In "Anger Management," the only movie opening in wide release this weekend, Adam Sandler plays another nice guy with pent-up rage.
However, unlike his characters in "Happy Gilmore," "The Waterboy" and "Punch-Drunk Love," his anger is so disguised it takes a specialist, played by three-time Oscar winner Jack Nicholson, to draw it out of him.
The duo, while odd-looking at first, end up making a triumphant and entertaining team, just as they did in real life.
"Before we started shooting we hung out for like six months and talked, played golf, went to games, played games and did stuff together," Sandler said recently. "We did a lot of jamming on the script and tried to make it as funny as we could make it. He is quite a smart guy — an incredibly smart guy. And he gave us a lot of jokes and a lot of thoughts on the script. He is a huge part of the movie." (Click to see "Anger Management" photos)
Nicholson's character is central to the film as well, although he does have a little help with motivating Sandler's character.
"I am his girlfriend and I want him to get in touch with [his anger]," Marisa Tomei said. "I also want him to kiss me in public. Those are my beefs. Besides that, I want to get married, soon. ... You think that Adam is just so nice and normal and doesn't have a problem, but Jack can bring it out in him and then you see that he really does and that he's got to be free."
And speaking of getting free, that's the objective of the characters in "House of 1000 Corpses," one of several movies opening in limited release this weekend. Written and directed by Rob Zombie, the long-awaited horror flick tells the story of two lost couples who become stranded in an old house inhabited by a twisted family obsessed with murder, witchcraft and cannibalism (see "Rob Zombie Finds Resting Place For His 'Corpses' ").
"House of 1000 Corpses" features a cast of newcomers, which is just the way Zombie wanted it. "My thought was, as soon as you do put recognizable people in those roles, they are less scary. I remember watching 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre,' and you're not seeing recognizable people. You think, 'That guy's so f---ed-up — is he an actor or just some freak that got to be in this movie?' As soon as you get some kid from 'Dawson's Creek,' it [undermines] the horror a tad." (Click to see "House of 1000 Corpses" photos)
"Ghost of the Abyss" is going to have a hard time living up to "Titanic," the top grossing movie of all time, but director James Cameron is releasing his second movie about the sunken ship. The documentary, narrated by Bill Paxton, follows marine experts and history buffs on a journey deep into the sea where the Titanic sits.
Also in theaters Friday is another highly anticipated documentary, Steve James' first nonfiction big-screen project since 1994's acclaimed "Hoop Dreams." In "Stevie," James returns to rural Illinois to reconnect with Stevie Fielding, a troubled boy he had been a Big Brother to 10 years earlier.
Other new releases include "XX/XY," a drama about a man ("You Can Count on Me"'s Mark Ruffalo) who is haunted by the consequences of a threesome he had 10 years earlier, and "Better Luck Tomorrow," a drama about a group of Asian-American high school seniors who balance their overachiever lifestyles with criminal activities (see " 'Better Luck Tomorrow' Gets People Talking About Asian-American Stereotypes").