Hello, again, everyone.
The first truly warm days came to central Pennsylvania this week, so I hope those of you in the area managed to enjoy the sunshine just a bit. This weekend we officially make the transition from winter to spring on Saturday, so hopefully this long winter of snow and ice can be left behind as a mere memory.
However, beautiful weather is not excuse for not attending the cinema! There are some good releases coming this spring as we gear up for yet another summer movie season.
So, kick back and prepare yourself for this week’s national releases…
“The Bounty Hunter”
Synopsis: Milo Boyd, a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter, gets his dream job when he is assigned to track down his bail-jumping ex-wife, reporter Nicole Hurly. He thinks all that’s ahead is an easy payday, but when Nicole gives him the slip so she can chase a lead on a murder cover-up, Milo realizes that nothing ever goes simply with him and Nicole. The exes continually one-up each other — until they find themselves on the run for their lives. They thought their promise to love, honor and obey was tough — staying alive is going to be a whole lot tougher.
MovieDruid’s Comments: OK, first off, can anyone who ever had a bad breakup say they wouldn’t love a shot at having to drag their ex in for jumping bail? The concept here is rife with not only comic potential, but a relatable feeling that most of us have had at one time or another. And they found a good choice in director Andy Tennant (“Fools Rush In” & “Anna & The King”). The real question here is whether Jennifer Aniston (“The Break-Up” & “Bruce Almighty”) can gel on-screen with Gerard Butler (“300” & “Timeline”). This film will depend on that chemistry, and while the two are both gifted performers, they come from different worlds creatively. It will be interesting to see how this one goes.
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”
Synopsis: Meet the kid who made “wimpy” cool, in a family comedy based on the best—selling illustrated novel Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, the first in a series that has thus far sold 24 million copies. DIARY OF A WIMPY KID chronicles the adventures of wise—cracking middle school student Greg Heffley, who must somehow survive the scariest time of anyone’s life: middle school.
MovieDruid’s Comments: This is the first non-animated family feature I have seen come out in some time that didn’t make me roll my eyes. First off, it is based on a book that amounts to a hand-drawn graphic novel for kids laid out as the diary of a middle-schooler. Second, it is a smart film, that doesn’t appear to treat kids as small, stupid adults, which far too many family films do in my opinion. Hello, Hollywood? The kids are actually smarter then us adults much of the time. Finally, they have a good crew involved. Director Thor Freudenthal, who directed the surprisingly enjoyable “Hotel for Dogs,” has been given a talented bunch of kids to work with to bring the pencil drawings to life. I have high hopes for this one.
“The Ghost Writer”
Synopsis: When a successful British ghost writer, The Ghost, agrees to complete the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang, his agent assures him it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. But the project seems doomed from the start-not least because his predecessor on the project, Lang’s long-term aide, died in an unfortunate accident. As The Ghost works, he begins to uncover clues suggesting his predecessor may have stumbled on a dark secret linking Lang to the CIA-and that somehow this information is hidden in the manuscript he left behind. Was Lang in the service of the American intelligence agency while he was prime minister? And, was The Ghost’s predecessor murdered because of the appalling truth he uncovered?
MovieDruid’s Comments: Som of my readers may have seen this one come out in their area in February when it was put out in limited release. However, they are finally releasing it nationwide, and it looks like a solid film. Now, I must admit, I am a little biased as it is based on a novel by one of my favorite authors, Robert Harris. However, it has all the makings of a solid film. The source material is solid. The director is one of the greats: Roman Polanski (“Chinatown” & “The Pianist”). And the cast includes names like Pierce Brosnan (“The Tailor of Panama” & “GoldenEye”), Ewan McGregor (“Angels & Demons” & “The Island”), Tom Wilkinson (“Valkyrie” & “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”), and Kim Cattrall (“15 Minutes” & “Bonfire of the Vanities”). With these talents to work with, Polanski should be able to craft a solid,taut thriller out of Harris’s novel.
“Repo Men” – MovieDruid Pick of the Week
Synopsis: In the futuristic action-thriller “Repo Men,” humans have extended and improved our lives through highly sophisticated and expensive mechanical organs created by a company called The Union. The dark side of these medical breakthroughs is that if you don’t pay your bill, The Union sends its highly skilled repo men to take back its property — with no concern for your comfort or survival. Remy is one of the best organ repo men in the business. But, when he suffers a cardiac failure on the job, he awakens to find himself fitted with the company’s top-of-the-line heart-replacement — as well as a hefty debt. When he can’t make the payments, The Union sends its toughest enforcer, Remy’s former partner Jake, to track him down.
MovieDruid’s Comments: This is a film full of potential. It has potential to be a solid, fast-paced sci-fi thriller. It has the potential to be a smart film making some pointed commentary on a variety of subjects. It also has the potential to be a B-movie that depends on violence and gore to keep its audience’s attention. And while I’m not sure it is going to slide into the realm of social commentary, it does look like it will be one hell of a ride. Could it backfire and become a cheese-fest? Absolutely. But, with talent performers like Jude Law (“The Road to Perdition” & “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence”), Forest Whitaker (“Vantage Point” & “The Last King of Scotland”), and Liev Schreiber (“Ransom” & “Defiance”) I have every hope that this will be a good one.