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Only the strong survive

July 2

Legally Blonde 2:

Red, White & Blonde

Comedy

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MGM

With: Reese Witherspoon, Sally Field, Bob Newhart, Luke Wilson.

The idea: Now a lawyer (make that a fired lawyer), Elle negotiates Washington’s corridors of power, and she almost never goes anywhere without her Chihuahua.

Writer: Kate Kondell; story by Eve Ahlert & Dennis Drake and Kate Kondell; based on characters created by Amanda Brown.

Director: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld.

So? Blond momentum.

Taking Sides

Drama

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New Yorker Films

With: Harvey Keitel, Stellan Skarsgard

The idea: The name of conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler, who elected to remain in Germany during WWII, is tainted after he is forced to appear before the American De-Nazification Committee.

Writer: Ronald Harwood, based on his play.

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Director: Istvan Szabo.

So? Morality play.

July 4

The Housekeeper

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Comedy

Palm

With: Jean-Pierre Bacri, Emilie Dequenne.

The idea: After his wife walks out, a fiftysomething Parisian takes a shine to his new housekeeper.

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Writer: Claude Berri, based on the novel by Christian Oster.

Director: Berri.

So? A French midlife crisis.

A Woman Is a Woman

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Drama

Rialto

With: Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean-Claude Brialy.

The idea: Romantic roundelay with a lovesick stripper, her dull boyfriend and his vagabond pal.

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Writer-director: Jean-Luc Godard.

So? The 1961 work was Godard’s first in color and CinemaScope.

July 9

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

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Adventure

Walt Disney

With: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley.

The idea: Captain pursues pirates who have stolen his ship and kidnapped the governor’s daughter.

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Writers: Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio; story by Stuart Beattie; based on Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean.

Director: Gore Verbinski.

So? Promises to be as much fun as the ride that inspired it.

July 11

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I Capture the Castle

Drama

Samuel Goldwyn

With: Romola Garai, Marc Blucas, Rose Byrne.

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The idea: Family moves to remote castle in Suffolk, England, so Dad can finish a book. It doesn’t work out.

Writer: Heidi Thomas, based on novel by Dodie Smith (“101 Dalmatians”).

Director: Tim Fywell.

So? Impoverished Europeans court rich Americans.

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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Adventure

Fox

With: Sean Connery, Shane West, Stuart Townsend, Peta Wilson.

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The idea: Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man and other proto-superheroes try to save the world.

Writer: James Dale Robinson; based on the comic books by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill.

Director: Stephen Norrington.

So? Super stew: Norrington directed “Blade.”

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Lucia, Lucia

Comedy

Fox Searchlight

With: Cecilia Roth, Kuno Becker, Carlos Alvarez-Novoa.

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The idea: The mysterious disappearance of her husband leads a woman to reinvent her life.

Writer-director: Antonio Serrano, based on the Rosa Montero novel.

So? In Mexico, it was intriguingly titled “The Cannibal’s Daughter.”

Northfork

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Drama

Paramount Classics

With: Peter Coyote, Anthony Edwards, Duel Farnes, Daryl Hannah, Nick Nolte.

The idea: Locals hold out against plans to flood a Montana village.

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Writers: Mark Polish, Michael Polish.

Director: Michael Polish.

So? Idiosyncratic to the max.

Tattoo

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Thriller

Vitagraph

With: August Diehl, Christian Redl, Nadeshda Brennicke.

The idea: Investigators trail a serial killer into a fetishistic criminal underground.

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Writer-director: Robert Schwentke.

So? Grisly suspense.

July 18

The Anarchist Cookbook

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Comedy

Innovation Film Group

With: Devon Gummersall, Dylan Bruno, Katharine Towne.

The idea: College dropout joins a freewheeling commune.

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Writer-director: Jordan Susman.

So? Familiar cuisine.

Garage Days

Comedy

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Fox Searchlight

With: Kick Gurry, Maya Stange, Pia Miranda, Brett Stiller.

The idea: The struggles of an aspiring Australian garage band.

Writers: Dave Warner, Alex Proyas, Michael Udesky.

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Director: Proyas.

So? Change of pace for director of “The Crow,” “Dark City.”

How to Deal

Drama

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New Line

With: Mandy Moore, Trent Ford, Allison Janney, Peter Gallagher.

The idea: Disillusioned teen finds unexpected love.

Writer: Neena Beber, based on novels by Sarah Dessen.

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Director: Clare Kilner.

So? Based on series of successful teen novels.

The Magdalene Sisters

Drama

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Miramax

With: Geraldine McEwan, Dorothy Duffy, Annie-Marie Duff, Eileen Walsh.

The idea: Follows four “fallen women” forced into servitude by the Catholic Church in 1960s Ireland.

Writer-director: Peter Mullan.

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So? Not a flattering portrait.

Bad Boys II

Action-comedy

Columbia

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With: Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Jordi Molla, Gabrielle Union.

The idea: Mismatched cops tackle a drug kingpin.

Writers: Ron Shelton, Jerry Stahl, John Lee Hancock; based on characters created by George Gallo.

Director: Michael Bay.

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So? Fast, funny, loud.

On the Run / An Amazing Couple / After the Life

Drama

Magnolia Pictures

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With: Ornella Muti, Francois Morel, Catherine Frot, Lucas Belvaux.

The idea: An escaped convict, a deceitful couple, a drug-addict teacher and her policeman husband figure in the three separate, linked movies.

Writer-director: Belvaux.

So? Interesting but less than epic.

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Johnny English

Comedy

Universal

With: Rowan Atkinson, Natalie Imbruglia, Ben Miller, John Malkovich.

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The idea: Unlikely agent pursues the Frenchman who’s stolen the crown jewels.

Writers: Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and William Davies.

Director: Peter Howitt.

So? Phenomenally popular in England.

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July 25

Boys Life 4: Four Play

Anthology

Strand

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With: Various.

The idea: The series continues with a new quartet of gay-themed shorts.

Writers: Various.

Directors: Brian Sloan, Eric Mueller, Alan Brown, Phillip Bartel.

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So? Gay fest faves, repackaged.

Buffalo Soldiers

Comedy

Miramax

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With: Joaquin Phoenix, Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Anna Paquin.

The idea: New sergeant comes in to clean up the larceny at an Army base.

Writers: Eric Axel Weiss & Nora Maccoby, based on the book by Robert O’Connor.

Director: Gregor Jordan.

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So? Not the military’s ideal recruits.

Camp

Drama

IFC

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With: Daniel Letterle, Joanna Chilcoat, Robin de Jesus.

The idea: A group of serious misfits learns more than acting at kids’ summer theater camp.

Writer-director: Todd Graff.

So? Based on an actual institution, Stagedoor Manor.

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Lara Croft Tomb Raider:

The Cradle of Life

Action

Paramount

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With: Angelina Jolie, Gerard Butler, Noah Taylor, Ciaran Hinds.

The idea: The heroine undertakes a multi-vehicle, international quest.

Writer: Dean Georgaris; story by Kirk M. Petrucelli & Lloyd Levin.

Director: Jan De Bont.

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So? More extreme acrobatics.

Madame Sata

Biography

Wellspring

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With: Lazaro Ramos.

The idea: Gay performer descended from slaves becomes a star in the Brazil underground of the 1930s.

Writer-director: Karim Ainouz.

So? Based on the life of Joao Francisco dos Santo.

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Masked and Anonymous

Comedy

Sony Pictures Classics

With: Jeff Bridges, Penelope Cruz, Bob Dylan, John Goodman, Jessica Lange.

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The idea: A bogus benefit concert is the centerpiece of this political allegory.

Writers: Sergei Petrov & Rene Fontaine.

Director: Larry Charles.

So? This was apparently Dylan’s idea.

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Mondays in the Sun

Drama

Lions Gate

With: Javier Bardem.

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The idea: Laid-off dockworkers contemplate their fate while trying to cope.

Writer-director: Fernando Leon de Aranoa.

So? Gritty, touching.

July TBA

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Mission Without Permission

Family comedy

Fox

With: Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Beals, Sam Robards, James LeGros.

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The idea: Three kids rob a state-of-the-art bank -- but they have a good reason.

Writers: Michael Brandt & Derek Haas and Bart Freundlich; based on the film “Klatretosen” by Nikolai Arcel, Hans Fabian Wullenweber and Erlend Leo.

Director: Freundlich.

So? Mixed message.

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Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator

Documentary

Palm

The idea: Charts the ‘80s rise of skateboard culture and finds its dark side in former star Mark “Gator” Rogowski, now a convicted murderer.

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Director: Helen Stickler.

So? Lethal on wheels.

Swimming Pool

Drama

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Focus Features

With: Charlotte Rampling, Ludivine Sagnier, Charles Dance.

The idea: Mystery author visits publisher’s home in France, triggering uneasy domestic dynamics.

Writers: Francois Ozon, Emmanuele Bernheim.

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Director: Ozon.

So? Feminine clash of wills.


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