~~ Strange time of year. There are six new movies out this week (all of which opened on Wednesday), and I would like to see every one of them, including the horror flick.
Next week? Nothing...except for a Christian Haydensen flick. I guess they didn't have the Ashton Kutcher movie ready yet.
~~ On the other hand, there isn't crap coming out this week as far as DVDs go. Oh...wait a minute...in looking at those titles, "crap" is EXACTLY what is coming out this week.
~~ For those of you (like me) that may not always like to go to the theater without kids to watch what is perceived to be a "kid's movie", there is the greatness that is Netflix. If you fall in that category, I cannot recommend "Ratatouille" highly enough. I knew what all the critics said about how great it was, but I finally got around to seeing it this week myself, and it is the best animation I have seen since Brad Bird's last effort, "The Incredibles".
I've been really hard on animated flicks lately, deservedly so, considering the lameness of "Shrek the Third", "Ice Age: the Meltdown", and "Surf's Up", but this is a film that really does appeal to young and old alike. A funny animation that doesn't talk down to its audience, nor does it fall into the normal habit of preaching to them (like "Happy Feet").
News and Rumors
~ There has a been a "leaking" of the cast names for the "Justice League" film, at least according to SuperheroHype:
~ The upcoming "G.I. Joe" movie has cast their first actor. Sienna Miller will play the female lead in the adaptation of the Hasbro toys, a raven haired baroness and sexy femme fatale skilled in espionage. The film has already gotten the Rush Limbaugh sect upset, as the G.I. Joe force will not be Americans, but an international force. Get over it, most movies anymore are designed knowing that International sales make up the majority of a film's box office.
~ Before that, Miller will be starring alongside Keira Knightley, Cillian Murphy, and Matthew Rhys in "The Best Time of Our Lives", in the role originally to have been played by Lindsay Lohan. Miller will play the wife of poet Dylan Thomas (Rhys) in a film about the poet's life.
~ This one looks to be fascinating...at least on paper. George Clooney has been tapped to direct and star in a movie based upon the documentary "Our Brand is Crisis". The documentary covered the 2002 Bolivian election, when candidate Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada hired James Carville to employ focus groups, sloganeering, and smear tactics to help him win. Lozada was ultimately accused of being too tied to the U.S. and was forced to resign. The Clooney film will be a fictionalization of the events, and made as a dark comedy.
~ The band Red Hot Chili Peppers are suing Showtime over the use of their song "Californication" as the title of the excellent comedy/drama staring David Duchovny. In addition, one of the characters on the show is named Dani California...another track on the album. You think maybe that someone in legal at Showtime might have said..."uh...has anyone asked permission to use this?".
This week's new movie releases:
Something for everyone...animated family film, sappy family film, horror film, urban comedy, action/adventure video game adapted film, and the nationwide release of one of the most critically acclaimed films this year.
Starring: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden and Susan Sarandon
Plot: An animated peasant girl who falls in love with a prince is banished from her kingdom by an evil queen, and ends up on the very real New York, where she falls in love with someone else, though her prince - and the queen- are heading her way.
The BeerBuzz: I have already seen this movie, having been drug to it by my wife to placate her seven year old niece. And it was pretty good. The type of movie that young girls through the age of 14 would love, but is still quite amusing for adults. Amy Adams is perfect as the ditzy, charming, naïve princess stuck in the real world, where she still can convince rats, pigeons, and cockroaches to help her clean an apartment. Patrick Dempsey's continued looks of bewilderment never grow old, and James Marsden is the perfect real life vision of a handsome prince that isn't exactly the sharpest sword in the arsenal.
My Rating: Frank Ryan (3 footballs)
Starring: Thomas Jane, Laurie Holden, Marcia Gay Harden
Plot: A family man is caught up in a freak storm that unleases a species of blood thirsty monsters in his small town.
The BeerBuzz: Based off the Stephen King thriller, and like "1408" from earlier this year, this has the look of a terrifying film that can hopefully recharge a genre that has slid into nothing more than torture porn.
My Estimated Rating: Brian Sipe (3 ½ footballs)
No Country for Old Men (expanding)
Starring: Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones
Plot: Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon some dead bodies, drugs, and $2 million in cash.
The BeerBuzz: This Coen Brothers film has gotten more good press than anything they've made since "Fargo". Like that near masterpiece, this is a combination of dark humor, shocking violence, and fantastic characters, with Javier Bardem's sadistic hitman being the best "bad guy" since Steve Buscemi. I'll let you know next week.
Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko
Plot: A hitman known only as Agent 47 is hired by a group known as "The Agency" to kill targets for cash.
The BeerBuzz: Another video game adapted into a movie. Not exactly "Casablanca" here, is it? However, it is said to be very good for it's genre...which is like saying "my best tasting Stroh's beer", or "the best looking woman I ever found at a bar after 2 AM".
My Estimated Rating: Kelly Holcomb (2 footballs)
Starring: Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Robin Williams
Plot: A young musical genius is aided by a mysterious stranger in his efforts to find the parents from whom he was separated at birth.
The BeerBuzz: This is the type of movie my wife will love. Musical, with the cute kid from "Finding Neverland", Robin Williams in "sage" mode, and a disgustingly sappy/happy storyline. I'm sure it'll be on the top of the Netflix list when it comes to video.
My Estimated Rating: Bill Nelsen (2 ½ footballs)
Starring: Regina King, Columbus Short, Nia Long
Plot: A Christmastime comedy/drama centered around an African-American family's first holiday together in four years.
The BeerBuzz: This is said to be the movie that Tyler Perry SHOULD be making. In thinking about my family getting together at holidays, I love the line; "No, this isn't funny, but I'm going to keep drinking until it is." Actually, that reminds me of the Browns' games from 2003 - 2006.
My Estimated Rating: Kelly HolcombNew DVD Releases on Tuesday, November 27th
BRATZ - Earlier I was talking about movies that are good for tween girls. This horrible movie based upon dolls isn't one of them.
I Know Who Killed Me - What might be the last movie headlined by Lindsay Lohan for some time. We should be so lucky, as this tale of an injured girl leading a double life as a stripper was a complete bomb at the box office (deservedly so).
Mr. Bean's Holiday - They took what was first a family film, and expect kids to understand how hilarious it is when Mr. Bean goes to the Cannes Movie Festival. Misses at almost every turn
Skinwalkers - Lame horror story about two packs of rival werewolf tribes targeting a 12 year old boy and his mother.
Waitress - This is the only new DVD this week that might be OK to rent. Charming chick-flick about a young waitress in the deep south, pregnant by a loser, she meets and falls into an unlikely relationship with a newcomer to the town. Keri Russell received rave reviews for this film, written and directed by Adrienne Shelly, who was murdered just before its release.
Who's Your Caddy? - Disgusting, patronizing attempt to blend hip-hop and "Caddyshack", resulting in something that can offend everyone on the planet. I wouldn't even wish this movie upon Squealer fans.Calendar Watch
Next week: Awake (that's it)
Upcoming Biggies (click on the hyperlink to view the available trailers).
The Golden Compass - December 7th - Major, major push from the studios for this big budget fantasy...designed to be the first of a franchise. Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig star (their second collaboration this year, let's hope it's better than "The Invasion"), along with Sam Elliot and Eva Green.
Atonement - December 7th - Artsy British film with Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, about a 13 year old girl who changes several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit.
I Am Legend - December 14th - Will Smith in what is basically a remake of the Chuck Heston apocalyptic film "The Omega Man".
National Treasure: Book of Secrets - December 21st - Follow-up to the hugely popular guilty pleasure "National Treasure" with Nick Cage back at his wacky best.
P.S., I Love You - December 21st - Hillary Swank, Gerard Butler, and Harry Connick Jr. in an award contender about a widow who discovers love letters written by her recently deceased husband (Butler) that are meant to help her begin the next chapter of her life.
Charlie Wilson's War - December 25th - Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in an Oscar contender about the charismatic and eccentric Texas Congressman who orchestrated the funding of the Afghans against the Soviet Union in the early 80s.
The Bucket List - December 25th - Jack Nicholson as a corporate billionaire and Morgan Freeman as a mechanic. And odd couple, but they are both terminally ill men who escape from a cancer ward to take one last road trip.
Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - Limited release in December - Tim Burton's adaptation of the macabre Steven Sondheim musical about a deranged barber bent on revenge (Johnny Depp) and the meat pie baker that assists him (Helena Bonham Carter), who uses the bodies to make delicious snacks.
Untitled J.J. Abrams Project - January 18th - You've seen the buzz generating hand held camera trailer during "Transformers", and wondered what it's all about. We don't know yet, but we're thinking it should be fun.
The Other Boleyn Girl - February 29th - Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn, Scarlett Johansson as her sister Mary, and Eric Bana as King Henry VIII. I expect this to blow the tepid Showtime series "The Tudors" out of the English Channel...but since it's gotten pushed back to the waste-land of February releases, I don't have a good feeling about it.
10,000 B.C. - March 7th - Roland Emmerich, he of "The Day After Tomorrow", gets to unleash his big-budget vision of mammoth hunters in this film that is NOT a remake of "One Million Years B.C." Bummer. I was hoping of a really good visual update to Rachel Welch in that fur bikini.
21. - March 21st - Swerb's favorite upcoming movie, the true tale of six MIT students that are trained by one of their professors (Kevin Spacey) in the art of card counting. They later take down Vegas casinos for millions.
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