What’s out there this week?
Feel good family films all around for the mainstream holiday watchers. Charlotte’s Web, everybody knows the childhood story of the talking farm animals, dancing pig and the spider with a talent for embroidering names. A young man, Eragon, finds his destiny through a dragon; a fantasy-adventure where a boy becomes a dragon rider and could destroy or save an empire. The Pursuit of Happyness is just that: pure holiday joy and a feel good film. Will Smith plays a down and out single father who finds himself and his son in hard times.
Now for the limited release (mostly NY and LA) independent low budget type films. There’s Breaking and Entering with Jude Law and Robin Wright-Penn, Dreamgirls with Jamie Foxx and Beyonce Knowles, and last, but not least, The Good German with George Clooney, Cate Blanchett and Tobey Maguire. I think some of these are going to be seen in February during the Academy Awards ceremony, don’t you?
C’mon in and let us get you ready for the week!
Here is a live action version to a childhood classic. Fern (Dakota Fanning) stops her father from killing the runt of the litter and takes little Wilbur under her wing. Wilbur becomes a radiant and fantastic pig and has a home at a local farm up the road where Fern comes to visit on a regular bases. When Wilbur finds his neck on the line again cause he’s just the swine for a fit dinner table, his buddy Charlotte (the spidey with a touch of Martha Stewart) saves him by stitching names about Wilbur into her web. As Wilbur becomes more and more popular it’s off to the fair with him and Charlotte comes along for one last knit. He wins the big blue ribbon; Charlotte gives birth to a trillion babies and dies. The end. Now that I look back on things, Charlotte’s Web is quite depressing; don’t forget to bring a box of tissue with you. The did get a hell of a list of names for this one, Julia Roberts, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey, Cedric the Entertainer, Andre Benjamin, Thomas Haden Church, Robert Redford, Reba McEntire and Kathy Bates, that’s a lot of talent under one film’s title.
Projected 3 out of 5 stars. Watch the trailer here.
Based on the young adult novel by Christopher Paolini, Eragon is a fantasy action story about a young man who finds his fate in a dragon and his villages (rather Empire’s) fate in his own hands. Starring Jeremy Irons and John Malkovich and plenty of special effects, I sure hope this one can compete, on some level, with the likes of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. I hate comparing every fantasy and special effect film that hits the big screen to the likes of such grandiose, but it’s hard not too. On the other hand, no one wants to see the end of fantasy films in theaters, so let’s hope the story is good enough to continue on cause this is part 1 to a trilogy and being a fan of such films like Dragon Slayer, I would like to see Eragon continue into parts 2 and 3, even if it is just for the popcorn factor.
Projected 1.5 ouf of 5 stars. Watch the trailer here.
The Pursuit of Happyness
Perfect timing, a feel good, tear jerking well acted film that will get the whole family right where it counts, Will Smith is brilliant, of course, and his little partner in crime Jaden Smith, son in the film and in real life pulls out all the stops. Here is a story about a single dad trying to make ends meet and keep his son safe while pursuing his dream and a better life for the two of them. The Pursuit of Happyness has some really touch moments accompanied by plenty of happy and comical ones, just like life. Take the fam and enjoy!
Projected 4.5 out of 5 stars. Watch the trailer here.
Breaking and Entering
Will (Jude Law) is an architect who lives in London with his wife Live (Robin Wright Penn) and daughter. His offices are located in a seedy part of town and are continually broken into. One night he decides to take surveillance and catches a young man doing the crime, Will follows chase back to the young mans home where he meets Amira (Juliette Binoche), the boys mother, a refugee form Serbia who works as a seamstress to make ends meet. Will begins an affair with the woman and things start to get all mixed up and tense. Amira keeps up the affair hoping that Will won’t turn her son in and Will begins to fall for her in the process, causing all types of problems at home. Yes, this is one of those films where all we as spectators get to do is watch mixed up relationships and how easy humans can screw things up. No action here, no extreme highs or lows, just an even keel, a story that keeps you holding on just cause he know it has to go somewhere, but it doesn’t. What a bore!
Projected 1 out of 5 Stars. Watch the trailer here.
From the site: Twenty-five years after first bringing Broadway audiences to their feet, the Tony Award-winning musical sensation “Dreamgirls” comes to the big screen starring Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx (“Ray”), Beyoncé Knowles (“Austin Powers in Goldmember”), Danny Glover (the “Lethal Weapon” franchise), newcomer Jennifer Hudson, Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose (Broadway’s “Caroline or Change”) and Eddie Murphy (“The Nutty Professor,” “Dr. Dolittle”).
Set in the turbulent early 1960s to mid-70s, “Dreamgirls” follows the rise of a trio of women—Effie (Jennifer Hudson), Deena (Beyoncé Knowles) and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose)—who have formed a promising girl group called The Dreamettes. At a talent competition, they are discovered by an ambitious manager named Curtis Taylor, Jr. (Jamie Foxx), who offers them the opportunity of a lifetime: to become the back-up singers for headliner James “Thunder” Early (Eddie Murphy). Curtis gradually takes control of the girls’ look and sound, eventually giving them their own shot in the spotlight as The Dreams. That spotlight, however, begins to narrow in on Deena, finally pushing the less attractive Effie out altogether. Though the Dreams become a crossover phenomenon, they soon realize that the cost of fame and fortune may be higher than they ever imagined.
Rounding out the main cast are Keith Robinson (“Fat Albert”), Sharon Leal (TV’s “Boston Public”), and three-time Tony Award winner Hinton Battle (“Miss Saigon,” “The Tap Dance Kid,” “The Wiz”).
Projected 2.5 out of 5 stars. Watch the trailer here.
The Good German
It’s 1945 in post war Berlin and George Clooney, Cate Blanchett and Tobey Maguire has found themselves mixed up in the middle of Joseph Kanon’s novel “The Good German”. Intrigue, mystery and adventure follow suite as U.S. Army war correspondent Jake Geismar (George Clooney) becomes involved with solving the mystery of an x-girlfriends, Lena Brandt (Cate Blanchett), husband’s disappearance. Jake finds his driver Tully (Tobey Maguire) a little suspicious, that he should, Tully has a few black market connections, which might be Jake and Lena’s only way out of Berlin or possibly the death of them. Nothings wrong with a little drama and thrill in your holiday movie watching and certainly nothing wrong with a little beautiful to go along with it; eye candy and talented actors and shown in black and white, The Good German is a classic watch.
Projected 3.5 out of 5 stars. Watch the trailer here.