Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spring 2010 Movie Preview, Part 1

With spring just around the corner as the month begins, March usually holds some promise for movie studios to find a few hits in the mix. This month’s releases look to contain some fresh options, along with the overly familiar.

“Alice in Wonderland”
Starring Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas and Mia Wasikowska
Directed by Tim Burton

Director Burton has long been a very visual director, so his taking on the Lewis Carroll classic seems a no-brainer. Reteaming with his frequent star Depp (playing the Mad Hatter), coming out in 3D, “Alice” has hit written all over it. This film picks up several years after Alice’s first visit through the looking glass, as she teams up with her friends to try to take down the Red Queen (Carter). (March 5)
Official Web site

“Brooklyn’s Finest”
Starring Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke and Wesley Snipes
Directed by Antoine Fuqua

This crime drama follows three policemen (Gere, Cheadle and Hawke) as they arrive at pivotal moments in their careers and lives. The cast and the director are certainly good here, but they’ve all certainly been down this road before. In fact, Hawke has played a cop before with Fuqua behind the camera, to great results (“Training Day”). (March 5)
Official Web site

“Green Zone”
Starring Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Amy Ryan, Khalid Abdalla and Jason Isaacs
Directed by Paul Greengrass

Following the huge success of the “Bourne Identity” series, Damon and Greengrass team up once again in an action-thriller about a U.S. Army warrant officer looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, prior to the U.S. surge into the country. The film, while not crowd-pleasing subject matter, could be helped by the success of another Iraq-based film, “The Hurt Locker.” (March 12)
Official Web site

“The Bounty Hunter”
Starring Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler, Jason Sudeikis, Dorian Missick
Directed by Andy Tennant

An ex-couple, one a bounty hunter (Butler), the other a bail-jumping reporter (Aniston) looking into a murder case, are forced to depend on each other when their lives are threatened. But can the constantly bickering duo find that being on the run together might rekindle their romance? If you don’t know the answer to that question, you obviously haven’t seen many romantic comedies. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, by the way. (March 19)
Official Web site

“Season of the Witch”
Starring Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Stephen Campbell Moore, Claire Foy and Christopher Lee
Directed by Dominic Sena

The seemingly always working Cage stars as a 14th century knight looking to bring in a suspected witch to a monastery. The monks there believe she is responsible for the Black Plague and wish to put an end to their country’s misery. A movie set during the Black Plague probably isn’t going to generate much laughter, and it remains to be seen if this part is just another paycheck for Cage. He’s certainly been guilty of selecting quantity over quality in recent years. (March 19)
Official Web site

“Hot Tub Time Machine”
Starring John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Crispin Glover, Lizzy Caplan and Chevy Chase
Directed by Steve Pink

This certainly is no high-concept movie, with the story of four guys unhappy with their lives finding themselves transported via a hot tub back to 1986 with the chance to rewrite history. But for those who grew up in the 1980s, there is some undeniable appeal here. Cusack himself starred in several comedies from the ‘80s, so it’s interesting to see him in another as an adult. Hopefully, this isn’t a case of the trailer revealing all the best jokes. (March 26)
Official Web site

“How to Train Your Dragon”
Starring the voices of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrara, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill
Directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders

DreamWorks Animation has had a good track record, and the makers of “Lilo and Stitch” are on board for a tale of an awkward teenage Viking who befriends a dragon that leads he and his village to reexamine their adversarial relationship with the winged creatures. Heavy publicity for this 3D movie will begin during the Winter Olympics, which should build anticipation. (March 26)
Official Web site

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