Summer Sizzlers | July 2000

by Beth Rowen


American Pie's Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari (perhaps better known as Lester Burnham's object of obsession in American Beauty) leave behind high-school hijinks and graduate to college-level comedy in Loser. Biggs plays Paul, a fish-out-of-water NYU student from the Midwest who finds a soul mate in Dora (Suvari), who's also down and out in New York.

Cast: Jason Biggs, Mena Suvari, Greg Kinnear, Tom Sadoski, Zak Orth, and Jimmi Simpson; director: Amy Heckerling


Queen of the romantic comedy, Nora Ephron, darkens things up in Numbers, which is based on the true story about a group of Pennsylvania friends who devise a scheme to win the state lottery.

Cast: John Travolta, Lisa Kudrow, Chris Kattan, Ed O'Neill, Bill Pullman, Michael Rapaport, Tim Roth, Lisa Boyle, Dawn McMillan, Daryl Mitchell, Michael Moore, and Michael Weston; director: Nora Ephron

Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her

An A-list ensemble cast of women star in this low-budget, intimate portrait of five lonely women on the verge of hopelessness. Details are scant, but the women cross paths as they cope with their pathos.

Cast: Glenn Close, Cameron Diaz, Calista Flockhart, Amy Brenneman, Holly Hunter, Valeria Gonino, Kathy Baker, Roma Maffia, Gregory Hines, and Noah Fleiss; director: Rodrigo García.

Thomas and the Magic Railroad

The beloved blue train Thomas is the latest book and television character to make the leap to the big screen. Alec Baldwin, who's taken over for George Carlin, who took over for Ringo Starr, narrates this combination live action-animated film about a little girl who boards the wrong train and is transported to the magical town Shining Time, where she joins Thomas and Mr. Conductor (Baldwin) in their locomotive adventures.

Cast: John Bellis, Alec Baldwin, Didi Conn, Peter Fonda, Mara Wilson, Doug Lennox, Cody McCains, Russel Means, and Michael Rogers; director: Britt Allcroft


The X Men

Marvel Comic's The X Men hits the screen

With the attention to detail, the popularity of the Marvel comic on which the film is based, and the fine-tuning of the script, director Bryan Singer is banking on The Matrix-like success at the box office. Two groups of competing super-powered mutants face off; one advocates good, the other evil. X-Men leader Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) teaches his followers to use their gifts to promote civility, and Magneto (Ian McKellen), head of the Brotherhood, seeks to conquer the world.

Cast: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, James Marsden, Hugh Jackman, Tyler Mane, Ray Park, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, and Bruce Davison; director: Bryan Singer

Did you know?
For more than a billion Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a "month of blessing" marked by prayer, fasting, and charity.