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2004 Fox Searchlight Preview!!

12.17.2003

With "little" movies like 28 DAYS LATER, BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM and IN AMERICA in their 2003 roster (among others), the little sub-studio that could, Fox Searchlight Pictures, has just released its 2004 slate and it's looking pretty sweet as well. A nice "melange" of different types of movies including my personal favorite I ♥ HUCKABEES, the long-awaited film by writer/director David O. Russell (FLIRTING WITH DISASTER, THREE KINGS). Check out its cast. As usual, all of the basic info about each film can be found below and be sure to stay tuned for more 2004 studio previews...

THE CLEARING

Director: Pieter Jan Brugge

Starring: Robert Redford, Helen Mirren, Willem Dafoe, Matt Craven, Alessandro Nivola, Melissa Sagemiller

Plot: Wayne (Robert Redford) and Eileen (Helen Mirren) Hayes live the American Dream. Together they've raised two children and struggled to build a successful business from the ground up. But there have been sacrifices along the way. When Wayne is kidnapped by an ordinary man, Arnold Mack (Willem Dafoe), and held for ransom in a remote forest, the couple's world is turned inside out. Eileen finds her home full of FBI Agents, their life under scrutiny. While Wayne is engaged in the negotiation of his lifetime, Eileen works frantically with the FBI to secure his release. The terrifying ordeal causes Wayne and Eileen to reassess their marriage and come to a deeper sense of their commitment to each other. With each passing hour, the need and desire for Wayne to return home safely becomes ever more urgent.

THE DREAMERS

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci

Starring: Michael Pitt, Eva Green, Louis Garrel

Plot: Left alone in Paris whilst their parents are on holiday, Isabelle (Eva Green) and her brother Theo (Louis Garrel) invite Matthew (Michael Pitt), a young American student, to stay at their apartment. Here they make their own rules as they experiment with their emotions and sexuality while playing a series of increasingly demanding mind games. Set against the turbulent political backdrop of France in the spring of 1968 when the voice of youth was reverberating around Europe, THE DREAMERS is a story of self-discovery as the three students test each other to see just how far they will go.

CLUB DREAD

Director: Jay Chandrasekhar

Starring: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, Bill Paxton, Brittany Daniel

Plot: From FROM THE WARPED MINDS who brought you SUPER TROOPERS, Broken Lizard is back...

Surrounded by limber, wanton women on a booze-soaked island resort owned by Coconut Pete (Bill Paxton), a rock star has-been. But the non-stop party takes a turn for the weird when dead bodies start turning up faster than you could drink a rum punch. Everyone begins to look suspicious. Could it be Sam (Erik Stolhanske), of the Fun Police brigade, who is quick on the trigger with his tequila loaded super-soaker; Jenny (Brittany Daniel), the over-sexed, fitness instructor; Juan (Steve Lemme), the flamboyant diving instructor with a secret third-world past; Putman (Jay Chandrasekhar), the bratty-British tennis coach/fanatic; Dave (Paul Soter), the ecstasy-crazed, adopted nephew of Coconut Pete; or the burly masseuse (Kevin Heffernan) blessed with a creepy ‘touch&8217; that can render anyone into instant Jell-O? Can the inhabitants of Pleasure Island unite, solve the mystery and restore happy hour to this tropical bacchanal?

I HEART HUCKABEES

Director: David O. Russell

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Isabelle Huppert, Jude Law, Jason Schwartzman, Lily Tomlin, Mark Wahlberg, Naomi Watts

Plot: Albert Markovski (Jason Schwartzman), head of the Open Spaces Coalition, has been experiencing an alarming series of coincidences the meaning of which escapes him. With the help of two Existential Detectives, Bernard and Vivian Jaffe (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin), Albert examines his life, his relationships, and his conflict with Brad Stand (Jude Law), an executive climbing the corporate ladder at Huckabees, a popular chain of retail superstores. When Brad also hires the detectives, they dig deep into his seemingly perfect life and his relationship with his spokesmodel girlfriend, the voice of Huckabees, Dawn Campbell (Naomi Watts). Albert pairs up with rebel firefighter Tommy Corn (Mark Wahlberg) to take matters into their own hands under the guidance of the Jaffes’ nemesis, the French radical Caterine Vauban (Isabelle Huppert).

JOHNSON FAMILY VACATION

Director: Christopher Erskin

Starring: Cedric The Entertainer, Bow Wow, Vanessa Williams, Steve Harvey, Solange Knowles

Plot: AAA can’t help the roadside emergency that is the JOHNSON FAMILY VACATION. Even the onboard navigation system has a meltdown on Nate Johnson (Cedric The Entertainer) and his family's cross-country trek to their annual family reunion/grudge match. Reluctantly along for the ride are Nate's wife (Williams), who’s only in it for the kids; their rapper-wannabe son (Bow Wow); their teenage daughter (Solange Knowles) who’s fashioned herself as the next Lolita; and their youngest (Gabby Soleil), whose imaginary dog Nate just can’t seem to keep track of. Can the Johnsons survive each other and all the obstacles the road throws at them to make it to Caruthersville, Missouri? Can they find Missouri?

NEVER DIE ALONE

Director: Ernest Dickerson

Starring: DMX, David Arquette, Michael Ealy, Reagan Preston-Gomez

Plot: Based on cult novelist Donald Goines’ novel of the same name, NEVER DIE ALONE is a richly literate film noir about King David (DMX), a hard-boiled, stylish criminal who returns to his hometown seeking redemption but finding only violent death. But he did not die alone...King David’s final moments are spent with Paul (David Arquette) an aspiring journalist who knew him just a few minutes but upon whose life he would forever have an impact. King David – half preacher, half Satan, and all street smarts – had recorded the story of his recent exploits on audiotape, leaving behind an often-poetic sermon on villainy and its consequences. The tapes reveal that the cycle of violence and retribution his actions have spawned has come back on him full circle, as he suspected it might all along...

< click here to see MGM's 2004 preview >

Tags: Hollywood

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