Starring Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Gene Hackman Written by J.H. Wyman Directed by Gore Verbinski
What’s the big deal? A comic road movie featuring the star of The Sopranos. Plus Brad and Julia — together at last!
Well, sort of. Just how much time the two megastars will actually spend on screen together remains to be seen, but the plot apparently pulls the duo apart pretty quickly. Pitt plays a hapless minion for the Mob who’s sent south of the border to pick up an ancient, cursed gun; Roberts is his girlfriend, who desperately wants him to leave the Family; Gandolfini — in his first major film role since making a killing as Tony Soprano — is the nasty hood who kidnaps Roberts to ensure that Pitt doesn’t screw up; and keep your eyes open for Hackman in a cameo appearance. ”Brad and Julia only have five or six scenes together,” says Verbinski (who directed an even cuter — and furrier — star in 1997’s Mouse Hunt). ”But even when they’re separated, they talk about each other. And a little of their chemistry goes a long way.” Clearly the two stars weren’t bothered by their split-screen performances — both took major salary cuts to keep the film’s budget under $40 million. ”It’s not just a star vehicle for these two,” insists producer Lawrence Bender. ”It’s a great script that both Julia and Brad really wanted to do.” (March 2)
Starring Robert De Niro, Edward Burns, Kelsey Grammer, Melina Kanakaredes Written and Directed by John Herzfeld
What’s the big deal? Snuff footage sold to reality TV. Could it be any more topical?
In the latest Hollywood spin on Andy Warhol’s tirelessly referenced prophecy on media proliferation, a pair of thickly accented foreign badasses go on a camcorder-toting killing spree around Manhattan, hoping to get rich and infamous by selling their recorded exploits to a tabloid TV show. It’s up to flashy homicide detective Eddie Flemming (De Niro) and an earnest young arson investigator (Burns) to save the world from the two deadly press maniacs. ”We live in an age when even nutcases can become celebrities,” says Herzfeld (2 Days in the Valley). ”There’s no end to our thirst for notoriety.” And that wasn’t the only thirst Herzfeld encountered. Shooting a crucial chase scene on one of New York’s hottest days ever gave the crew 15 minutes of heatstroke. ”It was 106 degrees and I’m asking Robert De Niro to run full speed down Madison Avenue, gun drawn, dodging cars.” Fortunately, Madison Avenue didn’t seem to mind. ”Bob is like the king of New York,” says Kanakaredes, who plays his TV-reporter love interest. ”Maybe that’s why I had to change my outfit like 700 times before I met him the first time.” (March 9)
3000 Miles To Graceland
Starring Kevin Costner, Kurt Russell, David Arquette, Christian Slater Written by Demian Lichtenstein, Richard Recco Directed by Demian Lichtenstein
What’s the big deal? Costner as a hound dog in sequins.