Sunday, November 12, 2006

Holiday Movies Preview

Tired of all those Fall “quality” movies? Good news. It’s almost time for the holiday season. So here is my Holiday Preview of what we’ll all be flocking to see at our local Cineplex.


DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE – The perfect film to kick off the season. Gore and death on a tropical island. Bring the kids.

APOCALYPTO – Mel Gibson’s savages-as-metaphor-for-Jews movie. I’m only sorry he wasn’t eaten by a lion during production.

BLOOD DIAMOND – “The Constant Gardener” meets “Romancing the Stone.”

BREAKING & ENTERING – Jude Law so right away, caution. A guy falls in love with his burglar’s mother. Expected line of dialogue: “What a coincidence. That ring you have is just like the one I was going to give you.”

MR. LEATHER – Documentary on Robert Redford.

UNACCOMPANIED MINORS – Five kids running amok in an airport. Kind of the “Muppet Babies” version of “Terminal”.

ARTHUR AND THE INVISIBLES – CGI adventure from master children’s storyteller, Luc Besson. Hopes to bring the same fun and magic of his “Fifth Element” to a family fantasy involving wizards and a princess.

PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS – Will Smith enlists his real life son to help him in his perpetual quest to be Denzel Washington.

THE HOLIDAY – Writer/director Nancy Meyers so you know – glossy, formula, a romantic comedy that will have three laughs, all for the trailer. The kind of “date movie” that keeps guys from ever wanting to see “date movies”.

ERAGON – “Lord of the Rings” meets Puff the Magic Dragon. Can “Wind in the Willows: the Trilogy” be far behind?

HOME OF THE BRAVE – Samuel L. Jackson as a returning vet from the Iraq war having trouble readjusting. Sample line: “There are motherfuckin’ snakes in my head!”

FAST FOOD NATION – playing at a Drive-in and Drive-through near you.

THE FOUNTAIN – Just simply the worst movie of the year. But if you want to take your date somewhere on a Saturday night where you two can be alone, take her to an 8:00 showing of THE FOUNTAIN.

VENUS – 100 year old Peter O’Toole hooks up with pretty twentysomething niece. Woody Allen is already preparing a remake.


The conclusion tomorrow.


Dwacon said...

What, nothing by Michael Moore?

david golbitz said...

You have that low an opinion of The Fountain? Really? I'm looking forward to it. I like Aronofsky. He gets the benefit of the doubt from me.

By Ken Levine said...

Yes, THE FOUNTAIN is that bad. I will post my review closer to when it's released. If you're an Aronofsky fan maybe you'll like it. But for everyone else it was a bewildering self indulgent faux-intellectual exercise that added up to nothing...except $53 million dollars down the drain. Unless you are a big Aronofsky fan I recommend to EVERYONE that they avoid this.

Anonymous said...

I thought you were being a little hard on Nancy Meyers until I looked up her credits.

Now that I've seen them I think you were being too kind. I'm still bitter I had to sit through Father of the Bride; an unbearable piece of crap that unbelievably spawned a sequel.

Your summary of upcoming holiday releases reminds me how much I appreciate having TIVO.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps "The Fountain" is a load of crap. I haven't seen it, and I don't doubt you, but it's irrelevant. I'd sit through a double feature of HOWARD THE DUCK and HUDSON HAWK if it meant a few hours looking at Hugh Jackman. If he'd just taken his damn shirt off, I'd have bought the DVD of VAN HELSING, and my God that was garbage!

Anonymous said...

I'm confused by the above comment. Hugh Jackman is in "Hudson Hawk" and "Howard the Duck?" Or would he be in the audience for this theoretical double feature (with his shirt off)?

Nice evisceration of Nancy Meyers, btw.

Anonymous said...

i thought REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, by aronofsky was very good. And PI was striking too.

I am really looking forward to knowing why ken thought the fountain was bad. I thought its some kind of love story that takes place in three different times? something about the power of love? something like that?

Rays profile said...

Question, looking ahead-

Given the success of "Borat," how many films about crazy foreigners will we see coming out next summer? You know there have to be some in the pipeline now.

DWACON: Michael Moore will rise from the grave in 2008 for the next election. Just wait.

david golbitz said...

Isn't Michael Moore's next documentary about the pharmaceutical companies? Or maybe the health care system. Or both. I think it's called Sicko. Supposed to be out sometime in '07.

And I'm definitely looking forward to Ken's review of The Fountain. There was a pretty good article about/interview with Aronofsky in the newest issue of Wired.

Incidentally, the "Dancin' Homer" episode of The Simpsons was on here late last week. I daresay it holds up quite well.

Anonymous said...

In other news, The Preston Sturges boxset comes out Nov. 21. Only $41 from Amazon.

It's somewhat scary I am looking forward to this more than any other movie this year.

Anonymous said...

Re Mel Gibson as lion food, it'd have to be a Jaguar or some other big South American cat, otherwise it wouldn't look like an accident.

PS. Shipping the Jewish African lion back to reserve as we speak.

Anonymous said...

I guess THE FOUNTAIN is no BECKER, huh?

deanareeno said...

I caught The Fountain at the Toronto International Film Festival, and I'm in complete disagreement with you on this.

It'll be an interesting discussion once you post your review.

lonestarr357 said...

THE HOLIDAY - Call me crazy, but I think it looks okay, if only for the fact that one of the characters is a film composer. Besides, you wanna talk 'date movies that make guys never want to see date movies'? Let's talk about movies where women trying to put one over on Matthew McCounaughey end up falling in love with him. At two movies strong, it's already a bonafide sub-genre.

THE FOUNTAIN - Saw the trailer. Wouldn't consider this the year's worst, but still, I went 'what the fudge is this even about?!' If it's not gonna make even a token attempt at coherence, why should I waste money on it?

Anonymous said...

I expected the Fountain to such. Requiem for a Dream sucked, Pi managed to be a little better.

He has little to say, but seems to think it's all Very Important Stuff.

And by the way, I expect Michael Moore's next film about the health care industry to kick all kinds of ass. Cry into your handkerchiefs, all of you repugnican scumbags out there.

Anonymous said...

Ken Rasak, learn to read carefully, noting ALL the words, and their meanings. I wrote "I'd sit through a double feature of HOWARD THE DUCK and HUDSON HAWK IF it meant a few hours looking at Hugh Jackman." The "IF" is essential. Since he is in neither picture, I won't, though I did unfortunately see HOWARD THE DUCK.
Perhaps you could use a refresher course on "Reading for Comprehension."

By Ken Levine said...

I look forward to posting my review when the movie opens, which I think is the 22nd. I'm sure I will take some heat in the comments section but completely stand by my assessment that it's the worst movie of the year, especially considering the price and calibre of cast.

lonestarr357 said...

And to the master, two things...

a) What's wrong with HUDSON HAWK? Honestly. It's nowhere near as bad as you've heard.

b) Hugh did go shirtless in VAN HELSING; toward the end before he wolfed out and fought Dracula. I can only assume that you walked out before then. Can't say I blame you.

Robert "kebernet" Cooper said...

a) What's wrong with HUDSON HAWK? Honestly. It's nowhere near as bad as you've heard.

Well, it is pretty horribly bad. Like USA Up All Night bad. Which isn't to say it is totally unwatchable, but you have to be pretty chemically altered.

Anonymous said...

Saw The Fountain tonight. I can't imagine disliking it if you have at least an ounce of heart. I hated Pi and wasn't crazy about Requiem, but I thought this was brilliant.

Incidentally, it's *35* million budget, not *$53* million. And even if it had been a $53 million budget - which it wasn't - I mean, what? There are about a billion pieces of comedy tripe released that cost more and don't even try to entertain, much less attempt to communicate some honest experience. Bitching about that seems beyond churlish.

It's not a faux-intellectual experience, and it wasn't trying to be. It's an emotional experience. Like Cronenberg's The Fly, the loss of a parent are all over this film. It's gorgeous and cathartic, and frankly, not for the cynical.

By Ken Levine said...

It's going to be such fun when I post my review on THE FOUNTAIN. People will love me or hate me. I'm glad you liked it, Ponderer. I sure wish I did. Instead I thought, "there's two hours of my life I'll never see again."

For the record, the movie cost $35 million PLUS $18 million just thrown away having to pay off Brad Pitt and his co-star, I think it was Cate Blanchett. Total: $53 million.

Anonymous said...

I'll be curious to read your review, Ken, and I look forward to the debate - that's one of the reasons that I think the film is successful in what it tried to achieve. Some are despising it, some are cherishing it, and that's part of what I think makes it a noble effort. Gimme this over The Santa Clause XIII: Frost Bites Back, anyday.

You are correct in terms of the money that was paid out when Pitt bailed. But everyone, including the studio, saw Aronfsky's stripped-down version as an entirely different project from the abandoned version, so I accept that definition. $35 mil is everything they had to play around with this time (not counting marketing, certainly).

At any rate, the version that Aronofsky shot is a model for economy, and deserves to be cheered for that alone. Anyone who can create all his outer space effects for $140,000 - and I thought they were quite beautiful and credible - has my jaw-dropping admiration.

MartiniCocoa said...

Actually, Breaking & Entering survives Jude Law's prettiness and implausible set up rather well.

And Vera Farmigna is fantastic in it.