Monday, November 19, 2007

Holiday Movie Preview: Part 2

More of the movies Hollywood is force feeding you.

MR. MAGORIUM’S WONDER EMPORIUM – Another movie DOA. Dustin Hoffman in his studied meticulous attempt at whimsy. I know there’s torture-porn. Is there such a thing as enchantment-porn?

THE MIST – Stephen King’s latest horror film. Giant can of Lysol threatens the earth.

THE SAVAGES – Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney are siblings dealing with their dying father. I bet they learn life lessons.

AWAKE – Jessica Alba (pictured right), whose last good movie was CAMP NOWHERE, tries it once again.

GRACE IS GONE – John Cusack seems to be a widower in every movie. In this one he takes a road trip. Life lessons and rest stops at Shoneys.

P.S. I LOVE YOU – Widows and widowers are in! Hilary Swank is the one left behind in this one. She tries to live out her ex’s to-do list. I hope “pay life insurance bill” was already crossed off the list.

CASSANDRA’S DREAM – Woody Allen’s 286th movie. Two brothers in London turn to crime. Original title: BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE BRITISH.

THE PERFECT HOLIDAY – The one shopping mall Santa in history that gets lucky.

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS – Why? Younger viewers have no idea who they are and older viewers never loved them anyway. Add to that a shit joke in the trailer and you have the makings for the season’s biggest bomb.

YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH – Francis Ford Coppola is back after ten years of stomping grapes to present a thriller about a professor (Tim Roth) on the run from the Nazis. If it was Alvin and the Chipmunks instead of the professor I think I’d root for the Nazis.

THE GREAT DEBATERS – Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker as debaters. Denzel also directs so I’m guessing he wins.

ALIEN VS. PREDATOR REQUIEM – Opens Christmas day so I assume it’s a holiday movie for the entire family. Maybe there are even songs!

THE BUCKET LIST – Jack Nicholson & Morgan Freeman have some things to do before they die. Morgan has to be in six more Ashley Judd-in-jeopardy movies and Jack has to be able to fit into size 44 pants.

CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR – Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman...written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Mike Nichols. Who cares what it’s about? I’m going!

Which one of these movies seems worth a $16 ticket at the ArcLight in Hollywood? Besides CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR.

Tomorrow: my report on the big WGA rally. The hottest out of work writers in Hollywood will all be there! Hope to see YOU.

35 comments:

RAC said...

Besides Charlie Wilson's War, I'd take a chance on Francis Ford Coppola's film to see if he's found his filmmaking youth again, as was his quest for this project. Just in case, I'll sneak in some cold and bubbly Sofia Blanc de Blancs in a four-pack of mini cans. Straws included, for $15.00, not including shipping.

Christina said...

Hey, rac - I saw Youth Without Youth a few weeks ago. Thumbs down. It's really painful for me to say that, because I actually work for the guy!! [I've read the slush submissions for his fiction magazine for going on 6 years.] His attempt was valiant, but not cohesive. It's a really strange movie - the best part of it being Tim Roth. Some of the visual storytelling is spectacular, but then the plot doesn't keep up or come together. Dan in Real Life was better, sad to say.

Daniel said...

The Mist was actually a pretty neat short story by Steven King. Yeah, that's what we say about all of his movies, but I can see where they could make a pretty neat 2 hour survival horror film out of that one short story.

gottacook said...

About Alvin and the Chipmunks: To say "older viewers never loved them anyway" is inaccurate. I was a fan of The Alvin Show as a tyke and still have the LP (circa 1962?). You gotta give the late Ross Bagdasarian credit for taking what had been the anonymous "backup singers" he'd created for his David Seville single "Witch Doctor" and remaking them into Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, who had (as I recall) distinct personalities; Alvin was in some ways a proto-Bart Simpson (someone should ask Matt Groening whether he too was an Alvin Show fan). I could have done without their later resurrections, however, such as "Chipmunk Punk," and this new movie sounds like a very bad idea indeed.

Diana said...

Ken,

I spent a good portion of my childhood loving shows you were a part of, but your comment on Jessica Alba trying it once again? Pretty much my favourite thing you've ever said.

And as for movies, if I'm gonna cough up $90 bucks to see Farnsworth, I'm definitely paying the $13 for Charlie Wilson's War. Here's hoping it sucks less than Studio 60.

The Crutnacker said...

"Dustin Hoffman in his studied meticulous attempt at whimsy."

This made me laugh. Imagine what DeNiro could have done with the role.

As for Charlie Wilson's War, am I alone in having exhausted my goodwill for both Tom Hanks and Sorkin? With Tom Hanks, I think it's just that he seems like too good a guy. I'd like to see him in the Enquirer punching a puppy or something. With Sorkin..... well, after a dozen hours of my life that I won't get back after watching Studio 60, let's just say that if the movie makes a detour into a Southern town, I'm leaving, $16 or not.

Still, it does seem like the biggest sure thing on the list. With the exception of Alien vs. Predator Requiem, which I understand is a heartfelt CGI drama about a pair of misunderstood lizard wrestlers. One has severe salivary problems and a bad overbite. You'll cry as he deals with the death of his friend in a freak dreadlock accident.

Linda said...

I'd pay $16.00 just to watch eye candy Gerard Butler is P.S. I Love You. Who CARES what the movie is about!

Karen said...

If I weren't on strike, I'd bet some money that your list is more entertaining than all of the movies put together, including Charlie Wilson's War.

Is it too early to book you for my son's bar mitzvah? He's only 6, so I should warn you that the strike could be over by then. Also, does it matter that he's Catholic?

DodgerGirl said...

Dude, please. Of course "Alien vs. Predator Requiem" will be worth the $16 to see it at the Arclight. It's Aliens! Versus Predators! Will E.T. be able to phone home before the mountain lions terrorizing Santa Clarita turn his cute-ugly face into kitty chow?

First in the ticket line, baby!

Sue said...

Wow. I found your blog through Some Have Hats. I have no idea who you are, but given the way people are sucking up to you in the Comments section I bet you're somebody important. Can you give me a job?- Desperate Irish Housewife

howie said...

On my list of the top 50 albums of all time:

"The Chipmonks Sing the Beatles' Hits"-Liberty Records

Alvin sang the definitive version of "All My Loving".

RAC said...

Hey, christina - thanks. I guess I'll be drinking Sofia's champagne through a straw while I watch, then.

Courtney Suzanne said...

Shoney's? Do they still have Shoney's?? Wow.

Anonymous said...

For parental reasons, I have had the opportunity to see both Fred Claus and Mr. Magorium's Emporium despite the knowledge that they were both probably poor movies. I feel I must report that both movies were, in fact, not very good, but also not the painful experience I was fearing based on the vitriol in some reviews I read. (You want painful, try sitting through a Yu-gi-oh movie.) Maybe it's the soft bigotry of low expectations, but in both cases, I felt "that wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been." Obvious, disjointed, lifeless, sure, but not revolting. Plus, the 8-year-old sitting next to me decreed that both were "awesome." He was unable to elaborate....so, I'll see you at Alvin and the Chipmunks.

alan said...

I'm with you. I always hated Alvin and the Chipmunks. The only funny thing about them is Justin Timberlake singing with them on SNL.

BigTed said...

Wouldn't it be funny if Hilary Swank's late husband's life to-do list turned out to be exactly the same as Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman's life to-do lists? (Maybe Jack Nicholson is Hilary Swank's late husband.)

In any case, I bet they all include some activity involving Jessica Alba.

tb said...

What next, a Beanie and Cecil movie? Or has that already been done?

Susie Marx said...

Great blog, especially when you break into extemporaneous script. More please. Ditto on the movie previews. What ARE they thinking? Also, would you be willing to share your source for stills?

Anonymous said...

Our local newspaper had a review of the Holiday Movies and they wrote that the audience for Alvin and the Chipmunks is "kids to young to say no." This morning's paper pringed an item that says that they look evil.

Brock said...

more than anything in the world i want the alien v predator 2 musical... now the evil dead musical in new york is amazing, but this would be sooo much better.

thanks dad for setting the bar impossibly high again. i'm destined to be let down come christmas morning when you're flying home from vacation and i'm in a theatre w/ AvP2... ugh.

ffcoppola said...

Hey christina - francis here. You make some good points. You're fired anyway. Happy Holidays!

jbryant said...

I think Alvin and the Chipmunks will really strike a chord with today's youth. I mean, just look at that picture. They've got attitude.

Johanna said...

tb, don't tease like that. I may be a youngin', but darned if I wouldn't be giddy at the prospect of a Beany & Cecil movie. Why? Because that would mean that there had been enough DVDs sold to warrant it, which means that I'd finally have my beloved Thunderbolt the Wondercolt and Dishonest John goodies. Bob Clampett's work has always been and always will be some of the most wonderful and (outside of hardcore fans) underestimated creations in all of animation. And puppetry. ;) It all needs to be released.

Anonymous said...

""THE GREAT DEBATERS – Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker as debaters. Denzel also directs so I’m guessing he wins.""

Does that also make Denzel the master-debater?
b

Stella Louise said...

What I can't figure out is why it's called "Alvin AND the Chipmunks." Alvin IS a chipmunk.

brian t said...

"PS I LOVE YOU" is the result of a strange kind of trans-Atlantic nepotism. It's based on a novel by Cecila Ahern, whose daddy is the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland. I hope the Bush daughters don't get any ideas...

Jack Ruttan said...

From the title, I thought that Mr. Magorium was a Simpsons' parody. Chipmunks with attitude the same thing.

They spend tens of millions on these ideas? I wanna make movies about my feet! I'll get some big stars interested. Give me money!

Anonymous said...

"The Bucket List," except for the cancer part, sounds like the movie version of the Lithgow debacle of a season or so ago, "20 Good Years," which kicked the bucket, mercifully, far short of 20 good episodes. (It was a decent premise, but poorly executed, with Lithgow delivering his campy lines as if he was still an alien from "3rd Rock")

Fred Wickham said...

Loved the book "Charlie Wilson's War" and was looking forward to seeing the movie until I heard Sorkin wrote the screenplay. He must've been attracted by the many opportunities for endless dolly shots of guys scurrying through government buildings.

Roger Green said...

I liked Alvin, actually, but the movie trailer reminds me of Underdog, a cartoon that I LOVED, but would have no reason to see the 2007 incarnation.

jbryant said...

Is Jason Lee contractually obligated to appear in these cartoon updates? Voice of Underdog, now the neo-David Saville.

One of my favorite bits of movie trivia is that Chipmunks creator Ross Bagdasarian (aka David Saville) plays the songwriter in Hitchcock's "Rear Window."

skippy said...

i too loved the chipmunks, and i love jason lee, so i will be sure to put this movie at the top of my queue on netflix.

see it in the movie house? nah. i'm reserving alien v. predator: requiem for that.

and, on the subject of the chipmunks, i remember alvin singing "all my lovin'." yes, it was definitive.

as to the nominclature, saying "how can it be alvin and the chipmunks? alvin is a chipmunk!" is tantamount to saying "how can it be buddy holly and the crickets? buddy holly is a cricket!"

"the chipmunks" is the name of the band. that it also happens to be the name of their species is specious.

also: $16? please, ken, do yourself a favor and get some discount tickets. actors can get them thru the aftra-sag credit union, but if you're like me and don't want to pay the extra $2.50 handling charge, you'll dress in a jacket and tie and go to the concierge in the lower level of the two towers in century city during the business week, and buy some pacific theater tickets for $6.00, or amc tickets for $7.50.

it is so worth the trouble (free parking at the mall, just a short walk across the former abc media center.

skippy said...

also, i forgot to mention, i liked stephen king's the mist better when it was john carpenter's the fog.

Fladam said...

Ugh, this is like choosing a network reality show to invest in over the next few months...

If I HAD to choose, I'd probably go with The Mist... for the record, I'm also going to go with American Gladiators and Million Dollar Password.

Dwacon® said...

I've read the Charlie Wilson book. It basically explains how Osama bin Laden became who he is... and how the war on terror started.

Sounds like a flick to see.