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Here’s a look at the fall/holiday movie calendar to finish 2006 (all dates subject to change).

2006 Fall/Holiday Movie Preview

Now you can fill up the rest of your calendar with year-end gems, Oscar contenders, sports movies and quality dramas. Look for a strong finish to a solid box office year (all dates subject to change).

September

Sean Penn heads an all star cast in the political campaign drama All the King’s Men, a remake of the 1949 Oscar winner for best picture.

Lassie returns to the screen in a new story set in Scotland during the 1930s.

Kevin Costner plays older veteran teacher to Ashton Kutcher’s younger recruit in the Coast Guard action movie The Guardian.

The World War I film Flyboys tells the story of American pilot volunteers who joined the French in the fight against the Axis powers.

The Black Dahlia explores a famous Hollywood unsolved murder. Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart, Scarlett Johansson and Hilary Swank star.

Clive Owen, Michael Caine and Julianne Moore star in Children of Men,  a futuristic fable.

Animated fare includes the baseball tale Everybody’s Hero and outdoor animal comedy Open Season.

Johnny Knoxville goes back to his stunt/prank roots in the aptly titled Jackass: Number Two.

SPECIAL SNEAK PEAK – The gritty Gridiron Gang (***) stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Xzibit. It portrays juvenile detention center officers who start a football team to save young men and encourage them to find their own special values.

Hopefully coming to a theater near you

Another football drama Facing the Giants shows how a losing coach uses faith on the field to combat failure.

The documentary Jesus Camp follows kids going to summer camp that might mold them into future preachers/evangelists.

Jet Li portrays martial arts legend Huo Yuanjia in Fearless. In the international hit western Bandidas, Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz take action to save their town.

SPECIAL SNEAK PEAK – Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles is a great drama (***1/2), directed by Zhang Yimou (Hero, Raise the Red Lantern) about a man, played by three time Japanese Academy Award winner Ken Takakura (Black Rain, Mr. Baseball), who travels with his dying son to China.

October

Clint Eastwood directs Flags of Our Fathers, the World War II story about the soldiers who raised the flag at Iwo Jima starring Paul Walker, Ryan Phillippe and Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan). Eastwood will follow this film with a WWII continuation told from the Japanese point-of-view titled Red Sun, Black Sand.

Truman Capote, this time played by British actor Toby Jones, hits the big screen again in Infamous. Sandra Bullock co-stars as his friend/famous novelist Harper Lee. Daniel Craig (Casino Royale) plays one of Capote’s In Cold Blood novel subjects.

The police/crime drama, The Departed, directed by Martin Scores, utilizes an all star cast including Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson and Martin Sheen. Adapted from the Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs.

Kirsten Dunst stars in a loose adaptation of the famous French tale Marie Antoinette, directed by Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation).

The famous literary horse Flicka hits the big screen with newcomer Alison Lohman and country singer Tim McGraw.

Drew Barrymore, Robert Duvall and Eric Bana star in the gambling drama, Lucky You, directed by Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential).

Another political movie takes a comic turn with unlikely presidential candidate Robin Williams in Man of the Year.

Rising comedian Dane Cook works hard to win Jessica Simpson’s attention in Employee of the Month.

Christian Bale reteams with his Batman Begins director Christopher Nolan in The Prestige with Hugh Jackman as his rival magician. Michael Caine also stars.

Look for Halloween fun from a special release of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D. The Grudge 2 will deliver some potent scares.

Hopefully coming to a theater near you

Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett star in the international drama Babel. The African political thriller Catch a Fire stars Tim Robbins and Derek Luke.

Alex Pettyfer stars with a high profile cast in a potential star making role as Alex Rider in the PG British action spy movie Stormbreaker, based on the Anthony Horowitz novel series.

The drama Breaking and Entering stars Jude Law, Robin Wright Penn and Juliette BInoche. Anthony Minghella (Cold Mountain, The English Patient) directs.

November

In Stranger Than Fiction, Will Farrell stars as an IRS auditor and (now the twist) main character of a depressed writer’s story. Emma Thompson. Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah and Maggie Gyllenhaal also star.

Russell Crowe reteams with director Ridley Scott (Gladiator) in A Good Year, a romantic drama with touches of comedy.

Rodents run amok in the computer animated comedy Flushed Away with voices by Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen and Bill Nighy.

Director George Miller (Babe, Mad Max) helms the computer animated penguin adventure Happy Feet featuring the voices of Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Look for a unique touch of music that could sway audiences either way.

Denzel Washington, Val Kilmer, Jim Caviezel and newcomer Paula Patton star in the surprise filled detective thriller Déjà vu from producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

The Fountain stars Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz and Ellen Burstyn who are involved in the quest for the Fountain of Youth. Directed by Darren Aronofsky.

The star studded biopic Bobby chronicles the events of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination. Elijah Wood, Anthony Hopkins, Lindsay Lohen and Helen Hunt star.

The action thriller The Flock stars Richard Gere and Claire Danes. Asian film star Andrew Lau directs.

Hollywood also begins the pre-emptive Christmas strike with The Santa Clause 3 where Santa (Tim Allen) wars with Jack Frost (Martin Short).

Audiences also get the comedy Deck the Halls with Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito as rival neighbors.

Sarah Michelle Gellar stars in the thriller The Return while Christian Bale, Eva Longoria and Samantha Becker star in the crime drama Harsh Times.

Jack Black (School of Rock) and Kyle Gass adapt their real life band into the comedy Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny.

Hopefully coming to a theater near you

Christopher Guest assembles his usual players, plus Ricky Gervais from The Office, for the comedy For Your Consideration.

Fast Food Nation, based on the ground breaking Eric Schlosser book; Greg Kinnear, Ethan Hawke and Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace) star.

In Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen (you know, the French racer from Talladega Nights). expands one of his comedic characters.

December

The Nativity Story chronicles Mary and Joseph’s holy journey to Bethlehem and Jesus’ birth. Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider) and Shohreh Aghdashloo (24 television series, House of Sand and Fog) star.

George Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh team up again in The Good German, based on the Joseph Kanon novel, with Cate Blanchett and Tobey Maguire. Set after World War II.

The South African drama Blood Diamond stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou. Directed by Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai).

Matthew McConaughey and David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) star in this college football drama We Are Marshall, based on inspirational events in West Virginia.

Look for another inspiring sports drama (this time about swimming) in Pride starring Terrence Howard and Bernie Mac.

Robert De Niro directs and stars in The Good Shepherd an espionage drama about the origins of the CIA starring Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, William Hurt, Alec Baldwin and Joe Pesci.

Ben Stiller stars as a security guard in the fantasy comedy Night at the Museum. Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Owen Wilson also star.

Boxer Rocky Balboa gets back in the ring for a sixth time – Sylvester Stallone stars and directs.

Agent 007 also returns to the screen in Casino Royale, which shows the beginning of Bond. Daniel Craig replaces Pierce Brosnan as the famous British spy.

Mel Gibson directs another ancient language epic Apocalypto – this time the subject is the 15th century Mayan culture.

The music-filled Dreamgirls stars Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy and Beyonce Knowles.
The animated classic Charlotte’s Web features the voices of Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, Dakota Fanning, Kathy Bates and Robert Redford.

The Pursuit of Happyness features Will Smith and his real life son, Jaden, in an inspirational drama as they struggle together during hard economic times. Thandie Newton (Mission Impossible II, ER television series) also stars.

Based on the best selling book, the fantasy Eragon centers on a young farm boy and a special dragon. Jeremy Irons, Djimon Hounsou, John Malkovich and newcomer Edward Speleers star.

Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet swap houses for the holidays in the romantic comedy Holiday directed by Nancy Meyers (Something’s Gotta Give, What Women Want). Jude Law and Jack Black also star.

Unaccompanied Minors looks to relieve bad stress in airports with this Christmas Eve comedy.

Hopefully coming to a theater near you

The Painted Veil, based on the classic novel by W. Somerset Maugham, stars Naomi Watts, Edward Norton and Toby Jones and is set in England and China.

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