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Welcome back, friends and neighbors. 

It seems Hollywood didn’t like my comment last week about the light nu,ber of releases coming out and decided to give us a heavier week this week.  However, as I also said, we are in a phantom period, and thus the quality is not exactly there with a heavier week.

But, despite that, we shall wade in because that is what we do.  Hang onto your hats.

“Our Family Wedding”

Trailer

Synopsis: Lucia and Marcus learn the hard way that the path to saying “I do” can be rife with familial strife. When they return from college and suddenly announce their marriage plans, they discover that their competitive and egotistical fathers can wreak serious havoc on their special day. With insults flying and tempers running high, it’s anyone’s guess if the alpha dads will survive to make it down the aisle. Lucia’s mother is planning “her” dream wedding and the only levelheaded one in the bunch is Angela, the groom’s father’s best friend and lawyer. With only weeks to plan their wedding, Lucia and Marcus soon discover the true meaning of love and find there is truth to the saying – that when you marry someone, you marry their entire family.

MovieDruid’s Comments: The “mismatched families having a wedding” theme seems to be one that Hollywood pulls out and dusts off every few years.  It has been a formula that has garnered success from time to time, but overall it has just become a tired cliché.  This film just doesn’t seem to be bringing anything new of fresh to the table.  The smell of the mothballs that this perennial theme is kept in is definitely there.  And while the cast isn’t entirely B-List, there are no big names jumping out to pull you in.  Maybe the A-Listers have learned to steer clear, and maybe we should follow their lead.

“Remember Me”

Trailer

Synopsis: Tyler, a rebellious young man in New York City, has had a strained relationship with his father ever since tragedy separated their family. Tyler didn’t think anyone could possibly understand what he was going through until the day he met Ally through an unusual twist of fate. Love was the last thing on his mind, but as her spirit unexpectedly heals and inspires him, he begins to fall for her. Through their love, he begins to find happiness and meaning in his life. But, soon, hidden secrets are revealed, and the circumstances that brought them together slowly threaten to tear them apart.

MovieDruid’s Comments:  I’m not sure what to make of this one.  On one hand it comes across as angsty teenage drama that too often spirals into territory that just feels extremely disingenuous.  On the other hand it looks like it could be a well-crafted drama.  The cast and crew offers some insight,  but not much.  Director Allen Coulter has little big screen experience, having spent most of his career directing television on series ranging from “The X-Files” to “The Sopranos.”  The bulk of this film’s potential comes down to whether Robert Pattinson can be more than a sparkly vampire and Emilie de Ravin can be more than the young single mother from the island in “Lost.”  One bright spot is the inclusion of Chris Cooper (“Seabiscuit” & “American Beauty”) in the cast.  Cooper is an actor who raises the game of everyone around him and always delivers.

“She’s Out Of My League”

Trailer

Synopsis: An average Joe, can’t believe his luck. Although he’s stuck in a seemingly dead-end job as an airport security agent, against all odds Molly, a successful and outrageously gorgeous babe falls for him. Kirk is stunned. So are his friends, his family and even his ex-girlfriend. Now, he has to figure out how to make the relationship work, even though he’s the first to admit “She’s Out of My League.”

MovieDruid’s Comments: Another cliché that Hollywood pulls out from time to time is the “gorgeous girl falling for goofy guy” movie.  And this one, like “Our Family Wedding” doesn’t really seem to be bringing anything new to the table.  It feels like a rehash of territory we have gone over time and again over the years.  I think that the passing of John Hughes last year may have made some Hollywood execs nostalgic for the comedy clichés of the ’80’s because they seem to be reaching deep to pull them out recently.

“Green Zone” – MovieDruid Pick of the Week

Trailer

Synopsis: During the U.S.-led occupation of Baghdad in 2003, Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller and his team of Army inspectors were dispatched to find weapons of mass destruction believed to be stockpiled in the Iraqi desert. Rocketing from one booby-trapped and treacherous site to the next, the men search for deadly chemical agents but stumble instead upon an elaborate cover-up that inverts the purpose of their mission. Spun by operatives with intersecting agendas, Miller must hunt through covert and faulty intelligence hidden on foreign soil for answers that will either clear a rogue regime or escalate a war in an unstable region. And, at this blistering time and in this combustible place, he will find the most elusive weapon of all is the truth.

MovieDruid’s Comments: When I saw Matt Damon for the first time on film in “School Ties” I never would have imagined him becoming an action star.  In fact, I was a little skeptical when he was cast as one of my favorite characters: Jason Bourne.  But, I was very much proven wrong when Damon proved to be more than a match for the Bourne persona.  And when he teamed with director Paul Greengrass for “The Bourne Supremacy” and “The Bourne Ultimatum” things just got better.  Now Greengrass and Damon are back with “Green Zone” and they appear to be firing on all cylinders once again.  And the addition of Greg Kinnear (“As Good As It Gets” & “Flash of Genius”) and Amy Ryan (“Changeling” & “Gone Baby Gone”) can only improve the formula.  There are a pair of pitfalls this one will have to avoid, however.  First, it needs to keep itself from becoming Jason Bourne goes to Iraq.  There needs to be a uniqueness to this that separated it from the Bourne franchise or it will feel derivative.  Second, it needs to walk a very fine line politically.  This is a film that could easily beat you over the head with its politics.  If it does, the quality of the story will be lost in the politics and the film will fail to entertain.  Let’s hope everyone involved kept those dangers in mind.

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