Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winter/Spring Movie Preview '09, Part 2

Previously: Part 1

Movie: Taken (Pierre Morel)
High-Concept Synopsis: Liam Neeson's daughter gets kidnapped, and he must use his ex-spy expertise to save her before she's sold into white slavery. Maggie Grace and mothereffin' Famke Janssen co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of Euro-style action thrillers. Folks who think Neeson missed his calling as a star of Euro-style action thrillers. Fans of MOTHEREFFIN' FAMKE JANSSEN.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: People who feel they've seen this kind of "This time...it's personal" story before. Lost fans still resentful of Maggie Grace's long-dead Shannon character. People who will end up totally overlooking the movie's depressingly generic title.
Why I'd See It: It seems like a perfectly acceptable way to kill a couple hours...on HBO. But there is that matter of mothereffin' Famke Janssen. January 30

Movie: The Uninvited (Thomas and Charles Guard)
High-Concept Synopsis: Emily Browning's dad (David Strathairn) marries Elizabeth Banks. Who is probably a killer. Oh, and the girl's dead mother's ghost is around too.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of the surprisingly vast wicked-stepmother genre. Fans of the unsurprisingly vast ghost-leads-you-to-ghost's-killer genre. People who found Emily Browning to be incredibly promising in that Lemony Snicket movie.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Audiences who are able to suss out the good January horror movies from...this. Elizabeth Banks fans who figure if they wait a week, she'll be in another movie and they won't have to see this one. Alanis fans disappointed this isn't an adaptation of her City of Angels song.
Why I'd See It: You guys, it looks so...dull. I spent the last two years hoping Emily Browning would get another movie so she could start kicking the shit out of Dakota Fanning's career, and I'm so disappointed that she emerged in this. January 30

Movie: He's Just Not That Into You (Ken Kwapis)
High-Concept Synopsis: A large, likeable (with a few glaring exceptions) cast fictionalizes the infamous dating "advice" book by basically doing an intertwined-stories singles-in-the-city story.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of the likeable people in the cast (Ginnifer Goodwin, Drew Barrymore, Bradley Cooper, Justin Long, Scarlett Johansson). Fans of the self-justifying "men are pigs, don't try to change them" source material. Non-fans of the source material who nonetheless were charmed by the trailer, perhaps in spite of themselves.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Non-fans of the less likeable people in the cast (Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Connolly, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Connelly, and Gretchen from Dawson's Creek). People annoyed at the repetition of seeing Affleck romancing another one of Brad Pitt's exes. People who are so over the film's played-out cliché of a title that they can't bear to speak it at a box office.
Why I'd See It: God help me, this whole project seemed absurd, but watching Ginnifer Goodwin and Justin Long being all cute with each other in the trailer...I don't know. I fully realize almost all of the actors I deemed "likeable" up there are wholly annoying to a good chunk of everyone else, so I don't expect anyone else to join me, but...I think I might see it. February 6

Movie: Coraline (Henry Selick)
High-Concept Synopsis: Neil Gaiman's children's novel is adapted in animated form. Secret doors and alternate worlds await in a story that sounds like it splits the difference between Alice in Wonderland and Pan's Labyrinth. Dakota Fanning voices the main character.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of Selick's (The Nightmare Before Christmas) distinctive brand of animation. Fans of Gaiman's distinctive brand of witty and whimsical British fantasy. Acolytes of the demon Dakota Fanning.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Tim Burton, white-hot with rage that Selick isn't bringing one of HIS visions to the screen this time. Audiences frustrated that Teri Hatcher is sullying such an otherwise stellar voice cast (Jennifer Saunders, Ian McShane, Keith David). Catholic priests from a secret department in the bowels of the Vatican who will be too busy laying out their crucifixes and holy water in preparation for dealing with Dakota Fanning.
Why I'd See It: Love Neil Gaiman, love Henry Selick, and 80% of that voice cast really do have wonderfully expressive voices. Big expectations here. February 6

Movie: Fanboys (Kyle Newman)
High-Concept Synopsis: Jay Baruchel, Dan Fogler, Kristen Bell and some other dudes play dorks who go cross-country to steal a print of Star Wars: Episode I so their pal can see it before he dies.
Who Will Be Seeing It: The Ain't It Cool News crowd, for whom this was crafted to be a delicate handjob (not knowing what a handjob feels like, they will surely run screaming from theatres). Fans of the numerous geek properties being afforded cameos here (everything from Jay and Silent Bob to Happy Gilmore). People looking to feel superior to all of the above.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Star Wars fans for whom the Episode I PTSD is still too strong. Harvey Weinstein, who famously tried to edit out the cancer story and basically turn it into a Scary Movie-style spoof. Audiences allergic to fanboy culture.
Why I'd See It: The plot sounds a lot better than the movie the trailer suggests -- in fact it looks very much like the brainless string of pop culture references Harvey reportedly wanted. I'm curious, but I don't expect much. February 6

Movie: Push (Paul McGuigan)
High-Concept Synopsis: Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, and Camilla Belle are Americans in Hong Kong, and the government's after them for their extraordinary abilities. You guys, it's basically Wanted in Hong Kong. And with Dakota Fanning instead of Angelina Jolie.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Sickos who would have liked Wanted better with Dakota Fanning in place of Angelina Jolie. Perfectly acceptable human beings who would like to see Chris Evans being all actiony and hot. Fans of Hong Kong action, if that's even a genre anymore.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: People who weren't so crazy about Wanted the first time around. Non-fans of director McGuigan's Josh Hartnett oeuvre (Wicker Park; Lucky Number Slevin). Crazed Jonas Brothers fans angry at Camilla Belle for stealing the cute one away from them.
Why I'd See It: This looks like a perfectly acceptable silly action movie in February. Plus: Chris Evans! February 6

Movie: Confessions of a Shopaholic (P.J. Hogan)
High-Concept Synopsis: Isla Fisher plays the titular shopaholic who gets a job as a financial advice columnist to make ends meet. Hugh Dancy, Joan Cusack, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Leslie Bibb co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead and Straight Talk, the two movies that, when blended together with the essence of Carrie Bradshaw, yield this movie. People happy to see Isla Fisher get her first chance to carry a movie. Muriel's Wedding fans who vowed to follow director P.J. Hogan anywhere. Anywhere.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Recession-crushed peasants maybe not so willing to see a movie about the life-affirming joys of consumption. Imagination-deprived souls who found the plot to Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead to be farfetched. Muriel's Wedding fans who vowed to follow P.J. Hogan anywhere ... except to generic-looking chick-lit adaptations.
Why I'd See It: I like Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy quite a bit. The premise seems thin enough to let it slide to Netflix, though. February 13

Movie: Two Lovers (James Gray)
High-Concept Synopsis: Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow star in a romantic drama about family and love and Brooklyn and what have you. Vinessa Shaw and Isabella Rossellini co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of The Yards and We Own the Night, the previous two Gray/Phoenix collaborations. Fans of the old-fashioned story -- Joaquin falls for Gwyneth even though he's dating Shaw and she's living in an apartment paid for by another man. Because everything 1966 is new again! Joaquin's fans hoping they can convince him to keep acting now that he's apparently decided to retire.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Fans of The Yards and We Own the Night who were only in it for Mark Wahlberg. Joaquin fans betrayed by the retirement announcement. Anybody who has ever heard of GOOP.
Why I'd See It: February ain't no time for thoughtful nomantic drama! Something's gotta be wrong here. February 13

Movie: Friday the 13th (Marcus Nispel)
High-Concept Synopsis: Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch...ah-ah-ah-ah-ah. All over again.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Horror fans who grew up on the original slasher flicks. Horror fans who look down on the original series and hope this can improve upon it. Deformed, teen-hating monsters.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Snobs. Wimps. Horny teenagers who don't have time to be looking after mentally challenged campers much less see a movie.
Why I'd See It: The formula is a winner, the teenagers are plentiful, and the Valentine's Day programming is pretty delicious. February 13


J.D. said...


That's it, I'm freaking seeing it.

Neel Mehta said...

You made me wanna check out the full cast of He's Just Not That Into You. Damn. Natasha Leggero alone makes me want to see it.

The Bloody Munchkin said...

What's so wrong with Famke Mothereffing Janssen? Did I miss a memo? Did she piss in a long standing member of the velvet mafia's lunchbox and nobody told me? Was it that really bad movie with Owen Wilson and Eddie Murphy (I Spy?)that just sent people over the edge? I mean, I know parenthood has thrown me seriously out of the loop, but am I missing something?

Joe Reid said...

Ohhh, I think I've been unclear. When I say "Famke Mothereffing Janssen," I say it like people used to say, like, "Guns N Fucking Roses!" I looooove her. Please don't think I mean it in any other way.

Jenn said...

You can add to the list of those who won't be seeing The Uninvited "people who mistook Emily Browning for Demi Lovato in the commercials."

patty m. said...

Your "Who Will Be Seeing It" description of He's Just Not That Into You has done more to intrigue me than the trailer did. Oh, Joe -- You'll get the credit or the blame for this one!

par3182 said...

your likeable/less likeable people lists in he's just not.. match mine exactly. however i just saw a repeat of the sex & the city episode that covered the topic in 30 minutes, so i figure that's enough reason to skip the movie (and, let's face it, all the other movies on this list too)

Danny said...

Since when are Jennifer Garner and Jennifer Connelly unlikeable? :(

Joe Reid said...

I didn't say Jennifer Garner was unlikeable, did I? God, there's no way I said that.

Brooke Cloudbuster said...

I wish James Gray would make movies without Joaquin Phoenix. He is seriously the most offputting actor I've seen on screen.

Danny said...

Nevermind, I'm an idiot. I don't know how I got Garner from Aniston (maybe it was seeing a Jennifer so close to an Affleck?), but there you go.

Christopher said...

FAMKE MOTHERFUCKING JANSSEN (who I agree, awesome) or not, Taken is a disgusting, racist, misogynist hunk of crap. You owe it to your soul not to see it.

Admiral Neck said...

More Chris Evans love warms my soul. Why is he not a bigger star by now? Will my endless, pointless whining about it change things? I sure hope so.

The Bloody Munchkin said...

Sorry to misunderstand Joe. Somehow, I figured you were pro Famke, but in my reading of it, I figured you were anti-Famke. Thanks for clearing that up....