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The Crystal Ball - May 22 Releases
May 22, 2009 · By Mitch Cyrus
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  Hope you have lots of great plans going on this weekend.  Picnics, camping, travelling, watching the Cavs win (knock on wood).

So you want to go to the movies this weekend as well?

No problem.  "Star Trek" is still playing to packed houses.  For the rest of the releases?  This has been a very disappointing Summer Season so far.  In fairness, I expected "Wolverine" to be somewhat mediocre, but I was surprised of the lameness seen over the past two weeks in the form of "Angels & Demons" (review out this weekend), and "Terminator Salvation" (look for the review around Tuesday).

(In fairness, "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" will probably be a very good movie to take the kids to this week).

News and Rumors 

~ Time for a mini-rant.  Another name has been added to the contenders to play Frank Sinatra in the Martin Scorsese biography of the late crooner: Jamie Foxx.  WTH?  Look...I have no problem with casting someone of a different race, sex, religion, height, weight, or whatever when it comes to the film adaptations of books or literature.  If they had chosen to make Spider-Man or even James Bond black or female, I would have been OK with that, as long as it was done well (I'm sure I'd be in a minority with that, however).  But you cannot put out a "biographical film" about someone and make that radical of a casting decision.  Let's look at it this way; Steven Spielberg is still negotiating the rights to make a biography of Martin Luther King...anyone out there OK if he casts his buddy Tom Hanks as the lead role?

~ Ghostbusters 3 is a go, and all five of the main actors are back on board.  Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver will start shooting this winter.  Not much in the way of plot yet, but it is said that part of the theme would be passing the torch to a new generation.  They are looking to get Alyssa Milano or Eliza Dushku involved as the younger characters.

~ An official announcement has finally been made about the casting of the lead character in the upcoming Marvel Comic adaptation of "Thor".  Chris Hemsworth will be donning the winged helmet and magic hammer.  He's very much an unknown, but he did garner praise for his brief role in "Star Trek" as James Kirk's father.  Kevin McLeod had previously been mentioned for the role, but it looks like director Kenneth Branagh has decided to go younger.

~ George Clooney is going back into the thriller business with "A Very Private Gentleman".  Clooney will play an assassin who hides out in an idyllic Italian town before carrying out a final assignment...but his personal involvements with the village and its people are complicating matters.

~ Look for new trailers down below for "Surrogates" and "Sherlock Holmes".  Seeing them for the first time yesterday might have been the best part of watching "Terminator Salvation".  I'm also adding a new one to the list; "Gamer".  Looks to be a cross between "The Running Man" and all of those war games you play on X-Box or Playstation, with Gerard Butler as a character similar to Ah-nuld's Running Man character, and Michael C. Hall (Dexter) in the Richard Dawson host role.  Looks interesting...hope it doesn't suck, because I'm a big fan of both Butler and Hall.

Stupid Remakes and Sequels

~ Chace Crawford will be taking the Ren McCormack role in the idiotic remake of "Footloose".  Zac Efron had previously been connected to the project, but dropped out because it seemed too lame.  And when you're dissed by the star of "High School Musical" for being too lame...what does that really say about your film?

This week's new movie releases:

Terminator Salvation

Starring: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin

Plot: In the year 2018, John Conner is joined by the mysterious Marcus Wright in his effort to battle Skynet and safe Kyle Reese.

View Trailer

The BeerBuzz: I saw this last night, and was deeply disappointed in it.  How a director can take such an iconic franchise, add in such a stellar cast, and come up with something this mediocre is beyond my comprehension.  Loud, plodding, and as soulless as the robots they are fighting against.  I'll have more to say in the review coming out early next week...but suffice to say, McG first showed how lacking he was in directing talent with "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle".  That incompetency is on full exhibit in this film.


Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Amy Adams

Plot: Security guard Larry Daley infiltrates the Smithsonian Institute in order to rescue Jedediah (Wilson) and Octavius, who have been shipped to the museum by mistake.

View Trailer 

The BeerBuzz: The first film was a surprising guilty pleasure for me.  Originally, I feared that this was just a money grab that would be a simple re-hash of the entire first movie, but it seems that this will not be the case, and it's being said that this movie is actually better than the first one.  Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart, Hank Azaria as Kahmunrah, and Christopher Guest as Ivan the Terrible are inspired additions to the cast, and this should be a very solid film to take the family to this weekend.


Dance Flick

Starring: A bunch of Wayans, none of whom could find work anywhere else

Plot: A spoof of dance movies.

View Trailer

The BeerBuzz: This is a movie for those of you who thought "Meet the Spartans" and "Epic Movie" were side-splitting entertainment.  You embarrass me.


New DVD Releases

Tuesday, May 26th Releases

(Must be a Holiday Weekend, as there isn't squat coming out this week).

New In Town - Renee Zellwegger proving once again that she can't do Romantic Comedy (see also; "Down on Love"), in this tale of a corporate executive from Miami having to move to a remote Minnesota town to oversee the restructuring of a blue collar manufacturing plant.  Stereotypical culture clashes ensue! (but not as much as Boredom Ensues).

That's it...but hang in there...next week will be MUCH better.

Calendar Watch  

Next week; Up, Drag Me to Hell

Upcoming Biggies (click on the hyperlink to view the available trailers).

Land of the Lost - June 5 - Will Ferrell will now do his completely predictable mugging as a scientist sucked into a space-time vortex into an alternate universe complete with dinosaurs.  Based on the lame TV series.

The Taking of Pelham 123- June 12 - Denzel Washington, John Travolta, and James Gandolfini in a remake of the classic 1974 film about a hijacked subway car.

Year One - June 19 - Jack Black and Michael Cera as a couple of lazy hunter-gatherers on an epic journey through the ancient world.  Harold Ramis directs

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: - June 26 - The next chapter of Robots In Disguise!

Public Enemy - July 1 - Johnny Depp as John Dillinger.  Co-starring Christian Bale, and directed by Michael Mann

Bruno - July 10 - Sacha Baron Cohen attempts to recreate the magic he found in "Borat"; this time featuring his flamboyant Austrian fashion reporter character.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - July 17 - The sixth of J.K. Rowling's seven books, setting the stage for the two part conclusion in 2010 and 2011.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - August 7 - Every year, there is one big-budget movie that bombs.  My prediction is that it will be this one.

Inglourious Basterds - August 21 - Quentin Tarantino directs Brad Pitt in this violent (of course) tale of a group of WWII commandos who conducted high-profile executions/terrorist acts against the Nazis in occupied France prior to D-Day.

Gamer - September 4 - Gerard Butler as a deathrow inmate who is controlled by top gamers in a video game played out in real life for television.  With Michael C. Hall as the bad guy.

(9) - Nine  - September 9 - Tim Burton's latest animated strangeness, with Elijah Wood and Jennifer Connelly voicing characters fighting aliens in a post apocalyptic world.  Not to be confused with the Rob Marshall musical "Nine" with Daniel Day-Lewis, or the Peter Jackson produced "District 9".

Astro Boy - September 23 - They are really making a full length animated feature about this Japanese Anime chestnut?

Surrogates - September 25 - Bruce Willis as a cop in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots.

Shutter Island - October 2 - Martin Scorsese working once again with Leonardo DiCaprio in this mystery set in 1954.

The Road - October 16 - Viggo Mortensen as a man walking with his son for months across a ravaged, post-apocalyptic landscape in search of civilization.  Charlize Theron co-stars.

The Wolf Man - November 6 - Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins in the retelling of the classic horror tale.

2012 - November 13 - Roland Emmerich's ("The Day After Tomorrow") tale of global cataclysm and the struggle of the survivors.

Nine - November 25 - Musical version of Fellini's classic 8 ½, about a famous film director and all the women he deals with.  With Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Sophia Loren, and Judi Dench. 

The Lovely Bones - December 11 - Peter Jackson's latest, about the ghost of a young, murdered girl watching over her family and friends' reactions to the event.  Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz star.

Avatar - December 18 - James Cameron's sci-fi/CGI extravaganza.  The C.I.A. should take lessons about secrecy from Cameron, as he's keeping info about this film very much to himself at this time.

Sherlock Holmes - December 25th - Guy Ritchie's interpretation of the famous sleuth, with Robert Downey, Jr. in the lead role

Blockbusters on the Distant Horizon (movies that would seem to be big hits...as soon as they get made or released).

The Informant - (limited release in Sept) - Steven Soderbergh's latest attempt at Oscar with Matt Damon as a company-man turned whistleblower against an agri-business giant.  Might have touches of Coen Brother-like dark humor.

Iron Man 2 - May, 2010 - Right on the heels of the success of the first one, Marvel is quick to get Robert Downey Jr. back into his titanium suit.  Mickey Rourke and Scarlett Johansson to co-star.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - May, 2010 - The series goes off in a bit of a different direction, as those of you who love the books already know.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I - 2010 - The start of the End for the boy wizard and his battle against He-Who-Shall-not-Be-Named

Lincoln - 2010 - Steven Spielberg directs the biographical film of the 16th President (Liam Neeson)

The Hobbit - 2010 - Guillermo del Toro directs and Peter Jackson will produce the prequel to "Lord of the Rings".  Ian McKellen will return as Gandalf

Fantastic Voyage - 2010 - Roland Emmerich ("The Day After Tomorrow", "10,000 B.C.") remakes the classic 1967 movie about a miniaturized sub and crew operating on a scientist from inside his brain.

Spider-Man 4 - May 2011 - Tobey Maquire is back as the angst ridden arachnid powered hero.

Thor - June 2011 - Another Marvel superhero...but the Nordic God is about as bland personality-wise as Superman, so we'll see how it goes.  Kevin Kidd (Rome) is said to be playing the title role.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II - 2011 - The end of the line for what will be beyond doubt the most profitable series in the history of film making.

The Hobbit 2 - 2011 - del Toro and Jackson again, this time covering the time between the end of Tolkien's book, "The Hobbit" and the start of LOTR.

The Avengers - 2012 - Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America open up a can of whoopass on bad guys everywhere.

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