Sunday, November 09, 2008

Holiday Movie Preview: Part I

Standard themes dominate this holiday season: World War II and retro R&B acts.
QUANTUM OF SOLACE – Bond is back! And it’s Daniel Craig, the good Bond! Resumes the story an hour after CASINO ROYALE ended. Even 007 needs some alone time for “002”.

FOUR CHRISTMASES – Every Xmas Hollywood trots out at least five ghastly formula high concept hijinks holiday movies. This is four of them.

AUSTRALIA – World War II era romantic western. Similar to “The Man Who Shot Heinrich Himmler”.

BOY IN STRIPED PAJAMAS – Children's story set in a concentration camp. Suddenly a WWII romantic western doesn’t seem so weird, does it?

ROLE MODELS – Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott. “Hey Dude, Where’s my Big Brother?” Receiving good buzz. Enjoy before this Apatow fad completely wears out its welcome... in about another five weeks.

MILK – Sean Penn as gay SF politician Harvey Milk who was assassinated. Brokeback Metro.

TWILIGHT – Stephanie Meyer’s wildly popular vampire novel comes to the silver screen. Over-critical average girl has issues with her super hot boyfriend just because he happens to drink blood. Yeah, like she's perfect.

SOUL MEN – When director Malcolm Lee set out to do this R&B buddy comedy he didn’t figure on two of his stars (Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes) dying shortly after principle photography. That sort of takes a little of the fun out. But I want to see it anyway.

NOTHING LIKE THE HOLIDAYS – starring America’s next great screen couple – Freddy Rodriguez and Debra Messing.

BOLT – Disney/Pixar animated tale of dog who thinks he’s a superhero. Lots of creative upheaval during production. Big fights over pigeon design. That can’t be a good sign.

REPOI THE GENETIC OPERA – Two words: Paris Hilton. One word: RUN!!!

THE DUKES – two washed-up Doo Wop singers. SOUL MEN but the cast survives.

VALKERIE – The Tom Cruise World War II saga that no one will go to see. He tries to kill Hitler. Ever if he had succeeded in real life, that still wouldn’t be enough to salvage his reputation.

JCVD – Bank robbery. Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself. But can he be convincing?

SEVEN POUNDS – Will Smith helps seven people and the audience is not supposed to know why until the end. But everyone knows why – to win an Oscar.

WENDY AND LUCY – Michelle Williams takes on the acting challenge of her career – playing a character wearing no make-up!

CHE – Steven Soderbergh’s four hour biopic of Che Guevara. And if that doesn’t get you racing into the theater, it’s all in Spanish!

The conclusion tomorrow.


Tallulah Morehead said...

"Resumes the story an hour after CASINO ROYALE ended."

Judging from how he looks in the ads and clips, he spent that hour at the gym.

AUSTRALIA. Will it be projected upside down?

"REPOI THE GENETIC OPERA" Best title ever.

The real problem with VALKERIE is that there's a danger one will end up rooting for Hitler.

"Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself. But can he be convincing?"

No. He's outside his range. His range is very narrow - nano-narrow.

CHE. I was going to say, "Didn't I see this movie already, back in 1969, starring Omar Sharif?", but I looked it up on the IMDb. That movie was CHE! This one is merely CHE. I guess this time it's not exciting enough for an exclamation mark.

I'd rather see ZSA, a four hour epic about Zsa Zsa Gabor (2 husbands per hour), in Hungarian.

Cezar said...

These previews are always great. Thanks Ken

TCinLA said...

Actually, the buzz on "Milk" is good. I hope so. I first met Harvey Milk when, on a whim, I walked into his camera shop on Castro Street back in 1969 (back then "The Castro" was not as it became 5 years later). A nice, very knowledgeable photography nut, who over the next couple of years provided much of the knowledge I went on to use as a professional photographer. And then as I was involved in SF politics, it was fascinating to watch this guy go out and practically create the San Francisco gay political establishment.

And the other guy who was killed that day, George Mscone, was possibly the best politican and human being it was ever my privilege to know. Had that terrible event not happened, I think a helluva lot more people would have known that.

Of all the movies being released this holiday season, this one I have hope for.

Bryan said...

I don't think Bolt is Pixar-related.... otherwise it would be, you know, good to fantastic.

Unknown said...

Nicely played, tallulah! I usually cringe at commentors' attempts at being funnier than Ken, but I have to give it up for you. Good stuff. Unless you're really just Ken commenting on his own stuff...

By Ken Levine said...

Alas, I am not Tallulah. But her comments are often funnier than mine. And I love her for it.

Anonymous said...

NOTHING LIKE THE HOLIDAYS – starring America’s next great screen couple – Freddy Rodriguez and Debra Messing.

And yet another "crying-laughing-arguing family drama," where so obviously miscast actors as family members gather together for a holiday and the screenwriter expects the sparks to naturally fly just from the premise without making any real effort.

Unfortunately, I saw the trailer while at the Moreno Valley Mall (not far from the starting line to Palm Springs) where the Harkins Theatre location there has an actual projector playing trailers on a screen near the snack bar.

Tallulah Morehead said...

I never attempt to be funnier than Ken. I just toss in my two cents from my own perspective, as do numerous others, sharing what thoughts crossed my alleged mind as I read his comments, and then have a cocktail. Sometimes I have the cocktail first.

Cheers darling.

Anonymous said...

One thing about AUSTRALIA, you can rest assured Hugh Jackman's character doesn't die in the end.,26278,24621518-7485,00.html

I ask you, where is the integrity?

VP81955 said...

CHE. I was going to say, "Didn't I see this movie already, back in 1969, starring Omar Sharif?", but I looked it up on the IMDb. That movie was CHE! This one is merely CHE. I guess this time it's not exciting enough for an exclamation mark.

And we should have a non-Jack Palance portrayal of Fidel Castro, too, unless Industrial Light and Magic was employed to "revive" his character from the Sharif film. (Jack Palance?)

Emily Blake said...

I think JCVD is going to be the best movie of THE EVER.

You'll see.

Anonymous said...

Nothing Like The Holidays - John Leguizamo is playing Debra Messing's husband. Did you mean him or the brother-in-law character played by Freddy Rodriguez?

Anonymous said...

As we were watching the last Bond movie my mom kept commenting how Daniel Craig was ugly. Just proves that not every woman thinks he's the greatest.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Dear Steven,

I am so sorry to hear your mother has gone blind. My deepest condolences.


(My word verification letters are "mantail". How overwhelmingly appropo!)

Tim W. said...

I saw Role Models on the weekend and I was very pleasantly surprised. Very funny and a nice story. Paul Rudd is my hero because his sense of humour is pretty much exactly mine. Oh, and Apatow had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

It is true that Judd Apatow had nothing to do directly with the making of ROLE MODELS, but when a film is made by his cronies, like Paul Rudd among others, in a blatant imitation of Apatow's films, it is not incorrect to note that it is riding the "Apatow fad".

If there were no Judd Apatow, ROLE MODELS would not have come into existence.

Cap'n Bob said...

Still no feedback on James Murdock. Really, do any of you Tinseltown insiders know anything about him? Any help would be appreciated.

And I loved the post, Ken, as usual. If I were to see a movie in which Tom "Smirking Dwarf" Cruise was trying to kill Hitler, I'd be in Der Fuhrer's corner.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of stating the obvious... The Che synopsis sounds suspiciously like Escobar bio pic. Does Adrian Grenier play Che?

Anonymous said...

Are these actors that can actually speak spanish on CHE, or is it like that episode of Alias that was about Sydney's sister's childhood, which was all in "spanish", and I had to read the subtitles? (spanish being not only my first language, I'm also from the same country as Sydney's sister, and Che Guevara).

Anonymous said...

Does Adrian Grenier play Che?

Benicio del Toro.

(Today's verification word is "peative," for those who are creative while in the bathroom)

Anonymous said...

cap'n bob: It's not much, but you might check out the "What Happened?" thread on Murdock's imdb page, if you haven't already. A poster there offers a little info about Murdock without noting any sources, so it could all be speculation or just made up.

In another thread, Sheb Woolley's widow asks for info on Murdock, but her post is dated over a year ago, and there was no reply.

Cap'n Bob said...

Thanks, jbryant. I think I have seen that, but I'll check again. I asked Sheb's widow about Murdock but never got a reply. Maybe she's forwarding my question.

Word Verification: micesses. As it I hate those micesses to pieces?

Trudy Solish said...

Ken-- This is a test to see if I have my mother up and running so she can reply. She's an avid reader. Jon Solish