JoBlo.com previews this week's new releases: March 11, 2011
At JoBlo.com, we feel it’s our duty to keep you informed and satisfied. You want to know what your big choices are at the theater each weekend, and we’re happy to reach out and give you the full release.
Who’s In It? Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan, Michael Peña, Ramon Rodriguez, Ne-Yo
Who Made It? Directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Columbia)
What Is It? Once again, our little blue world is under siege by belligerent and technologically superior invaders from another galactic zip code. While they've visited before (at least according to the trailers, and America's trailer park population), this time they're giving California a serious dose of devastation far worse than mudslides, wildfires, earthquakes and a down economy. Only the powerful jaw and military support of Aaron Eckhart can wipe the aliens from the streets of the City of Angels.
How’s It Look From Here? "BLACK HAWK DOWN meets ALIENS" was the pitch we first heard, and by all indications that's exactly what we'll get -- Liebesman got a substantially more epic canvas than TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING, and must've proven his mettle behind the camera, since Warner Bros. grabbed him for their CLASH OF THE TITANS sequel.
The shortage of higher-tier actors means you probably shouldn't get too attached to any of the secondary characters (including Rodriguez, doing the tough-chick thing for at least the tenth time). Only people residing in the Thirty Mile Zone could convince you why the salvation of L.A. is vital to the planet's survival, but Eckhart once found a way to keep the Earth's core spinning -- he should be able to save Hollywood so this movie can be remade in another 15 years.
Who’s In It? Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Billy Burke, Gary Oldman, Julie Christie, Michael Hogan, Lukas Haas, Virginia Madsen, Michael Shanks
Who Made It? Directed by Chatherine Hardwicke (Universal)
What Is It? The well-known fairy tale becomes a Gothic murder mystery, with a love triangle for the Hot Topic crowd. This time, Red has to deal with more than trying to determine why grandma's appearance seems different -- there's a bloodthirsty lycanthrope menacing the locals, and Red herself is a suspect. Someone call Gary Oldman!
How’s It Look From Here? Hardwicke often gets unfairly dismissed for her part in launching the TWILIGHT movie franchise (even if she did bring Bella's dad Billy Burke along here), but she still deserves credit for her work on the unsettling THIRTEEN and the under-appreciated LORDS OF DOGTOWN. And Gary Oldman as a famous werewolf hunter sounds like a concept that deserves a movie of its own.
But if you're already growing weary of teen/twentysomething monsters and new variations of classic fairy tales, you'd best prepare yourself -- RED is just one in this soon-to-be-omnipresent trend that will be hitting screens in the next couple of years.
Who’s In It? Seth Green, Joan Cusack, Elisabeth Harnois, Dan Fogler, Mindy Sterling, Tom Everett Scott, Billy Dee Williams, Breckin Meyer
Who Made It? Directed by Simon Wells (Disney)
What Is It? Not only is there life on Mars, there's also a lack of parental guidance. When young Milo's mother gets abducted for the Martians' dastardly (?) plot to steal mom-ness, he makes his way to the Red Planet and finds a strange world and unlikely allies (and the skeletons of Val Kilmer and Tom Sizemore's careers) to aid him in her rescue.
How’s It Look From Here? The Mouse is keeping his fat white-gloved fingers crossed that MARS NEEDS MOMS can follow TANGLED's success and prove that Disney can consistently make CG-animated hits without the help of Pixar. And they want it to be proven big, in IMAX and "Disney Digital 3D".
Simon Wells hasn't directed since adapting his great-grandfather H.G.'s classic sci-fi novel THE TIME MACHINE in 2002, and he's working from source material again -- namely the book from Pulitzer-winning "Bloom County" cartoonist Berke Breathed. Seems like a fun story, and the animation should be smooth (but potentially dead-eyed), as the movie was the last "performance capture" project from Robert Zemeckis' now-defunct Imagemovers.
OUTLOOK: Disney's movie might bring in the families (that have already seen RANGO) and the teen girls may (or may not, out of loyalty to Edward/Jacob) flock to see Red's shape-changing love tale, but it's probably safe to say that most of us will want to see the West Coast get wrecked in some gritty (albeit PG-13) alien urban warfare.