The low-down on this week’s premieres
In The New World, Academy Award-nominated director and screenwriter Terrence Malick (1998’s A Thin Red Line) — who finished the script in the ’70s — awakens from his seven-year filmmaking slumber to offer movie-goers the story of John Smith (Colin Farrell) and his band of English settlers, who wash up on the shores of the future Jamestown in the early 17th century. `See “They’ll always have Virginia,” December 29-January 3, 2005.` Upon arrival, the proto-Pilgrims discover they have landed in the middle of a Native American empire. John meets the carefree Pocahontas (Q’Orianka Kilcher) and soon develops a bond with the young girl. Actor Christan Bale (Batman Begins), who lent his voice as one of the characters in the 1995 animated Disney film Pocahontas, plays John Rolfe, a tobacco farmer who also sets his sights on the native beauty.
The New World is appearing in a new version, nipped and tucked after lukewarm response to December screenings of the film. “The version that I saw could have benefited from more judicious editing,” said Current critic Steven G. Kellman. “I hope that this improves it.”
The bloodlines of the vampire and the werewolf are revealed as Kate Beckinsale (The Aviator) revisits the role of Selene, a vampire warrior who stands at the forefront of a war between the Death Dealers and the Lycans in Underworld: Evolution. Also returning for the sequel is director Len Wiseman, who is married to leading lady Beckinsale.
Two limited releases are on theater schedules, but do not hold your breath. Written and directed by Albert Brooks (The Muse), who stars as himself, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World follows the “West Coast Woody Allen” as he travels on special assignment from the U.S. government to find out what makes Muslims laugh `see review, this issue`.
End of the Spear, also scheduled to open this week, follows five young missionaries, two of which are killed, in the jungles of Ecuador in 1956.
Local premiere dates for limited-release films are tentative and can change at the last minute. Please check your local theater listings to confirm showtimes. •