By Amy Ryan
Updated February 13, 2006 at 07:47 PM EST

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (Aug. 4) Will Ferrell’s NASCAR comedy looks like Anchorman meets Days of Thunder. Nothing wrong with that. Nice to see Sacha Baron Cohen getting some work on this side of the pond (as Ferrell’s Eurotrashy racing rival), and I’m sure Amy Adams will do fine in what looks like the Christina Applegate role, but the real scene stealer here may be John C. Reilly as a pit-crew doofus. After Kicking and Screaming and Bewitched, Ferrell (pctured) looks like he’s back on track. He had me as soon as he mentioned that his two sons are named ”Walker” and ”Texas Ranger.” Can’t wait.

Basic Instinct 2 (March 31) No, this is not the clip reel of sex scenes from the movie that has been making the Internet rounds. Still, this official trailer is trying hard to demonstrate that, 14 years later, Sharon Stone is still (in the words of They Might Be Giants) S-E-X-X-Y. There’s even an update of the infamous flashing shot, obscured here by a chair. Still, I’m not sure how this film is going to work — not because Stone is older (she looks as toned and limber as her contemporary, Madonna), but because we already know from the first movie about her fondness for ice picks, and because her British costar, David Morrissey (who?) seems like a stiff. But if the movie doesn’t work as an erotic thriller, maybe it’ll work as a black-comic sex farce.

Art School Confidential (Apr. 28) Terry Zwigoff (Bad Santa) has become a much broader comic director since Ghost World, his last collaboration with comics creator Daniel Clowes, five years ago. Still, typical campus high jinks aside, this looks pretty amusing, thanks in no small part to such wry vets as John Malkovich (as a tyrannical art professor) and Jim Broadbent (as an artistic burnout). I’ll cross my fingers.

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