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Hello all, and welcome back to another exciting edition of the MovieDruid.  I hope everyone had a great week and is ready for some cinematic goodies because there are a couple this week that have some real potential.  Also, look for my review of Quentin Tarantino’s WWII flick "Inglorious Basterds" later today on the MovieDruid reviews page.

That being said, away we go…

“All About Steve”

Trailer

Synopsis: Sandra Bullock plays eccentric crossword puzzle constructor Mary Horowitz who, after one short but sweet blind date, falls for handsome cable news cameraman Steve. Convinced they are soulmates, Mary follows Steve across the country, encouraged by the self-serving actions of news reporter Hartman Hughes. Along the way, Mary befriends an endearing group of oddballs who embrace her idiosyncrasies – forcing her to rethink her entire journey.

MovieDruid’s Comments: Comedy and the MovieDruid aren’t exactly best of friends, as most of my readers know.  It’s not that I have no sense of humor, or that I dislike comedies on principle, it’s just that I find most comedies are just not engaging to me.  I know many people (maybe even most) go to the movies to escape and turn their brain off for awhile.  I do not.  I like a movie that engages my brain on some level.  That being said, this film doesn’t sound like the kind of film that is going to do that.  The cast seems solid enough with Sandra Bullock (“28 Days” & “Speed”) and Thomas Hayden Church (“Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight” & “Spider-Man 3”), but the almost slapstick nature of the plot seems like the typical comedies that Hollywood puts out, and, unfortunately, these just aren’t my cup of tea.

“Carriers”

Trailers

Synopsis: Four kids are driving through the desert on the way to the beach, their faces anything but cheery: this isn’t Spring Break. They’re trying to outrun the end of the world – and each other. In Álex and David Pastor’s CARRIERS, no one is safe from the viral pandemic threatening to wipe out the human race. Determined to elude the deadly virus, Danny (LOU TAYLOR PUCCI), his brother Brian (CHRIS PINE), his girlfriend Bobby (PIPER PERABO) and Danny’s school friend Kate (EMILY VANCAMP) speed across the Southwestern U.S. to reach a place of possible safety. Over the course of four days, the group is faced with moral decisions that no human should ever be forced to face. They discover that their greatest enemy is not the microbe attacking humanity, but the darkness within themselves.

MovieDruid’s Comments: I have to admit, the concept of this film is intriguing, if not terribly original.  I know it is territory that has been covered before and will be covered again, but a film that uses cataclysm as a backdrop to explore the depths of human darkness will at least be interesting from a moral standpoint.  The problem I see here is that the directors are relatively inexperienced and they seem to be setting this up to be yet another late summer teen horror flick.  The cast is serviceable, but fairly unproven on the big screen.  This one looks more like a second run or DVD rental viewing to me.

“Gamer”

Trailer

Synopsis: GAMER is a high-concept action thriller set in a near future when gaming and entertainment have evolved into a terrifying new hybrid. Humans control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online games: people play people…for keeps. Mind-control technology is widespread, and at the heart of the controversial games is its creator, reclusive billionaire Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall). His latest brainchild, the first-person shooter game “Slayers,” allows millions to act out their most savage fantasies online in front of a global audience, using real prisoners as avatars with whom they fight to the death.

MovieDruid Comments: I have high hopes for this one, but many worries.  The directing team of  Taylor and Neveldine gave us the two Jason Statham vehicles “Crank” and “Crank: High Voltage.” And while I admittedly have not seen the second, the first was a fun, if at times silly, action film (the second appears to be much of the same).  They definitely have an eye for making a solid action flick, but at times they stray into territory that becomes ridiculous.  Perhaps that won’t be the case here, but I would suspect there will be at least a little of the ridiculousness here as well.  The star, Gerard Butler (“300” & “Reign of Fire”) is a good choice for this sort of role, and the supporting cast is an interesting group of names.  I think, however, my biggest concern with this one is the potential for the film to be used as an agenda piece.  The politics of my gaming (one of my favorite hobbies) is already rife with false innuendo and tenuous evidence of violent gamers, this film seems set to continue, and perhaps even reinforce, the stereotype.  Let’s just hope the likes of Jack Thompson don’t get a hold of the film and started waving ot like a flag for their cause.

“Extract” – MovieDruid Pick of the Week

Trailer

Synopsis: Extract, is the new movie from writer/director Mike Judge . Joel, played by Jason Bateman , is one step away from selling his flavor extract factory and retiring to easy street when a freak workplace accident sets in motion a series of disasters that put his business and personal life in jeopardy. The film also stars Kristen Wiig , Mila Kunis and Ben Affleck.

MovieDruid’s Comments: I’m guessing many of ou are surprised that this would be my pick, especially after my rant in the comments on “All About Steve.”  However, this comedy seems to have a little more smarts to it, especially considering Mike Judge’s incredible work on “Office Space.”  Judge has assembled a very solid cast for this one that includes the very underrated Jason Bateman (“Juno” & “The Kingdom”) in the lead.  From all indications, the film seems to follow in the footsteps of “Office Space” by not taking itself too seriously while still delivering a comedy that is actually a bit deeper than it appears on the surface.  I have high expectations for this one.

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One Comment

  1. Intresting pick of the week – I am more hyped about Gamer – bad scifi is still better than good comedy


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