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Crystal Ball - Christmas Day Releases
December 25, 2009 · By Mitch Cyrus

Merry Christmas to you and all your family and friends from all of us at TheClevelandFan.com!

With the holiday week, it's going to be a bit light on the News and Rumors.  So for more substance, look toward the Upcoming Biggies, as there are lots of new trailers listed there, as well as release dates for next Spring/Summer's anticipated blockbusters.

News and Rumors

~ Jude Law and Forest Whitaker are to star in a movie called "Repo Man"...but it's not a remake of the 1984 sci-fi cult classic.  This one is about a diabolical mega corporation that develops readily available replacement organs, sells them at exorbitant prices, and then sends out repo men to collect them if they default on the payments.  Does sort of sound like "Repo: The Genetic Opera", doesn't it?

~ Kevin Smith has chosen to change the name of his new movie from "A Couple of Dicks" to "Cop Out", as there were major concerns about being able to advertise the movie with the original title.  Bruce Willis and Jason Lee will star as two cops whose adventures include locating a stolen baseball card, rescuing a woman, and dealing with gangsters and their laundered money.

~ Avant Garde director David Cronenberg has an interesting project in front of him; the adaptation of the play "The Talking Cure".  The story revolves around Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, and their connection to a beautiful woman.  So far, Keira Knightley has signed on, and the roles of the two legendary psychiatrists will be played by two "Inglorius Basterds" actors, Christoph  Waltz (Col. Lander) and Michael Fassbender (who played the English film critic undercover as a German officer).

~ With as little as I have this week...I'll use the spot to vent at bit and wonder out loud which bit of news I care less about; Simon Cowell leaving "American Idol", the breakup of Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, or the ongoing antics regarding the mental midgets on "Jersey Shore".

Stupid Remakes and Sequels

~ Taylor Lautner is evidently going from making teenage girls squeal as the werewolf Jacob in Twilight to re-creating Matthew Modine's role as a weight obsessed high school wrestler in a remake of "Vision Quest".  When they remake piddling, cliché ridden movies about obscure sports...

This week's new movie releases: 

Might be the best week of new releases we've had this entire year.  I'll end up probably seeing four of these over the next two or three weeks.

Please note that with Christmas and New Year's Day falling on a Friday this year, there will be NO new releases next Friday.

Sherlock Holmes

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams

Plot: Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England.

View Trailer

The BeerBuzz: Very good early buzz on this film from Guy Ritchie, who seems to be adjusting the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's characters to where they are comfortable living in the London underground world frequented by Ritchie's other films such as "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels", "Snatch", and "RocknRolla".  While I don't think the purists will be enthralled, it does look like this will be the start of a popular franchise.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Up in the Air

Starring: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick

Plot: With a job that has him traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham loves the life he lives out of a suitcase, until his company does the unexpected: ground him.

View Trailer

The BeerBuzz: According to most, this is the early favorite for winning the Best Picture Oscar.  Director/Writer Jason Reitman had a hard task in front of him to repeat his success with "Juno", and most think that he's outdone himself with this comedy that is actually more of a drama with humor.  I caught it yesterday and loved it...you'll find the review sometime next week, along with one for Sherlock Holmes. 

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It's Complicated

Starring: Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin

Plot: During his son's college graduation, a woman hooks up with her ex-husband, who's married to a younger woman. As if being your ex's mistress isn't tough enough, she also finds herself drawn to a smitten architect.

View Trailer

The BeerBuzz: When it comes to romantic comedies, Nancy Myers has a track record for making them at least somewhat intelligent.  And once again, she has the courage to show love amongst the over-40 set, as she handled so well with 2003's "Something's Gotta Give".  For this one?  I wouldn't underestimate Meryl Streep lately, as she's having a year almost as good as Sandra Bullock's. 

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Nine

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Sophie Loren, Fergie

Plot: A Famous film director struggles to find harmony in his professional and personal lives, as he engages in dramatic relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his mother.

View Trailer

The BeerBuzz: This was supposed to be director Rob Marshall's triumphant return to the Movie Musical after his Oscar winning turn with "Chicago".  However, this one is getting generally poor reviews.  Everyone loves Daniel Day-Lewis, of course, and the cast is magnificent.  But the story is said to be quite muddled, and the direction unexpectedly distant. 

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Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

Starring: Jason Lee, Zachary Levi, Drew Barrymore

Plot: Alvin, Simon and Theodore must put aside music superstardom and return to school, where they look to win a $25,000 prize in a battle of the bands contest in order to save their school's music program. But the Chipmunks unexpectedly meet their match in three singing chipmunks known as The Chipettes

View Trailer

The BeerBuzz: My wife saw the trailer for this the other day and asked me, "why are they making a sequel to THIS?".  My answer; "$220,000,000 at the boxoffice for the first one".  Remember several paragraphs ago when I said I'd be watching four of the movies released this week?  Guess which one isn't on the list? (but the little kids will once again love it). 

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New DVD Releases:

Almost nothing this week, as anything considered worthwhile would have been released last week so that Christmas shoppers could latch onto them.  Sadly, January doesn't look much better, with the exception of the Oscar contending Iraq War film "The Hurt Locker".

Jennifer's Body - Probably one of the bigger disappointments of 2009.  This was supposed to be Diablo Cody's big follow-up as a writer to "Juno", a horror film that would be aimed more at girls.  Having Megan Fox starring as the boy killer was supposed to be the attraction for the guys.  Didn't quite work out that way, as the film was considered to be a huge mess, and it made less than $17 million.

Calendar Watch  

Next week; nothing...but since I won't have a Crystal Ball next week due to my end-of-the-year recap, I'll list the upcoming releases for January 8th.

Daybreakers, Leap Year, Youth in Revolt

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

The Lovely Bones - Expanding January 15 - 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.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus - January expansion - A story-telling doctor's deal with the devil sends him scrambling to save his daughter on the eve of her 16th birthday.  Terry Gilliam's wild tale is the last movie from Heath Ledger, who passed during shooting.  In his place, Colin Farrel, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp all play the same character as Ledger, in a "Doctor Who" type manner.

The Book of Eli - January 15 - Denzel Washington as a lone man fighting his way across a post apocalyptic country in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

Legion - January 22 - Paul Bettany and Dennis Quaid in a story about the archangel helping to defend the mother of the messiah against the apocalypse. 

Edge of Darkness - January 29 - Mel Gibson returns to acting as a Boston detective investigating a cover-up in the murder of his daughter.

The Wolfman - February 12 - Lots of date changes for this remake of the classic horror tale, starring Benicio Del Torro and Anthony Hopkins.  Let's hope that doesn't mean that this is a stinker.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Lightning Thief - February 12 - The next attempt at establishing a franchise to take over the audience once Harry Potter concludes.  This is about teenage children of the Olympic gods and their adventures.

Shutter Island - February 19 - Martin Scorsese working once again with Leonardo DiCaprio in this mystery set in 1954.  Pushed back from 2009 due to marketing concerns...this still looks like an incredible movie.

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.

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 Sage: Eclipse - July 2 - More Wussy Vampires!  I can't wait! (sorry...sarcasmectomy isn't scheduled for a few months yet).

The Sorcerer's Apprentice - July 18 - 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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