Wednesday, August 27, 2008

FILM: New in Theaters - 8/29/08


…killer action scenes, then I’d suggest the sci-fi thriller Babylon A.D.
Director: Mathieu Kassovitz’s (Gothika)
Screenwriter: Adapted from Maurice G. Dantec’s novel by French screenwriter Eric Besnard
Leads: Vin Deisel, Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and 27-year-old French newcomer Melanie Thierry
Supporting Cast: Gerard Depardieu and Mark Strong (Stardust)
Main Attraction: A mercenary is hired to protect a mysterious woman who is carrying a synthetic virus in her system that could destroy mankind. Think of it as The Fifth Element with less humor.
Insider Notes: David Belle (District B13) trained Vin Deisel and Yeoh in parkour, the increasingly popular form of combat, for many of their action scenes.
Verdict: Foreign-produced action films are becoming widely accepted as we witnessed this summer with Russian director Timur Bekmambetov’s Wanted, so I have high hopes for this one.

…for an unexpected spy thriller, then I’d suggest Traitor.
Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Screenwriter: Jeffrey Nachmanoff (The Day After Tomorrow)
Leads: Don Cheadle, Jeff Daniels (Dumb & Dumberer), and Guy Pearce
Supporting Cast: Neal McDonough (88 Minutes), Said Taghmaoui (Vantage Point), and Archie Panjabi (A Mighty Heart)
Main Attraction: An FBI agent (Pearce) must unravel a conspiracy that pegs a former special ops officer (Cheadle)--with strong ties to Afghan rebels in the Middle East--as his prime suspect, until he gets tangled in all of the facts and is forced to delve deeper to find the truth.
Insider Notes: Steve Martin thought of this idea while filming Bringing Down the House.
Verdict: I’ve never thought of Cheadle as the Bourne-type, but the mystery does intrigue me a bit.

…for an R-rated teen comedy, then I’d suggest College.
Director: Deb Hagan
Screenwriter(s): Dan Callahan (Pathology) and Adam Ellison
Leads: Drake Bell, Andrew Caldwell (Drillbit Taylor), Kevin Covais (“American Idol”)
Supporting Cast: Ryan Pinkston (“Quintuplets” and Full of It), Haley Bennett (Music and Lyrics), Camille Mana (“One on One”), Nick Zano (“What I Like About You”), and Alona Tal (“Cane” & “Supernatural”)
Main Attraction: Three high school seniors visit a college for the weekend to soak up the “academic” atmosphere and get a little preview of the life they’ll enjoy for the next four years. Of course, since they’re seniors, frat guys treat them like slaves and the female population treats them like lepers. Think of it as if the geeks in Revenge of the Nerds were visiting their college instead of already enrolled in it.
Insider Notes: Bell used to be a Nickelodeon cash cow, milking his good looks and budding music career for all it was worth. Unfortunately, his lasting power wasn’t as potent as his former co-stars, who’ve moved onto bigger (Miranda Cosgrove in “iCarly”) and critically-praised ventures (Josh Peck in The Wackness). Less than a year after he wrapped up the last episode of “Drake & Josh,” he’s not only signed on for two TV movies based on the show and a straight-to-video sequel to Jerry Lewis’version of The Nutty Professor, but he’s stuck in this movie with D-list actors and amateurs running the show.
Verdict: Since it’s been branded a Superbad-clone, it’s likely to suffer like a pledge during Greek-week.

…for crap wrapped in elephant dung, then I’d suggest Disaster Movie.
Director: Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the boys behind nearly every spoof film of this decade
Screenwriter(s): Friedberg and Seltzer
Leads: Matt Lanter (The Cutting Edge 3: Chasing the Dream), Nicole Parker (“MADtv”), Crista Flanagan (“Mad Men” & “MADtv”), and G. Thang (“In Case of the Emergency”)
Supporting Cast: Carmen Electra, Vanessa Minnillo (“TRL”), Kimberly Kardashian (…her sex tape), and Ike Barinholtz (“MADtv” and Meet the Spartans)
Main Attraction: “Over the course of one evening, an unsuspecting group of twenty-somethings find themselves bombarded by a series of natural disasters and catastrophic events.”
Insider Notes: While this genre has overstayed its welcome, at least it's given skit stars from “MADtv” and “SNL” somewhere to start their feature film careers.
Verdict: Somehow these films keep getting green-lit for big screen productions instead of shoved on the video store shelves where they belong.

…for an indie family drama, then I’d suggest Ballet Shoes.
Director: Sandra Goldbacher
Screenwriter: Brit Heidi Thomas adapts Noel Streatfeild’s novel
Leads: Emma Watson (Harry Potter), Yasmin Paige (“The Sarah Jane Adventures”), and Lucy Boynton (Miss Potter)
Supporting Cast: Eileen Atkins (What a Girl Wants), Emilia Fox (The Pianist), Marc Warren (“Hustle”), and Richard Griffiths (The History Boys)
Main Attraction: Three orphans are adopted by an eccentric explorer and his niece during the 1930s and are given the opportunity to join a prestigious ballet school. Through their lessons, they learn about themselves and about life.
Insider Notes: It’s the first of three new non-Potter films that Watson has signed on for. Here, she changes it up a bit, acting alongside a female-centric cast for once. Then she’ll diversify her resume with voice-over cred in the animated Tale of Despereaux and officially declare her mature age when she stars in the romantic drama Napoleon and Betsy.
Verdict: If you’re into period pieces and ballet, then you just might enjoy this.

No comments:

Post a Comment