A month-by-month glance at some notable films -- Watch for ''Simply Irresistible,'' Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst in ''Dick,'' and ''Blast From the Past'' this spring

By EW Staff
Updated February 12, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Hands on a Hard Body
S.R. Bindler’s documentary plays like a grim installment of King of the Hill: In a competition that can last more than 90 hours, 24 contestants stand with at least one hand on a fully loaded $15,000 Nissan truck in Longview, Tex. — and the last one standing gets to drive it home. Even stranger still: The film was produced by Matthew McConaughey. (Feb. 5)

The Last Days
Tailor-made for Oscar consideration, James Moll’s documentary (presented by Steven Spielberg) uses firsthand accounts of soldiers, politicians, and bystanders to trace the individual experiences of five Hungarian Holocaust survivors, from the beginnings of Nazi persecution through to the present day. (Feb. 5)

Simply Irresistible
Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as a chef whose cooking — bad-pun alert — sucks. Suddenly touched by magic, however, she’s able to cook her emotions into her dishes and put a steak through Sean Patrick Flanery’s heart. Or something like that. (Feb. 5)

Shades of Fellini’s 8 1/2 fall on Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura’s latest, in which a successful Spanish filmmaker contends with a midlife crisis, a jealous ex-wife, and a gangster financier to complete his film about the dance of passion. (Feb. 12)

Message in a Bottle
Kevin Costner goes postal. Again. Sort of. When big-city journalist Robin Wright Penn finds the titular mash note, she goes looking for the writer. Fielding her dream leads her to the bodyguard himself. This being a perfect world, Paul Newman costars. (Feb. 12)

My Favorite Martian
After gathering red dust on Disney’s shelf for quite a while, Hollywood’s latest TV-based movie stars Jeff Daniels, Christopher Lloyd, and Elizabeth Hurley. Guess which one plays the Martian? (Feb. 12)

Which were you waiting for more: a Heathers-esque film about the seamy side of high school, or a chance to see Marilyn Manson act? Well, you’ll get both in this dark comedy, also starring the sexy Rebecca Gayheart and the scary Rose McGowan — who, by the way, moonlights as Manson’s better half in real life. (Feb. 19)

Blast From the Past
When your dad’s Christopher Walken, you can expect trouble. Thus, poor Brendan Fraser, raised in a bomb shelter by his misguided pop, finds life a bit confusing when he goes above ground and falls for Alicia Silverstone. (Feb. 12)

Just the Ticket
Andy Garcia and Andie MacDowell mix it up in what may be the first romantic comedy about ticket scalping. Written and directed by Richard Wenk (Vamp), Ticket tells the tale of a New York City scalper who can get the girl only by letting go of his illegal stubs. (Feb. 26)

20 Dates
Struggling single filmmaker Myles Berkowitz kills two birds with one stone: He makes his first documentary movie and finds love while filming his dates with L.A.-area women. For his next project, he’s probably leading seminars on time management. (Feb. 26)