Saturday, March 5, 2011

New In Theaters - March 11th, 2011

Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Ramon Rodriguez,
Bridget Moynahan, Ne-Yo & Michael Pena
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman for distribution by Columbia (Sony)

The Plot: For years conspiracy theorists have claimed the existence of UFOs was being covered up; but what if they were right? After many early and ignored signs, Los Angeles finds itself under attack from hostile visitors the likes of which the world has never seen and a Marine staff sergeant (Eckhart) finds his platoon may be the world’s last hope.

The Final Word: Aliens attacking Los Angeles isn’t a new concept, but that has never stopped Hollywood from trying to put a new spin on it. Director Jonathan Liebseman is a hot property these days and Columbia believes his touch will attract audiences to this movie, whose concept is reportedly (loosely) based on an incident during World War II known as the “Battle of Los Angeles.” Although the irony here is that Disney has selected the same weekend for its animated alien pseudo-attack film. Of course they are targeting two extremely different audiences, but I can’t remember the last time to similarly themed went head to head on the same opening weekend. Now that will be a battle!

Starring (voices): Seth Green, Dan Fogler, Elisabeth Harnois,
Mindy Sterling, Kevin Cahoon & Joan Cusack
Directed by Simon Wells for distribution by Walt Disney Pictures

The Plot: A nine year old (Green) stows away on a spaceship to Mars after the Martians kidnapped his mother (Cusack) to act as a surrogate for their kids.

The Final Word: So while Columbia has aliens attacking Los Angeles, Disney has them kidnapping Earth mothers. The main plot difference here is that while “Battle” takes place on Earth, most of “Mars” takes place in space. Based on the book by Berkeley Breathed, this 3D/CGI/IMAX film is from the same producers of Disney “A Christmas Carol” and Warner’s “The Polar Express,” so they clearly have the whole added dimension thing down by this point, which should help remedy some of the 3D problems that has gripped the studios as of late.

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Lukas Haas, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, 
Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Virginia Madsen & Julie Christie
Directed by Catherine Hardwicke for distribution by Warner Brothers

The Plot: A medieval village is targeted by a werewolf in this update of the classic fairy tale with a dark undertone.

The Final Word: “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke returns to theaters in a movie that could very well be a different version of the popular teen book series she helped launch, complete with werevolves. Here rising star Amanda Seyfried steps into the iconic red cape and in this adaptation falls for woodcutter with a bad reputation. Hardwicke is major draw for the teen sect and she has two popular young leads that will bring audiences to theaters. The only major drawback is that this is going to be prove to be a busy week for the sci-fi/fantasy genre and it result in lower grosses across the board.

Previewed next week: Limitless, The Lincoln Lawyer, Paul