Release date: Friday August 14, 2009 Genre: Comedy Director: Vicky Jenson Studio: 20th Century Fox Screenplay: Kelly Fremon Producer(s): Ivan Reitman, Jeff Clifford, Joe Medjuck Cast: Alexis Bledel, Michael Keaton, Bobby Coleman, Zach Gilford, Carol Burnett, Jane Lynch Official Site: None Rating:PG-13 sexual situations and brief strong language Available film art:The Post Grad Survial Guide movie posters
Synopsis Eternal optimist Ryden Malby (Alexis Bledel) has the most brutal of wake-up calls when she graduates from college and can’t find a job, forcing her back home to live with her oddball family. Frustrated and confused about how her life is supposed to turn out, she soon realizes that her longtime platonic best friend is the only one who makes everything in her crazy life make sense.
Release date: Friday June 19, 2009 Genre: Comedy/Romance Director: Donald Petrie Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures Screenplay: Mike Reiss Producer(s): Michelle Chydzik Sowa, Nathalie Marciano Cast: Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Harland Williams, Rachel Dratch Official Site:mylifeinruins.com Rating:PG-13 sexual content Available film art:My Life in Ruins movie posters
Synopsis From Nia Vardalos, writer and star of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” comes the hilarious comedy “My Life in Ruins.” Georgia (Nia Vardalos) has lost her kefi (Greek for “mojo”). Discouraged by her lack of direction in life, she works as a travel guide, leading a rag-tag group of tourists as she tries to show them the beauty of her native Greece. While opening their eyes to an exotic foreign land, she too begins to see things in new ways the process.
Release date: Friday July 17, 2009 Genre: Fantasy/Action/Adventure Director: David Yates Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Screenplay: Steve Kloves Producer(s): David Barron, David Heyman Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, David Bradley, Jim Broadbent, Jessie Cave, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Frank Dillane, Tom Felton, Michael Gambon, Matthew Lewis, Pierre Vernier, Helen McCrory, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Natalia Tena, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Julie Walters, David Thewlis, Bonnie Wright Official Site:harrypotter.com Rating:PG scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality Available film art:Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince movie posters
Synopsis Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort’s defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected and unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information. Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as teenage hormones rage across the ramparts. Harry finds himself more and more drawn to Ginny, but so is Dean Thomas. And Lavender Brown has decided that Ron is the one for her, only she hadn’t counted on Romilda Vane’s chocolates! And then there’s Hermione, simpering with jealously but determined not to show her feelings. As romance blossoms, one student remains aloof. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again.
Paul Rudd is hilariously in the this bromance comedy about a dork that just wants to fit in, but try as he may – he always gets it wrong.
In I Love You, Man, which is by far the best Judd Apatow comedy that Judd Apatow had nothing at all to do with, Paul Rudd gives a startlingly funny and original performance as a nice guy with serious dweebish tendencies, and the delight of what Rudd does here comes down to how exquisitely embarrassing he is to watch. He makes you wince in hilarity. Rudd, in films like Role Models and Wet Hot American Summer, has been a wiseass par excellence, and maybe it took a wiseass to play a dork with this much merciless understanding. His Peter Klaven is an L.A. real estate agent (he’s selling Lou Ferrigno’s mansion) who has just gotten engaged, an event that forces him to confront the fact that he has no male friends. Who will be his groomsmen? His best man?
That sounds like a fairly mild predicament to hang a movie on, but the resonant joke of I Love You, Man is that the reason Peter has no pals is that he’s too sweetly sincere, too in touch with his sensitive side, to indulge in the gloriously insensitive modes of male bonding: the reckless sex chatter and sports talk, the need to be a guy, a dude. Peter meets Sydney (Jason Segel), who seems like natural buddy material, and the two begin to hang out. But the more Peter tries to get down with his masculine self, the more our jaws drop at how bad he is at it. He does agonizingly out-of-date SNL routines as if they signified he was ”in the know,” he says things like ”me slappa da bass” in a ”reggae” accent, and when his new friend nicknames him Pistol, he names him back — and sounds like a complete idiot jackass.
The filmmakers of the latest haunted house flick, The Haunting in Connecticut actually finds a way to make the sound effects sound and feel scary and the actors do a good job as well.
The latest horror film “based on a true story” — the facts of which are documented here — The Haunting in Connecticut follows the Campbell family, who move into a Victorian house in upstate Connecticut in order to be closer to where their teenage son receives his cancer treatments.
Matt (played by Kyle Gallner, known to fanboys as Bart “Flash” Allen in Smallville) is slowly dying from the disease. His mom Sara (Virginia Madsen) and recovering alcoholic dad Peter (Martin Donovan) can barely accept this grim reality as they struggle to make ends meet amidst mounting medical bills. Trouble begins almost as soon as the Campbells move into their new home.
Matt is plagued by disturbing visions of a boy not much younger than himself, but he’s reluctant to admit it because he fears the disease has progressed to his brain or that the drugs he’s on aren’t working and he’ll be removed from his clinical trial. Meanwhile, the family discovers an embalming chamber in their home and a collection of creepy photos of corpses, and realize that their new home was a funeral parlor back in the 1920s. Noises, disturbances and other assorted scary incidents mount and the family realize they’re under attack from beyond the grave. The ghostly boy Matt has been seeing is that of Jonah, the clairvoyant son of the former funeral home owner, who acts as a gateway for the dead to cross over into the realm of the living.
I’ve been watching a slew of ghost movies and supernatural films lately, and even the best of them aren’t really all that terrifying so much as they are creepy and disturbing or a collection of amusement park “scares.” The haunted house movie, in particular, has been done to death; if there’s one thing they’ve taught us, it’s the bigger the house and the more remote its location then the worse your haunting will be. (How come no one is haunted by ghosts when they move into a studio apartment in Van Nuys?) Nowadays, the scariest thing about these big old houses is how much their value has plummeted.
That said, The Haunting in Connecticut is a relatively effective scary movie despite its overall formulaic nature. The actors, sound effects, and ghoulish makeup compensate when the story takes turns into more familiar territory. Sure, we’ve heard creaks and thumps and wooshes and wails in plenty of other ghost movies, but the filmmakers actually find a way here to make them sound scary again. Director Peter Cornwell ratchets up the tension, maintaining a consistent level of chills for the duration of the movie before it ultimately buckles under the weight of its effects-heavy finale.
The film has very human and relatable characters at its core — a family that was already in peril due to the terminal illness of a family member — that keeps the viewer engaged in the story even as things grow more fantastical.
Julia Roberts and Clive Own shine in Duplicity, which debut in theaters this weekend.
If you’re going to see one Julia Roberts movie this year…
Well, it should be this one. Not that Roberts necessarily has a bunch of other pictures on her slate for 2009, but let’s face it: The actress, once the darling of Hollywood who burst onto the scene with the charmer Mystic Pizza some 21 years ago, has gotten a little long in the tooth in recent times. Maybe it was that grueling Oscar acceptance speech for Erin Brockovich, or perhaps it was just a case of audiences getting too much of a good thing, but for some of us the once and future Pretty Woman hasn’t been as welcome a sight lately as she once was.
Now she’s jumping back into the spotlight after a bit of a hiatus, but fortunately for us — and for the superstar actress too perhaps — she’s doing it in style by teaming with writer-director Tony Gilroy on the espionage comedy Duplicity, which opens this weekend. Coming off the success of 2007’s Oscar nominated Michael Clayton as he is, Gilroy was poised with this follow-up to perhaps suffer from the classic sophomore slump syndrome. But he’s dodged that bullet as deftly as one of his Duplicity characters might outsmart a fellow corporate spy, and Roberts and her costar Clive Owen both come out looking like champs as a result.
Owen plays Ray Koval and Roberts is Claire Stenwick, MI6 and CIA agents respectively who first bump into one another — and bump uglies — in 2003 in Dubai, upon which Claire promptly outsmarts, drugs, and steals some precious documents from her counterpart. It’s spy-love at first sight, and through a series of interweaving flashbacks (and occasional flash-forwards) Gilroy slowly pieces together for the audience how Ray and Claire got from there to here.
Here being present-day Manhattan, where they’ve both entered the private sector of the espionage business, working for opposing cosmetics manufacturers who guard their lotion and cream secrets as vigorously as a government does its nuclear launch codes. Ray works for Paul Giamatti’s angry upstart exec and Claire is on the team of Tom Wilkinson’s old-guard boss across town, though as the film proceeds and the weaving plot reveals more and more about what has happened since that fateful time in Dubai in 2003, the question of who is working for who becomes increasingly confusing. The only thing we seem to know for sure is that Giamatti and Wilkinson hate each other fiercely, a fact which is illustrated in a loving slow-motion ballet during the opening credits.
Ultimately the labyrinthine plot is only secondary anyway to the movie-star turns by the, as it happens, movie stars in residence, Owen and Roberts. The real star, which gives the two their power of course, is Gilroy’s snappy, screwball-comedy-esque dialogue and scripting. It has its leads sparring with one another as much as — if not more than — they’re speaking sweet nothings to each other. As a matter of fact, it may be that the closest they get to sweet nothings is the duo’s constant threats to walk out on one another. Either that or Roberts’ propensity for taking her underwear off. .
A wannabe superhero joins a team of bumbling heroes-in-training on a time traveling mission to thwart an evil plot in this high-flying comedy featuring Clint Howard, Adam West, Tom Sizemore, and Doug Jones. Ed Gruberman (Justin Whalin) may not possess any actual super-powers, though his passion for fighting crime rivals that of even the greatest comic book do-gooders. When Ed becomes a member of The Super Capers, an oddball team of aspiring superheroes, it seems as if his dream of fighting crime for real is about to come true. Upon discovering evidence of an evil plot involving gold bullion, an alluring femme fatale, and a powerful criminal mastermind, Ed travels back in time to prevent a disaster the likes of which the world has never seen.
Cast: Christine Lakin, Danielle Harris, Doug Jones, Tom Sizemore, Clint Howard, Sam Lloyd, Justin Whalin; Directed by: Ray Griggs
Nicolas Cage stars in “Knowing”, a gripping action-thriller of global proportions about a professor who stumbles on terrifying predictions about the future—and sets out to prevent them from coming true.
In 1958, as part of the dedication ceremony for a new elementary school, a group of students is asked to draw pictures to be stored in a time capsule. But one mysterious girl fills her sheet of paper with rows of apparently random numbers instead.
Fifty years later, a new generation of students examines the capsule’s contents and the girl’s cryptic message ends up in the hands of young Caleb Koestler. But it is Caleb’s father, professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage), who makes the startling discovery that the encoded message predicts with pinpoint accuracy the dates, death tolls and coordinates of every major disaster of the past 50 years. As John further unravels the document’s chilling secrets, he realizes the document foretells three additional events—the last of which hints at destruction on a global scale and seems to somehow involve John and his son. When John’s attempts to alert the authorities fall on deaf ears, he takes it upon himself to try to prevent more destruction from taking place.
With the reluctant help of Diana Wayland (Rose Byrne) and Abby Wayland, the daughter and granddaughter of the now-deceased author of the prophecies, John’s increasingly desperate efforts take him on a heart-pounding race against time until he finds himself facing the ultimate disaster—and the ultimate sacrifice.
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne; Directed by: Alex Proyas
Engaged to the woman of his dreams yet uncomfortable with the prospect of not having a best man for his upcoming wedding, a successful real estate agent with no male friends schedules a series of “man dates” in hopes of finding a suitable candidate for the big day. Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is just like most other guys, only when it comes to making friends he’s always been a bit withdrawn. After proposing to his girlfriend, Zooey (Rashida Jones), however, Peter quickly realizes that he doesn’t even have any friends close enough to qualify for the role of best man. And what better method to find the perfect best man than to spend some time getting to know the most qualified candidate for the position? While most of Peter’s “man dates” are incredibly awkward from the very beginning, the desperate bridegroom is surprised to hit it off with Sydney Fife (Jason Segel) on their very first meeting. Sydney is charming, personable, and opinionated, and before long he and Peter have become inseparable. But this isn’t exactly what Zooey had in mind, because the closer that Peter grows to his new “bro,” the further he drifts from the woman who will soon be his wife. Now, with the wedding closing in and the drama heating up, Peter begins to ponder a means of staying good friends with Sydney while still remaining true to the woman he loves.
Cast: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones; Directed by: John Hamburg
Oscar® winner Julia Roberts and Clive Owen reunite for “Duplicity,” from writer/director Tony Gilroy (seven-time Oscar®-nominated “Michael Clayton”).
In the film, they star as spies-turned-corporate operatives in the midst of a clandestine love affair. When they find themselves embroiled in a high-stakes espionage game, they discover the toughest part of the job is deciding how much to trust the one you love.
CIA officer Claire Stenwick (Roberts) and MI6 agent Ray Koval (Owen) have left the world of government intelligence to cash in on the highly profitable cold war raging between two rival multinational corporations. Their mission? Secure the formula for a product that will bring a fortune to the company that patents it first.
For their employers—industry titan Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson) and buccaneer CEO Dick Garsik (Paul Giamatti)—nothing is out of bounds. But as the stakes rise, the mystery deepens and the tactics get dirtier, the trickiest secret for Claire and Ray is their growing attraction. And as they each try to stay one double-cross ahead, two career loners find their schemes endangered by the only thing they can’t cheat their way out of: love.
Cast: Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Giamatti; Directed by: Tony Gilroy
Colin Hanks, a recent graduate in journalism, is searching for a job when he comes across a Magician’s Apprenticeship position in the local paper. He attends the interview for the position at a local diner, where he meets and is struck by the Great Buck Howard (John Malkovitch), a waning magician. Although skeptical of Buck and desperate for a job, he is convinced that helping Buck will be an exciting change from his ordinarily mundane life. From city to city, Buck always impresses the small town crowds, which is seemingly the motive for his continuing career. After learning the ropes, Colin continually runs through the motions of Buck’s routine and alcoholic personality. After Colin tires of the repetition, Buck attempts an overwhelming magic spectacle to regain his long forgotten legacy. In the process, Colin finds the love of his life and proceeds to break Buck’s golden rules. After the ensuing drama with Buck and his dad (Tom Hanks), Colin continues along his path with Buck, against his father’s wishes. Buck then starts a Vegas magician life, which he soon scraps with an intentional faux pas in his routine. He has a revelation that he only wants to demonstrate his magic to the people who genuinely care about his routine. Meanwhile, while Buck remembers his calling, Colin discovers how to demonstrate his compassion towards his recently discovered soulmate. In turn, Buck relinquishes his dream of a glorious Vegas lifestyle and Colin foregoes his show biz lifestyle to live what he considers a better life with his soulmate.
Cast: Colin Hanks, John Malkovich; B.J. Hendricks, Jacquie Barnbrook, Ankur Bhatt; Directed by: Sean McGinly
Release date: April 3rd, 2009 Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure/Comedy Running time: 1 hour 25 minutes Director: R.W. Goodwin Studio: Roadside Attractions Screenplay: James Swift, Steven P. Fisher Cast: Eric McCormack, Jenni Baird, Dan Lauria, Robert Patrick, Jody Thompson, Aaron Brooks, Sarah Smyth, Andrew Dunbar, Sage Brocklebank, Tom McBeath, Vincent Gale, Jerry Wasserman, Jonathan Young, Michael Roberds Official Site:alientrespass.com Rating:PG for sci-fi action and brief historical smoking Available film art:Alien Trespass movie posters
Synopsis It was a summer night in 1957 in the quiet California desert town of Mojave. Local astronomer Ted Lewis (Eric McCormack) is making a special anniversary dinner for his wife Lana (Jody Thompson). A local diner waitress, Tammy (Jenni Baird) is in her trailer painting a horse scene while Dick (Andrew Dunbar) and Penny (Sarah Smyth) are necking at lovers lane. All are watching the light show from the annual August Perseid meteor showers when suddenly there is a blinding light and crash into the butte just outside of town. Ted attempts to investigate but Lana prevails in keeping him home at least until she falls asleep and he can sneak out to the crash site. In the meantime we see a gruesome alien creature (The Ghota) leaving the spaceship to slip away into the night. Soon after, a tall alien in a silvery metallic suit (Urp) appears from the ship. When Ted arrives at the butte he does not discover a smoking red-hot meteorite but rather a flying saucer imbedded in the hillside with its ramp down. He cautiously enters the saucer and is snatched up by the mysterious silver alien.
Townspeople soon start disappearing everywhere and the only remnant at the scene is a puddle of gurgling mud. Ted Lewis, having been body snatched by Urp, is now on the trail of the murderous Ghota. Urp, is actually a galactic Federal Marshal from another planet who was transporting the Ghota when his saucer crashed landed and the Ghota escaped. He needs to find and recapture the creature before it begins to divide or it will multiply exponentially until all life is consumed on planet Earth. After unsuccessfully trying to convince Lana to help him find the Ghota, Urp meets Tammy on the highway when she offers him a lift. Urp tries his best to convince Tammy of his plight and to help him track down the Ghota. But when they stop at an old derelicts cabin and find only a mud puddle of human remains, Tammy can take no more of the crazy talk and circumstances and leaves him in a huff.
The teens, Dick & Penny, are on their own track encountering first the Ghota and then the saucer, trying to convince anyone to believe them. Finally they tell their story in the diner to Tammy who now realizes that Urp was telling her the truth. She tries to convey this to the temporary police chief (Dan Lauria) who still refuses to believe there is any real threat, much less from outer space. That is until later when his senior deputy (Robert Patrick) is also dissolved by the Ghota.
The Ghota is now rampaging through the town dissolving people, cops (and even children) at will. Tammy encounters the Ghota herself while she is closing the diner and makes a narrow escape. Then comes the big scene in the local movie theater where Dick, Penny and Cody (Aaron Brooks) are watching the original 1950s version of The Blob. The Ghota appears at the rear of the theater and begins picking off its prey. All the patrons flee the theater except the teens who are trapped and now stalked by the Ghota. All seems hopeless until Tammy arrives and tries to help, only to become trapped herself with the teens when the Ghotas divided twin suddenly materializes.
Then from the curtain entrance a ray gun blast and then a second stunning shot. The Ghotas are down, but only in stasis as Urp arrives and saves the day. Time to load the Ghotas in Tammys truck and race to the butte so Urp can return Teds body and quickly depart in his spaceship with its deadly cargo.
But not so fast! Sheriff Dawson and an armed posse of townspeople are hot on their trail and looking for revenge. There is a showdown at the saucer where Tammy stands resolutely between Dawson, the posse and Urp. With an impassioned and compelling speech, Tammy convinces Dawson to put down his gun, let Urp repair his ship, take the immobilized Ghotas and depart Earth in peace. Dawson reluctantly agrees.
There is a tender goodbye between Urp and Tammy before astronomer Ted is returned to the delight of his wife Lana. Then plumes of smoke and the saucer lifts off to the amazement of the gathered townspeople.
In the closing scene, as Tammy is driving out of town in her battered pick-up on the way to her new life in Sausalito, she watches the saucer rising over the butte. It stops momentarily in mid-air as Tammy waves dreamily from the cab. The saucer wags a thank you and a final goodbye and then zooms up and away towards a welcomed return to outer space. A 50 year old new movie!