Anything Else Directed by Woody Allen
A return to comic form after the woeful "Hollywood Ending." The anxiety-ridden New York milieu, the Billie Holiday songs, the shrink jokes are familiar, but this time we see it all played out by a new generation. Jason Biggs takes the Woody role, as a guilt-ridden, pushover comedy writer besotted with a neurotic, withholding Christina Ricci, while Woody plays Biggs's paranoid, half-mad mentor, who thinks the Upper East Side is crawling with Nazis. Relieved of his courting duties, Allen gives his funniest performance in ages.
The Rundown Directed by Peter Berg
The Rock makes his bid to be the new Arnold in this comic bone-cruncher. (Arnold himself has a two-second cameo.) He's sent to Brazil to bring back rich kid Seann William Scott, and ends up fighting the private army of bad guy Christopher Walken while searching for ancient treasure. The twist is that the Rock refuses to use guns--until he's really, really provoked. He and Scott work up some nice comic chemistry, but it's the dependably warped Walken who steals the most scenes. The frenetically edited fight sequences will satisfy the blood lust of the target audience.
Bubba Ho-tep Directed by Don Coscarelli
Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) is alive and unwell in a nursing home in east Texas, where he teams up with an old codger (Ossie Davis) who thinks he's JFK to battle soul-sucking Egyptian mummies. The always entertaining schlockmeister Coscarelli ("Phantasm," "The Beastmaster") spins this nutty premise--from John R. Lansdale's short story--into a one-of- a-kind horror movie: hilarious, a little scary and strangely poignant. Campbell's cranky, valiant, sad-sack King is a soulfully funny creation.