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Welcome back, everyone.

Now  that we are a couple of weeks post-Labor Day the doldrum period should be kicking in pretty intensely.  But, despite a few mediocre weeks, we bounce back a bit this week with a few solid releases.  Hopefully they live up to their hype.

Let’s take a look…

“Alpha and Omega”

Trailer

Synopsis: What makes for the ultimate road trip? Hitchhiking, truck stops, angry bears, prickly porcupines and a golfing goose with a duck caddy. Just ask Kate and Humphrey, two wolves who are trying to get home after being taken by park rangers and shipped halfway across the country. Humphrey is an Omega wolf, whose days are about quick wit, snappy one-liners and hanging with his motley crew of fun-loving wolves and video-gaming squirrels. Kate is an Alpha: duty, discipline and sleek Lara Croft eye-popping moves fuel her fire. Humphrey’s motto — make ‘em laugh. Kate’s motto — I’m the boss. Back home rival wolf packs are on the march and conflict is brewing. Only Kate and Humphrey can restore the peace. But first, they have to survive each other.

MovieDruid’s Comments: It’s been a while since a family friendly film was released so in many ways this is a welcome film.  The premise is nothing terribly new, but the filmmakers seem to have put enough of a different twist into it that it won’t feel like the same old, same old.  They even have a pretty solid voice cast with Justin Long (“Jeepers Creepers” & “Waiting”), Hayden Panettiere (“Dinosaur” & “Remember the Titans”), Christina Ricci (“Black Snake Moan” & “The Addams Family”), and Dennis Hopper (“Speed” & “Blue Velvet”).  My biggest concern is the 3D release.  I just hope they didn’t make the movie around the 3D, but instead used it to enhance a good movie.  This one does seem to have some promise.

“Easy A”

Trailer

Synopsis: After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean cut high school girl sees her life paralleling Hester Prynne’s in “The Scarlet Letter,” which she is currently studying in school – until she decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.

MovieDruid’s Comments: As teen comedies go, I have to say this one has a very different approach.  I have to say that they have definitely managed to come up with a story that seems pretty original.  The idea of taking The Scarlet Letter and turning it on its head with a few modern era twists is a fascinating one.  However, this is still a teen comedy and, thus, has a certain quality handicap from the outset.  Whether or not this one turns out t be a winner or loser lies solely in the performances of the young cast.

“The Town”

Trailer

Synopsis: Doug MacRay is an unrepentant criminal, the de facto leader of a group of ruthless bank robbers who pride themselves in stealing what they want and getting out clean. With no real attachments, Doug never has to fear losing anyone close to him. But, that all changed on the gang’s latest job, when they briefly took a hostage — bank manager, Claire Keesey. They let her go unharmed, but sometime later she meets an unassuming and rather charming man named Doug… not realizing that he is the same man who only days earlier had terrorized her. The instant attraction between them gradually turns into a passionate romance that threatens to take them both down a dangerous, and potentially deadly, path.

MovieDruid’s Comments: I have often been known to be highly critical of Ben Affleck.  He has, in many cases (see “Daredevil” & “Gigli”), proven to be a performer of very little real talent.  But he can surprise you.  I know he surprised me with the job he did as director of “Gone Baby Gone.”  And, thus, having him behind the camera on this one feels like an asset.  He also has proven to be pretty solid carrying off the role of a Boston bad boy (see “Good Will Hunting” which he also co-wrote).  Again, now he feels like an asset.  Add to that a supporting cast that includes Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker” & “North Country”), Rebecca Hall (“Frost/Nixon” & “The Prestige”), and Pete Postlethwaite (“Dragonheart” & “The Usual Suspects”) and you have the formula for a solid drama in the vein of films like “The Departed” and “Mystic River.”

“Devil” – MovieDruid Pick of the Week

Trailer

Synopsis: A group of people are trapped in an elevator, and one of them is the devil.

MovieDruid’s Comments: I am a fan of M. Night Shyamalan.  I know his work is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I have enjoyed his work from the start.  This one, despite the advertising, is not entirely his work.  The story was created by him, but the screenplay and directorial duties were handled by others.  You know what?  After seeing the trailers I find I don’t care.  This looks like one of the creepiest movies to come out in a long time.  The simple premise is rife with possibilities for a good horror flick, and everything points to this being exactly that.  That, combined with the concept of the confined space (I am a little claustrophobic to begin with and this one and the upcoming “Buried” seem to play on that concept hard), makes this one look like a film that will leave us guessing because of its originality.  A fine thing for a horror movie.

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