Mamma Mia (Comedy) – Cast: Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård, Christine Baranski; Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd
Meryl Streep will play the rebellious single mother of a bride-to-be who never met her father. The daughter invites three likely paternal candidates to her wedding, and the ensuing conflict triggers the performance of 22 Abba hits including “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me” and “The Winner Takes It All.” Based on the crowd-pleasing musical that has played in 130 cities around the world and has grossed $1.6 billion since its 1999 opening.
Death Race (2008) – Cast: Jason Statham, Ian McShane, Joan Allen Tyrese Gibson, Robin Shou, Natalie Martinez, Janaya Stephens, Jacob Vargas, Nathalie Girard; Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson
Jason Statham leads the cast of an action-thriller set in the post-industrial wasteland of tomorrow, with the world’s most brutal sporting event as its backdrop. A penitentiary full of felons has inspired the jailers to create a grisly pastime ripe for lucrative kickbacks. Now, adrenalized inmates, a global audience hungry for televised violence and a spectacular arena come together to form the “Death Race.”
Traitor (Thriller) – Cast: Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Neal McDonough, Jeff Daniels; Directed by: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Academy Award nominee Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda, Crash) and Guy Pearce (Memento, L.A. Confidential) star in Traitor, a taut international thriller set against a jigsaw puzzle of covert counter-espionage operations. Traitor is written and directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (screenwriter of The Day After Tomorrow).
Burn After Reading (Comedy) – Cast: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, J.K. Simmons, Richard Jenkins, David Rasche; Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
A dark spy-comedy from Academy Award winners Joel and Ethan Coen. An ousted CIA official’s (Academy Award nominee John Malkovich) memoir accidentally falls into the hands of two unwise gym employees intent on exploiting their find.
The blockbuster global “Mummy” franchise takes a spellbinding turn as the action shifts to Asia for the next chapter in the adventure series, “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.” Brendan Fraser returns as explorer Rick O’Connell to combat the resurrected Han Emperor (Jet Li) in an epic that races from the catacombs of ancient China high into the frigid Himalayas. Rick is joined in this all-new adventure by son Alex (newcomer Luke Ford), wife Evelyn (Maria Bello) and her brother, Jonathan (John Hannah). And this time, the O’Connells must stop a mummy awoken from a 2,000-year-old curse who threatens to plunge the world into his merciless, unending service.
Burn After Reading is a must see. Nuff said, read the review.
All critics have their “rules,” their preferences and pet peeves. Sometimes they’re a matter of personal taste – one genre over another – and sometimes they’re a result of seeing the same approach taken too many times with the same material. But despite cinema’s inherent ability to instruct its audience upon the finer points of finding love, recognizing shortcomings, and overcoming adversity, I really, really hate it when characters learn lessons. All of which is why, at least according to my own, subjective standards, the Coen brothers’ Burn After Reading may be the greatest movie ever made.
Frances McDormand (Almost Famous) plays Linda Litzke, a personal trainer who decides to blackmail former CIA operative Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) after her colleague Chad (Brad Pitt) finds a disc that contains Cox’s memoirs. Cox, however, refuses to cooperate, and soon Linda is forced to juggle her get-rich-quick scheme, her responsibilities at the gym, and a burgeoning relationship with Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney) – a married man who is also carrying on an affair with Cox’s wife Katie (Tilda Swinton). Meanwhile, Cox’s former colleague (David Rasche) and superior (J.K. Simmons) at the CIA discover that Linda went to the Russians with Cox’s memoirs and monitor the situation as it continues to develop.
As suggested above, there are going to be a lot of folks disappointed by Burn After Reading if only because it follows the artistic triumph of No Country for Old Men and is by any standard a completely unimportant story bereft of dramatic substance. But longtime Coen brothers fans will observe that this material perfectly fits within the general themes of their other films, most of which make fun of stupid people by telling, yes, a completely unimportant story. From Raising Arizona to The Hudsucker Proxy to Fargo to The Big Lebowski to O Brother, Where Art Thou, the Coens regularly assemble their stories to satirize if not outright ridicule the best laid plans of men with the brains of mice. And this film is no different. While there are a few sympathetic and even intelligent characters within Burn After Reading’s ensemble, they are given enough human shortcomings (arrogance, insensitivity, obliviousness) to make them worthy of the Coens’ derision, if not also the audience’s.
Additionally, Malkovich gives a great performance as Cox, the analyst whose self-aggrandizing but by all accounts mediocre memoirs set into motion the film’s comically catastrophic turn of events, and J.K. Simmons contributes a terrific cameo as a CIA superior who supervises the events with appropriately dry disbelief. But as always, Ethan and Joel are the ones pulling the strings, and they’re the ones who most effectively create this tapestry of complicated situations and yet manage to make it all seem simultaneously significant and superfluous. Ironically, of course, there are far more movies made in Hollywood that are really about nothing, but pretend to be about something – which is also when their supposed lessons mean the absolute least. But with Burn After Reading, the Coens have successfully made a movie that both pretends to be and is in fact about nothing at all.
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Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys (Drama) – Cast: Kathy Bates, Alfre Woodard, Tyler Perry, Cole Hauser, Sanaa Lathan, Rockmond Dunbar, Taraji P. Henson, Kadee Strickland, Sebastian Siegel, Robin Givens; Directed by: Tyler Perry
Release date: Friday September 12, 2008 Genre: Comedy Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen Studio: Alliance Films/Focus Features Producer(s): Eric Fellner, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Tim Bevan Screenplay: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen Cast: Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand Official Site:www.filminfocus.com Rating:G for for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence Available film art:Burn After Reading movie posters
Synopsis A dark spy-comedy from Academy Award winners Joel and Ethan Coen. An ousted CIA official’s (Academy Award nominee John Malkovich) memoir accidentally falls into the hands of two unwise gym employees intent on exploiting their find.Buy Burn After Reading movie posters here