Hollywood filmmakers setting their sights on fall
Web posted on: Monday, August 31, 1998 2:40:05 PM EDT
HOLLYWOOD (CNN) -- As summer draws to a close, Hollywood is setting its sights on fall, with more than 100 films hitting theaters between now and Thanksgiving.
Big action with 'Enemy of the State'
Will Smith, who's consistently brought in solid audiences in his past action-adventure roles ("ID4," "Men In Black") makes another action appearance, this time as an attorney who turns to Gene Hackman for help when he's framed for murder in "Enemy of the State."
"Basically, it's a lot of running and jumping and being scared, and then running and then jumping some more, and then guys pull guns and then I run and I jump and I'm scared," Smith says, giving a quick synopsis of his role.
He's not the only action veteran to make a big-screen appearance this fall. Jackie Chan is getting some kicks in with "Rush Hour;" Kurt Russell stars as a battle-scarred, trained killer in the futuristic "Soldier;" and Robert De Niro is the headliner for director John Frankenheimer's "mother of all car chases," "Ronin."
Not for the faint of heart, horror is making an appearance with two sequels, "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" and "Bride of Chucky."
Fantasy to reality
Shoot-em-ups aren't all the major studios have to offer this season, though. Fantasy takes its strides, with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock brewing up trouble as witches in "Practical Magic," and Robin Williams traveling to heaven and hell in "What Dreams May Come."
"It has this scope that's outrageous, but yet at the core, these very intimate scenes, so that alone is interesting," Williams says of the production.
Upcoming dramas set in more realistic settings include "Rounders," in which Academy Award-winner Matt Damon plays a poker prodigy who's cleaned up his act, but must return to playing big-stakes poker to help a friend pay off loan sharks.
"It's about what everyone else is doing at the table, and you can figure out what somebody's got based on how well you read them," Damon explains.
Bringing yet more drama, Mira Sorvino is partnered with Val Kilmer, a blind man who takes a chance on an experimental procedure to regain his sight in "At First Sight." On a lighter note, Drew Barrymore sees her third movie of the year release: In "Home Fries," she plays a Sally, pregnant young widow making ends meet by working at a hamburger joint.
Based on the book
Barbara Hershey and Kris Kristofferson headline the latest Merchant-Ivory offering, "A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries," a tale of an American family living in Paris based on the coming-of-age novel by Kaylie Jones.
Oprah Winfrey brings Toni Morrison's "Beloved" to the screen. Oliver Platt costars in "Simon Birch," which was loosely based on John Irving's "A Prayer For Owen Meany," about a precocious young man (Ian Smith) who believes God has already shown him his destiny. Platt also stars in "The Impostors," a 1930s period comedy in which two out-of-work actors stow away on an ocean liner.
Platt isn't the only actor doing double duty this fall. Edward Norton, who stars with Damon in "Rounders," also appears in the controversial "American History X," about a family torn apart by bigotry and hatred. Meryl Streep is keeping her dual roles all in the family, playing Renee Zellwegger's mother in "One True Thing" -- also based on a book, this one by Anna Quindlen -- and one of five sisters in the pre-World War II drama "Dancing at Lughnasa."
On a lighter note
Too serious for your kids' tastes? They have their own raft of adventuresome ventures coming, including the Disney-produced "A Bug's Life" -- billed as "an epic of miniature proportions" -- more bugs in the DreamWorks production "Antz"; "A Rugrats Movie," based on the animated Nickelodeon series, and the sequel to the beloved talking pig movie, "Babe: Pig In the City."
And if you're ready already for the holidays, be sure that the studios will be ready early too. November brings the road comedy "I'll Be Home For Christmas," proving that in Hollywood, the only weather that counts is the climate-controlled air of your local movie theater.
Correspondent Jim Moret contributed to this report.
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