The Men Who Stare at Goats
directed by Grant Heslov
The Men Who Stare at Goats is about a reporter (Ewan McGregor) in Iraq who meets a Special Forces agent (George Clooney) and shortly thereafter learns about a psychic military unit that is trying to end the war through bizarre methods. When the creator of the group goes missing, it becomes their job to find him. Clooney and Heslov last worked together on Good Night and Good Luck, which Heslov wrote and Clooney starred in and directed. The film garnered them both Oscar nominations. Will history repeat itself?
A Christmas Carol
directed by Robert Zemeckis
Zemeckis returns to animation with this retelling of the classic Christmas story. Jim Carrey returns to the genre (after playing the Grinch nine years ago in How the Grinch Stole Christmas) as Ebenezer Scrooge, as well as the three Christmas ghosts. Throughout the years there have been more A Christmas Carols than one could count, ranging from the original Charles Dickens book to the Muppets’ film version. However, this may be the one to put the rest to shame. The film is the first animated movie from Disney to be shown in IMAX 3D and will use the same performance capture technique used in The Polar Express and Beowulf. This is also Zemeckis’ first project with Disney since he directed Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988.
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
directed by Lee Daniels
Here are two words I thought would never be in a sentence together: “Mo’nique” and “Oscar.” Precious has been generating a good amount of Oscar buzz and has won several awards at the Sundance and Toronto International Film Festivals. The film is set in Harlem in 1987 and follows Clareece “Precious” Jones, an overweight, illiterate and pregnant teenager. Precious decides to enroll in an alternate school in order to try and turn her life around. Newcomer Gabourey Sidibe plays Precious, a role that has given her a lot of buzz for the Oscar for Best Actress. Critics have praised Mo’nique’s performance as Precious’ mother, giving her buzz for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Mo’nique won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for her acting in the film. Expect to continue hearing about this movie come awards season.
directed by Richard Kelly
The new thriller from Donnie Darko director Kelly stars Cameron Diaz and James Marsden as a couple who receive a box with a button inside. Soon a mysterious man shows up and tells them that if they press the button they will receive $1 million. But, if they press it, someone in the world who they don’t know will die. The couple is given 24 hours to decide if they want to press the button. The Box is a version of the story “Button, Button” by author Richard Matheson (who also wrote I Am Legend), and the band Arcade Fire will be providing the original score for the film.
The Fourth Kind
directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi
Milla Jovovich headlines this movie based on a mystery in Alaska. In Nome, Alaska there have been mysterious disappearances within the past 40 years. Jovovich plays a psychiatrist who began videotaping her patients and supposedly uncovered evidence of alien abductions. The movie is a reenactment of the footage that the doctor took. The movie is based on “true” events, although recently there has been some speculation if the evidence exists or not and if the psychiatrist Jovovich portrays is even a real person.