Release date: Friday December 18, 2009 Genre: Action/Sci/Fi/Thriller Director: James Cameron Studio: 20th Century Fox Screenplay: James Cameron Producer(s): James Cameron, Jon Landau Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Peter Mensah, Laz Alonso, Wes Studi, Stephen Lang, Matt Gerald Official Site:avatarmovie.com Rating:Not Yet Rated Available film art:Avatar movie posters
Synopsis “Avatar,” a live action film with a new generation of special effects, takes us to a spectacular world beyond imagination, where a reluctant hero embarks on a journey of redemption and discovery as he leads an epic battle to save a civilization. James Cameron, the Oscar-winning director of “Titanic,” first conceived the film years ago, when the means to realize his vision did not yet exist. Now, after four years of actual production work, “Avatar” delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story.
The story’s hero is Jake Sully, a former Marine confined to a wheelchair. Bitter and disillusioned, he’s still a warrior at heart. All Jake ever wanted was something worth fighting for, and he finds it in the place he least expected: on a distant world. Jake has been recruited to join an expedition to the moon Pandora, which corporate interests are strip-mining for a mineral worth $20 billion per kilogram on Earth. To facilitate their work, the humans use a link system that projects a person’s consciousness into a hybrid of humans and Pandora’s indigenous humanoids, the Na’vi. This human-Na’vi hybrid – a fully living, breathing body that resembles the Na’vi but possesses the individual human’s thoughts, feelings and personality – is known as an “avatar.”
In his new avatar form, Jake can once again walk. His mission is to interact with and infiltrate the Na’vi with the hope of enlisting their help – or at least their acquiescence – in mining the ore. A beautiful Na’vi female, Neytiri, saves Jake’s life, albeit reluctantly, because even in his avatar body, Jake represents to her the human encroachment on the Na’vi’s unspoiled world.
As Jake’s relationship with Neytiri deepens, along with his respect for the Na’vi, he faces the ultimate test as he leads an epic conflict that will decide nothing less than the fate of an entire world.
These are the movies being released this Tuesday: Angels and Demons, Four Christmases, Funny People, and Shorts.
Angels and Demons
Angels and Demons re-teams director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks for the sequel to their international blockbuster adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code. Although the book Angels and Demons was written before the novel The Da Vinci Code, the movie transpires after the events of the earlier movie. Hanks stars as professor Robert Langdon, the most respected symbologist in the United States, who uses his knowledge in order to decode a symbol on the skin of a murder victim. The clues put him on the trail of an international conspiracy involving the Catholic Church. Ewan McGregor and Ayelet Zurer also star in the Sony Pictures production.
Cast: Tom Hanks, Ayelet Zurer, Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgård, David Pasquesi; Directed by: Ron Howard
Synopsis: A crafty couple run the Christmas Day gauntlet by racing to visit their divorced parents’ four separate households in this Vince Vaughn/Reese Witherspoon comedy that proves the holidays are no time for relaxing. Brad (Vaughn) and Kate (Witherspoon) have made something of an art form out of avoiding their families during the holidays, but this year their foolproof plan is about go bust — big time. Stuck at the city airport after all departing flights are canceled, the couple is embarrassed to see their ruse exposed to the world by an overzealous television reporter. Now, Brad and Kate are left with precious little choice other than to swallow their pride and suffer the rounds. Along the way, they perform in a church nativity play at the behest of Kate’s mother’s (Mary Steenburgen) pushy pastor Phil (Dwight Yoakam), contend with Brad’s gruff father, Howard (Robert Duvall), and bullying brothers, Dallas (Jon Favreau) and Denver (Tim McGraw) — a pair of trained UFC fighters — and pay a visit to Brad’s spacy, New Age mother, Paula (Sissy Spacek), who recently made waves in the family circle by marrying her son’s childhood friend.
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn, Robert Duvall, Mary Steenburgen, Jon Favreau, Kristin Chenoweth, Dwight Yoakam, Sissy Spacek, Carol Kane; Directed by: Seth Gordon
Synopsis Judd Apatow casts his former real-life roommate Adam Sandler as George Simmons, a comic superstar who learns in the movie’s opening scene that he suffers from a rare blood disorder that will likely kill him within a year. This news gives him the impulse to go back out and work on his standup, something he hasn’t done in years thanks to the massive success of his movie career. At a club, he meets struggling standup Ira Wright (Seth Rogen), takes a shine to him, and hires the young man both to write jokes and to be his personal assistant. Ira, who’s been sleeping on a friend’s pull-out couch and working a day job at a deli, enjoys the glimpse into the superstar lifestyle, but soon the protégé discovers how selfish and egocentric his mentor really is. Jason Schwartzman and Jonah Hill, and a host of famous standup comics make cameo appearances as themselves.
Cast: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman; Directed By: Judd Apatow
Synopsis: A young boy living in a cookie-cutter suburb gets hit on the head with a rainbow-colored rock that grants wishes to anyone who holds it in this family-oriented fantasy comedy from Spy Kids director Robert Rodriguez. All the houses in Black Falls look exactly the same, and everyone who lives in this suburban Shangri-la works for Black Box Unlimited Worldwide Industries Incorporated. A highly profitable company thanks to their latest invention, Mr. Black’s Black Box — an all-in-one communication device that’s revolutionized the technological landscape — Black Box Unlimited Worldwide Industries Incorporated also employs the parents of 11-year-old Toe Thompson. But Toe isn’t entirely sold on the concept of this corporate conglomerate; all he wants is to make some new friends, and that wish comes true after Toe is struck in the head by a mysterious rainbow-colored rock that falls right out of the clear blue sky. A magical stone that puts Mr. Black’s Black Box to shame, Toe’s rock possesses the power to grant wishes. Now, as the rock begins to change hands, Black Falls is overrun by miniature spaceships, crocodile armies, boogers the size of boulders, and whatever other oddities the imaginative local kids happen to dream up. Who would have thought that the real trouble would start once the grown-ups in town get their hands on the mysterious rock? With the situation quickly spiraling out of control, it’s up to Toe and his friends to save the townspeople from themselves by proving to them that the things you wish for may not actually be the best things for you. Jon Cryer, William H. Macy, Leslie Mann, and James Spader co-star.
Cast: Jimmy Bennett, Kat Dennings, Jon Cryer, Leslie Mann, William H. Macy, James Spader; Directed By: Robert Rodriguez
These are the movies opening theaters this Friday (in Wide Release): The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Planet 51, and The Blind Side.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Summary: In the second installment of Stephenie Meyer’s phenomenally successful TWILIGHT series, the romance between mortal and vampire soars to a new level as Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) delves deeper into the mysteries of the supernatural world she yearns to become part of—only to find herself in greater peril than ever before. With more of the passion, action and suspense that made TWILIGHT a worldwide phenomenon, THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON is a spellbinding follow-up to the box office hit.More Details
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene; Directed By: Chris Weitz
Summary: An American astronaut believing himself to be the first person ever to set foot on Planet 51 gets the shock of his life in this animated adventure comedy featuring the voices of Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, John Cleese, and Gary Oldman. Captain Charles “Chuck” Baker (voice of Johnson) was on a mission to boldly go where no man had gone before, a remote celestial body dubbed Planet 51. The scientific community had surmised that Planet 51 was uninhabited, so when Captain Baker steps out of his spacecraft to discover a race of tiny green people living in quaint communities reminiscent of 1950s America, he can’t quite believe his eyes. Unfortunately, the tiny extraterrestrials suffer from a universal fear that their utopian community will one day be overrun by alien invaders…just like the extra-large astronaut who now stands before them. As General Grawl (voice of Gary Oldman) and Professor Kipple (voice of John Cleese) attempt to capture the peaceful visitor so they can dissect him and learn more about his anatomy, Captain Baker must count on his robot companion, “Rover,” and his new friend, Lem, in order to navigate this strange new world and find a way back home before it’s too late.
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Seann William Scott, Gary Oldman, John Cleese; Directed By: Jorge Blanco, Javier Abad, Marcos Martinez
The Blind Side
Summary: Taken in by a well-to-do family and offered a second chance at life, a homeless teen grows to become the star athlete projected to be the first pick at the NFL draft in this sports-themed comedy drama inspired by author Michael Lewis’ best-seller The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. Michael Oher was living on the streets when he was welcomed into the home of a conservative suburban family, but over time he matured into a talented athlete. As the NFL draft approaches, fans and sports radio personalities alike speculate that Oher will be the hottest pick of the year. Sandra Bullock stars in a film written and directed by John Lee Hancock (The Rookie, The Alamo).
Cast: Cast: Sandra Bullock, Kathy Bates, Kim Dickens, Tim Mcgraw, Quinton Aaron, Ray McKinnon, Lily Collins, Rhoda Griffis, Jae Head; Directed by: John Lee Hancock
Release date: Friday February 5, 2010 Genre: Drama Director: Lasse Hallström Studio: Columbia Pictures/Screen Gems (Sony Screenplay: Jamie Linden Producer(s): Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, Ryan Kavanaugh Cast: Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried, Richard Jenkins, Scott Porter, Henry Thomas Official Site:dearjohn-movie.com Rating:Not Yet Rated Available film art: Dear John movie posters
Synopsis Director Lasse Hallström and screenwriter Jamie Linden collaborate to adapt author Nicholas Sparks’ novel about a young soldier who falls for an idealistic college girl. Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried) was on spring break when she first met John Tyree (Channing Tatum), who was home on temporary leave. For the smitten soldier it was practically love at first sight. Over the course of the next seven years, when each deployment seemed more treacherous than the last, the love letters that Savannah sent to John were one of the only things that kept him going. However, those loving and heartfelt correspondences would ultimately yield consequences that neither the brave soldier nor his one true love could have ever foreseen.
Only one movie matters this weekend. 2012, makes its way to a theater near you, this weekend.
Synopsis: Disaster movie maven Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) crafts this apocalyptic sci-fi thriller following the prophecy stated by the ancient Mayan calendar, which says that the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012. When a global cataclysm thrusts the world into chaos, divorced writer and father Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) joins the race to ensure that humankind is not completely wiped out. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Danny Glover, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, and Oliver Platt round out the cast of this end-of-the-world thriller co-scripted by the director and his 10,000 B.C. writer/composer, Harald Kloser.
Cast: John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Thandie Newton, Danny Glover, Woody Harrelson; Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Release date: Friday February 12, 2010 Genre: Horror, Action, Thriller Director: Joe Johnston Studio: Universal Pictures Screenplay: Andrew Kevin Walker, David Self Producer(s): Scott Stuber, Sean Daniel, Rick Yorn, Benicio Del Toro Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving, Art Malik Official Site:thewolfmanmovie.com Rating:Not Yet Rated Available film art: The Wolf Man movie posters
Synopsis myth of a cursed man back to its iconic origins. Oscar® winner Benicio Del Toro stars as Lawrence Talbot, a haunted nobleman lured back to his family estate after his brother vanishes. Reunited with his estranged father (Oscar® winner Anthony Hopkins), Talbot sets out to find his brother…and discovers a horrifying destiny for himself.
Lawrence Talbot’s childhood ended the night his mother died. After he left the sleepy Victorian hamlet of Blackmoor, he spent decades recovering and trying to forget. But when his brother’s fiancée, Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt), tracks him down to help find her missing love, Talbot returns home to join the search. He learns that something with brute strength and insatiable bloodlust has been killing the villagers, and that a suspicious Scotland Yard inspector named Aberline (Hugo Weaving) has come to investigate.
As he pieces together the gory puzzle, he hears of an ancient curse that turns the afflicted into werewolves when the moon is full. Now, if he has any chance at ending the slaughter and protecting the woman he has grown to love, Talbot must destroy the vicious creature in the woods surrounding Blackmoor. But as he hunts for the nightmarish beast, a simple man with a tortured past will uncover a primal side to himself…one he never imagined existed.
Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park III) directs The Wolfman, and six-time Oscar®-winning special effects artist Rick Baker brings his design and makeup talents to transform Del Toro into the fearsome title character.
Release date: Friday December 11, 2009 Genre: Drama Director: Clint Eastwood Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Screenplay: Anthony Peckham Producer(s): Robert Lorenz, Lori McCreary, Clint Eastwood, Mace Neufeld Cast: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Robert Hobbs Inspiration: Nelson Mandela Official Site:invictusmovie.warnerbros.com Rating:PG for brief strong language Available film art: Invictus movie posters
Synopsis The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa’s underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match.
These are some of the movies arriving on DVD this Tuesday
Synopsis: A feisty septuagenarian teams with a fearless wilderness ranger to do battle with a vicious band of beasts and villains in this computer-animated adventure scripted by Pixar veteran Bob Peterson and co-directed by Peterson and Monsters, Inc. director Peter Docter. Carl Fredricksen is a 78-year-old balloon salesman. His entire life, Carl has longed to wander the wilds of South America. Then, one day, the irascible senior citizen shocks his neighbors by tying thousands of balloons to his home and finally taking flight. But Carl isn’t alone on his once-in-a-lifetime journey, because stowed away on his front porch is an excitable eight-year-old wilderness explorer named Russell. Later, as the house touches down on the world’s second largest continent, Carl and his unlikely traveling companion step outside to discover that not only is their new front lawn considerably larger, but that the predators therein are much more ferocious than anything they ever faced back home.
Cast: Christopher Plummer, John Ratzenberger, Edward Asner, Paul Eiding, Jordan Nagai; Directed by: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
The Ugly Truth
Synopsis: Katherine Heigl stars as a lovelorn television producer who’s made to run a gauntlet of romantic exploits by a pig-headed morning-show host (played by Gerard Butler) as a way to prove whose romantic methods are more accurate. Legally Blonde’s Robert Luketic directs from a script by Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith, and Nicole Eastman.
Cast: Gerard Butler, Katherine Heigl, Cheryl Hines, Eric Winter; Directed by: Robert Luketic
The Accidental Husband
Synopsis: A radio talk-show host who specializes in repairing damaged relationships finds her life suddenly turned upside down when a listener who took her advice and later regretted doing so resolves to take revenge on the misguided love doctor. Uma Thurman, Colin Firth, Sam Shepard, and Isabella Rossellini star in a romantic comedy directed by Griffin Dunne.
Cast: Uma Thurman, Colin Firth, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Sam Shepard; Directed by: Griffin Dunne
These are the movies coming to theater near you this Friday (in wide release): A Christmas Carol, The Box, and the The Fourth Kind.
A Christmas Carol
Synopsis: ‘Disney’s A Christmas Carol,’ a multi-sensory thrill ride re-envisioned by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, captures the fantastical essence of the classic Dickens tale in a groundbreaking 3D motion picture event.
Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) begins the Christmas holiday with his usual miserly contempt, barking at his faithful clerk (Gary Oldman) and his cheery nephew (Colin Firth). But when the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come take him on an eye-opening journey revealing truths Old Scrooge is reluctant to face, he must open his heart to undo years of ill will before it’s too late.
Cast: Jim Carrey, Cary Elwes, Bob Hoskins, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright Penn, Tom Hanks, Michael J. Fox; Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Synopsis: What if someone gave you a box containing a button that, if pushed, would bring you a million dollars…but simultaneously take the life of someone you don’t know? Would you do it? And what would be the consequences? The year is 1976. Norma Lewis is a teacher at a private high school and her husband, Arthur, is an engineer working at NASA. They are, by all accounts, an average couple living a normal life in the suburbs with their young son…until a mysterious man with a horribly disfigured face appears on their doorstep and presents Norma with a life-altering proposition: the box. With only 24 hours to make their choice, Norma and Arthur face an impossible moral dilemma. What they don’t realize is that no matter what they decide, terrifying consequences will have already been set in motion. They soon discover that the ramifications of this decision are beyond their control and extend far beyond their own fortune and fate.
The Fourth Kind
Synopsis: In 1972, a scale of measurement was established for alien encounters. When a UFO is sighted, it is called an encounter of the first kind. When evidence is collected, it is known as an encounter of the second kind. When contact is made with extraterrestrials, it is the third kind. The next level, abduction, is the fourth kind. This encounter has been the most difficult to document…until now.
Structured unlike any film before it, “The Fourth Kindis” a provocative thriller set in modern-day Nome, Alaska, where—mysteriously since the 1960s—a disproportionate number of the population has been reported missing every year. Despite multiple FBI investigations of the region, the truth has never been discovered.
Here in this remote region, psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler (Milla Jovovich) began videotaping sessions with traumatized patients and unwittingly discovered some of the most disturbing evidence of alien abduction ever documented.
Using never-before-seen archival footage that is integrated into the film, “The Fourth Kind” exposes the terrified revelations of multiple witnesses. Their accounts of being visited by alien figures all share disturbingly identical details, the validity of which is investigated throughout the film.
The screenwriter for Ghost Rider 2 says that he will be changing the tone for the upcoming sequel – suggesting that it will be darker this time around.
Ghost Rider 2 will be the ‘Casino Royale’ of the franchise, according to Screenwriter David Goyer.
In an interview with MTV News, the Batman Begins screenwriter said that whilst the movie won’t be a straight up reboot, there will be a significant change in tone: “I hate to say it’s more realistic, because he’s got a flaming skull for a head, but it’s a bit more stripped down and darker. It’s definitely changing tone. What Casino Royale was to the Bond movies, hopefully this will be to Ghost Rider.”
Goyer also revealed that the sequel will begin shooting next year, and that Nicolas Cage, who played the demonic motorcyclist in the original, is still attached to reprise his role.
Plot-wise, it seems Goyer is sticking close to the script that has been online for a few years. “This story picks up eight years after the first film,” he said. “You don’t have to have seen the first film. It doesn’t contradict anything that happened in the first film, but we’re pretending that our audience hasn’t seen the first film. It’s as if you took that same character where things ended in the first film and then picked it up eight years later – he’s just in a much darker, existential place.”