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Hello, all. 

First, I’d like to apologize for the further lack of reviews.  Life has been hectic of late and attendance at the cinema hasn’t been in the cards, unfortunately.  I did, however, get a bit of a treat last evening.  My wife and I attended Fathom Events one night showing of the new high definition print of “The Wizard of Oz.” 

It was truly a rare treat to get o see this classic not only in its newly restored beauty, but on the big screen.  There is a reason this film is timeless, and I was reminded of all the magic last night.  If you are a fan of the film, Warner is releasing the film in a 70th anniversary edition next Tuesday, and it will be available for the first time in high definition on Blu-Ray as well.

Well, from classics of 70 years to this week’s latest releases, off we go…..

“Pandorum”

Trailer

Synopsis: Two astronauts awaken in a hyper-sleep chamber aboard a seemingly abandoned spacecraft. It’s pitch black, they are disoriented, and the only sound is a low rumble and creak from the belly of the ship. They can’t remember anything. Who are they? What is their mission? With Lt. Payton staying behind to guide him via radio transmitter, Cpl. Bower ventures deep into the ship and begins to uncover a terrifying reality. Slowly the spacecraft’s shocking, deadly secrets are revealed, and the astronauts find their own survival is more important than they could ever have imagined.

MovieDruid’s Comments: Horror and sci-fi are two of my favorite genres.  And, when done right (“Alien,” “Event Horizon”), the mix of the two can be absolutely breathtaking as the genres simply reinforce one another.  My worry here is that the film looks like old territory rehashed.  The trailers look like a strange concoction of “28 Days Later” and “Aliens.”  The director, Christian Alvart, has only a few movies under his belt, and none that were stateside releases, so it is hard to get a feel for his vision at this point.  The two lead astronauts are an interesting pair with Dennis Quaid (“Dragonheart” & “The Express”) and Ben Foster (“3:10 To Yuma” & “30 Days Of Night”) in the roles.  The film has potential, my sci-fi and horror are, individually difficult to do well, together the tightrope becomes even narrower.

“Fame”

Trailer

Synopsis: A reinvention of the original Oscar®-winning hit film, “Fame” follows a talented group of dancers, singers, actors, and artists over four years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts, a diverse, creative powerhouse where students from all walks of life are given a chance to live out their dreams and achieve real and lasting fame…the kind that comes only from talent, dedication, and hard work. In an incredibly competitive atmosphere, plagued by self-doubt, each student’s passion will be put to the test. In addition to their artistic goals, they have to deal with everything else that goes along with high school, a tumultuous time full of schoolwork, deep friendships, budding romance, and self-discovery. As each student strives for his or her moment in the spotlight, they’ll discover who among them has the innate talent and necessary discipline to succeed. With the love and support of their friends and fellow artists, they’ll find out who amongst them will achieve… Fame.

MovieDruid’s Comments: I considered making this my pick of the week, and it was a difficult decision to be quite honest.  The original film and the TV series it spawned both are old favorites.  Now, I know that may come as a shock to some of you, but well performed drama is always near the top of my list, and when you add the artistry of the music and dance in this film it should be a standout.  I am no fan of television in general, even less so of reality TV, but if the popularity of shows like “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” has gotten Hollywood to revisit “Fame” then I am all for it.

Surrogates” – MovieDruid Pick of the Week

Trailer

Synopsis: People are living their lives remotely from the safety of their own homes via robotic surrogates-sexy, physically perfect mechanical representations of themselves. It’s an ideal world where crime, pain, fear and consequences don’t exist. When the first murder in years jolts this utopia, FBI agent Greer discovers a vast conspiracy behind the surrogate phenomenon and must abandon his own surrogate, risking his life to unravel the mystery.

MovieDruid’s Comments:  This was one of the harder weeks to select my pick, but “Surrogates” is getting the nod.  The director, Jonathan Mostow, has a mixed pedigree having foisted “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” upon us.  However, he has proven he is able to create tension and solid character development with “U-571.”  Add to that the cast he has to work with, which includes Bruce Willis (“The Fifth Element” & “The Jackal”), Radha Mitchell (“Pitch Black” & “Man on Fire”), Ving Rhames (“Pulp Fiction” & “Dawn of the Dead”), and James Cromwell (“The Green Mile” & “L.A. Confidential”), he should be able to craft a well made film.  Hopefully, like most good sci-fi, the sci-fi elements will almost be inconsequential to the telling of a solid story.  A film like this is a thriller that should not allow effects to overshadow plot.  I have every hope that will be the case.

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