Originally created 08/27/99

Fall flicks



Another remake of 1960's Where the Boys Are would be an appropriate entry to what's shaping up as a testosterone-heavy fall movie season.

It seems that nearly every big-time, big-bucks lead male actor -- from Brad Pitt to Denzel Washington to Tom Hanks -- has a major motion picture set for release in the coming months.

Mr. Hanks will star in the December release The Green Mile, an adaptation of a serialized Stephen King novel.

Batting leadoff, and with all apologies to Robert Redford, perhaps nobody in Hollywood looks better -- and is more bankable -- in baseball threads than Kevin Costner. With diamond-themed blockbusters Bull Durham and Field of Dreams already on his scouting report, Mr. Costner tries to keep his winning streak alive with For Love of the Game, opening Sept. 17.

Leading ladies aren't shut out of the fall movie sweepstakes, and plenty of supporting roles abound, as usual.

Ashley Judd co-stars with Tommy Lee Jones in Double Jeopardy (Sept. 24); Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman grab the spotlight in Anywhere But Here (Oct. 22); and Christina Ricci is the leading lady in Tim Burton's update of the legend of Sleepy Hollow (Nov. 19).

Here are tentative release dates for fall films creating advance buzz in Tinsletown and through trailers in theaters across America:

SEPTEMBER

Gabriel Byrne stars as a priest dispatched by the Vatican to prevent bad publicity over the sudden infliction of a woman (Patricia Arquette) with the wounds of the Crucifixion in Stigmata, opening Sept. 10.

Blue Streak, starring Martin Lawrence as a jewel thief on a quest to regain a diamond he lost, opens Sept. 17.

Robin Williams stars as a Jewish cafe owner who tries to keep up spirits in Nazi-occupied Poland by publishing fictitious reports of Allied victories in Jakob the Liar, opening Sept. 24.

OCTOBER

Already generating Oscar talk, Three Kings stars George Clooney, the artist formerly known as Marky Mark (Mark Wahlberg), and rapper cum actor Ice Cube as American soldiers hunting for treasure in Persian Gulf War Kuwait, opening Oct. 1.

The year's second Muppet feature, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, opens Oct. 1.

Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening head up the cast of American Beauty, a biting take on contemporary life in suburban America set for release Oct. 1.

Also opening Oct. 1, Denzel Washington stars as a paralyzed forensics detective in the suspense-thriller The Bone Collector.

Getting the cover treatment in Entertainment Weekly's recent fall movie preview, Sydney Pollack's Random Hearts, with Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas, opens Oct. 8.

More romance is in the air with When Harry Met Sally producer Rob Reiner's The Story of Us, starring Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer as a couple on the brink of separation, opening Oct. 15.

Mr. Pitt, Edward Norton, Jared Leto and Meat Loaf put up their dukes in Fight Club, opening Oct. 15.

In a tale sounding eerily reminiscent of Taye Diggs' summer hit The Wood, the actor plays a commitment-phobic writer reunited with college friends at a wedding in The Best Man, coming to theaters Oct. 22.

Also opening Oct. 22, Crazy in Alabama stars Melanie Griffith as eccentric Aunt Lucille, who escapes the clutches of an abusive husband and pursues her dream of being a TV starlet in Hollywood.

NOVEMBER

Rubber-faced funny man Jim Carrey takes another dramatic turn, portraying the late comic oddball Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon, scheduled for release Nov. 5.

Also opening Nov. 5, the women get their turn in The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, with Milla Jovovich in the title role. John Malkovich, Faye Dunaway and Dustin Hoffman costar.

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a demoralized ex-cop in the futuristic action flick End of Days, coming Nov. 24.

007 returns with the 19th installment in the James Bond series, The World Is Not Enough, starring Pierce Brosnan in his third appearance as the dapper Bond, opening Nov. 19.

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a demoralized ex-cop in the futuristic action flick End of Days, coming Nov. 24.

Also on Nov. 24, animated heroes Buzz and Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, are back for more misadventures in Toy Story 2.

Boy wonders Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who hit pay dirt with Good Will Hunting, reunite in Dogma. No date has been set for this November release.

Kent Kimes covers entertainment and arts for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 823-3626 or kkimes@augustachronicle.com.