Media : That’s a wrap 

The low-down on this week’s premieres

Shhh ... Be vewy quiet ... M. Night Shyamalan’s releasing a movie, but I don’t think we’re allowed to talk about it, ’cause it’s a big secret and he’ll get mad. See, that’s the first rule of Night Club: Don’t talk about Night Club.

I kid. I like the dude. But seriously. If there’s some sort of make-or-break final twist in this one, he officially has to do that sort of thing forever. Until that fateful day, say, 5-6 years from now, when he hammers out what sets up to look like a three-and-a-half-hour epic high-school rom-com based loosely on Troilus and Cressida, but turns out to really be ... exactly that. Whereupon, Night will stand up at the back of the theater and cackle maniacally, spittle forming at the edges of his mouth, “HA! Eat it, you voracious, unforgiving bastards! THERE WAS NO SECRET! EVERYTHING WAS EXACTLY AS IT SEEMED!” and then smugly skateboard away. And thus, the greatest twist M. Night ever pulled: convincing the world that there was no twist.

(Incidentally, Lady in the Water’s out Friday. It’s about fairies or something. Read the review/Bryce Dallas Howard interview, page 23.)

So, did you know Uma Thurman’s six feet tall? And her middle name’s “Karuna.”

Uma Karuna.

Uma Karenina.

Anuna Kamununbananafananuu-mazov.

And now, thanks to Ivan Reitman, she can fly. Proving that M. Night hath no fury like a superbeing scorned, Thurman plays the jilted “G-Girl” (whose costume, near as I can tell, consists of a furry, Russian-type hat and a little black ’60s mod-dress `emblazoned with a “g” — nice when they label it like that for you; how’d he screw that one up?`), aiming her powers squarely at her hapless ex, played by Luke Wilson. Reitman’s got a few dillies to his name (Kindergarten Cop, Ghostbusters, Stripes), but I’m wary of this one, because (1) the casting’s odd, and (2) it’s called My Super Ex-Girlfriend. Sheesh.

Throw the names Zemeckis and Spielberg together, and more names come runnin’. Leastways, that’s what seems to’ve happened with Monster House (on which the pair are executive producers), the best-looking computerized cartoon I’ve caught wind of since The Incredibles two years ago.

Speaking of Jason Lee cameos and harmless fun (’cause I was), this weekend marks the opening of Kevin Smith’s Clerks II, a landmark some thought we’d never see, as Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was supposed to be the final fan paean. All of which equals happy fans, if a not-as-thrilled Smith (review/interview, page 25). I, for one, don’t like to see the dude hamstrung, but I’m game for one more go-’round.

The fantastic-looking crossword doc Wordplay opens this weekend, too (after being — ahem — bumped last Friday), featuring interviews with people like Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton, and NYT Crossword Editor Will Shortz. `Read Steven G. Kellman’s review, “Wordslinging,” July 12-18, 2006, at Sacurrent.com.`

Hope I didn’t ramble too much. Have a great weekend.

- Brian Villalobos

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.


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