Monday, September 25, 2006

Movie Releases, 9/29

Double the Kutcher, at only twice the price! First, Ashton Kutcher stars in the millionth old guy/young guy military movie in The Guardian. This involves the Coast Guard, and people's lives at stake, and Kutcher of course is the brash youngun in need of some serious veteran leadership in Kevin Costner. Andrew Davis of The Fugitive, Under Siege, and of course, who could forget, Chain Reaction, directs.

Then Kutcher lends his voice to the millionth digitally-animated movie...this year, in Open Season. More animals. More peril. More wisecracks. Luckily for Sony, there's been a relative calm in the kiddie picture genre recently and they might benefit. Martin Lawrence is the other lead as a bear, and this involves animals having to put the beat down on some hunters.

Todd Phillips, director of Road Trip and Old School, gives us a remake of the 1960 UK film School for Scoundrels or How to Win Without Really Cheating, this time without the 60s-esque long title, now just School for Scoundrels. Busy former "Real World" star Jacinda Barrett (movie #3 of the year after Poseidon and Last Kiss) plays the object of Jon Heder's affection, but problem is, Heder is not good with the ladies. So he goes to a school which teaches men caddish tips just below Magnolia's "Seduce and Destroy" series taught by Tom "Frank TJ Mackey" Cruise. This time, the teacher is Billy Bob Thornton, who can't seem to get enough of this kind of character since Bad Santa. And Thornton revs up the competition by going after the girl Heder wants, and plays lots of dirty pool to ruin Heder's life. Doesn't look funny, but it could be.


The Queen, which is absolutely guaranteed to get an Oscar nomination for Helen Mirren as the current Queen Elizabeth, opens on Saturday (?). This concerns the aftermath of Princess Di's death. Directed by Stephen Frears.

Horror in Africa--Uganda, unfortunately one of the many, many countries in Africa that have suffered under harsh dictatorial rule and massive bloodshed, gets film treatment in The Last King of Scotland, opening Wednesday. Adapted from a novel by Giles Foden, this concerns a doctor (James McAvoy, Mr. Tumnus from The Chronicles of Narnia) in the seventies who goes there and witnesses the cruel regime of Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker).

There's an expansion of Michel Gondry's The Science of Sleep--I would have seen this by now but when I went to the theatre showing this on Friday at 6 PM to buy tickets for an 8:20 show, there were notes lining the box office stating that every show that evening was sold out. This has got considerable buzz so if it's expanding to an area near you, you might want to check it out. I'll likely see it in the next couple of days.


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