Mini-Review - "Zombieland"
I now have another addition to my "Guilty Pleasure" list, and the second edition to the sub-category "Zombie Comedy", right behind "Sean of the Dead". "Zombieland" is a wonderful movie; funny, gross, surprising, and wickedly vicious with its satire.
I guess Michael Cera was too busy, so they brought in his body double Jesse Eisenberg for the role of the geeky loser who is one of the last survivors of the human race as a virus has caused everyone else to become flesh eating zombies. He's a neurotic mess, but his obsessive compulsive habits (he keeps a list of things to do to survive. Rule #4: Always buckle your seatbelt) have kept him alive. He meets up on the road with the swashbuckling redneck Tallahassee, played to perfection by Woody Harrelson. They then meet up with con running sisters played by Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, and make their way across the deserted landscape to LA. Why? So the youngest sister can play at an amusement park...killing a boatload of hapless zombies along the way. OK.
The best part of the movie was an out-of-left-field cameo that was as hilarious as it was unexpected. Those of you who saw the movie know what I'm talking about. For those of you who haven't, all I can say is "watch it and see".
My Rating - Frank Ryan (3 footballs)
News and Rumors
~ Don't do it, Hugh! It seems as if Hugh Jackman will star in "Avon Man", as a laid off car salesman who takes a job selling Avon. It's directed by Kevin Lima, who also directed the Disney film "Enchanted", guaranteed to send you into a diabetic coma. I'm sorry...Wolverine doesn't sell fricking make-up.
~ Troubling tales coming out of the filming of George Lucas's "Red Tails", a feature film about the famous Tuskegee Airmen, the first squadron of African-American fighter pilots in WWII. I've never been the biggest fan of Lucas (other than the first two "Star Wars" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark", so news of reshoots and dissention on set isn't exactly surprising...which is a shame, as this is such a great story to tell. Too bad Spielberg didn't do it.
~ Doug Liman, the director of the first Bourne film "The Bourne Identity" will be directing "Attica", a film based upon the famous prison riot of 1971 where 32 inmates and 10 guards lost their lives. It is only right that Liman is behind this film; his father served as Chief Counsel to the New York State Special Commission on Attica Prison, and contributed to the Commission's report about the uprising.
Stupid Remakes and Sequels
~ After making a few "successful" direct to DVD "American Pie" movies...the studio is actually considering making another film for the big screen. If "Valentine's Day" can make $60 million in its first weekend, I guess anything is possible.
~ Erector Set: The 3D Movie. I only wish I was joking, but this is an actual greenlighted film. To be followed by the period piece "Lincoln Logs: The Revenge of the Beavers".
This week's new movie releases:
Only one nationwide release this week. I guess everyone is scared to death of Martin Scorsese.
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley
Plot: When a psychotic killer disappears from a mental institution on Shutter Island, a pair of U.S. Marshals race against the clock in order to track her down.
The BeerBuzz: Martin Scorsese decides to channel his inner Alfred Hitchcock. I don't know of a single person who loved "The Departed" that isn't jacked up to see this film. Early buzz is very good on this one, and while it might not be another instant classic like "The Departed", it isn't going to be a relative disappointment (for a Scorsese film, anyway) like "The Aviator". You know all of the suspense that "The Wolfman" was said to be lacking? It was pulled away to be used in this film. Bring your Tums, I'm told...not for the gore, but for the stomach acid churned up while you are wondering/dreading what's going to happen next.
February 23rd DVD Releases:
The Informant! - Remember when Steven Soderbergh was the hottest name in Hollywood? Now he keeps cranking out "artsie" films that are not that entertaining to watch. This one is another in that list. It's a good movie, with a great performance from Matt Damon as a book smart whistle-blower who hasn't a lick of common sense. But it's only a movie to rent if you don't mind watching a man make an idiot of himself for 90 minutes. Not really my cup of tea, but I may end up putting it on DVR when it comes to cable and at least watching the first half hour to see if it's worth it.
The Box - An intriguing premise of a mysterious disfigured man offering a struggling couple a chance to get a million dollars, but the consequences would be that someone would die. Despite the promise, the reality doesn't play out and this movie flopped at the box office.
The Vampire's Assistant: Cirque du Freak - Next up on the "I know Harry Potter. Harry Potter is a friend of mine. You are NO Harry Potter" is this flop about a boy who joins up with a circus consisting of vampires, werewolves, and the like. It was supposed to be the first of a series. Don't hold your breath waiting for the next episode.
Sorority Row - Standard rip-off of "I Know What You Did Last Summer" with a bunch of sorority snobs covering up the accidental killing of one of their own. Don't waste your time.
Next Week, Cop Out, The Crazies
Upcoming Biggies (click on the hyperlink to view the available trailers).
Alice in Wonderland - March 5 - Tim Burton and Johnny Depp in a film that seems meant for them. A 3D acid-trip about Alice's return to Wonderland at age 19 to fight the Red Queen.
Green Zone - March 12 - Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon team up again in a Bourne-like film about an Army officer going rouge in Iraq while looking for weapons of mass destruction.
Repo Men - March 19 - Jude Law and Forest Whitaker as men specializing in repossessing human organs from people who can't make their payments..until Law's character becomes the hunted.
Clash of the Titans - March 26 - Re-imaging of the campy Harry Hamlin sword-and-sandals film from the 80s. The trailer looks intriguing, at least
Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps - April 23 - Oliver Stone brings Michael Douglass back as Gordon Gecko, teaming him with Shia LaBeouf in a film that looks to be quite different in tone than the last one.
Nightmare on Elm Street - April 30 - Jack Earle Haley ("Watchmen") takes over the Freddy Krueger role.
Iron Man 2 - May 7 - Downey Jr. is back, this time dealing with Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) and Black Widow (Scarlet Johannson).
Robin Hood - May 14 - Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe in what is supposed to be a more "historic" account of the legendary hero.
Shrek Forever After - May 21 - 3D entry into the series that is seemingly the only way Michael Myers or Eddie Murphy can make any money
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - May 28 - Might this finally be the first video game that translates to a huge hit at the box office? Depends on whether or not you can buy Jake Gyllenhaal as an action hero. Why not? It worked for Tobey Maguire, Matt Damon, and Robert Downey Jr.
The A-Team - June 11 - Based on the campy TV series...but the makers of this film are trying to sell it more as an action film with no camp. With Liam Neeson playing Hannibal Smith as their leader, they may have a chance.
Toy Story 3D - June 18 - It looks like a big year for 3D films in 2010. In this one, Buzz, Woody, and the rest of the toys are dumped into a day care after Andy grows up and goes to college.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - July 2 - More Wussy Vampires! I can't wait! (sorry...sarcasmectomy isn't scheduled for a few months yet).
Inception - July 16 - Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page in a Christopher Nolan sci-fi mind bender that looks to be in the mode of "Momento"
The Sorcerer's Apprentice - July 16 - Live action remake of the Disney classic short, starring Nicolas Cage.
Salt - July 18 - Angelina Jolie as a CIA operative accused of being a Russian spy.
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