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JoBlo.com previews this week's new releases: March 18, 2011

03.15.2011

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.

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PAUL

Who’s In It? Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jason Bateman, Sigourney Weaver, Jane Lynch, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Jeffrey Tambor, Blythe Danner, Joe Lo Trugio, David Koechner, Seth Rogen (voice)

Who Made It? Directed by Greg Mottola (Universal)

What Is It? A pair of thirtysomething fanboys on a Comic Con road trip take a detour to find the legendary Area 51, and encounter fugitive extraterrestrial Paul, who's just trying to get "home". Our unintentional heroes lend a hand (and some RV space) for Paul's journey, while shadowy secret agents are in hot pursuit.

How’s It Look From Here? Pegg and Frost previously teamed to bring us endearing and pitch-perfect love letters to genres, namely zombies (SHAUN OF THE DEAD) and action flicks (HOT FUZZ). With PAUL, they've made a love letter to genre fans themselves. But while the stars/writers are undeniably hardcore geeks (and similar fans will lap this up), can they reach an audience that isn't?

It will also be interesting to see how they fare without missing third appendage Edgar Wright -- SUPERBAD director Greg Mattola directed while Wright was occupied with SCOTT PILGRIM. But they rounded up a great supporting cast, and the movie should provide the highest percentage of geek-reference chuckles of anything in recent memory.

 

LIMITLESS

Who’s In It? Robert DeNiro, Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, Anna Friel

Who Made It? Directed by Neil Burger (Relativity)

What Is It? Cooper takes some top-secret government smart drugs (described as "Viagra for the brain"), and experiences sudden financial and social success thanks to his overclocked noggin. But he swiftly discovers that the pharmaceutical-induced brilliance comes with a price, including enhanced assholeness, health hazards, devious businessmen and crafty assassins.

How’s It Look From Here? Since THE HANGOVER's smash success, Cooper hasn't exactly slapped us silly with his star power (and he's picking up sloppy seconds here from original star Shia LaBeouf).

The story seems to have elements of THE GAME or JACOB'S LADDER, but the promotional material can't seem to decide if they're selling us a glossy thriller or something a bit more Bret Easton Ellis (the movie was actually based on Alan Glyn's book "The Dark Fields").

Director Neil Burger's filmography has THE ILLUSIONIST as its biggest success, although his debut film, low-budget mockumentary INTERVIEW WITH THE ASSASSIN, is perhaps his most creatively satisfying work. Can he do more with more, or just get lost in a drug-fueled miasma?

 

THE LINCOLN LAWYER

Who’s In It? Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe, Marisa Tomei, Bryan Cranston, William H. Macy, Josh Lucas, Michael Pena, John Leguizamo

Who Made It? Directed by Brad Furman (Lionsgate)

What Is It? Vehicle-based L.A. attorney Mickey Haller gets his biggest case yet, defending a sly Beverly Hills playboy accused of rape and attempted murder. Things undoubtedly get more complicated, leading to dastardly manipulation, pounding gavels and sifting through paperwork, internet searches and camera footage for "truth".

How’s It Look From Here? After a string of intolerable romcoms, McConaughey comes full circle back to the kind of courtroom thriller that first made him famous with A TIME TO KILL, and he looks slick in the suit. Phillippe seems to be just the right shade of scumbag, and the rest of that cast is pretty interesting.

While that title might confuse anyone expecting a stovepipe hat and chin curtain, it's based on a bestselling Michael Connelly novels , so there's a built-in audience of people who grab reading material at airports and grocery stores. But LINCOLN LAWYER is just one in a series about the character, making a potential franchise for McConaughey, who's still in search of one.

 

OUTLOOK: The ladies may gravitate to Matt or Bradley, but the true fanboys/fangirls will be out there supporting Pegg and Frost, and hoping for something to satisfy our appetites until the end of the "Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy", aka "Three Flavours Cornetto".

Source: JoBlo.com

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