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Kick-Ass invites controversy, courts it in fact, as director/co-writer Matthew Vaughn refused to compromise in bringing the comic book series to the big screen. Vaughn went outside the studio system, obtaining his own financing and going through the entire production without knowing whether his hard R-rated film would ever find a home. He kicked up interested in Kick-Ass at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con, unspooling clips he hoped would get fanboys and fangirls worked up into a frenzy, and would get the attention of a major studio.
Lionsgate eventually snagged the rights to distribute Kick-Ass and Vaughn was able to release his version of the film without having to delete a major character, something that most likely would have been required had there been studio involvement early on. The fact that major character, Hit Girl (played by the astounding young actress Chloe Moretz), is in the film intact makes Kick-Ass the most kick-ass comic book adaptation in film history. Not the best - I still swear by The Dark Knight - but it's right up there in the ranks of the most memorable, entertaining, and conversation-inspiring comic book adaptations ever made.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
Who would have thought Zack Snyder would create a child-friendly movie? I mean seriously, the transition is quite baffling. Sin City, The Watchmen, 300, and then Legend of the Guardians? We’re talking about owls here! Nevertheless, Snyder proved there is little to worry about. After all, his fervent penchant for Computer Generated Images and slow motion action can give the non-believers some “you got served” effect. He managed to pull off an enchanted world we’d expect to come from a Disney production line, but with his signatures written all over it. Legend of the Guardians: Owls of Ga’Hoole is certainly one of the good watch-worth movies of Snyder, but not the best. Why? Because amidst the stunning visuals and graphics (if the movie was a woman, she’d be gorgeous) lies a stale fantasy book theme.
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Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I believe Hollywood has a tendency to underestimate the teenage viewing crowd. While it's certainly true that a portion of that demographic goes to theaters only for the most superficial form of entertainment, there surely must be a thirst amongst high schoolers for movies of a more challenging and less formulaic nature. It is to them that the subject matter of Crazy/Beautiful applies; unfortunately, the narrative fails to live up to its potential. A hybrid of Mad Love and Save the Last Dance, Crazy/Beautiful boasts strong performances underutilized by a banal storyline that manipulates familiar characters into
Running with Scissors
Running with Scissors is not a pleasant movie. The problem isn't that it's a downer, although it is, but that it's a tiresome trek into familiar territory populated by one-dimensional stereotypes. Perhaps calculating that more is better, Running with Scissors features not one but two dysfunctional families (in movies, there is no room for the so-called "normal" family). Nearly every supporting character with a speaking part is either an oddball or a freak. Had David Lynch been at the helm, the movie might have been weird enough to be entertaining, but director Ryan Murphy's approach is so stagnant that the picture has overstayed its welcome before the running length is half over.
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Stevie (Robert Carlyle) is an ex-con from Scotland struggling to start anew. In an attempt to change his life, he takes a construction job in North London where he meets an assortment of others who, in one way or another, are just like him. He has no place to live, and doesn't make enough to rent a flat, so his co-workers happily appropriate a "squat" for him. Soon after, he meets Susan (Emer McCourt), an aspiring singer with a lot of heart but very little talent. The narrative moves on from there, detailing a short period in the lives of Stevie, Susan, and the workers on the construction site.
Men in Black
Have you ever seen a tabloid headline like this: "Woman gives birth to son of six-headed alien"? Men in Black, the new science fiction comedy from cinematographer-turned-director Barry Sonnenfeld (Get Shorty), postulates that such stories are not the result of fertile imaginations, but accurate representations of the truth. You see, ever since the 1960s, Earth has become an intergalactic hideout for aliens in need of a place to lie low for a while. Currently, there are over 1500 visitors, most in New York City (based on personal experience, that number may be low), and their ranks include such high-profile names as Sylvester Stallone (he obviously had trouble mastering the language), Newt Gengrich (guess what he looks like in his natural form), and Dennis Rodman (who knew?).
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The previews for Muriel's Wedding liken this latest Australian import to two of its predecessors, Strictly Ballroom and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. These are inaccurate, not to mention misleading, comparisons. Those expecting something light and airy from this tragic-comedy are in for an unpleasant surprise, for, while Muriel's Wedding has its moments of exhilarating humor, it is, as often as not, downbeat and even mean-spirited.
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Three Can Play That Game
When Byron (George) hits the big time, no one is happier than his girlfriend Tiffany (Lewis) - that is, until she catches him flirting with his sly new project manager Carla (Kellita Smith). While contemplating whether to break it off with Byron, Tiffany's best friend tells her about a specialist for women whose men can not control their primitive urges. Enter Ms. Shanté Smith (Fox). Using her knowledge of the male psyche and her new Five Step program, Shanté gives Tiffany the necessary tools she needs to "train" Byron and teach him a lesson for his behavior. However, Byron also has expert advice in his corner, courtesy of his best friend Gizzard (Tony Rock). Once again, the battle for the title of the superior sex is on.
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1890, Central Australia. On a Christian mission at the edge of the desert, a girl is born of an Aboriginal mother and an Afghan father. A dark skinned, green eyed, forbidden beauty - she is a reluctant traveler between the worlds of her parents. This is the story of Jila. Conceived against her mothers will, born between worlds, abandoned by love, cheated by death, removed from her faith and from her place.
Mr. St. Nick
n Mistletoe Manor, King Nicholas XX, commonly known as Santa Claus (Oscar and Emmy nominee Charles Durning, Hard Time), and his wife Carlotta (Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner Katherine Helmond, Whos The Boss?), arent feeling particularly jolly. With Christmas only weeks away, the aging king is ready to pass his throne to the Crown Prince, Nick St. Nicholas (Golden Globe and Emmy winner Kelsey Grammer, Animal Farm). But the sexy Santa-to-be is a no-show heir with other priorities - his lavish seaside estate, leggy newswoman Heidi Gardelle (Elaine Hendrix, The Parent Trap), and public relations expert Hector Villarba (Luis Garcia, American Family). Heidi and Hector may not know Nicks true identity, but they do know that he is the prince of benefits. Their plan? Use his knockout connections to create an on-line holiday charity. Nicks all for it. Unfortunately, the problems are just beginning. A charge of fraud has turned Nicks charity into a nationwide scandal. Whats it going to take to prevent Christmas from becoming a dim memory? Nothing short of a miracle.
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Brush with Fate
Richard is a new art teacher at a high school. Cornelia Englebrecht (played by Glenn Close) is a history teacher who invites Richard to see a painting of a young girl at a table, which she believes to be a genuine Vermeer, where she tells him stories, which are portrayed as flashbacks about the people who owned the painting in the past. All of the stories take place in Holland, and the flashbacks happen mostly before the one preceding it. The first story, from the late 1800s, involved a romance and had flashbacks within flashbacks. Another story took place in the early 1700s when a baby was abandoned during a flood after a dike break. The painting accompanied the baby and was intended to be sold for the baby's expenses.
In the next story, a man left a university to take a job working with the machinery used for the dikes. He got interested in a servant girl who was punished by being put in stocks. It is revealed in this story where the baby came from.
The next story was very brief, and in it, a woman, who was unsuccessful in bidding for the painting at an auction, seemed to know more about the painting than the auctioneer. The next story revealed how Vermeer came to paint the girl's picture. Finally, Cornelia tells us how she came in possession of the painting, and it is perhaps the most interesting story of them all
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Cheaper by the Dozen 2
The Baker family begins to undergo many changes, beginning with Lorraine (Hilary Duff) and her desire to study in New York. Their oldest daughter Nora (Piper Perabo) is now married to Bud McNulty (Jonathan Bennett) and pregnant, but the couple intend to move to Houston because of Bud's new job promotion.
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He's Just Not That Into You
The needy Gigi Haim is a young woman seeking her prince charming somewhere amongst her unsuccessful dates. After dating estate agent Conor Barry, Gigi anxiously expects to receive a phone call from him. However Conor never calls her. Gigi decides to go to the bar where he frequents to see him, but she meets his friend Alex who works there. They become friends and Alex helps Gigi to interpret the subtle signs given out by her dates.
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Battlestar Galactica: Razor
A two-hour Battlestar Galactica special that tells the story of the Battlestar Pegasus several months prior to it finding the Galactica.
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Pat Riley, an obnoxious busybody of undeterminable sex, meets and falls in love with Chris, a sensitive, caring person also of undeterminable sex. Their relationship suffers because Pats a lout, and cannot decide on a direction for its life. Meanwhile, Pats neighbor Kyle falls further and further into obsession with Pat, fascinated by its indeterminate sexuality.
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An eccentric scientist working for a large drug company is working on a research project in the Amazon jungle. He sends for a research assistant and a gas chromatograph because hes close to a cure for cancer. When the assistant turns out to be a mere woman, he rejects her help. Meanwhile the bulldozers get closer to the area in which they are conducting research, and they eventually learn to work together, and begin falling in love.
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