ALMOST FAMOUS (Sept. 15) Jerry Maguire's success upped director/scribe Cameron Crowe's ante to the extent that he could make this personal comedy-drama that mirrors his own experiences as a rock journalist in the early 1970s. Kate Hudson's a groupie, Frances McDormand's a worried mom and Billy Crudup, a king-of-cool rock star.
BOUNCE (Oct. 13) A fatal plane crash is the unlikely springboard for romance. No, this isn't a youth-variation of last year's unsuccessful Random Hearts. Ben Affleck plays the survivor, a slick womanizer who falls in love with a dead man's wife, played by Gwyneth Paltrow.
BILLY ELLIOT (Oct. 13) A Northern England minor's son makes a simple mistake: On his way to boxing lessons, he stumbles into a ballet class. To his family's horror, he discovers he likes it.
THE CONTENDER (Oct. 13) Joan Allen plays the woman destined to become the country's first female vice president. But mudslinger Gary Oldman digs up an unsavory past, and prez Jeff Bridges gets extremely nervous. This one's supposed to pack quite a wallop, unless the public's grown tired of sex and politics.
PAY IT FORWARD (Oct. 20) This one's got the season's classiest cast: Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment, James Caviezel (Frequency), Jay Mohr and Jon Bon Jovi. To say nothing of Angie Dickinson. Sixth Sense wunderkind Haley changes the world when he puts an "act of kindness'' program into action.
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (Oct. 27) Tim Burton fans are eagerly awaiting his re-imagining of Planet of the Apes, due summer 2001. In the meantime, his imaginative, and surprisingly moving, Christmas tale will be reissued for Halloween.
HIGHLANDER: ENDGAME (today) Onetime Tarzan Christopher Lambert once again fights evil of the most ultimate kind.
BAIT (Sept. 15) Jamie Foxx gets serious as an ex-con who must lure a criminal out of hiding. Kimberley Elise (Beloved), David Morse (The Green Mile) and Robert Pastorelli (Murphy Brown) are interested in the outcome.
THE WATCHER (Sept. 8) After playing such an all-American football hero in The Replacements, Keanu Reeves tries his hand at serial killing. Will Marisa Tomei be his next victim? Keanu loves to taunt James Spader, who plays a burnt-out cop.
THE EXORCIST: THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN (Sept. 22) This horrific classic remains the scariest depiction of Beelzebub ever put on film, and the new version contains more than one reel of added footage. The special effects are bound to be spectacular, but this time let's appreciate the superb ensemble performances. After this, whenever you watch Johnny Guitar on the late show, you'll see Mercedes McCambridge in a different light.
URBAN LEGENDS: THE FINAL CUT (Sept. 22) We've always known that show business requires ambition. But some students will do anything to win a filmmaking competition, even (gasp) murder.
TIGERLAND (Oct. 6) An unlikely subject for director Joel Schumacher (Batman and Robin, A Time to Kill), this film follows the torturous infantry training of recruits about to be shipped out to Vietnam.
GET CARTER (Oct. 6) For those who have missed him, Sylvester Stallone returns in this remake of a 1970 Michael Caine gangster saga. Nice-guy Oscar-winner Caine also makes an appearance in this one.
LEGEND OF DRUNKEN MASTER (Oct. 6) Jackie Chan's 1994 high-kicking flick never made it to the U.S. when originally released. We'll now get the revamped version.
JASON X: FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 10 (Oct. 13) The unsinkable Jason Voorhees returns to terrorize a space station 500 years in the future. Where is Sigourney Weaver's Ripley when we need her?
LOST SOULS (Oct. 13) This horror flick has been on the shelf for at least a year. Can Winona Ryder survive this as well as Autumn in New York? With Ben Chaplin and John Hurt.
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (Oct. 20) Just as you suspected, it's all about tyrants, tough emperors and peaceful kingdoms.
FUN AND GAMES
WHIPPED (today) Dating-ritual comedy in which three guys fall in love with the same perfect woman and question their own macho techniques and their friendship. Amanda Peet plays the love goddess.
DUETS (Sept. 15) Ever think you'd see a comedy about a karaoke competition in Omaha? This is a long-planned project for director Bruce Paltrow and was once slated to star daughter Gwyneth and Brad Pitt. Gwyneth now stars sans Brad. It tells of the different types who are fascinated by karaoke.
CYBERWORLD (Oct. 6) The first full-length 3D large format film.
DIGIMON: THE MOVIE (Oct. 6) Tai likes adventure. Sora enjoys responsibility. Matt's a rebel. These kids are the DigiDestined, who try to find the evil force that's threatening Digiworld. Even if you can't tell the difference between this and Pokemon, your kids probably can.
THE LADIES MAN (Oct. 13) Tim Meadows' Saturday Night Live character makes the leap to the big screen. Will the transition be a graceful one?
BEDAZZLED (Oct. 20) Dorky Brendan Fraser makes a pact with the devil, personified in the flesh by Elizabeth Hurley. The deal has more loopholes than he'd bargained for.
LUCKY NUMBERS (Oct. 27) John Travolta's a smiling-fool weatherman; Lisa Kudrow's a scheming lotto ball girl. Together they rig the state lottery drawing. Directed by light-comedy princess Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle, Michael, You've Got Mail).