Get Inside!

A round-up of summer's surefire hits (and definite duds)

(Lee Daniels Entertainment)
Starring: Helen Mirren, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Directed by: First-timer Lee Daniels (co-producer of Monster's Ball)
Written by: Will Rokos (Monster's Ball)
What it's about: Mirren plays a terminally ill professional killer hired for one last job; Gooding plays her stepson and lover (!).
Why you should see it: It sounds like a train wreck, but it could be a glorious one.
Why you should not: Word is there are a couple explicit sex scenes — you really want to see Cuba and Helen get it on?

The Heart of the Game
Starring: Ludacris (Crash), Devon Crosby Helms and Maude Lepley
Written and directed by: Ward Serrill
What it's about: The world of high school basketball gets another documentary treatment, this one about a Seattle girls team and its irrepressible coach.
Why you should see it: The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and you are there!
Why you should not: There's no reason to believe the gender switch will help circumvent the sports-movie clichés.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Starring: Lucas Black (Jarhead), Bow Wow and Zachary Ty Bryan
Directed by: Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow)
Written by: Alfredo Botello, Chris Morgan (Cellular) and Kario Salem (The Score)
What it's about: Brightly colored cars in illegal street races ...this time in Japan. The bad news is that efforts to bring back Vin Diesel fell through. The good news is Paul Walker's gone too.
Why you should see it: Better Luck Tomorrow showed that Justin Lin had the chops to direct an edgy youth movie...
Why you should not:...but Annapolis proved he's capable of much worse.

John Tucker Must Die
Diyah Pera
John Tucker Must Die

The Lake House
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock and Shohreh Aghdashloo
Directed by: Alejandro Agresti (Valentin)
Written by: David Auburn (Proof)
What it's about: It's like Speed, but without a bus, bomb or Dennis Hopper. And with a mailbox that transports love letters through time. A remake of the Korean film Il Mare, in which a man and woman write each other letters, only to discover that they're both living in the same house, but in different time periods two years apart.
Why you should see it: Could Keanu plus time travel equal an excellent adventure?
Why you should not: Every other love story Keanu has ever done. Also, Valentin was cloying, annoying crap.

Nacho Libre
Starring: Jack Black and Efren Ramirez
Directed by: Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite)
Written by: Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess and Mike White
What it's about: Black (Nacho) plays a Mexican cook who stuffs his face into a wrestler's mask to save his financially strapped orphanage.
Why you should see it: Mike White wrote the best part Jack Black's ever been given, as Dewey Finn in School of Rock.
Why you should not: Because Napoleon Dynamite was a great four-minute movie that went on just a little too long.

Starring: Will Shortz, Bill Clinton and Jon Stewart
Directed by: First-timer Patrick Creadon
What it's about: A documentary about puzzle master Will Shortz, longtime editor of The New York Times' crossword and weekly guest on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday.
Why you should see it: 13 down: J-O-N-S-T-E-W-A-R-T.
Why you should not: Virtually no chance of car chases or steamy sex.

Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man
(Lions Gate)
Starring: Leonard Cohen, Bono and The Edge
Directed by: Lian Lunson
What it's about: Lunson's doc about the singer-songwriter, featuring a pretty candid interview with the inexplicable ladies' man, uses a tribute show at the Sydney Concert Hall in 2005 to tell Cohen's beguiling journey from Montreal to a monastery on Mount Baldy.
Why you should see it: Because Lunson mingles footage of Cohen talking with scenes of his acolytes singing his famous-blue-raincoat songs.
Why you should not: See above; the performances are as mediocre as Cohen is magnetic.

Starring: Adam Sandler, Christopher Walken and David Hasselhoff
Directed by: Frank Coraci (The Waterboy)
Written by: Jack Giarraputo, Tim Herlihy (almost every Sandler movie to date), Steve Koren & Mark O'Keefe (Bruce Almighty) and Sandler
What it's about: Sandler obtains a magic universal remote control that can control the universe! Pausing, rewinding and slow-motion-replaying the world around him is a lot of fun...until the remote gets stuck in fast-forward.
Why you should see it: Whatever you may think of Sandler, a movie that brings Walken and Hasselhoff together cannot be all bad.
Why you should not: Seems like a good premise, but so did The Benchwarmers' at one point.

Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties
Starring: Bill Murray, Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt
Directed by: Tim Hill (Muppets from Space)
Written by: Joel Cohen (Cheaper by the Dozen)
What it's about: America's favorite fat cat twenty years ago takes a trip to Jolly Old London and switches places with a rich, fat feline in this essential sequel to 2004's Garfield. For more information, read Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper.

Why you should see it: Old pro Bill Murray can get laughs reading obituaries.
Why you should not: He's Bill Murray, not He Who Is Risen.

Waist Deep
Starring: Tyrese Gibson (Four Brothers), Meagan Good (Roll Bounce) and Larenz Tate (Crash)
Directed by: Vondie Curtis-Hall (Gridlock'd)
Written by: Hall, Michael Mahern (Mobsters ) and Darin Scott (Tales from the Hood)
What it's about: An ex-convict (Gibson) is driven to desperation when his son is kidnapped and held for ransom by a vicious crime lord. He begins to rob banks to raise the ransom — but only banks where the thug has an account.
Why you should see it: It's rated R, and based on the preview it looks like the two beautiful leads get sweaty.
Why you should not: Hall directed Glitter. Yep, that Glitter.

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