ERMAHGERD! This week is an awesome one for new movies! Not that the films released in the past few weeks weren’t good, but there’s been a lull in movies that the general public can genuinely get excited about. Kids were back in school and people were trying to soak up the last remaining rays of summer outdoors, so movies in general got put on the back burner. But beginning this week exciting films have returned like the swallows to Capistrano, and Eventful has a breakdown of all this week’s contenders.
Sure, we’ve already had one 80s sci-fi remake that kind of flopped this summer, but hopes are high for Dredd. It’s already done well overseas and audiences in the US are pretty psyched about it. The film stars Karl Urban, who played Éomer in The Lord of the Rings and “Bones” McCoy in the new Star Trek. He’s a hugely talented, underrated actor and no stranger to science fiction. It also has Lena Headey, who normally plays a stone cold fox, but in Dredd portrays the vicious and scarred drug kingpin Ma-Ma. Instead of trying to make a cluttered epic, writer Alex Garland (28 Days Later) scaled back the story and created a more “grounded” Judge Dredd adventure. One of the smartest things about the 3D version of this film is that the main drug that Dredd is trying to get off the streets is Slo-Mo; a drug that slows down time for the user. So not only do you get great 3D, you get amazing slow motion 3D. Even if you don’t like anything else about Judge Dredd or science fiction, the film is worth seeing for the special effects and action alone.
You’ve seen her masterfully use a bow; you’ve seen her shape-shift; now see Jennifer Lawrence scream bloody murder and run for her life! The chops of the young leading lady might be the reason that audiences are so excited for this horror film, but the movie looks like there may be more to it than meets the eye. On the outside it looks like Halloween from the perspective of Laurie Myers’ new neighbors, but they couldn’t very well give away the whole movie in the trailer, could they? With the way the trailers have played it close to the chest, there’s definitely going to be a twist in House at the End of the Street; but whether it is terrible or terrifying has yet to be seen. Given the fact that veteran actress and immortal beauty Elisabeth Shue is supervising a talented younger cast, and that the premise leaves a lot of room for terror and mayhem, my money’s on a worthwhile twist.
From the trailers, it looks like a combination of Jarhead and Training Day. In fact, End of Watch was written and directed by Peter Ayers, the writer behind Training Day, The Fast and the Furious, Dark Blue, and Harsh Times, so you know he has experience with this genre. The film has a whole lot of action but the various relationship elements between Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, and Gyllenhaal and Anna Kendrick add emotional depth that you normally don’t see in films like this. While the cinematography style looks a far sight better than the whole “found footage” style, it does lend a personal touch to a personal story. The action between the officers and a deadly drug cartel only sweetens the pot and adds some tension to the story. Watching the trailer, you get a feeling that one of these police officers (that you become emotionally attached to throughout the film) isn’t going to make it out of the movie alive, which will likely leave audiences on the edge of their collective seats when the cops come under fire.
As someone who’s seen basically every movie Clint Eastwood has ever starred in (and there are a lot), I understand how some of his fans can be disappointed when he stars in a movie with a zero body count. However, Eastwood can really pull at your heartstrings in relaxed, feel-good movies like Trouble with the Curve (think Honkytonk Man, Bronco Billy, Bridges of Madison County) so give the guy a break! And what other word than feel-good can you use to describe a movie where Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake try to uncrotch a crotchety Clint Eastwood? It focuses not only on a veteran baseball scout trying to prove to everyone that he still has value in his old age, but then there’s also a rocky relationship with his daughter. Amy Adams is perfect in the role of his sweet yet tenacious daughter who still resents her father, but can’t deny that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Their relationship is definitely more complicated than it appears, so audiences will be in for a heartwarming tale that will have them leaving the theaters grinning.
As someone who was about to head to high school right when the book was published, this story has had a huge impact on yours truly (and the lives of awkward teenagers all over the country). The modern world can be a very confusing, alluring, and scary place for teenagers, and hopefully this movie will help a whole new generation of young people to cope. I mean, it’s got everything: sex, drugs, homosexuality, popularity, suicide, dating — pretty much every issue that can scare the crap out of teens trying to find their place in the world. The film was directed by the book’s author, Stephen Chbosky, so not only is it going to stick extremely close to the source material, it’s likely that the movie will look much like it did to readers as they poured through it. Emma Watson stars as the aloof Sam, who is pretty much the opposite of every character Watson has played before. However, she’s an incredible young actress and critics believe she can absolutely pull the role off with panache. Plus, senior cast members like Dylan McDermott and Kate Walsh bring even more heart to the film (not to mention the dream casting of Paul Rudd as Charlie’s English teacher, Bill!).
Well, those are the biggies that are coming out this Friday. Don’t worry…studios aren’t going to burn out all in one weekend, so you can anticipate plenty more great films coming up before the end of the year. To find out about all of them, be sure to check back to the Eventful blog every week and check your email box for The Reel Buzz newsletter!