Fall Movie Preview 1998

Actor-director-screenwriter Stanley Tucci (Big Night) and Oliver Platt (Bulworth) play passionate, penniless thespians who, on the lam, stow away on a cruise ship. The $8.2 million comedy also stars Lili Taylor, Campbell Scott, and Tony Shalhoub as Love Boat From Hell crew members. The comedic premise that actors are often ridiculous was embraced by all: ”God knows,” says Platt, ”we make ourselves ripe comic targets.” (Oct. 2)

SNL spawns another sketchy spin-off based on club boppers Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan. But how do you stretch a two-minute skit about sandwiching women on the dance floor into an 83-minute feature? ”By creating voices,” says Kattan, who also cowrote the film, ”we made them human, which there’s no sign of in the sketch.” (Oct. 2)

Trey Parker (South Park) wrote, directed, and stars in this comedy about a Mormon sweet-talked into making skin flicks as Captain Orgazmo. While porn stars like Ron Jeremy have cameos, there’s no explicit sex, which is why Parker’s hot over — and may appeal — the film’s NC-17 rating. Referring to the R-rated There’s Something About Mary, he says, bodily fluid ”dripping off a guy’s ear? That’s way beyond what we’ve got.” (Oct. 2)

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Miramax’s Rolling Thunder reissues Arthur Marks’ lost 1973 crime saga in which two cops (The Godfather‘s Alex Rocco and blaxploitation stalwart Hari Rhodes) track down thieves who rob a political fund-raiser. ”One of the stars is the script,” raves film historian and Rolling Thunder exec Gerald Martinez. ”It zigs when you think it’s gonna zag. It keeps you on your toes.” (Oct. 9)

The biggest movie of the fall — and we mean that. The IMAX production, which stars Peter Horton, Kari Coleman, and Liz Stauber, transports viewers back to the days when the Tyrannosaurus rex ruled the earth. ”The film’s got to be good,” says director Brett Leonard (Virtuosity). ”It’s IMAX, so it could play for 25 years.” (Oct. 9)

Director Jamie Blanks drafted a handsome scream team (Jared Leto, Alicia Witt, and Joshua Jackson) for his first stab at a horror flick. While the collegiate killer’s method of slaying is inspired by on-campus urban legends, ”It’s more suspense than slasher,” insists Blanks, who’s reluctant to be part of the genre du jour. ”And there’s less blood than you’d expect.” (Sept. 25)

In the fourth Child’s Play film, the homicidal toy boy does away with Jennifer Tilly, then reanimates her as his partner in crime. They might make a cute couple, but he’s not easy to work with. ”Chucky had these wires coming out of his butt,” says Tilly, ”so I had this fear life was going to imitate art. I kept going ‘Is Chucky plugged in?”’ (Oct. 16)

A B&W documentary starring ”Speed” Levitch — the skewed genius of bus-tour guides — who traverses NYC and seeks ”the Cruise” (i.e., life’s liberating moments). More than a travelogue, says director Bennett Miller, the film is ”a subjective, delusional, get-in-this-person’s-shoes experience.” (Oct. 23)

A Night at the Roxbury
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