Denzel Washington (Antwone Fisher, American Gangster) directs and stars in the Oprah Winfrey produced The Great Debaters, based on the true story of the Wiley College debate team. Set in the 1930's, a southern African American debate team rose to challenge the Harvard debate team in a still-segregated society. Also starring Forest Whitaker (Panic Room, The Last King of Scotland).
Mad Money stars Diane Keaton (Because I Said So, The Godfather), Queen Latifah (Taxi, Chicago), and Katie Holmes (Thank You for Smoking, Pieces of April) as three women from different walks of life who team up for the heist of the century. All with different jobs at a federal reserve bank, the trio cook up a scheme that could keep them rich for the rest of their lives, or cost them dearly if they get caught.
Untraceable is a murder mystery starring Diane Lane (Hollywoodland, Wild Bill) and Colin Hanks (King Kong, Orange County) as agents in the FBI's cybercrime division. When a killer begins uploading Saw-like videos of his victims, the FBI must try to make sense of seemingly unconnected crimes before the next installation of the killer website.
Francis Ford Coppola's (Apocalypse Now, The Conversation) first film in nearly a decade, Youth Without Youth is a love story and mystery starring Tim Roth (To Kill a King, Pulp Fiction), where a cataclysmic event forever alters a professor's life in pre-WWII Europe.
Stephen Dorff (Cecil B. Demented, S.F.W) is an American thief undertaking a quick job in Botched, only to find himself among a group of prisoners trapped on the 13th floor of a creepy penthouse, an unwilling contestant in a survival game splatterfest hosted by the descendants of Ivan the Terrible.
Numb stars Matthew Perry (The Whole Nine Yards, Fools Rush In) as a writer who believes he's going insane. Trying to be normal and charming for the girl of his dreams, he seeks help from one therapist after another who turn out to be crazier than he is. An anxious romantic comedy, Numb also stars Kevin Pollak (The Wedding Planner, Casino).
Produced by Jackie Chan (Shanghai Noon, Drunken Master), House of Fury is a kung fu action film about an agent, though his secret identity as a mild mannered chiropractor is the only side of him his teenage son and daughter know about... until he is kidnapped, and the family has to rescue their heroic father. House of Fury features fights and choreography by Yuen Wo Ping (Kill Bill, Once Upon a Time In China).
A story of prostitution and blackmail, Lost in Beijing follows a tragic turn as a poor working couple move to Beijing to find a better life, cross paths with a couple belonging to China's nouveau riche, and their worlds change dramatically between entitlement and the hopes of a better life. Though a commercial hit in China, it caught the attention of censors and was pulled from theaters and finally banned.
Sean "P-Diddy" Combs (Made, Monster's Ball) stars in A Raisin in the Sun, the new film version of the play, recently starring Combs on Broadway, and following the classic 1961 version of A Raisin in the Sun starring Sidney Poitier.
New documentaries this week include I'm Still Here, where the diaries and first hand accounts of people who witnessed the Holocaust are given voice by Zach Braff (Garden State, The Last Kiss), Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl, The Notebook), Kate Hudson (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Almost Famous), Brittany Murphy (The Dead Girl, Sin City), and more. The Mark of Cain is a documentary exploring the tattooing that mark the Russian crime syndicates, and recently detailed in David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises.
Our new family film this week is the 14th Land Before Time film, Through the Eyes of a Spiketail.
The new entry to Reckless Video's TV New Release section include four more Mystery Science 3000 discs, including the 1960's go-go dancing cautionary tale Girl In Gold Boots, a re-dubbed German television version of Hamlet, the Canadian television science fiction misstep Overdrawn at the Memory Bank (starring Raul Julia), and the 1988 space-opera Space Mutiny (one of my all-time favorite MST3K episodes).