Monday, March 09, 2009

Spring 2009 Movie Preview (Part II)

While March’s movie slate has some surefire hits, April is a bit more uncertain, with films aimed at action fans, younger audiences and adults looking for (hopefully) intelligent dramatic offerings. The following is a rundown of some of the more notable releases for the month. Keep in mind, release dates are subject to change.

“Fast and Furious”
Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster
Directed by Justin Lin

Not that you’d be able to tell by the title, but this marks the third film in the “Fast and Furious” series. Some wouldn’t think this should have warranted one sequel, let alone two. But the original stars are all back this time out, and probably wisely avoiding the big action movies that will be unleashed in the summer season. (April 3)
Official Web site

“Hannah Montana: The Movie”
Starring Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment, Billy Ray Cyrus
Directed by Peter Chelsom

Bringing the wildly popular TV show to the big screen seemed like a inevitability, but with star Miley Cyrus set to turn 18 this year, how much longer will she likely want to play this role? In this film, her character takes a trip to her Tennessee hometown to get away from the insane popularity of her alter-ego, music superstar Hannah Montana. (April 10)
Official Web site

“Observe and Report”
Starring Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, Michael Pena and Ray Liotta
Directed by Jody Hill

This film has the misfortune of following in the footsteps of the poorly reviewed, but popular “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.” Rogen stars as a temperamental mall security guard out to stop a habitual flasher as well as win the heart of another mall employee. This might fall into the description of a raunchy comedy – something that Rogen seems to be in a lot nowadays. (April 10)
Official Web site

“17 Again”
Starring Matthew Perry, Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon
Directed by Burr Steers

Remember when there was a popular trend of body-switching movies back in the late 1980s? Need I remind you of “Like Father, Like Son” and “Vice Versa”? Well, anyway, here’s a variation of one (kind of like “Big”) about a man (Perry) dissatisfied with his life, who magically wakes up younger one day and gets a chance to relive his life as a 17-year-old (Efron). One would assume many awkward moments and valuable life lessons will ensue. (April 17)
Official Web site

“State of Play”
Starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright Penn, Jason Bateman, Jeff Daniels and Helen Mirren
Directed by Kevin Macdonald

Based on a BBC miniseries, a great cast heads up a story following a pair of reporters (Crowe and McAdams) looking into the murder of a U.S. Congressman’s staff member. As one might imagine, the investigation becomes much more complicated than a single murder. With lots of the releases in previous weeks aiming at the younger audience, this is one film that looks to be targeted squarely at adults. However, it will run into competition for that audience quickly, so word of mouth will need to be strong. (April 17)
Official Web site

“The Soloist”
Starring Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Catherine Keener, Tom Hollander, Lisa Gay Hamilton
Directed by Joe Wright

Following up on a red-hot 2008 (“Iron Man” and “Tropic Thunder”), Downey shares the screen with Oscar-winner Foxx as a reporter who befriends a homeless man – and a musically gifted one, at that. While the plot might sound a little far-fetched, it’s based on the true story of Nathaniel Ayers, a cellist prodigy, who suffers from schizophrenia and becomes homeless. Although the movie was delayed from a release date last November, it has the potential to become a strong Oscar contender for 2009. (April 24)
Official Web site

Starring Idris Alba, Beyoncé Knowles, Ali Larter, Bruce McGill, Jerry O’Connell and Christine Lahti
Directed by Steve Shill

Alba plays a successful businessman who finds his life thrown into turmoil when an office temp (Larter) begins taking a disturbing interest in him. Knowles co-stars as his wife in a film that is certainly not original, but might still be able to provide a little bit of trashy fun. (April 24)
Official Web site

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