Upcoming Theatrical Releases
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Director: Don Scardino
PG-13; 101 mins
Superstar magicians Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) have ruled the Las Vegas strip for years, raking in millions with illusions as big as Burt’s growing ego. But lately the duo’s greatest deception is their public friendship, while secretly they’ve grown to loathe each other. Facing cutthroat competition from guerilla street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), whose cult following surges with each outrageous stunt, even their show looks stale. But there’s still a chance Burt and Anton can save the act-both onstage and off-if Burt can get back in touch with what made him love magic in the first place. (Synopsis by Warner Bros)
Driven more by clichés than humor, Carell and Carey are in high form as flamboyant front men, but even their combined efforts can’t mask the uneven jokes or storyline’s thin veneer.
Director: Brad Anderson
R; 94 mins
When veteran 911 operator Jordan (Halle Berry) takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) who has just been abducted, she realizes that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girl’s life. (Synopsis by Sony)
Fans of “Law and Order” will enjoy the highly improbable setup, which does manage to deliver intensity even while lacking believeability.
Director: Park Chan-wook
R; 92 mins
After India’s father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother. Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him. (Synopsis by IMDB)
Blame Park’s philosophy background for creating a film infatuated with its own cleverness at the price of the story. With an overabundance of camera tricks, this might be too out-of-reach for most audiences.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Rise of the Guardians
Director: Peter Ramsey
PG; 97 mins
Rise of the Guardians is an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes – each with extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world. (Synopsis by the Official Site)
Conceptually, this was a good idea: holiday fable meets superhero flick. The result leaves a bit to be desired, with too many characters and too much frenzy keeping it from being a better film. It’ll still be enjoyed by the little ones at Easter after they’ve devoured half a basket of chocolate.
Life of Pi
Director: Ang Lee
PG; 127 mins
Director Ang Lee creates a groundbreaking movie event about a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with another survivor…a fearsome Bengal tiger. (Synopsis by the Official Site)
This is a largely successful attempt at making a film out of an “un-filmable” book. Obviously, the subtle touch of the written word is largely lost in compressing a heavily moral tale into a little over two hours. But it is beautiful to watch and captures enough of the original text.
Director: Sacha Gervasi
PG-13; 98 mins
HITCHCOCK is a love story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife and partner Alma Reville. The film takes place during the making of Hitchcock’s seminal movie Psycho. (Synopsis by IMDB)
This should have received a few nominations at Oscar season. The style and dark humor play homage to the source. Unfortunately, it stumbles in the scenes away from the “Psycho” set just enough to keep it from being truly memorable.