January 2, 2010

Movies Opening This Week: Insert Pun Here

Now that we're going inside 2010, the first quarter of the month is usually the "movie lull", but despite that, the Metro Manila Film Festival is exactly the thing that pushes several movies into delayed release, and this post pretty much talks about these releases, most especially in a high profile sort of way:

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

Sickening? Well, that's a bit of an understatement.

Apparently, the first Chipmunks live action movie was profitable enough to warrant a sequel, and instead of fixing everything that was wrong about it, it screws up just about everything that was right about it. I mean, the chipmunks temporarily retire from the biz and actually go to school. That premise is just half-cooked enough to be considered worse than the first one, and even the trailer proves this. And seriously, a blonde girl falling in love with Alvin's charm? I might get arrested for this, but she seriously needs to get laid.

If anything, the only "redeeming" factor the movie probably has is the predictable addition of the nostalgia-inducing Chipettes, who are the female rivals (and future girlfriends, I think) of the original three rodents. You could always skip this movie, but the kiddies will beg you to watch with them, so the only thing you can do is sigh.

Sherlock Holmes
So listen to this: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams. How do these names sound to you? Pretty stellar, right? But what would happen if I added the name Guy Ritchie into this series? What would you think?

Me, I would think of Madonna.

But judging from the trailer, I'd say that those days of crap movies are long gone, and Ritchie is on his way to getting back to his prime, and while the reviews say "Not just yet", I think he'll get better as he makes more films. And he'll probably need actors with the charisma of Downey to help.

So yes, as you may think, I am of the opinion that this Ritchie movie may be the most fun yet, but the thing that makes it worth watching would actually have to be Downey's performance as a rebooted version of the legendary Arthur Conan Doyle character, Sherlock Holmes. Elementary, my dear, it's also gotta have Watson, played by Jude Law.

Basically, a guy named Lord Blackwood has "risen from the grave" to commit more crimes, and it's up to Sherlock and Watson to stop him once again. I'm willing to watch this in the theater, as it looks like a ton of fun, but I'm still hesitant to agree as to whether it will actually be as good as others say it to be.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Also a movie where the actor is the cause for the box office returns, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is Terry Gilliam's latest film which stars recently deceased Heath Ledger, but replaced by a slew of other actors like Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law to "represent other time periods".

Obviously, the work will look as whimsical as Gilliam's other films, and the story will also be one of fantasy: Dr. Parnassus makes a deal with the devil to become immortal, and the catch is, when his daughter becomes 16, the devil will come and get her. Well, this is one quest that will break the time-space continuum, obviously, so maybe the trippy visuals alone are worth the price of admission.

It's Complicated
There really isn't anything new about It's Complicated (nor is it really that complicated), but it has a really solid cast that kinda pulls me in. The story, however, just pulls me out in the sense that it just seems to lack imagination.

So the story involves a divorced couple consisting of a guy named Jake and a girl named Jane. Jake starts think that his new wife is actually not the one he really wanted, so he starts to fall in love with Jane all over again. However, Jane, legally single as she is, is also liking her friend Adam, so obviously, she'll have to pick one of them.

Meryl Streep is getting Oscar buzz for this actually, but for the first time ever, I don't really see anything award-worthy in her performance at all. Maybe I was influenced too much by the /Filmcast, but I don't really see anything special in this run-of-the-mill rom-com.

Leap Year
Also nothing to note about (except, well, Amy Adams and its semi-high-concept premise), Leap Year is another rom-com about a woman seeking to get married to a man she thinks she really loves, but the only way she can propose to him (wow, it's like we're back in the 50's all over again), is by going to Dublin and proposing to her man in the 29th of February, since it's the leap year.

But again, the whole movie is spoiled in this trailer, so the only "mystery" left in place, if there really was any, is which guy will Amy Adams want to marry. Of course, we already know who, it's that Irish guy.

I just broke the day of Amy Adams fans.

Did You Hear About the Morgans?
Let's not just stop at that, let's keep the rom-com ball rolling with this Hugh Grant-Sarah Jessica Parker vehicle.

Apparently, the situation involves a divorced couple who are forced to relocate and live together in rural Wyoming as part of the witness protection program (because they, like, witnessed a murder). So yes, as any fish-out-of-water comedy must have, they are required to adjust to a new lifestyle. And of course, they find that spark between them again and live happily ever after.

All without anyone really caring, I mean, there's not much chemistry between them, and I just really don't like Sarah Jessica Parker in general.

To the trailer's credit though, there are some pretty humorous one-liners present within, but like with any comedy trailer, take it with a grain of salt.

Youth In Revolt
A departure from those three rom-com's, Youth In Revolt is a teen romance flick that's quite darker than meets the eye.

Basically, king of awkward dudes Michael Cera is surprisingly making a little bit of a departure from usual self, by making an attempt to expand his range and play a much different persona than the one he has come to be associated with. To get the girl, he must become a different person, and this alter ego is a bit like an "evil" version who, like the title suggests, is rebellious.

So OK, another vampire movie. How much more jaded can Hollywood make me?

Wait a sec... this actually looks pretty cool.

Spinning a bit of a new twist on the vampire "lore", the fictional world presented in this vision of civilization is one dominated by vampires, and the only humans left are farmed for blood. However, the humans are running out, and the vampires have no blood left to drink. What to do?

It's surprisingly garnering some really good early reviews, but who knows if it'll last? Frankly, with that said, I'm still a bit skeptical. What if it'll end up like... I don't know, Resident Evil or something? At least, that's a bit of the vibe I'm getting.

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant
After the success of Twilight and the rejuvenation of the vampire trend, why not, I guess?

Yet another adaptation of a book series, The Vampire's Assistant tells the story of a teen who wants to get out of his boring life so he goes to the Cirque du Freak with a friend and, well, I guess he dies and becomes a vampire.

And the rest, as they say, is just as boring.

Yeah, you can tell that I'm not a big fan of the trailer, and that's because the movie probably wants you to take it seriously, but just casting John C. Reilly makes everything crash into bits and pieces- this comedian is never a good choice to play a serious character. And it just shows.

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