Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter/Spring Movie Preview '09, Part 1

Previous Winter Movie Previews: 2008; 2007.

Movie: Bride Wars (Gary Winick)
High-Concept Synopsis: Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway play the bestest of friends -- both brides-to-be! -- whose friendship is so strong that they quickly become mortal enemies when their weddings are scheduled on the same day. Bitches be crazy for weddings, y'all!
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of traditional comedy fare for whom Made of Honor was a bit too cerebral. People who enjoyed Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married and haven't yet realized that this is her Norbit. Anyone who caught a glimpse of the delectable Bryan Greenberg in the trailer.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Kate Hudson fans, who feel the time for tough love is LONG overdue. Non-fans of director Winick, whose Tadpole and 13 Going on 30 were only the modest successes they were because of some film-salvaging performances. Non-fans of SNL fifth-wheel Casey Wilson, who co-scripted.
Why I'd See It: Well, exactly how many guns would be to my head? This looks AWFUL. And, just for some context, I saw 27 Dresses. And enjoyed it. January 9

Movie: The Unborn (David S. Goyer)
High-Concept Synopsis: The trailer kind of throws everything at you at once, but best I can figure: A woman (Odette Yustman) has to deal with a child ghost, a real-life creepy child, an exorcism, vestigial twins, horrifically contorted old men, and Gary Oldman.
Who Will Be Seeing It: People who were rightly freaked out by the barrage of images in said trailer. Fans of The Wire who might dig seeing Stringer Bell as an exorcist. Fans of hatchet-faced ab machine co-star Cam Gigandet.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: People fooled by the aesthetic into thinking this is yet another Asian horror remake (it's actually based on Goyer's original script). Folks for whom creepy kids are creepy-creepy, not fun-creepy. Pro Lifers pissed that this isn't a bio-pic.
Why I'd See It: This has a decent shot at being The Good January Horror movie. Goyer's resume is spotty but he's capable
January 9

Movie: Notorious (George Tillman Jr.)
High-Concept Synopsis: The life and times and death set up by Puff Daddy under mysterious circumstances of the Notorious B.I.G.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Biggie's fans. Audiences intrigued by what looks like smart casting (Angela Bassett as Voletta Wallace; Derek Luke as Puffy). Tupac.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: West Coast rap fans (...who fell into a coma in 1996 and just woke up). Duran Duran fans, provided they catch wise. Biggie.
Why I'd See It: The release date and lack of publicity might indicate a lack of quality, but maybe it's just more of the man keeping Biggie down. It's a hell of a story, I know that. January 16

Movie: Donkey Punch (Oliver Blackburn)
High-Concept Synopsis: Young, pretty Brits on holiday get rowdy on a yacht, until things go horrifically wrong.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of the "pretty young idiots get driven to horrific extremes" genre. Sharp-eyed horror fans who recognize star Julian Morris from the dumb-but-watchable-on-HBO Cry_Wolf. Anyone who reads the MPAA R rating "for a scene of strong sexual content involving an aberrant violent act."
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Opponents of strong sexual content involving aberrant violent acts. Folks not swayed by a cast full of anonymous Brits. Horror audiences wary of the fact that this is labeled a "thriller" and not "horror."
Why I'd See It: It sounds like a cross between The Ruins and Mean Creek, with a whole lot of explicit sex thrown in. ...Hey, sure, why not? January 23

Movie: Killshot (John Madden)
High-Concept Synopsis: Diane Lane and Thomas Jane are placed in the Witness Protection Program and end up on the run from hitman Mickey Rourke and his apprentice Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Rosario Dawson co-stars.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of director Madden (Shakespeare in Love; Captain Corelli's Mandolin). Fans of screenwriter Hossein Amini (The Wings of the Dove; The Four Feathers). Fans of source novelist Elmore Leonard (Jackie Brown; Out of Sight).
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Anyone who finds those three artists a bizarre and quite possibly unholy mix. Gambling types who figure Mickey Rourke can't keep this miracle pace up forever. Perceptive types who figure there must be a reason that a movie with this kind of talent is being dumped in late January.
Why I'd See It: Gotta love that cast, particularly Rourke and JGL. But seriously, John Madden directing Mickey Rourke in an Elmore Leonard adaptation? No wonder it probably stinks. January 23

Movie: Possession (Joel Bergvall, Simon Sandquist)
High-Concept Synopsis: Sarah Michelle Gellar's husband (nice guy) and his brother (not so much) get into a car accident. Bad brother (Lee Pace) wakes up thinking he's good brother. Is he possessed? Creepiness follows.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of cult TV shows, for whom SMG and Lee Pace are, like, prom king and queen. Fans of sexy supernatural thrillers. True believers who trust that this WILL get released in theatres after knocking around the release schedule for a year or so.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Fans of mainstream TV who think SMG is that girl from Scooby-Doo and Lee Pace looks a bit like their waiter at the Olive Garden. Sexy thriller fans dismayed by the PG-13 rating (will studios never learn??). Cynics who figure this will just get postponed a few more times before going direct-to-DVD.
Why I'd See It: Buffy! And the pie-maker! Seriously, two and a half minutes of Sexy Bad Seed Lee Pace in the trailer had my ticket punched. January 23

Movie: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (Patrick Tatapolous)
High-Concept Synopsis: More werewolves vs. vampires melodrama, set on a screen so dark you don't have a chance in hell of knowing what's going on anyway. Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman are out; Michael Sheen gets promoted to lead, joined by Rhona "Oh Hell" Mitra.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of the original two movies, who nonetheless figured they could have used an even shittier lead actress. Twilight fans, whose mania will likely cause them to seek out other crappy vampire movies. Whatever stereotypical group of people saw the other ones (I'm still kind of unsure what demographic made these movies hits).
Who Won't Be Seeing It: People who know better. People who have seen Rhona Mitra in anything. Bill Nighy fans who don't want to encourage the poor guy.
Why I'd See It: Ugh. How drunk am I and how attractive is the person who's asking me to go? January 23

Movie: The Class (Laurent Cantet)
High-Concept Synopsis: The Cannes winner about a public high-school classroom in contemporary France.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Anybody who saw the bracing, documentary-style trailer. Anybody who faithfully follows festival buzz. Anybody who's been following the stellar reviews. All signs point to GO for this one.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Francophobes. People who prefer their European movies to be lyrical costume dramas or paranoid descents into madness. Jai'me King, who thinks public school kids are whores (no offense).
Why I'd See It: The praise for this has been off the chain, but it wasn't until I saw the trailer that I began to really salivate for it. Here's hoping I can grab a screener and won’t have to wait until it's released theatrically. January 30


bstewart23 said...

Goyer's a guilty pleasure for me -- also, I want him to be my workout partner -- so The Unborn might get me to set aside my usual distaste for the cinema experience. Becoming more hardcore in my atheism doesn't assist in enjoying exorcismy movies, either, but I'm willing to give it a shot. Michael bay in the producer's seat certainly doesn't help, but Goyer's Blade Trinity was good, crackling, cheesy fun. Sign me up.

Jenn said...

I saw an add for The Unborn last night, and it looked CREEPY.

Remember when Halle Berry won the Oscar for Monster's Ball, and then, like, a month later Catwoman came out? I think Bride Wars is the Catwoman to Anne Hathaway's Rachel Getting Married. And Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is the Catwoman to Michael Sheen's Frost/Nixon. Both should be suitable embarrassed.

Jon said...

I've been slowly making my way through Entre les Murs, the book on which The Class is based, and I'll be damned if I can see how a movie could be made from it. But I haven't seen the trailer, and every review I have seen has been pretty ecstatic. Plus, I read an interview in French gay mag Tetu with Francois Begaudeau, who both wrote the book and plays the lead in the film, and he's kind of a charming cutie. So there's that.

"Lady" Bea said...

I'll have to watch the preview, because if there are any hints of Buffy and the Pie Maker making out? I'm THERE.

And dude, isn't "Killshot" REALLY old? Like it was made at least a year ago? I remember seeing a trailer for it somewhere (maybe on a dvd rental?) and thinking the cast looked decent and then NEVER HEARING OF IT AGAIN. I could be thinking of something else, but I usually remember my Joseph Gordon-Levitt accurately...

And "Bride Wars" looks absolutely appalling. I'm horrified at Anne Hathaway for choosing that role. ANNE! You were AMAZING in "Rachel Getting Married!!" What are you doing??!?!?! Get AWAY from Kate Hudson, EW!

adam k. said...

Despite how awful it looked, the Bride Wars trailer actually had me laughing at it by the end. I know, I know. Part of it was just laughing at Anne and Kate for being involved in this, but part of it was just me finding the absurdity of it all genuinely funny. I might check it out on Netflix next year, or on TBS or something.

I have to say, also, why does Kate Hudson get top billing over Anne? She's not alphabetically first. Is she supposed to be a bigger star or something? Cause that's bullshit. She hasn't made a good/memorable/successful movie in how long? Whereas Anne's been on such a roll from Princess to Brokeback to Prada to Rachel, with even her misfires like Get Smart and Becoming Jane making decent money and not being embarrassing.

Come to think of it, she's had such great taste in projects, I'm rather shocked she chose to do this Bride Wars thing.

Neel Mehta said...

Duran Duran fans, provided they catch wise.

Nice. Took me a few seconds; that one came out of nowhere.

Joe Reid said...

I thought about that top billing thing too. It's the curse of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. I figure the billing was in the contract, because if that movie is made this year, Anne totally gets top billing.