Media : That's a wrap

The low-down on this week’s premieres

Mia Farrow, Paul Newman and Lily Tomlin? What year is it, again?

The Omen redux opened Tuesday, but I’m talking about it again. Deal with it. Why Tuesday? 6/6/06 — admittedly less clunky than the gimmick for the original, which opened on 6/6/76. And it’s generally much, much better than you might expect (see review, this page). See it, if not for Farrow or for scares, then for the fact that it marks the latest screen appeareances of the great Pete Postlethwaite and Liev (“You were the bomb in Phantoms, yo!”) Schreiber. Also, watch for original Damien Harvey Stephens (now a successful land developer in England) in a cameo as a tabloid reporter. Should be easy to spot. (Not.)

How big is Robert Altman? Producers had twice-nominated P.T. Anderson on deck in case the octogenarian M*A*S*H-ter couldn’t finish A Prairie Home Companion. No such misfortune, though, and the flick’s apparently a peach (see review, page 27). The typical cadre of stars is attached, from Robin Williams to Garrison Keillor himself (imagine those two overlapping Altmanesque dialogue with each other). Next: Let’s set about getting John Updike on the big screen, shall we?

Cars `insert driving cliché/metaphor` into theaters this week, with Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, and (shudder) Larry the Cable Guy in tow. Possible saving graces: Newman, in perhaps his last film role, and director John Lasseter, who (1) did Toy Story and (2) seems, wonder of wonders, to have paid attention to voice qualities, not just star power. Downside: Um, it’s talking cars, dude. Vroom, vroom.

Feel like getting kicked in the face (in that awesome way)? Try on Banlieue 13 (District B13), the latest from French writer/director/ producer/action-head Luc Besson, once of La Femme Nikita and Leon (The Professional), then of The Fifth Element, late of The Transporter/The Transporter 2. Set in a futuristic Parisian ghetto (what?) and directed by first-timer Pierre Morel, it might nonetheless be worth it for the stunts (see review, page 27).

Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage (Sophie Scholl: The Final Days) garnered a 2006 foreign-film Oscar nomination for its portrayal of the last days of its titular, real-life heroine, who was charged with treason in 1940s Nazi Germany and executed along with her brother for their part in the White Rose Nazi-resistance movement. So, you know. If you want something lighthearted.

Have a good weekend. See a movie.

- 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.