Excess Hollywood

In the season of sequels and Happy Meal toys, 05 may be a pleasant surprise.

Written and directed by: Jim Jarmusch

What it's about: Murray plays Don Johnston (heh), an aging, sweatsuit-sporting lothario who's dumped by his young girlfriend (Delpy) just as he receives news of a twenty-year-old son he never knew. (Shades of The Life Aquatic, but still....) Jeffrey Wright (Basquiat) is the pal who convinces Murray to take a trip down Amnesia Lane to see his old lovers, including Stone and Swinton and Lange and other all-stars, and find out if any of them might be the mother.

Why it will be fabulous: Did you not just read the synopsis?

Why it will be dreadful: Seriously, read it again. And then rent Coffee and Cigarettes, for the Bill Murray scene with The RZA and The GZA. Dreadful. Hardly. Then again, Dead Man does kinda suck.


Starring: Seann William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, Burt Reynolds and Jessica Simpson

Directed by: Jay Chandrasekhar (Club Dread)

Written by: Jonathan Davis, John O'Brien, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske and Paul Soter

What it's about: Based on the TV series, in which two lovable good ol' boys tooled around Hazzard County in their bright orange Dodge Charger, finding trouble at every turn.

Why it will be fabulous: Chandrasekhar reportedly keeps the proceedings as delightedly mindless as their boob-tube inspiration.

Why it will be dreadful: Burt as the Duke boys' nemesis Boss Hogg could be the high point of this low-concept fare.


Directed by: Werner Herzog

What it's about: Thankfully, not another Dan Haggerty movie. Rather, a documentary about animal activists who lived with grizzly bears for a time, and felt like they were making a connection. Then they were mauled to death.

Why it will be fabulous: Herzog is a mad genius.

Why it will be dreadful: Unless you really despise animal activists, it sounds like one hell of a downer.


Starring: Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, Beyonce Knowles and Jean Reno

Directed by: Shawn Levy

Written by: Len Blum, Steve Martin, Michael Saltzman and Glen Bloomberg

What it's about: A new take on Peter Sellers' surpassingly incompetent French detective in which Jacques Clouseau (Martin) tackles a case combining a murdered soccer coach, a priceless diamond and the usual selection of beautiful women.

Why it will be fabulous: It takes les grandes balles for Martin to assail the rich life and high art of Inspector Clouseau.

Why it will be dreadful: Can The Jerk out-bumble Peter the Great? The smart money says non.


Directed by: Rupert Murray

What it's about: Documentary about a man who woke up one day with no memory of his life at all.

Why it will be fabulous: Hard to say, really -- the director's unknown, and little is known about the movie.

Why it will be dreadful: Ditto; who knows? But if it is, maybe you too can wake up one day with no memory of it.


Starring: Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard and Stephen Root

Directed by: Mike Judge

Written by: Mike Judge and Etan Cohen

What it's about: Similar in premise to TV's Futurama, this comedy sees an average joe (Wilson) and a prostitute (Rudolph) accidentally frozen for 1,000 years. When they awaken in the future, they find that society has become so dumbed-down that they are now the smartest people alive.

Why it will be fabulous: Uh, huh-huh, Mike Judge rules!

Why it will be dreadful: Pick a title, already, buttmunch! Don't make me kick your ass!


Starring: Michael Showalter, Elizabeth Banks and Michelle Williams

Written and directed by: Michael Showalter (The State)

What it's about: A contemporary homage to'50s screwball romantic comedies, chronicling the two weeks prior to the wedding of Elliot Sherman (Showalter), who's normally the type of guy who never gets the girl.

Why it will be fabulous: Showalter used to be on The Daily Show, so he should know funny.

Why it will be dreadful: Contemporary attempts at retro-screwball rarely work.


Starring: Rob Schneider and Eddie Griffin

Directed by: Mike Bigelow (a newcomer hired purely for his surname, apparently)

Written by: Rob Schneider and David Garrett & Jason Ward (Corky Romano)

What it's about: Sequel to the comedy that introduced the phrase "man-whore" into the wider lexicon. This time, Schneider's hapless Deuce is tricked into prostituting himself in Amsterdam, as more-experienced hookers are being murdered.

Why it will be fabulous: The first one was surprisingly amusing.

Why it will be dreadful: Amusing films are a rarity in the Rob Schneider canon.


Starring: Andre 3000, Tyrese, Mark Wahlberg and Chiwetel Ejiofor

Directed by: John Singleton

Written by: David Elliot (The Watcher) and Paul Lovett

What it's about: Four adopted brothers team up to find out if their mother was murdered, and if so, to get revenge. Inspired by the John Wayne western The Sons of Katie Elder, and updated to modern-day Detroit.

Why it will be fabulous: Ejiofor and Andre 3000 have shown a lot of promise as actors.

Why it will be dreadful: Aside from Boyz N the Hood, Singleton really isn't all that great.

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