Monday, February 16, 2009

Winter/Spring Movie Preview '09: Part 3

Previously: Part 1, Part 2.

Movie: Crossing Over (Wayne Kramer)
High-Concept Synopsis: Multiple character immigration drama, with Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, and Ashley Judd.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Audiences who think the premise and trailer are reminiscent of the Oscar-winning Traffic. Harrison Ford fans eager for him to start actually acting again. Fans of Kramer's previous work, the respected-but-dull The Cooler and the not-respected-but-awesome Running Scared.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Audiences who think the premise and trailer are reminiscent of the Oscar-winning Crash. Sean Penn fans who have heard that his scenes were cut from the film after he disagreed with the film's political stance. Territorial fans of psychic John Edwards.
Why I'd See It: The production has been awfully beleaguered, with not just the Sean Penn thing but a Harvey Scissorhands editing flap, delayed release date, and now getting dumped into February without so much as an ad campaign. I am officially dubious. February 20

Movie: Fired Up (Will Gluck)
High-Concept Synopsis: Eric Christian Olsen and Nicholas D'Agosto eschew football camp for cheerleading camp. The better to score with chicks, is the idea.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Audiences hoping for nothing more than a dumb high-school sex comedy. Fans of the not-unpleasant looking Olsen and D'Agosto. Fans of Gluck's past work on ill-fated TV shows like "Grosse Pointe," "The Loop," and "Andy Richter Controls the Universe."
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Fans of dumb high-school sex comedies who think this looks like a particularly low-rent one. People who liked Bring It On but think it worked just fine without guys trying to trick women into having sex with them. Non-fans of "90210" anti-actress AnnaLynne McCord.
Why I'd See It: If I did, it'd be solely on the cuteness potential of Nick D'Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen -- it's prime fodder for Sarah's Crushed Film Festival, no doubt. But the whole thing seems like it could easily fall into obnoxiousness. Probably an HBO pick. February 20

Movie: Watchmen (Zack Snyder)
High-Concept Synopsis: The world's most respected graphic novel gets its long-awaited big-screen treatment.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of Alan Moore's book who aren't too loyal to him to overlook the fact that he doesn't approve of the movie at all. Zack Snyder fans who like the way he adapts beloved material (Dawn of the Dead) and graphic novels (300). Big, blue, naked, atomic guy fetishists.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Fanboys who end up hit by cars or falling down wells on opening day. Alan Moore. Fans of the book who are petrified that the movie will end up falling short of the book's glory.
Why I'd See It: There's almost no way the movie won't fall short of the book's glory; tempered expectations are everyone's friend in this situation. I'm still crazy silly excited to see this story finally realized onscreen. March 6

Movie: The Horsemen (Jonas Akerlund)
High-Concept Synopsis: Dennis Quaid investigates a series of murders linked to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Zhang Ziyi, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Patrick Fugit co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Horror fans who were too late for their desired screening of Watchmen. Fans of Akerlund's music-video oeuvre. Audiences attracted to the R rating for "grisly and disturbing content."
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Religious Christians and Ric Flair fans annoyed at the appropriation of the Four Horsemen. Non-fans of Akerlund's feature film oeuvre (Spun?). Neal McDonagh, whose role was apparently cut from the film.
Why I'd See It: Given the genre, the lack of fanfare isn't a deal-breaker. Grisly and disturbing content sounds like a winner, though. March 6

Movie: Sunshine Cleaning (Christine Jeffs)
High-Concept Synopsis: Amy Adams is a single mom who starts a crime-scene cleanup service with her flaky sister (Emily Blunt). Alan Arkin, Steve Zahn, and Clifton Collins Jr. co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of indie family comedies (people keep comparing this to Little Miss Sunshine, but I think that's just lazy thinking and adding up Arkin and the word "Sunshine"). Fans of what appears to be some sparkling chemistry between Adams and Blunt in the trailer. Recession victims looking for interesting job ideas.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Audiences who scorn indie comedies that share titular words in common with Little Miss Sunshine. People who think the families-making-ends-meet-via-unorthodox-careers stories are best left to cable TV series. People who only enjoy Adams playing squeaky little cherubs.
Why I'd See It: I'd been following the buzz on this since Sundance 2008, and while the year-plus delay in releasing this is a bit of a concern, but the trailer suggests something good. March 13

Movie: A Perfect Getaway (David Twohy)
High-Concept Synopsis: A pair of killers (Timothy Olyphant, Kiele Sanchez) stalk a honeymooning couple (Steve Zahn; Milla Jovovich) in Hawaii.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of Kalifornia and other crazy-couple-terrorize-other-couple thrillers. Fans of director Twohy's filmography (Pitch Black, Below, The Arrival), which is either awful or underrated, depending on who you talk to. Timothy Olyphant and/or Milla Jovovich fans hoping the Hawaiian setting will inspire the eschewing of essential articles of clothing.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: People who think the idea of a Poor Man's Kalifornia sounds pretty awful. People who don't buy Olyphant or Sanchez as nearly scary enough to get the job done. People who enjoy Hawaii and would like to be able to look at it without all the chasing and screaming.
Why I'd See It: Twohy's interesting at the very least, and I'm more sympathetic to this cast than most. Scary/stalky Timothy Olyphant! I'm in. March 13

Movie: Race to Witch Mountain (Andy Fickman)
High-Concept Synopsis: Cab driver The Rock ("Dwayne Johnson," officially, but come on) and astrophysicist Carla Gugino help a superpowered sibling duo escape bad guys. And, one assumes, they all race to Witch Mountain.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of the original Disney movie Escape to Witch Mountain. Fans of The Rock but only when he does kid movies (call them the Kindergarten Coppers). Parents and children who opt not to see Last House on the Left.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Overly loyal fans of the original who find the tweak in the title to sugeest a dumbening down. Carla Gugino fans who are only Carla Gugino fans when she shows her jugs. Moralist parents naturally concerned about any movie that involves witch mountin'.
Why I'd See It: Originally I didn't think I would, but the trailer suggests a fun kid adventure, which means maybe a DVD rental down the line is in order. March 13

Movie: Last House on the Left (Dennis Iliadis)
High-Concept Synopsis: Remake of the notorious Wes Craven proto-torture porn classic. A gang of rapists unwittingly take up for the night at the home of one of their victims. Hardcore revenge gets had.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Wes Craven fans who clearly don't have a problem with remakes. Fans of next-generation character actor Garret Dillahunt. Ghost fans who have been waiting patiently for the big Tony Goldwyn comeback and may have found it.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Breathless torture-porn objectors. Breathless horror-flick purists. Non-fans of notoriously crappy Monica Potter, who won't even pay to see her killed onscreen.
Why I'd See It: I never saw the original, so I have no memories to keep sacred. Torture porn is never an outright draw for me, but if someone I know wants to see this, I'll be down. March 13


JA said...

"...if someone I know wants to see this, I'll be down."

Someone you know wants to see this! I decided upon seeing the trailer for the gazillionth time before Friday the 13th. Dillahunt pushed it over for the win. I like his face.

Also, you should pat yourself on the back, Joe, because you just told me about a horror movie I don't think I'd ever heard anything about before. I do think I'd seen the title The Horsemen around - when one scans the horror blogs a million times a day one sees a lot of titles - but I never bothered to look into it, and your write-up has sold me. SOLD!

Pamela said...

Witch mountin' -- good one.

Joe Reid said...

Wow, I'm actually impressed with myself. I didn't think any horror flick snuck past the Pants.

Joe Reid said...

Wow, I'm actually impressed with myself. I didn't think any horror flick snuck past the Pants.