Neil Burger's The Illusionist has Edward Norton setting his hocus-pocus focus on winning Jessica Biel from Rufus Sewell - and reportedly packs a dilly of an ending (web-exclusive review at Sacurrent.com). Let's see: psycho (twice), neo-Nazi, leper king, delusional cowboywannabe, magician, detective with Tourette's (upcoming) ... next for Norton, how about a narcoleptic mime with a club foot? Here, Oscar, Oscar ...
Those who recognize Justin Long know him as the dude from Jeepers Creepers or Waiting..., or as the hooded-sweater-sporting "Mac" from recent Apple commercials. After the lackluster (if occasionally giggleworthy) "we-made-up-a-college" flick Accepted hits this Friday, nothing will likely have changed. Ah, well. His time will come.
The best thing about the end of summer? You can practically smell the indie gems (and acceptable indie-gem aspirants) lurking around the corner. And sometimes, they come a little early. To wit: Little Miss Sunshine. Come for Steve Carell; stay for Alan Arkin, the girl from Signs, and one heckuva punchline ending.
Hilary and Haylie Duff (oy) play spoiled heiresses trying to learn self-sufficiency in Material Girls. The Duff sisters as the Hilton sisters ... hmm ... what absurdist level of the Inferno is that, again? (Wanna puke more? It's produced by Madonna's Maverick Pictures, and by the girls' mother, Susan Duff.)
When was the last time you caught a good soccer documentary? Exactly. Once in a Lifetime chronicles the rise and fall of the New York Cosmos, a cobbled-together dream team that featured a past-hisprime Pelé, won five "Soccer Bowls," and partied like rock stars. Sorta makes you wanna break out the knee-socks and Rec- Specs, huh?
Smile. May all your planes be snakeless.
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.
MEDIA THAT MATTERS FILM FESTIVAL
The Texas Media Empowerment Project will host a premiere screening of the sixth-annual “Media That Matters” film festival, with a postscreening panel discussion of media-justice issues. Featured films are diverse in style and content; what they have in common is that they spark debate and action in eight minutes or less. Admission is free, but donations to the Texas Media Empowerment Project will be gratefully accepted. Wednesday, August 16, 6 p.m. Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, 922 San Pedro. More information: 228-0201, Texasmep.org.
SLAB CINEMA – SAMSON AND THE SEVEN MIRACLES OF THE WORLD
Ricardo Fredda (1961)
“He was temptation to 1001 women!” reads the tagline for this Italian fantasy/adventure/camp-fest, alternately known as Goliath and the Golden City or Maciste at the Court of the Great Khan. Fun, fun. Outdoor screening at La Tuna Bar and Grill. Thursday, August 17. Pre-show at dusk, feature at 9 p.m. Probandt and Cevallos. 212-9373. Admission by donation. Bring chairs, blankets, no coolers.
ASCENSEUR POUR L’ÉCHAFAUD (ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS) Louis Malle (1958)
This classic noir thriller, the debut feature by Louis Malle, garnered international attention and proved a landmark film for both the soon-to-berenowned French director and screen legend Jeanne Moreau, its star. Notable also for a legendary, completely improvised score by Miles Davis. Texas Public Radio’s Cinema Tuesdays. The Bijou at Crossroads. August 22 at 7:30 p.m. $10 for members and $12 for non-members. 614-8977.
BON VOYAGE … AND ALL THAT LOVELY STUFF
Sara Lauren Hinojosa (2006)
SAY Sí will premiere Bon Voyage ... and All That Lovely Stuff, the latest film written, edited and directed by SAY Sí’s media students. June, a young artist, fears leaving her home to pursue her dreams. Supported by her best friends and her younger sister, June lives in a world of makebelieve and spontaneity where she’s continually in the moment and her future takes the back burner. Also screening select high-school film shorts. Buena Vista Theater at UTSA’s Downtown Campus. Friday, August 18, at 7 p.m. 501 W. Durango Blvd. Free admission; donations accepted. Saysi.org, 212-8666.