The Week in Film – Dec. 18th

by The Scarlet Harlot on December 18, 2006 · 7 comments

in Uncategorized

What’s out there this week?

It looks like Sylvester Stallone has one more fight in him. Rocky Balboa is taking the theater by a straight knock out this holiday season. An all star cast heads up the CIA in The Good Shepherd; Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, Billy Crudup, Michael Gambon, William Hurt, Joe Pesci, John Turturro and Robert DeNiro, can anybody say Oscar nominees? It’s all about secrets, conspiracies and truth and justice for all. It’s a magical Night at the Museum for one new security guard who finds he’s guarding more than ancient relics. Ben Stiller, Dick Van Dyke and Robin Williams star in this childhood dream perfectly made for the family outing. We Are Marshall is an inspiring true story about a crippling plane crash that brought a town’s tradition to it’s knees and a coach who lifted the town up through the one thing they know, football. Matthew McConaughey pushes his sweet romantic comedy guy to the side for a more serious and grown up approach to the big screen, set back and watch him shine. Don’t miss in limited release Letters From Iwo Jima directed by Clint Eastwood and The Painted Veil starring Naomi Watts, Edward Norton and Liev Schreiber.

C’mon in and let us get you ready for the week! 

Opening Wednesday the 20th:

Rocky Balboa

How exciting, I was always a fan of Rocky and now he’s back. Sylvester Stallone reprises his role as the underdog who never loses a fight. He goes back to old school training and tries his luck and years of experience with a much younger and frisky fighter in an exhibition of a life time, his. Rated PG and hitting theaters on Wednesday, Rocky will be a winner.

Projected 3.5 out of 5 stars. Watch the trailer here.

Opening Friday the 22nd:

The Good Shepherd

From the site: The tumultuous early history of the Central Intelligence Agency is viewed through the prism of one man’s life in “The Good Shepherd,” an espionage drama starring Academy Award® winners Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and Robert De Niro and directed by Robert De Niro.

Edward Wilson (Matt Damon) understands the value of secrecy-discretion and commitment to honor have been embedded in him since childhood. As an eager, optimistic student at Yale, he is recruited to join the secret society Skull and Bones, a brotherhood and breeding ground for future world leaders. Wilson’s acute mind, spotless reputation and sincere belief in American values render him a prime candidate for a career in intelligence, and he is soon recruited to work for the OSS (the precursor to the CIA) during WWII.

As one of the covert founders of the CIA, working in the heart of an organization where duplicity is required and nothing is taken at face value, Edward’s’ idealism is steadily eroded by a growing suspicious nature, reflective of a world settling into the long paranoia of the Cold War. As his methods are adopted as standard operating procedure, Wilson develops into one of the Agency’s veteran operatives, all the while combating his KGB counterpart. However, his steely dedication to his country comes at an ever-increasing price. Not even his wife Clover (Angelina Jolie) or his beloved son can divert Wilson from a path that will force him to sacrifice everything in pursuit of this job.

“The Good Shepherd” is directed by Robert De Niro, written by Eric Roth and produced by Morgan Creek’s James G. Robinson and Tribeca Productions’ Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro. Universal Pictures distributes domestically, with Morgan Creek handling foreign distribution.

Projected 4 out of 5 stars. Watch the trailer here.

Night at the Museum

Larry Daley (Ben Stiller), an imaginative guy, is desperate for a job and starts as the night security guard at the Natural History Museum. Not too excited about having to give up on his dreams, but needing to provide for his son, Larry felt this is going to be a lame route to take, or is it. Once the front doors lock and the lights go down the inhabitants of the museum come to life. Prehistoric dinosaur bones, ancient warriors, African animals and heroes alike come to life and the adventure begins or rather complete havoc and chaos. Larry can’t get the craziness under control and has to enlist the help on one Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) to help him get things under control before morning comes and he loses his job. Can he do it?

Projected 2.5 out of 5 stars. Watch the trailer here.

We Are Marshall

In 1970 a small town in Huntington, West Virginia is devastated when a plane carrying 75 family members, loved ones and their varsity football team crashes and there are no survivors. For Marshall University and the town football isn’t just a game, it’s a way of life and now it’s over, or is it? The dean is ready to shut down the program and leave it behind until Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey); a young coach full of spunk and ideals, comes along and gives the town hope and a way to heal.

Projected 4 ouf of 5 stars. Watch the trailer here.

Limited Release Wednesday the 20th:

Letters From Iwo Jima

Clint Eastwood directs this foreign language film, giving us the opposite side of Flags of our Fathers. From the site: Sixty-one years ago, US and Japanese armies met on Iwo Jima. Decades later, several hundred letters are unearthed from that stark island’s soil. The letters give faces and voices to the men who fought there, as well as the extraordinary general who led them.

The Japanese soldiers are sent to Iwo Jima knowing that in all probability they will not come back. Among them are Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya), a baker who wants only to live to see the face of his newborn daughter; Baron Nishi (Tsuyoshi Ihara), an Olympic equestrian champion known around the world for his skill and his honor; Shimizu (Ryo Kase), a young former military policeman whose idealism has not yet been tested by war; and Lieutenant Ito (Shidou Nakamura), a strict military man who would rather accept suicide than surrender.

Projected 4 out of 5 Stars. Watch the trailer here.

The Painted Veil

What a tearjerker, a film about love, compassion, mystery, vengeance and beauty, The Painted Veil should prove to be a real journey. A story about a loveless marriage between a spoiled high society brat, Kitty (Naomi Watts) and a middle class doctor, Walter (Edward Norton); Walter catches Kitty in an affair and volunteers, out of an act of vengeance, to move them to a small dieing village in China, swamped with an epidemic. As the journey starts Kitty is pissed about leaving her comforts and thrown into this remote village, but she begins to care for the village folk and falls in love with her husband. The adventure gives meaning to their relationship and brings life to the both of them. Based on the classic novel by W. Somerset Maugham, “The Painted Veil” is a love story set in the 1920’s and has some gorgeous cinematography from Shanghai to the lavish greens and mountains of China’s countryside.

Projected 4 out of 5 stars. Watch the trailer here.

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  • Your Good Twin

    Jesus Money-making CHRIST, I am sick of “uplifting” sports movies that are true stories.  People act like being a true story gives more heart-string-thumping movies invincibility to criticism.  I saw the trailer and I moaned.  I don’t want to see another movie about a crappy team that gets better when they come together.

  • BADD

    I hope Rocky finnaly dies in this one.

  • elkciN

    I’ve long held the belief that this Rocky Movie will actually be good.

    Of course, I also believe that Rocky IV single-handedly ended the cold war. Prove me wrong.

  • .alphamonkey.

    Right actor, but wrong franchise.  Rambo III ended the cold war, with John Rambo’s single handed defeat of the Soviet forces in Afghanistan.

  • elkciN

    That was just Sylvester Stallone cleaning up the scattered resistance forces that formed after Rocky IV brought the regime to it’s knees. Get your facts straight.

    On a side note, I watched Judge Dredd the other night, and it was awesome. The ‘holy crap, why am I watching Judge Dredd’ kind of awesome. I AM THE LAW. I’m not sure if anyone’s noticed this before, but Judge Dredd is full of plot holes. Yeah, it’s true. I was asking myself “If the head judge guy knows about the cloning thing, then why does he take the DNA evidence so easily? Seriously, hadn’t anyone reported that Dredd’s psycho clone brother had escaped from prison like two scenes ago? And how the hell does that gun hold all of those bullets? How did they get around to making flying cars when there are riots and general disorder all over the place? How did that guy on the prison transport ship that was sitting behind Dredd smuggle in a knife? Not a hand crafted stabbing instrument, but a full blown knife!”. Then I took a long look deep into my own heart, and realized I need to find better things to do with my life. After which I cried myself to sleep.

  • .alphamonkey.

    You left out the word ‘again’ from your last sentence.

  • elkciN

    I figured it was implied. I can’t remember the last time I went to sleep on a dry pillow. Or woke up on dry sheets, for that matter.

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