Get Inside—It's Summertime!

Your guide to the season's hottest films (and the other ones, too)

THE SIGNAL
Cast: A.J. Bowen, Justin Welborn, Anessa Ramsey, Scott Poythress
Directors: David Bruckner, Dan Bush, and Jacob Gentry
Told in three parts by three different directors, this horror film discovers what happens when a mysterious electronic transmission ignites a city populace's murderous aggressions.

STARDUST
Cast: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro, Peter O'Toole
Director: Matthew Vaughn
A young Englishman follows a falling star and ends up in the fantasy land of Faerie, where the star is a beautiful girl (Danes) being hunted by an evil witch (Pfeiffer). Based on a graphic novel by the revered sci-fi/fantasy writer Neil Gaiman.

AUGUST 17

CUT SLEEVE BOYS
Cast: Chowee Leow, Steven Lim, Gareth Rhys Davies
Director: Ray Yeung
After the death of a friend, two perpetually single British Chinese men (Lim and Leow) vow to make themselves over (literally) to find new and lasting love.

FANBOYS
Cast: Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel
Director: Kyle Newman
A comedy about four sci-fi geek best friends who travel cross country in order to break in to George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch and somehow screen the as-yet unreleased Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace. One suspects that Mr. Lucas does not make a cameo.

THE INVASION
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
In the umpteenth riff on Jack Finney's classic 1955 novel, The Body Snatchers, a Washington D.C. psychiatrist (Kidman) comes to believe that the reason people around her are acting stranger than usual is that aliens have taken them over.

PENELOPE
Cast: Christina Ricci, Catherine O'Hara, Peter Dinklage, James McAvoy, Reese Witherspoon
Director: Mark Palansky
A modern day fable about a young woman afflicted with a pig snout of a nose, the result of a family curse that can only be broken if she finds love, within herself as well as from without.

SUPERBAD
Cast: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Seth Rogen, Bill Hader
Director: Greg Mottola
A coming-of-age comedy about two lifelong buddies (Cera and Hill), nerds and virgins both, who head off to separate grad schools, and on one fateful night try to score with beautiful women. Produced by Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) and directed by Mottola, whose debut film was the terrific indie comedy The Daytrippers.

WEDDING DAZE
Cast: Jason Biggs, Isla Fisher, Joe Pantoliano
Director: Michael Ian Black
After losing the girl of his dreams, Anderson (Biggs) spontaneously proposes to a waitress (Fisher), who accepts. Will love blossom?
AUGUST 24 THE COMEBACKS
Cast: David Koechner, Bradley Cooper, Matthew Lawrence
Director: Tom Brady
In this spoof of inspiring sports movies, the unluckiest coach in sports (Koechner) gets one last chance when he takes over a talent-less football team with the worst record in history.

GOOD LUCK CHUCK
Cast: Dane Cook, Jessica Alba
Director: Mark Helfrich
Poor Chuck (Cook) becomes a babe magnet for all the wrong reasons after word gets out that for some mysterious reason any woman who sleeps with him is destined to fall in love with the next man she meets.

THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS
Director: Seth Gordon
A documentary that follows a middle school science teacher as he battles a hot sauce mogul for the Guinness World Record on the arcade classic Donkey Kong.

AUGUST 31 BALLS OF FURY
Cast: Dan Fogler, Christopher Walken, George Lopez, Maggie Q.
Director: Robert Ben Garant
At the behest of the FBI, agent Randy Daytona (Fogler), a former ping-pong champ, re-enters the fray on a secret mission to defeat his father's arch rival and possible killer (Walken). Watching Walken ping his pong may be worth the price of admission.

THE BROTHERS SOLOMON
Cast: Will Arnett, Will Forte, Chi McBride
Director: Bob Odenkirk
Saturday Night Live's two Wills—Arnett and Forte (who scripted)—play not particularly bright brothers, who want to fulfill their dying father's wish for a grandchild. One problem: They can't talk to women.

DEATH SENTENCE
Cast: Kevin Bacon
Director: James Wan
A new adaptation of a 1975 novel by Brian Garfield, which was a sequel to Garfield's earlier novel, Death Wish, the book that spawned a hit film for tough guy Charles Bronson. In this updated version, a businessman (Bacon) turns vigilante after a street gang attacks his family. Bronson, Bacon, same diff.

HALLOWEEN
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane
Director: Rob Zombie
In what amounts to sacrilege to many serious horror fans (including this one), rocker-turned-filmmaker Rob Zombie (House of 1,000 Corpses) remakes John Carpenter's 1978 horror classic, sending young Michael Myers out into his suburban neighborhood, slashing wildly, but with more psychological justification, or so promises Mr. Zombie.

MR. BEAN'S HOLIDAY
Cast: Rowan Atkinson
Director: Steve Bendelack
Mr. Bean enters a church raffle and wins a vacation to France, where he wreaks his distinct brand of havoc, including separating a father and son and getting mistaken for a kidnapper. Expect a wacky finale at a fictionalized version of the Cannes Film Festival, which is as close as films about Mr. Bean are likely to get to the real event.

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