by HELEN GEIB
The post-summer, pre-awards season movie season has definitely arrived. Anything in this list strike your fancy?
The American (on Wed)- George Clooney stars as a hitman who travels to Italy for the proverbial last job in this thriller. Rowan Joffe (28 Weeks Later) wrote the screenplay based on a novel by Martin Booth. The film was directed by Anton Corbijn (Control) and has an international supporting cast.
Going the Distance– Bumped from August. Here’s what I wrote in last month’s “coming soon” post: Drew Barrymore and Justin Long play a couple trying to make a long-distance relationship work. It was directed by Nanette Burstein (American Teen) and written by a first time screenwriter, Geoff LaTulippe. The respective locations are Chicago and Los Angeles, which for those who don’t know is about three hours by plane and two time zones apart. Just in case you were wondering.
Machete– Grindhouse fans rejoice, one of the fake trailers now has its own movie to go with it. Danny Trejo is a betrayed Federale out for revenge. Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert De Niro, Cheech Marin, Steven Seagal, Jeff Fahey, and Don Johnson round out the diverse principal cast. Robert Rodriguez co-directed (with editor Ethan Maniquis) and co-wrote (with Alvaro Rodriguez).
Resident Evil: Afterlife– Why is this the only movie opening this weekend? They know there are a lot of people out there who don’t want to see the fourth movie in the “Resident Evil” franchise, don’t they? Don’t they?! For fans, I note that series star Milla Jovovich is still playing the lead and it’s directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who directed Resident Evil.
Alpha and Omega– Animated animal adventure for the family audience. Mismatched wolf couple make their way home after being relocated by Park Rangers, finding romance and thrills along the way. And no doubt, cute new animal buddies. Christina Ricci, Jason Long, and Hayden Panattiere lead the voice cast. Co-directed by Anthony Bell (some TV animation credits) and Ben Gluck (storyboarding credits).
Devil– M. Night Shyamalan has story credit for this horror film featuring four people trapped in an elevator, and one of them’s you know who. Co-directed by brothers John Erick (Quarantine) and Drew Dowdle. The trailer features lots of screaming whenever the lights go out.
Easy A– Will Gluck (Fired Up!) directs this high school comedy about a young woman (Emma Stone) who cultivates a reputation as a slut by means of pretending to have sex with loser classmates who think it will improve their own social standing if everyone else thinks they had sex with her.
The Town– Ben Affleck directs and stars in this gritty crime drama set in Boston. Rebecca Hall plays a bank teller traumatized by being kidnapped in the course of a bank robbery. Affleck’s career criminal robber courts disaster when he falls for her after the fact. Jon Hamm (TV’s Mad Men) co-stars as the case investigator.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole– Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300) ventures into family films with this animated fantasy-adventure adapted from several books in a children’s series by Kathryn Lasky. Put the titles of Snyder’s three previous films together and the word count is less than the word count of this film’s title. Memo to Hollywood: This title is unwieldy, to say the least- you’d better hope kids like the trailer enough to ask to be taken to “the owl movie.”
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps– Oliver Stone and Michael Douglas are back for this sequel to 1987’s Wall Street. Shia LaBeouf is this installment’s young Wall Street trader seduced by Gordon Gekko’s insidious ways. Carey Mulligan plays Gekko’s (understandably) estranged daughter. Oddly, the trailer doesn’t at all match the plot description on the IMDb, which casts Gekko in the unlikely dual role of detective on a murder case and Cassandra of the impending financial crisis. The trailer just shows him up to his old tricks.
You Again– Kristen Bell stars in this comedy as a woman who has a lot of bad high school memories courtesy of her brother’s new fiancee, and doesn’t at all like the idea of gaining her for a sister. The women rule the screen in this one. Jamie Lee Curtis and Betty White play the mother and grandmother; Sigourney Weaver, Kristin Chenoweth, and Cloris Leachman are also in the cast. Directed by Andy Fickman (Race to Witch Mountain, The Game Plan).