Movie Round-Up: December 23rd, 2010

This week’s Movie Round-Up is all messed up.  Two of these movies opened yesterday and one opens on Saturday, with nothing opening on Friday and me posting on Thursday… oh well… let’s get on with it…

Gulliver’s Travels: (official site)

I want to mock this film.  I tend to dislike when Jack Black is all Jack-Black-ing out, making faces and saying silly nonsense.  But I watch this trailer and am reminded that it’s by the same people who did Night at the Museum which was such a fun movie, and this movie looks fun too.  It is highly unlikely that I’ll go see this in the theater for $10, let alone pay $13 to see it in 3D, but I can easily see myself watching this at home at some point and feeling good about it.

Little Fockers: (official site)

I tolerated Meet the Parents.  I disliked Meet the Fockers.  I’m now willing to openly hate Little Fockers.

True Grit: (official site)

Having completely come to terms with the fact that Hollywood is content with turning out remakes and sequel, I first saw this trailer with an open mind… and it was blown away.  Early reviews of this film are heaping praises on the little girl and on the film overall, and it makes me very excited.  I will, somehow, manage to see this movie.  Soon.  If for no other reason than because I can’t let Jonah Hex be the last western I’ve seen on the big screen.  That must be rectified.

Also, Black Swan goes wider this week and might actually be playing in a theater near you…

Movie Round-Up: December 17th, 2010

How Do You Know Black Tron Fighter Yogi Swan: Bear LegacyYogi Bear: (official site)

I suppose it was inevitable.  Hollywood is either remaking, updating or finally bringing to the big screen every idea someone else already had.  Watching the trailer for this movie does not make me want to see it at all.  I suppose if I had kids my view might be different, but I don’t so it isn’t.  If I ever see this movie it will be on accident or under heavy protest.

Tron: Legacy: (official site)

It’s about damn time.  That’s right, after I rail against Hollywood not having any new ideas I’m going to applaud them for finally making a sequel to Tron.  I don’t have rose colored glasses on.  I know the original was silly, plagued with bad dialog and the special effects might have looked fantastic to an eight year old kid but were actually pretty awful, but the fact remains that it was deeply influential to me.  I mean, I grew up to be a programmer.  It was the shell of the idea of Tron that was so good, that something special was going on inside computers, and I’m excited that it is being revisited.  I worry, however that it might be too late.  No, we haven’t invented full-on virtual reality yet, but unless the movie is hiding some big surprises it doesn’t look to have advanced much further than the 1982 shell of the original: there is a world inside the machines where programs fight for survival.  But ultimately it doesn’t matter.  I’ve been itching for a sequel to Tron for so long that there is almost nothing that will stop me from seeing this film.  Not rain, nor sleet, nor bad reviews.  This weekend, Tron: Legacy will be seen.

How Do You Know: (official site)

Paul Rudd is one of those actors that I’ll see practically any movie he does.  Reese Witherspoon too.  The only thing this movie has against it is Owen Wilson.  I just can’t stand him.  Nonetheless, this movie looks pretty good.  Since I’ll be seeing Tron, I doubt I’ll make it to see this movie this weekend, but I’ll gladly see it later on at some point.  If you aren’t seeing Tron and you aren’t a kid, this would be a good movie to spend your $10 on.

Black Swan: (official site)

Someone I know, after seeing this movie, described it thusly: I love it when people get tricked into seeing a horror film.  For people who don’t watch trailers to avoid spoilers, this description fits because on the surface the film is about a ballet dancer who is getting older (but by no means old) who is struggling with possibly losing her place in the company (and more) to a younger dancer.  But if you’ve seen the trailer, then you know that isn’t the whole story.  The thriller and horror elements are what draws me to Black Swan… well, that and I’ve been told there is a hot sex scene between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.  Since I’m unsure I could drag the wife to see it in the theater, I probably won’t, but I’ve already put this in my Netflix queue.

The Fighter: (official site)

I’m a sucker for underdog sports films, and this one looks to be real good.  With so much else fighting for my box office dollar, I doubt this will be something I see in the theater, but I’ll happily see it later on, and I’m sure that I’ll wish I’d seen it sooner.

Movie Round-Up: December 10th, 2010

The Narnian Tourist: The Voyage of the Dawn TreaderThe Tourist: (official site)

It might be just me, but I’ve been kinda over Angelina Jolie for quite some time.  I have seen movies of hers that I enjoy and even that I find her work perfectly fine, but she just isn’t a draw.  I won’t go see a movie just because she’s in it.  Johnny Depp, on the other hand, I’ll watch in just about anything.  Even so, something about this movie isn’t pulling me in.  The trailer just doesn’t excite me and make me want to go spend $10 to see it.  As such, I’ll probably wait for Netflix.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: (official site)

Like many people, the Narnia stories were part of my growing up.  Not a huge part, mind you, because I only started reading the books a few times and never finished, but I do distinctly remember seeing some version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on TV, either broadcast, HBO or VHS.  I digress… the point is, I was very excited to see the first film, and I loved it.  The second film, however, was lackluster at best.  It was… boring.  The trailer for this third installment looks a bit more exciting, but we’ll have to see if they have managed to avoid the pitfalls of the last film.  Then again, this book is more popular than the last, so there are probably more people wanting to see it.  If I do go to the theater, I’ll likely pass on seeing it in 3D.  To date, none of the films where the 3D is done in post production have impressed me.  The ones filmed with 3D cameras have been quite good, and of course animated films that are rendered in 3D work also.  However, post production 3D just looks like a cleaner version of the old 3D, where depth doesn’t feel like true depth, but instead like there are different layers of flatness, as if everything is moving cardboard cutouts positioned differing distances from the camera.  It ends up feeling like a gimmick rather than that the filmmakers felt that 3D was the best way to tell the story.  It distracts from the film instead of adding to it.  So, yeah… probably worth going to see, but in 2D to save the extra $3.

Movie Round-Up: December 3rd, 2010

The Warrior's WayThe Warrior’s Way: (official site)

Next year the movies will be invaded by Cowboys & Aliens.  This year we get Cowboys & Ninjas.  This movie looks absolutely ridiculous, and that may be the thing that makes it a success.  I mean, the story is about a ninja assassin who is ordered to kill a baby that is the last member of a particular family.  He refuses and flees to America where he hides in a small town until the ninjas catch up with him to finish the job, kill the baby and kill him for his betrayal.  I highly doubt that I’ll go to the theater to see this movie, but it will make the top of my Netflix list because this movie must be seen.

The Round-Up posts are less fun when only one movie comes out.  Less photoshopping involved…

Movie Round-Up: November 24th, 2010

Tangled Burlesque Love and Other Faster DrugsUsually the Movie Round-Up in on Friday, but due to the holiday here in the US everything is opening on Wednesday.

Burlesque: (offical site)

I’ll admit to a desire to see this film.  Long, long ago two girls came out of the Disney music factory around the same time. Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. While many folks hitched their trailers to Ms. Spears, I always felt that Ms. Aguilera was the better talent. Today, with Britney a train wreck and Christina only having hit a few bumps, I’d say I was right. More than that, though, this movie has Kristen Bell and Stanley Tucci, and a slew of other fine folks.  However, I won’t be seeing this in the theater, as I’ve offered to let the wife and a few other ladies have a night out without the boys, while us boys are on baby sitting duty. So, Burlesque, I’ll see you on Netflix.

Faster: (official site)

You won’t find me waiting in line for this movie this week. Sure, it looks like fun. Dwayne Johnson is playing a bad-ass out for revenge, and the film looks filled to the brim with other recognizable faces. But I’ve watched the trailer a handful of times and its hook just isn’t reeling me in. I’m sure I’ll see it someday, but not anytime soon.

Tangled: (official site)

If I had kids of an appropriate age, I’d be seeing this. It looks funny, and Disney has a pretty good record with its kid oriented movies. As with the two films above, I’m sure I’ll see this at some point, but not this week.

Love and Other Drugs: (official site)

Oddly enough, the movie with the most pull for me this week, the one I’d most likely go to see in the theater, happens to be the one I’ve already seen.  Like, months ago.  This movie is two stories wrapped in one.  On one side you have Jake Gyllenhaal as Jamie, a guy trying to figure himself out and doing so as a pharmaceutical salesman.  On the other you have him and Anne Hathaway as Maggie, and the relationship between them.  The two stories intertwine as his career launches and they both deal with her Parkinson’s and how it affects their feelings.  I went into this film thinking it was just going to be another throwaway romantic comedy.  The trailers I had seen sure made it to be that way, with Jamie selling Viagra and little clips of the two of them meeting for sex.  But the actual film has a whole lot more heart than that.  It is funny, but it’s also smart and sexy.  I’d recommend it to just about any couple looking for a good date movie.  Not a first date, or even an early one.  But perhaps if you are the sort of person who needs to shift things around or get a sitter to have a date night with your significant other, then you should do so to go see this movie.  Well worth the price of admission.

Movie Round-Up: November 19th, 2010

Harry Potter and the Next Three Days, Part 1Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1: (official site)

The entire world is going to see this movie over the next couple of weeks.  Except maybe me.  The movies have been good in this series, and I enjoyed the books.  But the final book was definitely the weakest in the entire run for me.  They had an opportunity to cut all the lame boring parts and shoot a tight two and half hour action packed film… their decision to break the book into two movies leads me to believe that all the boring, stomping around in the woods parts remain.  So I’ve lost a bunch of my desire to shell out the big bucks to see this on the big screen.  Even more so since I have to wait eight months to see the other half of this film.  I could be wrong.  This could wind up being a great film, but I’m willing to wait and see before I see it.

The Next Three Days: (official site)

This is the story of a man and his wife.  She is accused of murder and goes to prison.  He doesn’t believe she is guilty and decides to break her out.  Beyond that I know nothing of this film.  I had a chance to go to a screening for it, but ended up unable to attend.  I will say that I think this looks to be very good and I really want to go see it.  Especially with Russel Crowe and Elizabeth Banks playing the leads because I have really enjoyed a lot of both of their work.

Movie Round-Up: November 12th, 2010

Unstoppable Morning Skyline GloryUnstoppable: (official site)

Train A loaded full of kids leaves the station heading east going 40 miles per hours.  At the same time Train B loaded full of deadly chemicals leaves the station heading west going 100 miles per hour with no breaks.  With both trains on the same track and neither one able to switch, how long will it take Denzel Washington and Chris Pine to save the day?  If your answer is between 90 minutes and 2 hours, you are correct!  Despite what at first glance (and second glance and third glance, and pretty much every glance, long look or deep meaningful stare) appears to be a silly silly movie, it does look like it will be full of action and excitement.  And honestly, Denzel is fun to watch even when he’s chewing scenery in bad films.  There must have eleven thousand free screenings of this film and I didn’t manage to get into a single one.  I really want to see this film, but that said I probably won’t catch it in the theater.  It will move straight to the top of my Netflix queue the moment it is available.

Morning Glory: (official site)

This movie looks funny and heart warming.  If the wife were to pick a movie to see this weekend, this would be it.  And I won’t even pretend to not want to see it.  The critics who don’t like it are saying things like it being “derivative” and “pandering to the lowest common denominator” which pretty much means that your average movie goer, the lowest common denominator who actually likes seeing the same stories told over and over in new settings with new actors, will love this film.

Skyline: (official site)

I want to play this game.  What?  It’s a movie?  Well, it looks cool, I guess.  No, seriously… this movie looks like a video game.  Aliens attack and you spend the next ten hours plastered to your TV with a controller in your hand trying to escape from and ultimately defeat the invaders.  If I were to pick a movie to see this weekend, this would be it.  But I may not need to as supposedly Skyline is part of a deal with Netflix to bring theatrical releases to Netflix sooner.  So I may save my $10 and wait for Netflix.  Or maybe I won’t.  We’ll just have to see…

Movie Round-Up: November 5th, 2010

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Megamind When The Due Date Is EnufFor Colored Girls: (official site)

As always, I remain not a fan of Tyler Perry’s work.  I’m sure other people like it, they must since he keeps on making movies, but it just isn’t for me.  If it’s your thing though, I’m certain it’ll be worth the money to see it in the theater.

Megamind: (official site)

Animated kids movies are all the rage.  Seriously.  When I was growing up I don’t recall there being so many.  Maybe I was too busy buying tickets for Transformers: The Movie and seeing Aliens instead.  And every single animated kids movie is in 3D.  This certainly looks like a lot of fun though.  I may not catch it on the big screen or in 3D, but I’ll definitely watch this the first chance I get.

Due Date: (official site)

In Hollywood, movies are often pitched by shorthand.  You say, “This movie is like Die Hard, only it happens on the Goodyear Blimp!” or something like, “It’s like Steel Magnolias meets The Godfather!”  I imagine the pitch for this film as being, “It’s as if Planes, Trains & Automobiles and The Hangover had a baby!”  And if that was the pitch, if that was the intent, then this movie delivers.  Two guys traveling cross country together.  One just wants to get home to his wife for the birth of their kid, and the other is going the same way, is a little weird, and really wants to be friends.  And the whole story is told with the comedic style and tone of The Hangover.  I got to see a screening of this last week…. I laughed.  I cried (with laughter).  I wet my pants (when I laughed so hard I peed, just a little).  To say that I loved it would be an understatement.  It was fantastic.  Well worth your hard earned dollars.

Movie Round-Up: October 22nd, 2010

Paranormal Hereafter ActivityHereafter: (official site)

For about the last decade, Clint Eastwood has been knocking them out of the park as a director.  Sure, he has some great films from before that too, but the last ten years have just been great.  Matt Damon’s decade hasn’t been too shabby either.  Those two elements had me interested in the film… then I watched the trailer.  A reluctant psychic, a woman with a near death experience and a boy who lost his twin brother.  I’m very interested in how their stories intertwine, what the lynch pin is going to be.  This is a must see film for me.

Paranormal Activity 2: (official site)

I saw the original with absolutely no knowledge of the film going in, and that was probably the best way to see it.  If you know too much about it, most of the film is ruined.  It is a slow burning build up with a few tense or eerie moments building to a chaotic and partly ambiguous end.  You have to be willing to get swept into the story.  So with that experience in mind, I had avoided all mention of this film.  I wanted to see it with no expectations.  And I did… and it was good.  Once again, if you are interested in this movie, don’t watch the trailer, don’t read any reviews that actually talk about the film, just go see it.  See it and just let go, relax and watch the movie unfold.  Had I not seen it for free, and having enjoyed the first one so much, I’d easily have paid full price for this.  And I might, since the wife was sick and couldn’t go to the screening.

Movie Round-Up: October 15th, 2010

Red 3-DJackass 3-D: (official site)

Ummm… yeah.  I was never really a fan of America’s Funniest Home Videos and their constant barrage of men getting hit in the nuts and other zany antics caught on film, so when Jackass aired on TV and it was essentially people doing the AFHV stuff on purpose, I tuned out.  On the other hand, people doing crazy stunts was pretty much made for 3D.  I’ve been trying like hell to get into a free screening of this, because that’s the only way I’d ever see it, but have had no luck.  I suppose I’ll never get to enjoy Jackass in 3D.

Red: (official site)

Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Julian McMahon, Ernest Borgnine, Richard Dreyfuss, Brian Cox, Karl Urban, and James Remar.  That’s eleven reasons to see this movie right there.  Add to that the fact that the trailer looks awesome, and it’s based on the Warren Ellis comic book about an ex-CIA agent who has been targeted for assassination, and you’ve got a must see film for me.  I’ll be there.  Count on it.