Saturday, March 26, 2011

New In Theaters - April 1st, 2011

Starring: James Marsden, Russell Brand, Kaley Cuoco, Hank Azaria, Gary Cole,
Elizabeth Perkins, David Hasselhoff, Chelsea Handler & Hugh Laurie
Directed by Tim Hill for distribution by Universal

The Plot: A out of work slacker (Marsden) is tricked into taking care of the Easter Bunny’s son (Brand), who ran away to Los Angeles instead of taking over the family business.

The Final Word: “Hop” cleverly blends CGI and live-action to tell this story about an unlikely friendship. Russell Brand lends his voice to the Easter Bunny’s son E.B., who instead of taking over for dear old dad, wants to be a drummer in Hollywood. Upon his arrival, Marsden’s character hits E.B. with his car and the bunny fakes an injury in exchange for a place to stay. It’s actually a fun concept and is (of course) perfectly timed to the upcoming Easter holiday. This will also be the first movie for “The Big Bang Theory’s” Kaley Cuoco since her sitcom premiered. She’ll co-star as Marsden’s love interest, who is also admired by E.B.

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye,
Ty Simpkins & Barbara Hershey
Directed by James Wan for distribution by FilmDistrict

The Plot: A family finds their new house haunted by evil spirits only to realize the root of their problem may not actually be the house.

The Final Word: This new take on the classic haunted house genre comes courtesy of a collaboration of talent from the people behind “Saw” and “Paranormal Activity.” Horror films are notoriously unpredictable, but they have also been a hugely successful as of late. With the pedigree behind this film and a cast led by rising stars Patrick Wilson and “Damages’” Rose Bryne, upstart company FilmDistrict could make a splash if it doesn’t get overshadowed by “Source Code.”

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga & Jeffrey Wright
Directed by Duncan Jones for distribution by Summit Entertainment

The Plot: A soldier (Gyllenhaal) becomes a part of a secret government program known as the “Source Code,” where he is given the ability to travel back in time to eight minutes prior to a terrorist attack.

The Final Word: Director Duncan Jones put himself on the map in 2009 with a little-known film called “Moon.” The indie hit attracted the attention of Summit, which led to this movie, which could probably best be described as “Groundhog Day” with a twist. The son of David Bowie, Jones is slowly making a name for himself and is looking for “Code” to bring him mainstream buzz. The tricky part here is that Gyllenhaal, while known in the mainstream, still hasn’t been able to prove he can consistently open a picture on his own. Yes, “Brokeback Mountain” and “The Day After Tomorrow” did extremely well, but he was also a supporting player in both. While he is a talented actor, his films don’t perform well, with the most obvious example being last year’s high profile dud “Prince of Persia.” Although “Code” is just the right mix of indie, but molded for mainstream viewing, so it is possible he could be a great fit here, but honestly the jury is still out.

Starring: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon & Nathan Fillion
Directed by James Gunn for distribution by IFC Midnight (Films)

The Plot: An ordinary man (Wilson) transforms himself into a superhero after his wife (Tyler) leaves him for a psychopathic drug dealer (Bacon).

The Final Word: This is the definition of an indie film, but it comes with a very mainstream cast, which should earn it some attention. Although Gunn, who also wrote the script, is known for dark and edgy style which could limit its potential audience, but more than likely those going to see it will know ahead of time what to expect.: An ordinary man (Wilson) transforms himself into a superhero after his wife (Tyler) leaves him for a psychopathic drug dealer (Bacon).

Previewed next week: Arthur, Hanna, Born To Be Wild 3D, Your Highness