Upcoming Theatrical Releases
Director: Gavin Hood
PG-13; 114 mins.
In the near future, a hostile alien race (called the Formics) have attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training only the best young children to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy, but strategically brilliant boy is pulled out of his school to join the elite. Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult war games, distinguishing himself and winning respect amongst his peers. Ender is soon ordained by Graff as the military’s next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, he’s trained by Mazer Rackham, himself, to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race. Based on the best-selling, award winning novel, ENDER’S GAME is an epic adventure which stars Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, with Abigail Breslin and Harrison Ford. (Synopsis by Summit)
Check out my review later this weekend on The Dagger.
Director: Richard Curtis
R; 123 mins.
At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time… The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life-so he decides to make his world a better place…by getting a girlfriend. Sadly, that turns out not to be as easy as you might think. Moving from the Cornwall coast to London to train as a lawyer, Tim finally meets the beautiful but insecure Mary (Rachel McAdams). They fall in love, then an unfortunate time-travel incident means he’s never met her at all. So they meet for the first time again-and again-but finally, after a lot of cunning time-traveling, he wins her heart. Tim then uses his power to create the perfect romantic proposal, to save his wedding from the worst best-man speeches, to save his best friend from professional disaster and to get his pregnant wife to the hospital in time for the birth of their daughter, despite a nasty traffic jam outside Abbey Road. But as his unusual life progresses, Tim finds out that his unique gift can’t save him from the sorrows and ups and downs that affect all families, everywhere. There are great limits to what time travel can achieve, and it can be dangerous too. About Time is a comedy about love and time travel, which discovers that, in the end, making the most of life may not need time travel at all. (Synopsis by Universal)
A time-traveling romantic comedy that’ll make you smash your Delorean into a tree. Overly mushy and improbable while underwhelming on the laughs. Skip it.
Director: Jimmy Hayward
PG; 90 mins.
In this irreverent, hilarious, adventurous buddy comedy, directed by Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who!), two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history – and get turkey off the holiday menu for good. (Synopsis by Relativity Media)
Is one day after Halloween too early for a Thanksgiving movie? Not if you want everyone to forget about this turkey (see what I did there?). Not particularly funny, moral, or enjoyable. Skip it.
Director: Jon Turteltaub
PG-13; 104 mins.
The ensemble comedy follows four old friends who decide to throw a Las Vegas bachelor party for the only one of them who has remained single. (Synopsis by the Official Site)
Apparently the success of “Red” has revived the old-person comedy. It is disappointing that actors of this caliber signed on for this bland comedy. At least the silver set will enjoy it. Rent it.
Man of Tai Chi
Director: Michael G. Cooney
R; 105 mins.
Set in modern Beijing, MAN OF TAI CHI marks Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut. The film, also starring Reeves, follows the spiritual journey of a young martial artist (played by Tiger Chen) whose unparalleled Tai Chi skills land him in a highly lucrative underworld fight club. As the fights intensify, so does his will to survive. (Synopsis by RAdius-TWC)
Somebody should tell Keanu that he doesn’t really “know Kung-fu.” There is nothing groundbreaking here, but it is a serviceable martial arts film if you enjoyed Seagal movies in the early 90’s. Not terrible for a directorial debut. Rent it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Director: Dan Scanlon
G; 95 mins.
Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn’t always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn’t stand each other. “Monsters University” unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends. (Synopsis by Walt Disney)
Not quite bad enough to be straight-to-DVD, but not up to the standards of its predecessor. It’s cute and fun enough to be enjoyable, even if it is a rip off of “Revenge of the Nerds.” Rent it.
Director: Neil Jordan
R; 118 mins.
BYZANTIUM is director Neil Jordan’s (Interview with the Vampire, The Crying Game) sexy and stylish fantasy thriller about mother and daughter vampires dealing with the pitfalls of eternal life. Two mysterious women seek refuge in a run-down coastal resort. Clara (Gemma Arterton) meets lonely Noel (Daniel Mays), who provides shelter in his deserted guesthouse, Byzantium. Schoolgirl Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan, Hanna, Atonement) befriends Frank (Caleb Landry Jones) and tells him their lethal secret: They were born 200 years ago and survive on human blood. As knowledge of their secret spreads, their past catches up on them with deathly consequence. (Synopsis by IFC)
A nice departure from the typical vampire fare. There is a good pedigree here; Jordan directed “Interview with the Vampire.” The message is somewhat muddled and it is a little too angst-ridden at times, but it still satisfies. Rent it.