Alex & amp; Emma -- This romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson as Emma and Luke Wilson as Alex might just have something going for it, thanks to Wilson's goofy charm and director and co-writer Rob Reiner's deft and usually very funny treatment of just about everything he touches. The story finds author Alex with a serious case of writer's block and an even more serious case of gambling debts. In order extricate himself from his loan shark's clutches, he has to finish a novel in just 30 days. Enter feisty and opinionated stenographer Emma who trumps Alex's stale ideas at every turn with her infinitely more inventive plot points. Life eventually begins to imitate art. And you can pretty much take it from there. Rated: PG-13
From Justin to Kelly -- Do we really need a movie -- a love story no less -- between not one but two former American Idol contestants? Apparently someone scratching out a living somewhere in the basement of a Hollywood think tank thought so. And was able to sell it to 20th Century Fox. Turned in by former television director Robert Iscove (who was also responsible 1999's She's All That), and starring at least mostly forgotten American Idol stars Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini. From Justin to Kelly relates the tale of two crazy but lovable kids named (what else?) Justin and Kelly who "meet on spring break and fall in love." And it's a musical. Aw. Ain't it neat? Rated: PG
**** Hulk -- Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Eat Drink Man Woman) has successfully managed to fuse popcorn sensibility and emotional drama in bringing the Marvel Comics character to the screen. The mutant genes in scientist Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) go nuts when he gets angry, turning him big and green. This doesn't go well with his former lover (Jennifer Connelly) but fascinates his demented scientist father (Nick Nolte). Soon the army is after him, and he willingly takes it on. Amazing effects, plentiful close-ups and drama of Greek tragedy proportions. (ES) Rated PG-13
Raising Victor Vargas -- Set in Manhattan's Lower East Side, which is both majestic and rustically intimate, Raising Victor Vargas (writer/ director Peter Sollett's feature debut) takes us into the title character's world of adolescent sex and dating. Seeking to avoid humiliation, and angling for a top position among the other young Latino boys in his community, Victor manages to secure himself a relationship with popular "Juicy Judy" Ramirez. But his grandmother has other ideas of how a young man should lead his life, leading them both to confront the realities of growing older in a world that's changing faster than anyone in it. Rated: R At the Met, June 22-25.
**** Don't Miss It *** Worth $8 ** Wait For The Video * Save Your Money
& lt;i & Capsule reviews are written by Ed Symkus (ES) and Ray Pride (RP), unless otherwise noted. & lt;/i &
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Publication date: 06/19/03