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Hello, friends.

It seems Hollywood is trying to push as many films out to the theaters as possible before the summer ends.  After last week’s mediocre showing, however, the crop this week looks to be an improvement.  Not a huge improvement, but baby steps, I suppose.

So, let’s take a peek…

“Avatar: Special Edition 3D”

Trailer

Synopsis: A reluctant hero. An epic journey. A choice between the life he left behind and the incredible new world he’s learned to call home. Return to James Cameron’s Avatar – the greatest adventure of all time.

MovieDruid’s Comments: I have to hand it to James Cameron.  He is a consummate business man.  He even puts George Lucas to shame, and does it without raising the ire of his fans.  Much.  By now anyone in America who wants to see “Avatar” has seen it.  They have probably seen it more than once.  But, Cameron knows that he can tap into even more cash by re-releasing it into the theaters with some additional footage.  Zealot-like fanboys will flock to it, the curious will eventually cave and head to the cineplex.  And Cameron’s pockets shall grow ever fatter.  I for one will not be paying to see this one in theaters again.  It is a good movie, but hardly “the greatest adventure of all time.”  For those who do fall into Cameron’s mesmerizing trap, however, keep this in mind.  He called this one “Special Edition,”  are we destined for a third version on DVD tagged “Director’s Cut”?  Or, perhaps, more beyond that?

“Flipped”

Trailer

Synopsis: When second-graders Bryce and Juli first meet, Juli knows its love. But Bryce isn’t so sure. Girl-phobic and easily embarrassed, young Bryce does everything he can to keep his outspoken wannabe girlfriend at arm’s length… for the next six years, which isn’t easy since they go to the same school and live across the street from each other. But if Juli finally looks away, will it be Bryce’s turn to be dazzled? “Flipped” takes Bryce and Juli from grade school to junior high; through triumph and disaster, family drama and first love, as they make the discoveries that will define who they are – and who they are to each other.

MovieDruid’s Comments: Coming of age films like this one are almost always too sugary sweet for my taste.  But, every once in a while one comes along that really makes me take a longer look and becomes a treasured favorite.  This one looks like it has that potential.  Yes, it has a cast with some impressive names, but in this case they are almost irrelevant.  Only one name matters on this one.  The name that gave us “Stand By Me,” “A Few Good Men,” “The Story of Us,” and “When Harry Met Sally” to name just a few.  I speak, of course, of director Rob Reiner.  His directorial eye and style has informed many of the best movies in my collection.  And, here, he looks to do it again.

“The Last Exorcism”

Trailer

Synopsis: When he arrives on the Louisiana farm of Louis Sweetzer, the Rev. Cotton Marcus expects to perform just another routine “exorcism” on a disturbed religious fanatic. An earnest fundamentalist, Sweetzer has contacted the charismatic preacher as a last resort, certain his teenage daughter Nell is possessed by a demon who must be exorcized before their terrifying ordeal ends in unimaginable tragedy. Buckling under the weight of his conscience after years of parting desperate believers with their money, Cotton and his crew plan to film a confessionary documentary of this, his last exorcism. But upon arriving at the already blood drenched family farm, it is soon clear that nothing could have prepared him for the true evil he encounters there.

MovieDruid’s Comments: I’m not sure what to make of this one, to be quite honest.  I am a fan of exorcism films (particularly the original “The Exorcist” and “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”), but this one feels different somehow.  It almost feels grotesque simply for the purpose of being grotesque.  However, it does look like it would be a very scary horror flick, and thus might be worth the price of admission on that fact alone.  Regardless of all of these factors, however, my biggest concern is it appears to be shot handheld style (see “The Blair Witch Project” and “Cloverfield”), something that makes some moviegoers motion-sick.  This one looks like a second-runner to me unless I am really in the mood for a horror flick.

“Takers” – MovieDruid Pick of the Week

Trailer

Synopsis: A notorious group of criminals continue to baffle police by pulling off perfectly executed bank robberies. They are in and out like clockwork, leaving no evidence behind and laying low in between heists. But when they attempt to pull off one last job with more money at stake than ever before, the crew may find their plans interrupted by a hardened detective who is hell-bent on solving the case.

MovieDruid’s Comments: A good heist film is a difficult thing to pull off.  The ground has been tread so many times before that you run the risk of becoming cliché at every turn.  But, when done right they can be a thing of beauty.  This one appears to have the pieces necessary to do it right, and the execution appears to match the talent from what we see in the trailer.  Now they just have to avoid the plot pitfalls that come with this sort of film and they will have a winner on their hands.

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