Table of Contents
‘A Knight’s Tale’ (Aug. 31)
Yet another period of time musical, this a person from the author and director Brian Helgeland (an Oscar winner for co-writing the “L.A. Confidential” screenplay), can take a very similar swing-for-the-fences technique, scoring its tale of jousting and romance in 14th century England with ’70s rock hits like “We Will Rock You” and “Takin’ Care of Organization.” It’s wildly anachronistic but joyfully so, as Helgeland and his beautiful forged — together with the charismatic golden boy Heath Ledger, the hanging ingénue Shannyn Sossamon and the sneeringly villainous scene-stealer Rufus Sewell — strike just the right equilibrium of superior humor and old-fashioned earnestness.
‘Mean Girls’ (Aug. 31)
Tina Fey was still identified only as a author and an occasional on-digital camera performer at “Saturday Night Live” when she penned this inventively unfastened adaptation of the nonfiction research “Queen Bees and Wannabes,” by Rosalind Wiseman. Fey dramatizes Wiseman’s anthropological survey of teenage clique society by telling the tale of Cady (Lindsay Lohan), a longtime house-schooler entering the hellscape of substantial school existence for the very first time. The director Mark Waters, who deftly directed Lohan in the previous year’s “Freaky Friday” remake, confidently orchestrates the curricular chaos, which contains transient but hilarious appearances by Fey and her “S.N.L.” castmates Ana Gasteyer, Tim Meadows and Amy Poehler, and by then-up-and-comers like Lizzy Caplan, Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried.
‘Paranormal Activity’ (Aug. 31)
The magnificence of horror, for the reduced-budget filmmaker making an attempt to break into the biz, is that it doesn’t require stars, high-priced places or even (if you do it suitable) elaborate distinctive outcomes. The genre is the star, and if a filmmaker can make stress and suspense with minimal sources, the income can roll in. That is absolutely what transpired with this 2009 shocker, put jointly on a shoestring funds of $10,000 and grossing just shy of $200 million worldwide. The movie’s author, director and editor, Oren Peli, cleverly turns his technological shortcomings into bonuses, crafting a located-footage story of issues likely bump in the night time with gooseflesh elevating inventiveness.
‘The Ring’ (Aug. 31)
Hideo Nakata’s 1998 Japanese horror thriller “Ringu” had these a wonderfully straightforward but arresting premise — a videotape is so disturbing that any one who watches it will die inside of days — that it was almost certainly only a make a difference of time in advance of it was remade for American audiences. Gore Verbinski’s 2002 variation cannot quite pack the novelty punch of the primary, but it is deliciously unnerving all the very same, accumulating weighty helpings of dread and perturbing imagery and seasoning them with a light-weight touch of meta-commentary. (Are we, the horror movie viewers, any wiser than people weak souls onscreen?) Naomi Watts gives a rooting curiosity as the cynical reporter investigating the tape’s mysterious origins and the spell it casts.
‘Salt’ (Aug. 31)
Angelina Jolie fronted her honest share of action movies, but she in no way really seemed to come across the appropriate vehicle for her distinct abilities. Except this once. In Evelyn Salt — a clever tremendous spy who might be a Russian mole, or a C.I.A. operative, or both of those, or some thing else entirely — Jolie lands on the excellent purpose for her exclusive blend of butt-kicking athleticism, sensuality and intelligence. She also has the correct director for the task in Phillip Noyce, the spy motion picture specialist (his filmography incorporates “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Current Danger”) who can navigate breathless action sequences and espionage exposition with equal aplomb.