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The Crystal Ball - May 29 Releases
May 29, 2009 · By Mitch Cyrus
For as much as I griped about last week's selections, this week appears to be much better.

News and Rumors 

~ Ridley Scott, who has made more than his share of bad pictures lately ("Body of Lies"), may be onto something here.  He is planning to work with his brother Tony Scott, along with visionary video director Carl Rinsch to develop an origins story for Alien, which will be directed by Rinsch.  Hopefully it's better than the origins story for Wolverine.

~ Fans of the Showtime television series "Dexter", rejoice!  The show has scored a major coup for its fourth season, starting on September 27th.  John Lithgow will play the main protagonist this season, as a notorious serial killer dubbed "the Trinity Killer" (he always killed in threes), who has escaped detection and capture for three decades, and now decides to settle in Miami, to Dexter's fascination and obsession.  Keith Carradine also returns this year for several episodes as Deb Morgan's lover/mentor Frank Lundy.

~ Dustin Hoffman and Paul Giamatti will team up as father and son in the indie drama "Barney's Version".  Hoffman will play a retired cop who tracks down his son after he becomes a "person of interest" in the mysterious disappearance of his friend.

~ I normally don't talk about stage performaces...but (a) I'm sort of lacking other news during this traditionally slow holiday week and (b) this one sounds interesting enough to report.  Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman are set to appear on Broadway together in a new play "A Steady Rain", playing two Chicago cops whose close friendship is pushed to its limts after becoming involved in a domestic dispute in a poor neighborhood.  It is scheduled to open this Fall.

Stupid Remakes and Sequels

~ "Shrek 4".  Isn't this franchise way past its expiration date?  I guess it's the only way Mike Myers can make a money making film.  Not a good film...just one that makes money.

~ A new "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" movie is in the works.  Without the input of creative genius Joss Whedon.  In other words...garbage.

~ Guy Ritchie is working on writing a script for a remake of the ancient musical "Guys and Dolls"...supposedly to star Jason Statham in the role played by Frank Sinatra in the original 1955 film.  Not a good idea, unless he could update it to include the crazy levels of violence seen in "Snatch" and "RockNRolla".

This week's new movie releases: 


Starring: the voices of Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger

Plot: A 78 year old man ties thousands of balloons to his house in order to fulfill his lifelong dream of seeing the wilds of South America.  Right after liftoff, he learns he isn't alone as an eight year old boy scout has inadvertently become a stowaway on the trip.

View Trailer

The BeerBuzz: According to all reports, Pixar has done it again.  Earlier, I was a little leery about this one, thinking that maybe this time Pixar wouldn't be able to recreate the magic they've had on all of their other movies, especially last year's brilliant "WALL-E".  Looks like I might be wrong...but I'll let you know for certain sometime next week.


Drag Me To Hell

Starring: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, David Paymer

Plot: A loan officer ordered to evict an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a curse.

View Trailer

The BeerBuzz: OK...everyone that reads this column on a regular basis or my reviews knows that I hate horror films.  Sorry...that's just the way I am.  That said...this movie is said to be GREAT (currently 95% positive on rottentomatoes).  Sam Raimi has went back to his horror roots ("Evil Dead"), and has made a film that the critics are gushing about.  Evidently, the best part of it is that Raimi really knows how to tell a story, and there are just as many laughs in this film as there are shocks.  If you are a fan of the genre...go out and see it.


New DVD Releases

Tuesday, June 2nd Releases

Defiance - Very good, but not as good as I had hoped, WWII tale about three Jewish brothers in war-torn Russia (modern area of Belarus), who escaped Nazi persecution in the Naliboki Forest, where they protected hundreds of others, training them as well to fight back.  Well acted by Daniel Craig and Liev Schrieber.  Highly recommended as a rental.

Revolutionary Road - Surprising that this movie was not more of an Oscar darling than what it was.  With Sam Mendes ("American Beauty") directing, and "Titanic" stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet reteaming as 1950 suburbanites miserable in their boring lives, you would have thought it would have garnered more awards.  That it didn't was probably more a case of this being a very downer of a movie.  Even so, with this much talent on-board, it is definitely worth seeing.

Calendar Watch  

Next week; Land of the Lost, The Hangover, My Life in Ruins

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

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 24 - 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.

Funny People - July 31 - Adam Sandler in a dramatic comedy from Judd Apatow about a famous standup comedian/actor dealing with a terminal illness, and the changes he goes through when he realizes that he might have a second chance.

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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