Friday, May 25, 2012

New In Theaters - June 1, 2012

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth,
Sam Claflin, Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Eddie Izzard & Bob Hoskins
Directed by Rupert Sanders for distribution by Universal

The Plot: A new take on the classic “Snow White” fairy tale finds the “fairest of them all” teaming with the very same huntsman hired to kill her by the land’s evil queen.

The Final Word: Earlier this year, audiences were treated to Relativity’s under-performing lighter version of “Snow White” with “Mirror Mirror,” but where that movie wasn’t able to succeed, “Huntsman” may have some luck. This is darker take on the well-known story and has the star power of “Twilight’s” Kristen Stewart and “Avenger’s” lead Chris Hemsworth. Paired with Oscar winner Charlize Theron as the aforementioned evil queen, the trio could surprise at the box office given the lack of competition.

Starring: Danielle Panabaker, Matt Bush, Chris Zylka, David Koechner,
Meagan Tandy, Paul James Jordan, Jean-Luc Bilodeau,
Hector Jimenez, Adrian Martinez, Clu Gulager, Gary Busey,
Katrina Bowden, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, 
Paul Scheer & David Hasselhoff
Directed by John Gulager for distribution by Dimension (Weinstein Company)

The Plot: The small but deadly piranhas are back and ready for more blood!

The Final Word: Following the events of the original, “Piranha 3DD” is back with even more of same over the top carnage that made it mini-hit a few years back. While it didn’t set the box office on fire, “Piranha” didn’t really have to as it didn’t cost that much to make. Still, this is an example of a studio coming right out and not trying to spin a project something it’s not, which is incredibly refreshing.  Dimension isn’t expecting to win any awards for this picture, they just want to give audiences fun escape during the summer.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

New In Theaters - May 25, 2012

Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin,
Jemaine Clement, Emma Thompson,
Nicole Scherzinger, Alice Eve & Michael Stuhlbarg
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld for distribution by Columbia Pictures (Sony)

The Plot: In order to save the life of his friend and partner, Agent J of the “Men In Black” travels back in time to change the past while accompanied by a younger version of Agent K.

 The Final Word: Believe it or not, it’s been a decade since Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones slipped on their trademark black suits and hit cinemas worldwide. Now the pair is back with new addition Josh Brolin, who plays a dead-on younger version of Jones’ Agent K. With “The Avengers” beginning to come back to Earth, audiences are looking for that next big tent-pole based on material they are familiar with and this will more than likely be it.

Starring: Devin Kelley, Jonathan Sadowski, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal,
Olivia Taylor Dudley, Jesse McCartney, Nathan Philips &Dimitri Diatchenko
Directed by Brad Parker for distribution by Warner Brothers

The Plot: Six tourists looking for a thrill hire an “extreme” tour guide who takes them to the abandoned city of Pripyat and the remnants of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, where they quickly realize they aren’t the only ones there!

 The Final Word: Found footage films have made a major comeback as of late, but Oren Peli, who was heavily responsible for that resurgence, is ready to try something different. The “Paranormal Activity” director is going in a new direction with this thriller/horror/mystery flick that has the potential to be the sleeper surprise of the summer.

Friday, May 4, 2012

New In Theaters - May 18, 2012

Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Alexander Skarsgard,
Rihanna, Asano Tadanob & Liam Neeson
Directed by Peter Berg for distribution by Universal

The Plot: A fleet of US Navy ships are forced into battle with a species of unknown origin who have their sights set on world domination!

 The Final Word: Based on the Hasbro board game (yes, you read that right), “Battleship” has been the focus of many jokes since it was officially announced. Yet, after blowing the competition out of the water in foreign markets, Universal is gaining increased confidence it could do just as well domestically. Taking the ridiculous of the plot out of the conversation, the film actually has a solid cast (including the very bankable Liam Nesson) and is being directed by “Friday Night Lights” guru Peter Berg, so the studio could end up getting the last laugh here.

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford,
Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid,
Chris Rock, Rodrigo Santoro, Ben Falcone, Joe Manganiello & Thomas Lennon
Directed by Kirk Jones for distribution by Lionsgate

The Plot: The lives of five couples intertwine as they go through the ups and downs of pregnancy in this film based on the best-selling novel of the same name.

 The Final Word: With an all-star cast that includes Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid and Chris Rock (among many others) this should have appeal to a wide variety of audiences. Although coming off the box office bomb that was “New Year’s Eve,” it looks like audiences could be tiring of this ensemble approach to comedy. Then again, after weeks of superheroes, vampires and alien ships, viewers may be begging for a comedy.

Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley,
Megan Fox, John C. Reilly & J.B. Smoove
Directed by Larry Charles for distribution by Paramount

The Plot: A dictator risks his life to ensure that democracy never comes to the nation he “lovingly” oppressed.

The Final Word: Sacha Baron Cohen returns to the big screen with his latest crazy creation in a comedy that has the potential to be as successful as his 2006 hit “Borat.” For months Cohen has promoted the film in character as the self-absorbed leader of the fictional country of Wadiya and the buzz seems to be ready to pay off.  Still, Cohen took an ego hit when his “Bruno” essentially crashed and burned at the box office, so experts still aren’t sure how this picture will play. Conservative estimates place it somewhere between the two features.

New In Theaters - May 11, 2012

Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter,
Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Eva Green &  Chloë Grace Moretz
Directed by Tim Burton for distribution by Warner Brothers

The Plot: A vampire escapes from his decades long imprisonment and returns to his family home only to realize his eccentric descendants need his help.

The Final Word: Based on the long-running TV series, the remake will mark director Tim Burton’s eighth collaboration with Johnny Depp and his seventh with Helena Bonham Carter (who’s also his wife).  The interesting thing here will be the audience’s reaction as the original series was more serious than this film version. A lot of the humor from the show actually was un-intentional and the result of network refusing to do retakes, whereas here it is all scripted. Still it is Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, so you can bet audiences will line up to see their spin on it.