Reviews of Movies We Haven't Seen Yet
December 2008 Archives
stars Viggo Mortensen and Jason Isaacs, so it must be some sort of action film about guys beating each other up, or killing people, or something. You know, one of them noble (Viggo), and one of them bad (Jason). That's exactly what would be expected with this casting, but it's entirely incorrect. It's actually, judging by the trailer
, another World War II Nazi film (does it seem there's been an overabundance of them lately?).
How does Daniel Craig have time to make the Bond movies and now Defiance,
too? I don't know how he does it, but I do know it's a good thing he does. No one else these days seems to be quite so ruggedly, broodingly handsome. He's the kind of actor who you don't know whether to covet or fear -- and I mean that as a compliment, okay? He's both badass and hot. And he makes damn good career choices. Case in point? Defiance
, which is dark and sad and breath-taking.
Maybe it's because I've never read the comics, but there aren't many things in the world that look worse to me than The Spirit does. I really don't think it's about me not reading the comics either, because it just looks like it has the most terrible dialogue in the history of film. (Yes, I'm saying this in a world with Keanu Reeves.) It's like this movie wants to be 300 and Sin City, but is failing miserably. Mainly because it's trying to be something else, and those movies were both so original and innovative.
Oh, I know what Revolutionary Road is: It's the one where Jack and Rose grow up and move to the suburbs and become unhappy. You know, the alternate ending to Titanic. (It's actually a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, directed by her husband, Sam Mendes, but this is not so much what the movie is as about first impressions of it, so I'll continue.)
Dustin Hoffman stars as Harvey in Last Chance Harvey,
and if the trailer
's any indication, he's called "Last Chance" for a reason: He's on his way to his daughter's wedding in London, but they've closed the flight. Then his boss calls and fires him from his job. Then he gets to London and his daughter tells him someone else is going to give her away. James Brolin, actually. Her stepfather. But then he gets his "last chance," in the form of Emma Thompson. They meet in a diner and he invites her to lunch. And then they "date." It's cute, and sweet, but this is an "indie" film because they aren't, you know, Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt. Apparently you must fall within a certain age and hotness demographic to get to be in a big love story that's actually a "big" love story. But, hey, at least they get to be the stars in this one, instead of the stepdad, right? At least that's something. I guess.
If you are the one person in the world who isn't tired of Adam Sandler yet, you are the target demographic for Bedtime Stories, which looks like it's basically Sandler being Sandler. Granted, it's a kids' movie, so it might be a little tamer than usual. No sex in the backroom after hair appointments or anything like that. But still. Sandler, tame or otherwise, is still Sandler. Honestly, the most annoying thing about the guy is his whole overgrown man-child thing, and in a movie geared at children, he will probably go hog wild with that.
The question about Marley & Me is who will be the best actor: Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, or the dog? I'm thinking, honestly, the dog. Don't get me wrong: I love Jen. I'm mostly Team Aniston all the way. But as for her acting? Well, she's not exactly Angelina Jolie, if you know what I'm saying. And Owen Wilson? Well, he's pretty much always Owen Wilson, which is enjoyable sometimes, but again: not acting. The dog, though? Judging by the trailer, they make that dog act like a truly horrifying terror, all chewing things up and jumping in pools and on furniture, etc., etc., I mean, that is acting, right? For a dog? To jump on stuff and chew stuff up? Oh, right. So, okay, acting-wise, this movie is probably not going to shine all that bright, but it will be the number one movie of the week when it comes to cute, fuzzy puppy faces. And cute, fuzzy grown-up dog faces. Those are a couple of things that probably provide a lot more unadulterated joy than acting anyway, right? If that weren't the case, how would we explain Shiba Inu Puppy Cam? But, seriously, cute or not, we must talk about that terrible tagline: "This Christmas, heel the love." Because ... no. Just don't. Words that rhyme do not necessarily -- or even often -- make good puns. Please stop, movie marketing people.
Reviews By People Who Have Seen It:
Moscow, Belgium sounds like it must have been made by someone who failed geography, right? No, it's actually about someone who's probably bad at geography, because she's sort of bad at everything: relationships, driving, staying calm in a crisis, sarcasm, dating, choosing men... And those are just the things that happen in the trailer.
The Tale of Despereaux seems to be trying to capitalize on the world's love for Ratatouille, what with its rat and food themes and old-fashioned animation. So why is it that I can only think it looks more like An American Tale, that annoying movie about the floppy-eared mouse, Fievel? And there's my answer: It's the floppy ears that Despereaux's sporting that are taking me back to Fievel Mousekewitz.
Have you heard of Brad Pitt? He has a new movie that maybe you've missed out on hearing about too, then: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Here's the thing when it comes to Pitt: You have to get past the buzz -- far past it -- to what's good. Think back to the last time Pitt worked director David Fincher, on Fight Club, and you might get an idea about what to expect from this movie. Except that you wouldn't at all.
I'm trying to think what in the world could possibly make me any more excited for The Wrestler
than I already am. It already has a nearly perfect recipe for perfection, what with Darren Aronofsky, esteemed director of Requiem for a Dream
and The Fountain.
Then we've got Mickey Rourke, who might very well be making a comeback like nothing we've ever seen before. Well, except that one time last month when Jean-Claude Van Damme made that movie where he played himself
. But, still, I think Rourke's might be even better. Have you seen
? If not, go watch now. I'll wait here.
I really hoped Jim Carrey was done making this movie. But apparently he's not. Because Yes Man
is here, and it's basically Liar Liar and Bruce Almighty.
I'm not completely opposed to Jim Carrey making the same types of movies he's already made. If he'd like to make another way over-the-top physical comedy like Ace Ventura
I'd be first in line to see it. After all, no one else could do what he did in those movies. Whereas a movie like Yes Man,
while likely pretty funny, is more generic than a guy as comedically talented as Carrey deserves.
I find myself having two very strong reactions any time I see a trailer
for the latest so-sure-to-be-a-hit-it-already-is-one Will Smith vehicle, Seven Pounds:
First, I have no idea what this movie is about. Not even a clue. And second, I WANT TO SEE THIS MOVIE! On opening day! Or even before. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the magic of Will Smith. He is so charming that his fans (including me) want to see him in just about anything -- even if we have no idea what any of it is.
If you're not in the L.A. or New York City areas, don't get your hopes up about seeing The Class
this week or anytime soon. It's opening in those cities only, in time to be considered for the Oscars (it's France's entry for best foreign language film). And then who knows what will happen to it? If it wins, we might see it again. If not, add it to your Netflix queue. After all, it won the Palme d'Or
-- no small feat. Though the trailer
makes it a little difficult to tell exactly what the crux of the film is. I mean, sure it's about a teacher and some students in his class. And they sort of bicker and are disrespectful to him and try his patience. But that can't be it, can it? I mean, most movies about teachers end up having to be so inspiring and moving and earth-shattering and THEIR TEACHER CHANGES THEIR LIVES AND THEY CHANGE HIS and all of that. You know. Could this movie actually just be about an ordinary teacher, and not one who has Tourette's
or is secretly a junkie
? Huh. What's the point in a movie that might actually portray reality? I mean, don't we get that, like, every day?
Reviews By People Who've Actually Seen It:
Forgive me for not knowing more about Delgo,
but here's the thing: I cannot even look at the creatures in it without having a violent urge to: change the channel, close the web browser, or run screaming from the room. I don't know what it is, but they are just the right kind of human/weird dinosaur hybrid to completely creep me out. It's been hard for me to read about or watch trailers for a movie that causes me to automatically retreat. And, seriously, what is
this movie? Oh, right, the website has a synopsis: " In a divided land, it takes a rebellious boy and his clandestine love for a Princess of an opposing race to stop a war orchestrated by a power-hungry villain." Um, okay? I guess?
better watch its back, because another holiday movie has arrived, and Nothing Like the Holidays
has an added element of diversity, with cast members such as Luis Guzman, Freddy Rodriguez, John Leguizamo, Alfred Molina, and ... Debra Messing? Wha...? Which one of these is not like the others?
is that Kate Winslet movie that's getting all the Oscar buzz. Oh, not that one
co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio. This one co-stars Ralph Fiennes. Which reminds me: Poor, poor Kate Winslet, what with all of these good-looking brilliant actors as co-stars. Her life must be difficult.
Clint Eastwood was just named best actor (that's right, I said "actor," not " director" ) by the National Board of Review
for his role in Gran Torino,
which, yes, he did also direct. And, judging by the trailer, it's what he was working on when he should have been perfecting Changeling,
because this one's going to be the one he shines with this year, acting- and
If you're a studio executive or director and you want to make a big-ol' cheesy remake like The Day the Earth Stood Still,
how do you proceed? Step 1: Cast Keanu Reeves. Always
cast Keanu if you're looking to bring the cheese. The man either doesn't act or he overacts with way too serious, laughable emphasis. Judging from the trailer
, that's what Keanu's bringing to this great big ball of cheese. And the movie tagline? "12/12/08 is THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL" really hooks you, because, see? They're saying that the Earth will stand still because of the movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still,
which opens on 12/12. Get it? Yeah, I know. It's easy to get.
Is it just me, or does Che
feel like it's been in production longer than any movie in the history of the world? Also, when did it go from being two movies, called The Argentine
to just Che
(which, if I recall correctly, is how it originated)? Or is it still two movies, but they changed the name of one? Or is it two movies, being collectively called Che
? Oh, and could it be any more puzzling? Clearly not. Thankfully, Wikipedia exists to let me know that it is still two two-hour films, subtitled The Argentine
and they are collectively screened (as they will be Friday in L.A. and NYC) as one four-hour film, Che.
If you saw Meryl Streep on the most recent cover of Entertainment Weekly
and, like me, thought, "How is she a relevant cover topic, exactly?" then you, like me, overlooked her latest movie, Doubt,
which opens in limited release this weekend. If you were as ignorant as I've been about this movie (and, seriously, where have I been?), the trailer
might come in handy.
I'm not sure what to make of the cast of Nobel Son. I mean, there are TV actors who we've never seen in a movie we remember (Eliza Dushku, that likable kid from October Road and One Tree Hill) alongside a few actors -- TV or otherwise -- who make it somewhat more interesting (Ted Danson, Alan Rickman, Ernie Hudson), with your Danny DeVito and Bill Pullman thrown in to confuse matters even further. So, okay, cast aside, what to make of Nobel Son? Try not to judge it by the really annoying techno music that won't stop playing if you leave the official site open on your computer. Instead, let's judge it by the trailer, which actually doesn't look that bad.
It's hard for me to care even a little bit about Punisher: War Zone.
After all, it's a sequel to a movie
I didn't care about in the first place (my apologies to fans of The Punisher
comics; I'm sure they're great). But when the sequel to a movie that scores a 28 percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes
can't retain its cast or crew because they aren't happy with the sequel's script or there are other creative differences (Thomas Jane's reasoning
), you know there's a problem. I mean, can it get much worse than a 28 percent rating from critics? Oh, right, there was all of that huge success of the first film, which is what warranted this sequel, right? Wait, it made just more than $30 million
, didn't it? So how did this sequel happen again?
At first glance, Cadillac Records
looks like Dreamgirls 2.0
, right down to the casting of Beyonce? But judging by the trailer
, there are plenty of differences. First of all, Cadillac Records
is based on a true story (rather than veiled allusions to actual events, as in Dream Girls
. It's about the heyday of the blues scene in 1950's Chicago and the rise of icons like Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), Etta James (Beyonce) and Chuck Berry (Mos Def). Oh, and Adrien Brody is there as Leonard Chess, the guy who got rich off of all of that musical talent. Let's just hope that Brody isn't getting richer than anyone else in this movie, okay. Times they have changed and all that, right?