Around this time, the Oscar worthy movies start hitting the cinemas. And these kinds of movies get my blood boiling as I'm already worn down from all of the fluffy Summer blockbusters. There looks to be some good movies coming in December including a much hyped movie from James Cameron that is claiming to change the way we will watch movies. I also have to catch up on some of the summer movies on DVD that I have missed. Here's the quick roll call:
Invictus- Has Clint Eastwood ever directed a bad movie? I don't think so. Unforgiven, Gran Turino, Flags Of Our Fathers, and Mystic River were all winners. Pretty impressive since he seems to churn these movies out pretty quickly at a rate of one per year. Invictus tells the story of Nelson Mandela (played by Morgan Freeman in a logical casting choice) and his first term as president after many years spent in prison due to apartheid. He campaigns to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup in order to unite South Africa. Also starring Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar as the team's captain who establishes a relationship with Mandela. I smell Oscar buzz for this one, and if Morgan Freeman can nail the role, he is going to earn another nomination.
Up In The Air- Everybody is claiming this is the movie to beat for Best Picture of 2009, and also George Clooney is a shoo-in to nab his first Best Actor Academy Award. Jason Reitman helmed the movie, and is on fire right now after giving us Thank For For Smoking (a great movie I should add!) and Juno. It never hurts when your dad is Ivan Reitman. The movie is based on the 2001 book, and features Clooney as a professional consultant who is sent across the country to fire employees. I'm not going to dive into anything else about the movie. But with everything going on in today's economy, this movie definitely will hit home with a lot of people. It's a love story, but also very dark and twisted. Christmas day is traditionally movie night for the Hersh family, and I'm pretty sure this will be the one I'll see as long as it doesn't sell out. Hmm, maybe my entire family will agree on a movie we can all go see together this time.
Avatar- Hype hype hype! The CGI and cinematography look amazing, but the overall plot is kind of weak from what I've seen so far. James Cameron has wanted to make this film for years, but needed to wait until the technology was available to create his vision. I'll see it because Cameron's movies usually don't disappoint (except maybe The Abyss!). If he really thinks Avatar is going to break Titanic's box office records, then he has been watching way too much of himself on Entourage. it could be the next Star Wars, or it could be a big disappointment like Water World. Can't wait to find out!
Brothers- I've always though Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire were the same person, so it's a perfect casting choice to have them play brothers fighting over the same woman. The plot revolves around Tobey Maguire's character being married to Natalie Portman's character, but ships off to to Afghanistan for battle. While he is overseas, his brother played by Jake Gyllenhaal wants to make peace with the family after serving time in prison and becomes closer to his sister-in-law. When it is discovered that Tobey passed away in a helicopter crash, Jake and Natalie share a kiss, but that's all. But Tobey never actually died, he just was taken prisoner and is psychologically scarred from the incident upon his rescue. He comes back and thinks something is up and the shit is about to hit the fan. Sounds intriguing.
The Princess And The Frog- Disney's first back to basic animated feature. Glad to see that CGI totally hasn't killed an old formula that still works. It's the first Disney animated film to feature African-American characters and twists around the fairy tale of a frog becoming a prince when he is kissed by a princess. Instead, what happens is the princess becomes a frog and learns a few more of life's lessons on the way. I am not a fan of sitting in a movie theater full of kids, so I might pass on this one until it hits DVD. It should do very well, and pave the way for more old-school animated films to be produced.
Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel- Surprise, surprise! I actually enjoyed the first movie paying homage to one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons when I was a child. Yet, I'm skeptical about sequels. We do get the Chippettes this time around which should be fun. Even if the movie blows, it will still make a lot of money because every mother on the planet will take their kids to see it. At least I'll get some new songs to download for my music collection.
On DVD, I need to watch UP and make sure it can't be any worse than the last piece of shit Pixar released last summer (WALL-E), Land Of The Lost to see if it's going to earn some Razzie nominations, 500 Days of Summer which got a lot of good buzz and is returning to theaters to spur on receiving some Oscar nominations, Angels and Demons because I missed it in theaters but have to hope it's better than the abominable DaVinci Code, Funny People to see if Judd Apatow really dropped the ball on this one, and The Taking of Pelham 123 to see some conflict between Denzel and Travolta.
And of course, the new American Pie movie, American Pie: Book Of Love comes straight to DVD in a few weeks. Here is the plot straight from IMDB: Ten years after the first American Pie movie, three new hapless virgins discover the Bible hidden in the school library at East Great Falls High. Unfortunately for them, the book is ruined, and with incomplete advice, the Bible leads them on a hilarious journey to lose their virginity. These direct to DVD Pie sequels have been quite funny and raunchy, and worth seeing for a few laughs. Eugene Levy is back for another installment as Mr. Levinstein to earn another easy paycheck. And rumor has it that Tara Reid is returning for this one considering she is now yesterday's news. Wonder if Chris Klein is ready to appear in the next one. Got to mark my calendar for Dec. 22 to catch this!