exorcist: The Beginning

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Horror

Warner Bros.

With: Stellan Skarsgard, Gabriel Mann, Clara Bellar, Billy Crawford.

The idea: Prequel to “The Exorcist” follows Father Lankester Merrin (Skarsgard here, Max von Sydow in the 1973 original) on his first devilish adventure in post-WWII Africa.

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Writers: William Wisher and Caleb Carr.

Director: Paul Schrader.

So? Spooky.

Gasoline

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Drama

Strand

With: Maya Sansa, Regina Orioli.

The idea: A mother’s accidental death complicates matters for her daughter and her daughter’s lover.

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Writers: Monica Stambrini, Ellen Stancanelli, AnneRitte Ciccone.

Director: Stambrini.

So? Combustible.

Jersey Guy

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Drama

Castle Hill

With: Steve Parlavecchio, Arthur Nascarell.

The idea: Nursing-home worker is tempted by the bright lights of Manhattan.

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Writers: Christ Zois and Elia Zois.

Directors: Elia Zois.

So? Abel Ferrara collaborator Christ Zois (“The Blackout,” “New Rose Hotel”) teams here with son Elia.

Ken Park

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Drama

Monograph Films

With: Adam Chubbuc, Amanda Plummer, Bill Fagerbaake.

The idea: Stark look at the lives of skate kids in a central California town.

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Writer: Harmony Korine.

Directors: Ed Lachman and Larry Clark.

So? “Kids” filmmakers Clark and Korine reunite to collaborate with cinematographer Lachman (“Far From Heaven”) on his directing debut.

The Secret Lives of Dentists

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Drama

Manhattan Pictures

International

With: Campbell Scott, Hope Davis, Denis Leary, Robin Tunney.

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The idea: Probes the complex and stormy marriage of two successful dentists.

Writer: Craig Lucas, based on the novella “Age of Grief,” by Jane Smiley.

Director: Alan Rudolph.

So? Eccentric.

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Suddenly

Drama

Empire Pictures

With: Carla Crespo, Tatiana Saphir, Veronica Hassan, Beatriz Thibaudin.

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The idea: Buenos Aires salesgirl’s boredom ends when she’s kidnapped by two punkish lesbians.

Writers: Diego Lerman, Maria Meira.

Director: Lerman.

So? Sharp, tender.

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The Three Marias

Drama

Empire Pictures

With: Marieta Severo, Julia Lemmertz, Maria Mendonca, Luia Meriana.

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The idea: Romantic betrayal and revenge in 1970s Brazil.

Writers: Heitor Dhalia, Wilson Freire.

Director: Aluizio Abranches.

So? Improbable but unsettling.

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