Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Releases - Week of September 23, 2011

Starring: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs,
Maria Bello, Denzel Whitaker, Michael Nyqvist & Sigourney Weaver
Directed by John Singleton for distribution by Lionsgate

The Plot: A teenager’s life is thrown into chaos when he learns his entire childhood has been lie and is forced to go on the run.

The Final Word: Sorry to all the “Twi-hard” haters hoping for Taylor Lautner to just go away following the conclusion of the “Twilight” movies, but that Hollywood has embraced the young star. Lionsgate, who has a knack for under-anticipated yet very successful action films, pairs Lautner with “Boyz in the Hood” director John Singleton. The Oscar nominee has basically been MIA from Hollywood since 2005’s “Four Brothers’ and could make a strong comeback courtesy of much buzzed about script.

Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Robin Wright, Stephen Bishop, Kathyrn Morris & Chris Pratt
Directed by Bennett Miller for distribution by Columbia Pictures (Sony)

The Plot: The true story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane who defied conventional logic to construct a playoff caliber baseball team.

The Final Word: When baseball fans found out that one of baseball’s Bibles was being brought to the screen with Brad Pitt in the lead role and Aaron Sorkin at the typewriter, they scoffed. Yet, these will also be the first people in line to see it. Pitt, Sorkin and director Bennett Miller (“Capote”) are all garnering Oscar buzz and with good reason. Incidentally this is actually the second version of the movie being produced by Sony as the first one was canned due to its high budget; ironic huh?

Starring: Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro, Yvonne Strahovski,
Dominic Purcell, Aden Young, Ben Mendelsohn, Lachy Hulme,
Firass Dirani, Grant Bowler & Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Directed by Gary McKendryfor distribution by Open Road Films

The Plot: A former special ops agent is lured out of retirement to rescue his kidnapped mentor.

The Final Word: It isn’t often new studios pop up on the scene and it is even less often that the ones that do put out successful films. Although with FilmDistrict’s successful foray into theaters as a guide, OpenRoad pictures is looking for that same type of magic thanks to a strong cast including Jason Statham, Robert DeNiro and Clive Owen. That and the fact it’s essentially a non-thinking action film and even more interesting is that it is based on a real story.

Starring: Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson,
Nathan Gamble, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Austin Stowell & Morgan Freeman
Directed by Charles Martin Smith for distribution by Warner Brothers

The Plot: The true story of a group of strangers who come together to save the life of an injured dolphin only to learn her plight could save the lives of others.

The Final Word: In the wake of “Soul Surfer” and a few other low-budget, low profile family friendly films comes “Dolphin Tale,” which for no explainable reason is in 3D. People’s aren’t going to see this before its 3D, they are going to see this, because there is a serious lack of live action family movies. The appeal of leads Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd are all big draws. Yet this is a busy week for movies and its possible “Tale” could be overshadowed.

Previewed next week: 50/50, Dream House, What's Your Number?