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New releases

What's new on store shelves.

By Times Staff
Published September 9, 2004

Jersey Girl

DIRECTOR: Kevin Smith

CAST: Ben Affleck, Raquel Castro, Liv Tyler, George Carlin, Jason Biggs, Jennifer Lopez

SYNOPSIS: A widowed father (Affleck) copes with a failed career, a precious daughter (Castro) and a cantankerous dad (Carlin).

WHAT WE SAID: St. Petersburg Times film critic Steve Persall gave the film a B, noting that this was the first film made by Smith (Dogma, Clerks) without an R rating. "There's a plot with a beginning, middle and end," Persall wrote. "There's a cute kid. Someone even makes one of those runs through the streets to a reconciliation that the sappiest movies employ. But the movie has heart, which wouldn't be as remarkable if Smith weren't the filmmaker. . . . I can't recall when a so-so movie left me so eager to see it again."

MPAA RATING: PG-13; profanity, sexual situations, crude humor

RUNNING TIME: 103 min.

The Ladykillers

DIRECTORS: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

CAST: Tom Hanks, Irma P. Hall, Marlon Wayans, J.K. Simmons, Tzi Ma, Ryan Hurst, George Wallace, Stephen Root

SYNOPSIS: Southern-fried remake of a British comedy classic. An eccentric professor (Hanks) rents a room from a sweet old woman (Hall) in order to tunnel into a riverboat casino's vault.

WHAT WE SAID: Persall also gave this film a B. "Hanks delivers a finely crazed performance, his loosest since the last time he romanced Meg Ryan onscreen," he wrote. "It just doesn't seem to fit into the Coens' circumstances; little else in The Ladykillers matches that craziness until the film's marvelously dark climax. . . . It doesn't seem like a Coen brothers film, to be watched again and again to catch what you missed while laughing. There's enough that's good about the film to recommend it, yet not enough to commend it to memory."

MPAA RATING: R; harsh profanity, brief violence

RUNNING TIME: 108 min.

The Punisher

DIRECTOR: Jonathan Hensleigh

CAST: Thomas Jane, John Travolta, Laura Harring, Will Patton, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Samantha Mathis, Ben Foster, John Pinette, Kevin Nash

SYNOPSIS: Tampa Bay area locations spice up a flick about a former FBI agent (Jane) getting even for his family's murder.

WHAT WE SAID: Persall gave the film a C-plus, but admitted that the grade was a little higher because the movie was shot here. He wrote, "Tampa Bay area, you look marvelous. Certainly we're a fresh urban locale - with pseudo-Puerto Rico versatility - giving the film a different look from New York, Los Angeles and other cities where gritty crime dramas typically occur. Not much else about The Punisher feels as new. It's just different polish on well-worn material."

MPAA RATING: R; brutal violence, profanity, brief nudity

RUNNING TIME: 114 min.

Soul Plane

DIRECTOR: Jessy Terrero

CAST: Kevin Hart, Tom Arnold, K.D. Aubert, Mo'Nique, Sommore, Loni Love, Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Arielle Kebbel, Dwayne Adway, Angell Conwell, Godfrey Danchimah, Brian Hooks, D.L. Hughley, Ryan Pinkston, Missi Pyle, Sofia Vergara, John Witherspoon

SYNOPSIS: Snoop Dogg pilots an airliner gone wild, complete with an onboard hip-hop nightclub, sexy flight attendants and Tom Arnold as an uptight white guy.

WHAT WE SAID: The Times did not review this film.

MPAA RATING: R; strong sexual content, language and some drug use


DVD FEATURES: Also available in an unrated version with an extra 5 minutes of material.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter . . . and Spring

DIRECTOR: Ki-duk Kim

CAST: Yeong-su Oh, Jong-ho Kim, Jae-kyeong Seo, Young-min Kim, Yeo-jin Ha

SYNOPSIS: A young Buddhist monk gains sexual awareness that sends him into the secular world and back. Korean with English subtitles.

WHAT WE SAID: Times reviewer Philip Booth gave the film a B, writing that it is "a quietly powerful rumination on universal themes."

MPAA RATING: R; strong sexuality

RUNNING TIME: 105 min.

The United States of Leland

DIRECTOR: Matthew Ryan Hoge

CAST: Ryan Gosling, Don Cheadle, Chris Klein, Jena Malone, Lena Olin, Kevin Spacey, Michelle Williams, Martin Donovan, Ann Magnuson, Kerry Washington, Sherilyn Fenn, Maria Arce, Michael Welch, Michael Pena

SYNOPSIS: A strange teen (Gosling) murders a mentally challenged boy, and a self-interested teacher (Cheadle) seeks to understand why.

WHAT WE SAID: Persall gave this film a D. "Cheadle delivers the film's only decent performance, but anyone would look better opposite Gosling, whose incessant tics and stammers leave him just a few pregnant pauses away from being Rain Boy," Persall wrote. "Like everything else in Hoge's film, Gosling is interesting, then repetitive, then annoying."

MPAA RATING: R; language and some drug content

RUNNING TIME: 108 min.

[Last modified September 8, 2004, 08:56:58]

This Weekend

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