Think Different

Could it be that this year's crop of summer movies actually requires a brain cell or two?

S.W.A.T. Oh, come on, already. Fine, here's another cinematic remake of an old TV show. The thing is, from the story by George Huang (Swimming With Sharks) to an all-star cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez and LL Cool J, it shows significant promise. Still, it begs the question: Will S.W.A.T. be fly? (Sony)

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines Arnie's back, or something like that. Probably doesn't do the "nude Terminator" thing anymore, though. Anyway, as the T-850 Terminator, he once again helps save humankind from those awful machines taking over the planet. Begging help are 18-year-old John Connor (Nick Stahl) and his girlfriend Claire Danes, who are being hunted by femme fatale "Terminatrix" Kristanna Loken. Franchise creator James Cameron didn't need the money, so Jonathan Mostow (U-571) directs. One question: Why don't the humans send back Robert Patrick to save everyone this time? Just curious. (Warner Bros.)

The Three Marias So, these three girls named Maria walk into a bar. . . . Actually, it's no joke. In this Brazilian crime drama, the three Marias are sisters out to avenge the murder of their father and brothers at the hands of one of their mom's spurned ex-boyfriends. You'll feel better about your own family reunions afterward. (Empire)

Goofy but fun: Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu are back in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.
Jasin Boland
Goofy but fun: Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu are back in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.

To Be and To Have A French documentary that looks at the students in a one-room rural elementary school over the course of a year. Should make an interesting double feature with OT: Our Town. (New Yorker)

28 Days Later A deadly biological agent breaks loose in the U.K.; in 28 days (the usual length of time for a mail-order package to arrive over there, sorta like "six to eight weeks" here) the entire nation has been quarantined, as the infected have become hideously unpleasant zombies who move in fast motion. Should mark something of a comeback for director Danny Boyle, who's floundered lately with the disappointing A Life Less Ordinary and The Beach. (Fox Searchlight)

Uptown Girls Brittany Murphy plays a New York socialite who becomes nanny to a little girl to impress her boyfriend. Originally called Molly Gunn, which could have led to a cool sequel called Molly Gunn 2: Gunn Control. There's still hope. (MGM)

Valentin Autobiographical story about the coming of age of an Argentine boy, whimsical and light, filled with hope, dripping with loveliness, oozing that certain je ne sais quoi that refreshes one's life and very soul. Supposedly, anyway. Written and directed by Alejandro Agresti. (Miramax)

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