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Summer Sizzlers | August 2000

by Beth Rowen

Cecil B. DeMented

John Waters lashes out against mainstream film in his latest entry, which the outlandish auteur named after himself. (It's his nickname.) Stephen Dorff plays the leader of a group of "cinema terrorists" who kidnap a movie star (Melanie Griffith) and force her to star in their underground film.

Cast: Melanie Griffith, Stephen Dorff, Alicia Witt, Erik M. Barry, Larry Gilliard Jr., Adrien Grenier, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Patty Hearst, Ricki Lake, John Michaelson, and Jack Noseworthy; director: John Waters

The Cell

Jennifer Lopez' child psychiatrist employs a controversial technique to literally enter the mind of a comatose serial killer (Vincent D'Onofrio) as the feds race to find his latest victim. A stomach-churning psychological thriller that pushes the envelope, the film nearly got slapped with the dreaded NC-17 rating.

Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Dean Norris, Dylan Baker, Patrick Bauchau, Gerry Becker, James Gammon, Catherine Sutherland, Jake Thomas, Musetta Vander, and Pruitt Taylor Vince; director: Tarsem

Girlfight

Karyn Kusama won the top directing prize at the 2000 Sundance Film Fest, and her directorial debut shared the fest's Grand Jury Prize, prompting Sony to scoop up rights for a cool $4 million. Newcomer Michelle Rodriguez plays a motherless Brooklyn teen who uses boxing as a way to vent her frustrations and find herself.

Cast: Michelle Rodriguez, Jaime Tirelli, Santiago Douglas, Ray Santiago, Elisa Bocanegra, Paul Calderon, and John Sayles; director: Karyn Kusama

The Legend of Bagger Vance

Until the universally panned Wild Wild West, Will Smith was synonymous with summer blockbuster. While the mystical plot doesn't make for mind candy, the cast and crew will likely fill multiplexes, with Matt Damon, Smith, and Charlize Theron leading the cast, and Robert Redford at the helm. In the film, based on Steven Pressfield's 1995 novel, which was based on the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu religious text, Damon plays a World War I hero who enters a golf tournament and receives mysterious advice from his caddie, Bagger Vance (Smith).

Cast: Will Smith, Matt Damon, Charlize Theron, and Jack Lemmon; director: Robert Redford

Space Cowboys

Space Cowboys

Space Cowboys' cast of seasoned actors

You won't find any Young Turks in this space adventure. Instead, the Geritol generation saves the day when a former astronaut (Clint Eastwood), along with a group of his NASA colleagues, take to the sky to retrieve an errant satellite from the 1960s that's causing serious problems.

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, James Garner, James Cromwell, Donald Sutherland, Barbara Babcock, Loren Dean, William DeVane, and Marcia Gaye Harden; director: Clint Eastwood

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