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Spring brakes

Spring Arts Preview: Some diversions before the summer onslaught
By PETER KEOUGH  |  March 10, 2008

VIDEO: The trailer for Where In the World Is Osama bin Laden?

Funny how spring movies can mirror the options of spring break: this year Hollywood offers trips to Vegas, Hawaii, Mexico, the ’20s, the ’80s, Narnia, Gitmo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. For stay-at-home types, there are proms, concerts, campus high jinks, and comic books. And for those who want to act like adults, there are comedies and tragedies about sex, love, birth, and death.

VIDEO: The trailer for Stop Loss

Maybe we can find a clue into why Owen Wilson got so down on himself in DRILLBIT TAYLOR (March 21), in which he plays an inept mercenary hired by bullied high-school kids. Steven Brill directs. On a more serious note: lauded indie director David Gordon Green makes his studio debut with his adaptation of SNOW ANGELS, Stewart O’Nan’s novel about relationships. Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell star.

So when does the vacation start? Not with STOP LOSS (March 28), Kimberly Peirce’s contribution to the Iraq War movie surge. Ryan Phillippe stars in this parable of a hero who’s compelled to put in another tour of duty.

Now you’re talking: let’s hit the tables! In 21 (March 28), Robert Luketic tells the true story of six MIT students who figured out how to win in Vegas. Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, and Laurence Fishburne star. What do you want to bet more people will want to watch these spoiled rich kids cheat than see blue-collar stiffs get killed in combat?

VIDEO: The trailer for Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay

It seems too early for football — the 1920s, that is. George Clooney directs and stars in LEATHERHEADS (April 4), in which a struggling team tries to survive without face masks and with Renée Zellweger in the cast. And it may be too late for the sixtysomething Rolling Stones, who are caught in concert in Martin Scorsese’s SHINE A LIGHT (April 4).

All the same, the Stones are probably better than the band playing in Nelson McCormick’s PROM NIGHT (April 11), though that outfit has to contend with a serial killer. Maybe it should hire Drillbit Taylor, or go scouting for new campus digs like the seniors in Deb Hagan’s COLLEGE (April 11).

Because all too soon you’re grown up and facing dilemmas like BABY MAMA (April 18). Directed by Michael McCullers and starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, this one’s a comedy about a successful businesswoman who hires a working-class stiff to have her baby. Or you’re coming to terms with the notion that the ’80s are over and you might not get another chance to be a drummer in a superband, as in THE ROCKER (April 18), a dark comedy from Peter Cattaneo. And come to think of it — WHERE INTHE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN? (April 18). Documentarian Morgan Spurlock wants to know. No doubt that’s what they’ll be asking the title pair in Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg’s HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTÁNAMO BAY (April 25); Kal Penn and John Cho reprise their roles.

VIDEO: The trailer for Iron Man

At last: superheroes to the rescue. Jon Favreau brings Marvel’s IRON MAN (May 2) to the screen, with Robert Downey Jr. as the industrialist in a suit of armor. Terrence Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow co-star. From ’60s Japanese TV by way of the Wachowski brothers comes SPEED RACER (April 9), in which a young driver seeks glory with the vehicle invented by his father; Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, and John Goodman star.

And so, on to the sequels. Adam Adamson returns to C.S. Lewis land in THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN (May 15), in which Tilda Swinton’s White Witch wields her Oscar against Liam Neeson’s messianic lion. Perhaps taking a tip from the Rolling Stones, Harrison Ford dons the fedora one more time in Steven Spielberg’s INDIANA JONES AND THE CRYSTAL SKULL (May 25). It’s set in the ’50s, with visits from Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, and maybe aliens.
Is spring break over so soon? Back to the old grind of SEX AND THE CITY (May 30), Michael Patrick King’s adaptation of that Manolo Blahnik of a TV series. And so on to another rerun of summer.

  Topics: Features , Osama bin Laden , Drillbit Taylor , The Rolling Stones ,  More more >
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