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After the death of their mother, two brothers (Tim Blake Nelson and David Arquette) decide to find women who will cook, clean and dote over them just like good ol' ma. The naive pair sign up for a match-matching tour to Russia (which really exists) where they hope to find nice, subservient, traditional women to marry, but instead they learn the truth about life and love. Also stars Emily Mortimer (Lovely & Amazing) as a Russian-speaking, British documentary filmmaker who encounters the brothers. Filmed on location in St. Petersburg, Russia. Also released as A Foreign Affair.

Helmut Schleppi---USA---2003---92 mins.

Watch Gladiator get mauled by Mortal Kombat in this hypermasculine sword and sandal epic based on Frank Miller's graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae. A ripped Gerard Butler stars as King Leonidas, defending the Greek city-states with 300 well-trained (and toned) Spartans against the massive invading hordes of Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). Though the Spartan to Persian kill ratio is roughly 1:10000, a troop surge is being hotly debated back home, giving snake-like Theron (Dominic West) room to conspire against Leonidas and Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey). Like Sin City, 300 was shot against digital backgrounds, allowing director Zack Snyder [Dawn of the Dead (2004)] to closely replicate Miller's stylized, copper-colored cels. Iran officially objected to the film's portrayal of the ancient Persians as debauched, deformed, Orientalized transvestites. Looking past all the Persian monsters, glistening abs, bullet-time spear attacks, and overall blood-drunkenness, 300 could be summed thusly: Support our troops. Support our troop increase. These colors don't run, and neither do Spartans.

Zack Snyder---USA---2007---116 mins.

Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry) stars as a woman scheming to restore the nobility to her family name that has been taken from her. Fabulous costumes and period sets highlight this drama set in 18th-century France, loosely based on historical events. Also starring Christopher Walken, Jonathan Pryce, Simon Baker, Adrien Brody, Brian Cox and Joely Richardson.

Charles Shyer---USA---2001---117 mins.

Paul Bettany leads this low-budget adaptation of a play written by the director, Ross Kettle. Bettany plays a South African soldier, whose life, along with that of his girlfriend (Loise Lombard) and his best friend (Ariyon Bakare), is torn apart by prejudice, passion, and revolution.

Ross Kettle---South Africa/USA---1999---110 mins.

In Werner Herzog's epic that was shot on location in the Amazon, Klaus Kinski is Aguirre, a conquistador in search of El Dorado, the mythical City of Gold.

Set in 1963, this elegant film tells the tale of a school in the middle of the desert. One day, the children find that their water jar, the sole vessel for drinking water, is cracked.

A mesmerizing cast distinguishes this adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's novel about a small-time populist politician, Willie Stark, whose rise to party prominence is marred by his own corruption. Sean Penn passionately leads a cast that includes Kate Winslet, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins, and Jude Law as his dirty right-hand man. Modest box-office results and lukewarm reviews did not do Steven Zaillian's (Searching for Bobby Fischer) dedicated update of the 1949 version justice.

Steven Zaillian---Germany/USA---2006---128 mins.

In this third sequel to Don Bluth's popular animated film, Fievel and his friends are on the trail of a mouse-nabbing monster that has been terrifying Manhattan's rodent world. Dom DeLuise and Lacey Chabert (Party of Five) top the voice cast of this made-for-video production.

Len Uhley---USA---2000---76 mins.

The voices of Dom DeLuise, Lacey Chabert (TV's Party of Five) and David Carradine bring Fievel and his animal friends to life in this continuation of the animated adventures that began in Don Bluth's 1986 original. A buried fortune sets brave little Fievel on another exciting mission.

Larry Latham---USA---1998---80 mins.

Mo Gaffney (That 70's Show, Absolutely Fabulous) stars in a quirky sci-fi comedy about a paranoid man who refuses to leave the safe haven of his basement. When Lloyd Proffit's mother and therapist fail to lure him out, his childhood friend Traci tries to convince him. But the longer Traci spends with Lloyd, the less certain she is that his fears are unfounded. With David Fickas, Pam Cook, and Ric Barbera.

David Fickas---USA---2004---103 mins.

The "Lubitsch touch" is evident in this absorbing historical drama about the political and religious turmoil that followed Henry VIII's second marriage. The great Emil Jannings portrays the King, while Henny Porten brings the ill-fated Anne to life. Made for Germany's legendary UFA studio, this was also released as Deception. Silent.

Ernst Lubitsch---Germany---1920---118 mins.

Kevin Smith narrates this look at the strange rivalry that emerges between two factions lined up far in advance for the premiere of The Phantom Menace.

Sean Penn gives a tour-de-force performance as Sam Bicke, a troubled furniture salesman whose financial and romantic difficulties have strained him to the breaking point. Bicke has more in common with Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle than just a similar-sounding name: like the DeNiro character, the real-life protagonist of this bleak, despairing drama seeks a societal source for his personal woes and begins blaming a high-profile figure for what ails him. As both a portrait of one man's plunge into indiscriminate violence and a snapshot of the despondent center of 1970's American life, Neils Mueller's directorial debut is a troubling and provocative achievement.

Niels Mueller---USA---2004---95 mins.

Jean-Francois Richet, a young French filmmaker who first made a name for himself with a series of controversial militant-political films, reimagines John Carpenter's low-budget action-suspense gem about a siege on a police station with an eye for social commentary. Set in Detroit, the new version stars Ethan Hawke as an upstanding police captain who finds himself fighting for his life after a group of rogue cops lay siege to his precinct. Hawke will need help from a notorious crime lord (Laurence Fishburne) if he's going to last the night. "A surprisingly credible action flick" (J. Hoberman, Village Voice). With Gabriel Byrne, John Leguizamo, Drea de Matteo.

Jean-Francois Richet---USA---2005---109 mins.

In Michael Polish's (Northfork) sentimental adventure film, Billy Bob Thornton gives a wonderfully off-kilter performance as an astronaut forced to leave NASA at an early age in order to save his family's Texas ranch. Defying the federal government, he takes his destiny into his own hands and builds a rocket in his barn. "Mr. Thornton can be relied upon for understated dignity accompanied by an intriguing undertone of serious craziness" (A.O. Scott, New York Times). With Virginia Madsen, Max Thieriot, Bruce Dern, Tim Blake Nelson, and Bruce Willis. Written by Mark and Michael Polish.

Michael Polish---USA---2006---104 mins.