Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winter 2010 Movie Preview (Part II)

Movie releases in February are typically a mixed lot, as big hits rarely emerge from the month. But the quality of this year’s offerings for the month (at least at first glance) appears promising.

“From Paris with Love”
Starring John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak, Richard Durden
Directed by Pierre Morel

After the critically-panned “Old Dogs” limped into theaters late last year, it’s good to see Travolta back doing something with at least some edge – and sporting a new look, to boot. He’s sans hair in this action pic from the director of “Taken,” playing an aggressive FBI agent on the hunt for terrorists in Paris. “Taken” was a surprise hit last year, and some of the same elements that made that film successful seem to be in place here. (Feb. 5)
Official Web site

“The Wolfman”
Starring Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving
Directed by Joe Johnston

The 1941 horror classic gets a remake, retaining a similar storyline of a man (Del Toro) reuniting with his estranged father (Hopkins) in England following the disappearance of his brother. A vicious creature is discovered to be behind the deaths of a number of villagers and a Scotland Yard detective (Weaving) arrives to investigate. Despite having its release date moved around several times, Universal has been aggressively marketing the film in recent weeks. (Feb. 12)
Official Web site

“Valentine’s Day”
Starring Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Patrick Dempsey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Ashton Kutcher, Julia Roberts, Taylor Swift
Directed by Garry Marshall

An all-star cast assembles for a comedy looking at relationships and love for a group of people in Los Angeles. With such a gigantic cast fighting for screen time, it’ll be interesting to see how director Marshall (“Pretty Woman”) can juggle the multiple story arcs. This would seem to be this year’s “He Just Not That Into You,” which also featured a relatively young and attractive cast dealing with love. (Feb. 12)
Official Web site

“Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief”
Starring Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Rosario Dawson, Steve Coogan, Uma Thurman
Directed by Chris Columbus

Based on the popular book by Rick Riordan, “Percy Jackson” involves a teenager (Lerman) finding out that the gods of Mount Olympus truly exist and are now a very real part of his life. They battle over Zeus’ missing lightning bolt, while Percy looks to find his missing mother. Columbus has generated big hits from youth-oriented material before (the first two “Harry Potter” movies, “Home Alone”), so this potential film franchise might be in trustworthy hands. (Feb. 12)
Official Web site

“Shutter Island”
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson and Max Van Sydow
Directed by Martin Scorsese

This thriller was bumped from its fall release date, presumably because of the lack of availability of DiCaprio to do publicity for it. It would be hard to imagine the studio feels they have a bomb on their hand. It can’t be with these stars and a director who is among the most consistently good in Hollywood. DiCaprio (in his fourth film with Scorsese) and Ruffalo are federal marshals who visit a mental institution to investigate the mysterious disappearance of one of the residents. (Feb. 19)
Official Web site

“Cop Out”
Starring Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Adam Brody, Kevin Pollak, Guillermo Diaz and Seann William Scott
Directed by Kevin Smith

For the first time in his career, Smith is directing a script that he didn’t write. This is the tried and true (some would say tired) buddy cop genre at work here, with Willis and Morgan (“30 Rock”) as the mismatched partners on the beat. Based on his background, it would stand to reason that Smith won’t be making the standard issue cop movie. Still, the trailer isn’t an instant confidence booster. (Feb. 26)
Official Web site

No comments: