November 21, 2009

Movies Opening This Week: Taylor Lautner. Nuff said.

Doing this post has been the last thing on my mind for the past few weeks, but I'm gonna make up for it this time by actually just covering all the movies that just got released last week, in addition to the ones that are about to be released.

Oh, and I just want to flame on...

New Moon
Summit Entertainment's vampiric juggernaut of a franchise makes a return a year after its debut, but this time, it's obviously drawing more people (its midnight run overshadowed Dark Knight and Harry Potter) but it could most likely be attributed to one thing: Taylor Lautner. You know, that dude from the utterly despicable The Covenant? Only buffer? Yeah, he's so buff it's enough to draw in the gals into the theater without having to know any of the mythos (Twilight has mythos?) of the quadrilogy of books that spawned this piece-of-crap film. Hell, he's so buff it's enough to derail Robert Pattinson's spotlight just because his scrawny, sickly torso fails to match the almost weirdly sudden growth of physique in the "native American".

The trailer itself makes it clear that the film is not going to be viewable without at least watching the first movie. While the action sequences and special effects look improved, I still can't say that I'm itching to watch it. I might watch the actual movie saga someday out of curiosity, but that'll have to take long.

Enough about vampires though, why don't we talk about ninjas or assassins?

Or both?

Ninja Assassin
The Wachowski Brothers have a pretty spotty record as far as movies go. They pretty much gained worldwide acclaim with a sci-fi classic, the original Matrix, followed it up with the passable sequel and ended it with a pretty crappy 3rd act. In between, there was V for Vendetta which I actually liked, and in '07 there was Speed Racer which was more of an LSD trip than anything. What does this have to do with anything, you ask?

Korean singer-actor Rain has a role in Speed Racer, but the brothers apparently saw some potential in the man. Now they spawn a love-child: Ninja Assassin. Product of multitudes of Asian stereotypes? I think so.

So... yeah, let's see now. A guy called Raizo is a special killer of a gang but he's betrayed by the gang so he swears revenge. Not really new, but the selling point over here will probably be the action and knowing the history of the directors, there's probably gonna be a lot of bullet-time too. It's strikingly fake-looking in the trailer though... but I'll reserve any more judgment until I see this film.

But you know what else isn't new?

Old Dogs
Disney's follow-up to the startling hit Wild Hogs has John Travolta and Robin Williams starring as, what else, middle-aged men who are buddies.

Williams' character, Dan, is a man who doesn't seem to have a wife so he's not great with kids while Travolta's character, Charlie, well, I'm not sure about his role in the movie. The buddy, I guess.

Plot comes in to test the friendship when Vicki comes along to see Dan. And now she has kids-- his kids.

A screenplay that somewhat resembles Daddy Day Care ensues. Dan has to take care of the kids for a while while Charlie is gonna... be the uncle, I suppose. The two, along with some other guy, go through misadventures that simply has hilarity written all over them. Heh heh heh heh... not.

But wait a sec, BERNIE MAC is in there? When did they shoot this movie?

Dangit, I'm lingering on this movie for too long. Why don't we just get on to a different animal?

The Princess and the Frog
Considered a return to basics for Disney, the legendary animation style that this new release possesses is not without its new-age flourishes, and what I mean by new age is the fact that it's the first Disney movie to ever feature an African-American princess. And you know what, it's kinda promising.

It's basically a twist on the story of the Frog Princess. Kiss the frog, frog becomes human, happily ever after. But not in this movie, this time, the princess who kisses the frog becomes a frog as well (reminds me of Shrek 2, for some strange reason) and they track down the cure so they can become human again. Oddly enough, I'm fascinated as to how the new movie will delve into more of the "wizard's" backstory since nobody has never really known much about how the prince became a frog in the first place.

Pleasantly expecting a classically good time, even though I don't expect it to match the quality of past Disney 2D flicks.

So okay, since we're technically on the topic of African-American's, why don't I just end this bad segueway right here and just talk about Sandra Bullock's 3rd major starrer of the year:

The Blind Side
You know what this movie just reeks of? Oscar bait.

Still, it's probably what Sandra Bullock needs right now, especially after a disaster we shall not name.

It's the true story of African-American football player Michael Oher who comes from a broken family and adopted by the thickly Southern Touhy family. Not excited, but I don't think it's crappy either. Time will tell although it's enjoying some rave reviews right now.

But how about a movie that I'm sure will garner a lot of rave reviews?

The Road
Starring Viggo Mortesen and Charlize Theron, The Road is a thriller by author Cormac McCarthy that's set in post-apocalyptic America. It's like Fallout, so to speak, but this time, it's more thrilling, more realistic and more grounded.

Frankly, I think this is a movie to watch. The trailer is darn convincing, and it's been getting some rave reviews all around. Will it win an Oscar like another Cormac McCarthy adaptation No Country For Old Men?

No, but it's looking damn close.

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