Jennifer Lopez scrubbing floors, Rob Schneider swinging from poles and Captain Picard battling his clone — that's the new fare movie fans will have to choose from this weekend when "Maid in Manhattan," "The Hot Chick" and "Star Trek: Nemesis" hit theaters.
"Nemesis" is the fourth "Star Trek" film to feature the "Next Generation" cast and the 10th movie in the franchise overall. Several early reviews are already hailing "Nemesis" as a return to form for the series, which hasn't produced a film since the poorly received "Star Trek: Insurrection" in 1998. In addition to a plot involving Romulans, a vampiric half-Reman cloned from Captain Picard called Shinzon, and a plot to destroy Earth, "Nemesis" also features the long-awaited marriage of Will Riker and Deanna Troi.
"I think we did a wedding for many reasons," said Marina Sirtis, who plays Troi. "One, for the fans. [Two], it set up the movie, certain plot things. And three, it was a good way to start because it was the first scene that we shot. So we had a party for two days, and although we weren't drinking real champagne, we actually did have a real party."
Wedding scene aside, "Star Trek: Nemesis" is far from a sentimental film. The Enterprise crew, after all, has that pointy-toothed clone to contend with. To properly play Shinzon, method actor Tom Hardy spent a lot of time studying the real-deal Picard, as brought to life since 1987 by Patrick Stewart.
"I got every single tape from 'The Next Generation' that Paramount would give me, all the 'Next Generation' episodes and all of the films as well. And I watched those with scrutiny, scrutinizing his movements and how he talks, his slight moves, his shadow actions, stuff like that."
Whether or not Picard — clone or otherwise — will be seen on the big screen again after "Nemesis" is up to fans.
"The slogan says, 'A generation's final journey begins' — begins," Brent Spiner, who plays the android Data, pointed out. "So the gist of that is, if this movie doesn't make any money, we won't be coming back. It will be the final journey. If it does make money, it's just the 'beginning.' "
"The Hot Chick" is the latest Rob Schneider movie from Adam Sandler's production company and sees the "SNL" veteran playing a teenage girl who wakes up one morning as a 30-something man. Also opening are J. Lo's romantic comedy "Maid in Manhattan" (see " 'Manhattan' Gives J. Lo Newfound Respect For Maids"), the school marching band flick "Drumline" (see "Dallas Austin Making Film About This One Time At Band Class..."), and in select cities Jack Nicholson's "About Schmidt."