Archive for March, 2009

30
Mar
09

April Movie Releases

soloist

 

 

“Give ‘Em Hell Malone” – Thomas Jane. Ving Rhames. Elsa Pataky. A private eye fending off thugs from loot. All done Seventies-style. From the director of “Highlander” and “Resident Evil: Extinction.” Opens April 1, 2009

 

 

 

 

“The Fast and the Furious 4” – Vin Diesel. Paul Walker. Michelle Rodriguez. Jordana Brewster. Fast cars. Fourth movie. Opens April 3, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Gigantic” – Paul Dano is single, and a mattress salesman trying to adopt a baby from China. He falls for Zooey Deschanel and in the down time tries to keep from getting killed by a homeless guy. Comedy. Opens April 3, 2009

 

 

 

 

“The Ugly Truth” – Gerard Butler is a chauvinistic TV host and Katherine Heigl is his new producer. He tries to help her romantically with a “new guy,” but his work has unexpected results. Opens April 3, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Dragonball Evolution” – Based on the video game. A young boy named Goku must find all seven dragonballs in order to prevent the Earth from being taken over. Opens April 8, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Hannah Montana: The Movie” – Fairly explanatory. Opens April 10, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Observe and Report” – Seth Rogen is a mall security guard who has to stop a streaker and requires help from surly detective Ray Liotta. Opens April 10, 2009

 

 

 

 

“17 Again” – Matthew Perry is a 37-year-old whose life hits rock bottom and wishes he was twenty years younger. He wakes up as 17-year-old Zac Effron, and is able to re-write his high school life. Hope he doesn’t wind up in a musical… Opens April 17, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Crank 2” – Jason Statham returns as Chev Chelios. This time around his heart has been replaced with an artificial one and as in the last, he has to keep his energy up (which includes using a car battery and jumper cables). Also stars Amy Smart, Bai Ling, Dwight Yoakum, and Corey Haim. Opens April 17, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Lymelife” – A story centering around two dysfunctional families, lyme disease, war, and divorce, set in the 70’s. Stars Alec Baldwin, Timothy Hutton. Cynthia Nixon, and Emma Roberts. Opens April 17, 2009

 

 

 

 

“State of Play” – Russell Crowe is a journalist researching the death of a woman tied to his best friend and Congressmen (Ben Affleck). Also stars Helen Mirren and Rachel McAdams. Opens April 17, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Earth” – From Disney’s Disneynature series. Narrated by James Earl Jones. Opens April 22, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Fighting” – Channing Tatum is living on the streets of New York City when a scam artists Terrance Howard inducts him into the world of streetfighting. Opens April 24, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Obsessed” – An office professional (Idris Elba) is married to Beyonce Knowles but is being cougar’d by Ali Larter. Think “Fatal Attraction.” Opens April 24, 2009

 

 

 

 

“The Soloist” – Robert Downey, Jr. is a journalist who discovers a homeless man (Jamie Foxx) who happens to have been a former musical prodigy. Opens April 24, 2009

 

 

Advertisements
27
Mar
09

Movie News and Views March 27, 2009 Trailer Edition

astro_boy

 

“Gigantic” – Paul Dano is single, and a mattress salesman trying to adopt a baby from China. He falls for Zooey Deschanel and in the down time tries to keep from getting killed by a homeless guy. Comedy. Opens April 3, 2009

 

 

 

 

“The Merry Gentleman” – A woman moves to Chicago to start life over and meets a guy. Both are trying to escape their past lives and need to become more than they are. Stars Kelly MacDonald and Michael Keaton, who also directs. Opens May 1, 2009

 

 

 

 

“The Limits of Control” – Isaach De Bankole is a mysterious loner on a job, probing the depths of his soul. Also stars Gael Garcia Bernal, John Hurt, Bill Murray, and Tilda Swinton. Directed by Jim Jarmusch. Opens May 22, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Drag Me To Hell” – Sam Raimi (“Evil Dead,” “Spider-Man” trilogy) horror movie about a loan officer cursed by a mysterious woman who’s loan extension she denies. Stars Alison Lohman and Justin Long. Opens May 29, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Away We Go” – Parents-to-be John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph hit the road to find a place to set their roots. Opens June 5, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Hangover” – A guy and his three friends go to Vegas for a Bachelor-party blow-out. The three friends awake and have to retrace their steps to track down the groom. Opens June 5, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Public Enemies” – Michael Mann (“Heat,” “Collateral”) directed John Dillinger biopic. Stars Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Marion Cotillard. Opens July 1, 2009

 

 

 

 

“500 Days of Summer” – Zooey Deschanel doesn’t believe in love, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt falls for her anyway. Opens July 17, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Taking Woodstock” – Ang Lee directed true story of Elliot Tiber, a man who was pivotal in making the 1969 Woodstock Festival happen. Also stars Emile Hirsch and Liev Schreiber. Opens August 14, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Pandorum” – Sci-fi movie with Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster about two men who crash-land on a planet and have no memory of who they were, how they got there, or why. Opens September 4, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” – CG animated movie based on the children’s book about a scientist trying to cure world hunger when food starts falling from the sky. Featuring the voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Cann, Bruce Campbell, and Mr. T. Opens September 18, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Where the Wild Things Are” – Movie based on the popular children’s book (I loved it at least). Directed by Spike Jonze (“Being John Malkovich”). Opens October 16, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Sorority Row” – Five sorority sisters murder a fellow sister in a prank gone wrong. After graduation, a killer goes after each one. Opens October 22, 2009

 

 

 

 

“Astro Boy” – A young robot with incredible powers takes a journey to discover what it means to be human. CG animated with the voices of Nic Cage and Freddie Highmore. Opens October 23, 2009

 

 

 

 

“In the Loop” – Comical look at what might go on behind the scenes between London and Washington, D.C. during a buildup to a not-so-fictional war. Stars Steve Coogan and James Gandolfini. Coming Soon!

 

26
Mar
09

Remake Radar: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

taking_of_pelham_one_two_three_1974Welcome to Remake Radar, where we take on Hollywood’s penchant for remaking films for better or worse (which is most of the time). This month’s movie:

 

“The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” (1974)

 

Stars: Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Hector Elizondo, Earl Hindman, and Jerry Stiller.

 

Director: Joseph Sargent

 

Story: Four gunmen with color codenames hijack the Pelham 1-2-3 subway train. They demand $1 million in one hour for the train and the hostages they are holding. A veteran NY policeman handles negotiations and tries tracking down the identities of the gunmen. But with the tunnel surrounded by cops on both sides, how are the gunmen planning on getting away?

 

What do we know now?: In 1998 the movie was remade for TV starring Edward James Olmos, Vincent D’onofiro, Donnie Wahlberg, and Lorraine Bracco. And it’s being remade for the silver screen again, this time starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta, directed by Tony Scott (“Top Gun”,”Déjà vu”). It’s technically renamed “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.” It will be in theatres June 12, 2009.

 

Original Trailer:

 

 

Remake trailer:

 

 

taking_of_pelham_1-2-3_2009

25
Mar
09

Movies on DVD Review: The Italian Job (1969)

italian_job

 

THE definition for “cliffhanger.”

 

Starring Michael Caine, Noel Coward, and Benny Hill. Directed by Peter Collinson.

 

Note: the original, not the remake.

 

Charlie Croker (Caine) has just been released from prison. He’s met by his girlfriend Lorna (Margaret Blye) who picks him up in a stolen car (“Charlie, I just wanted you to come out in style, baby.”) Later he finds that an old partner Roger (Frank Jarvis) left a film for him to watch. On the film is the greatest heist idea of all: stealing $4 million from Turin. Charlie thinks it over and decides to do it for the money, and for England. Breaking back into the prison he informs Mr. Bridger (Coward), a fellow prisoner who has attained a king-like hold over the prison (the guy goes to the bathroom escorted by two guards who provide him with the current newspaper). Croker then takes the initiative to assemble a crew; albeit of miscreants (“You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”). The plan: stage a traffic jam in Turin during a sports event and get out of the city with $4 million. The obstacles: aside from getting out of the city with the gold, the Mafia know about the plan and threaten him and his team. Croker and company are forced to speed up their plans for the gold and most importantly for the glory of England.

 

Forty years since and “The Italian Job” is still a fun movie. Michael Caine is great as Charlie Croker, a swingin’ Sixties convict. Coward eats up being the King of the Penal Colony. Benny Hill does a great job at being Professor Simon Peach, the resident “computer expert” who is into “big women.”

 

The movie itself can be divided into two parts: the buildup to the heist, and the chase. The buildup to the heist is the main humor of the movie: Croker’s motley crew practicing with the mini-Coops, Bridger’s reactions, and Charlie himself.

 

The second half, the car chase, is one of the coolest ever on film. The minis drive on sidewalks, through buildings, and even top of a building (you have to see it to believe it).

 

Overall, a fun little movie. A great way to spend a weekend afternoon, or pop it in on a weeknight. You’ll find yourself singing, “The Self Preservation Society.”

 

Of note, the DVD contains the deleted scene of the mini-Coopers driving around to the tune of Strauss’s “The Blue Danube.”

 

My grade: B+

 

 

24
Mar
09

The WB Goes ‘On Demand’

wb

 

 

As you browse through the DVD/Blu-ray aisle at the Best Buy, or Target, or wherever you buy movies, you may find yourself asking, “Where are all the catalog movies? The older Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Eva Marie Saint, or Lana Turner movies?” (It’s a hypothetical). Fear not, because the Warners have an answer!

 

The WB has begun to open their vaults to offer movies not previously released on DVD. For $20 a piece you can purchase online them online. Each DVD comes in a slipcase and every DVD will feature the trailer for said movie. For those not interested in a physical copy of a film, you can download the digital version for $15.

 

For more information, check out the site at: www.warnerarchive.com

 

Source: “Warner Bros. launches ‘on demand’ DVD sales’ by Thomas K. Arnold

http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/dvd/2009-03-22-classic-films-on-demand_N.htm

20
Mar
09

In Passing… Natasha Richardson (1963-2009)

natasha_richardson

 

Broadway, theatre, TV, and film actress Natasha Richardson passed away on March 18, 2009. Richardson was the daughter of director Tony Richardson and actress Vanessa Redgrave, as well as wife to actor Liam Neeson and mother to their two sons Michael and Daniel. Natasha was a little girl when she was on extra in “The Charge of the Light Brigade” (1968). She had parts on TV in “Ellis Island” and “Oxbridge Blues” before having her film debut as Mary Shelley in “Gothic” (1986). She is more widely known for playing Patty Hearst in “Patty Hearst” (1988). During “Anna Christie” she met Liam Neeson. The two worked on “Nell” and were married after. While Richardson did TV and film roles, she primarily worked in theatre and has won a Tony award for Lead Actress in a Musical, a Drama Desk Award for Lead Actress in a Musical, and an Outer Critics Circle Award. She has won awards in TV and film as well. She dies from an epidural hematoma. She was 46.

 

Thoughts and prayers to her family and friends.

 

For more information check out her IMDB page at:

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001670/

17
Mar
09

Movies on DVD Review: Unfaithful

unfaithful

 

Diane Lane. Naked.

 

Stars Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Olivier Martinez, and Erik Per Sullivan. Directed by Adrian Lyne.

 

Story: Richard Gere and Diane Lane are Ed and Connie Sumner. The live in a nice two-story house outside New York City. Connie is a housewife and Ed works in the city overlooking a machine shop (or something to that effect). On a blustery day Connie takes the train into the city to pick up birthday stuff for their kid, Charlie (Erik Per Sullivan of the TV show “Malcolm in the Middle”) As she’s fighting the wind she literally bumps into French book dealer Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez) and skins her knee. Inviting her up to his apartment, he lends her band aids and a book. She returns home but it isn’t too long before his mysterious French ways entice her back to his apartment… again and again and again and again. Ed begins to suspect that something is awry and starts looking into it…

 

Did I mention that Diane Lane gets naked? Just checking.

 

Director Adrian Lyne tries so hard to be Hitchcock that, at times, the movie almost works. Almost. For the first hour everything is pretty much what you would figure: woman trying to seem uninterested but allured to exotic art guy, husband dealing with B.S. at work, wife going back for more, wife trying to think husband doesn’t notice, etc. The movie pretty much writes itself. At the hour mark, complications arise and things get interesting. Husband finds out and confronts the guy, accidentally killing him. He then tries covering it up as best as possible. The best part of the movie is when the husband knows what his wife did but doesn’t bring it up, nor the fact the he killed her lover. She soon finds that he knows and is waiting for something to happen. This tension is the best part of the movie (aside from Diane Lane au naturale). After that the story slumps to a whimper and the end, probably meant to have gravitas, becomes a shrug.

 

Erik Per Sullivan is difficult to buy as their kid. Maybe it’s from watching too much “Malcolm in the Middle.” Look for Michelle Monaghan (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” “Eagle Eye”) as one of Connie’s friends.

 

Again, a $5 rental. Richard Gere has probably done worse, and I know Diane Lane has done worse (“Untraceable”).

 

My grade: C+ (for Diane Lane)