Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Releases - Week of November 24th

Starring the voices of: Mandy Moore, Zachery Levi, Donna Murphy,
Ron Pearlman, M.C. Gainey, Jeffrey Tambor, Brad Garrett & Paul F. Tompkins
Directed by Byron Howard, Nathan Greno for distribution by Walt Disney Pictures


The Plot: A new re-telling of the classic fairytale “Rapunzel” with Mandy Moore voicing the long haired maiden and Zachery Levi as the dashing outlaw who discovers her castle while on the run.
The Final Word: In 1989 Disney began a new era of box office dominance with “The Little Mermaid.”  In the years following “the house the mouse built” thrived with some of the most profitable and critically acclaimed films (“Beauty & The Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin”) in the company’s history, culminating in 1995 with “Toy Story.” The Pixar classic paved the way for the next generation of animated storytelling and the early buzz is that “Tangled,” could so the same.

Starring:  Cher, Christina Aguilera, Eric Dane, Cam Gigandet, Julianne Hough,
Peter Gallagher, Alan Cumming,  Kristen Bell & Stanley Tucci
Directed by Steve Antin for distribution by Screen Gems (Sony)


The Plot: A small town girl (Aguilera) with a amazing voice stumbles upon a burlesque club, where the owner and headlining act (Cher) offers her a chance at a new life.
The Final Word:  Cher has been off the grid for a number of years, but every time she re-appears people do tend to take notice. Paired with Christian Aguilera and a strong supporting cast, the musical drama could make a splash or just fall flat, the jury is still out.

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thorton, Carla Gugino & Maggie Grace
Directed by George Tillman Jr. for distribution by CBS Films

The Plot: A wronged man (Johnson) freed from jail, after serving time for a botched bank robbery that took the life of his brother, decides to track down those responsible while being hunted himself.
The Final Word: CBS Films puts Dwayne Johnson in the driver’s seat of their first action movie, hoping the former wrestler’s presence will be enough to jump start their luck at the box office. This is a radically different type of story than the studio’s two previous films (“Extraordinary Measures” & “The Back-Up Plan”), but just may be what they need to succeed.

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Oliver Platt & Hank Azaria
Directed by Ed Zwick for distribution by 20th Century Fox

The Plot: A pharmaceutical sales rep (Gyllenhaal) falls for an alluring free spirit (Hathaway) only to learn love is a type of drug that he isn’t as familiar with as he thought.
The Final Word: Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway have a lot more in common that many people would probably assume at first glance. Breaking onto the scene around the same time, the pair have both stayed out of the negative Hollywood limelight. In fact they’ve made successful careers out of playing the same type of damaged characters, some of their not so lucky contemporaries have turned into. While movies that focus on flawed characters don’t always lead to high box office receipts they do lead to success during Oscar season, which is something these former nominees know a lot about.

Starring: Elle Fanning, Nathan Lane, Charlie Row & John Turturro
Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky for distribution by Freestyle Releasing


The Plot: The classic holiday tale returns to theatres, but this time in 3D.
The Final Word: Really not much to discuss here. This cherished story always does well around this time of the year no matter what the medium.

Previewed next week: "The Warrior's Way" and a special "Oscar" preview.