Confessions of a Shopaholic
directed by P.J. Hogan
Has the economic recession curbed your spending? Stopped you from buying that new jacket or pair of shoes you’re always eyeing on the way to work? Well, it could be worse. You could be a columnist for a financial magazine with an addiction to spending massive amounts on the latest Prada design or pair of cute sunglasses. And such is the problem for Rebecca Bloomwood, played by Isla Fisher, as her celebrity status as a columnist creates an unfashionable catch-22, allowing her all the things she has ever wanted to buy but, at the same time, putting her career and romantic relationship in jeopardy. Based on the series of Shopaholic novels by British chick-lit author Sophie Kinsella, the movie, in the style of last summer’s Sex and the City, might be the way to go for a girl’s night out, with director P.J. Hogan (My Best Friend’s Wedding) bringing this romantic comedy into full gear. But while the movie has all the cutesy jokes you expect, its real problem may be in turning Kinsella’s hilarious character into a one-dimensional caricature of a girl with bad credit.
directed by Tom Tykwer
While Isla Fisher may be undergoing her own superficial financial crisis (to buy or not to buy), Clive Owen and Naomi Watts are taking on another, traveling the globe in an attempt to bring down one of the world’s most powerful banks in this nonstop action-drama. When their investigation begins to uncover some serious corruption (i.e. arms trading, money laundering, attacks on government), the bank begins taking measures to terminate the pair. (And you thought your bank was bad.) With Owen finally getting his turn as a genuine kick-ass government agent with guns a-blazing and enough action to put Quantum of Solace to shame, this movie’s the real deal. More importantly, though, might be the fact that Run, Lola, Run director Tykwer is getting his much deserved chance at a big-budget feature. But with a great cast, a great story and a great sum of money to work with, the question will be whether Tykwer can take the adrenaline-pumping elements he utilized in his previous work and translate them to a Hollywood audience. From the looks of the trailer, it looks as though he has succeeded.
Friday the 13th
directed by Marcus Nispel
If it’s Friday the 13th, you know there’s going to be a ghastly array of horror films just waiting to be released like an onslaught of cinematic murderers, psychos and ghosts. But this Friday, there is only room enough for one nut-job with a hockey mask and bloody machete. That’s right, Jason is back. And while fans of the original Friday the 13th were not all too pleased when rumors of the reboot began to spread, the success of 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which was also directed by Nispel, had many changing their tune. The movie centers on a group of young adults after they come upon the infamous Camp Crystal Lake, now boarded up and (almost) desolate. Fans are not getting the true origin story they expected, but they do get answers to some of the question’s surrounding Jason’s past. Likewise, the style is a throwback to the original series, with the scares harking back to vintage slasher gore and Jason moving a little faster and acting a little more strategically in his killings. The only problem: A story that might not allow an audience to feel for its characters. But, with a movie like this, who really cares about getting attached to the characters? It’s all a matter of who’s the next victim?
directed by James Gray
Well, say goodbye to Joaquin Phoenix with this one, the last movie to be found on the actor’s stellar resume since announcing his decision to cease his acting career. Hopefully that’s not the case but, if so, the actor has chosen to leave the spotlight on neither a high or low point but with a simple love story. The movie follows a bachelor (Phoenix) as he tries to choose between the girl his family wishes him to marry (Vinessa Shaw) and the beautiful and eccentric girl next door (Gwyneth Paltrow). While the movie premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival to some decent reviews, it doesn’t sound as though this movie made a big impact on audiences. Similar was the reaction when Phoenix teamed up with director Gray the year before with We Own the Night. But the problem may not be in the director or the cast, but in a story that’s already been seen and done before. Joaquin may want to rethink his retirement and go out on a movie where he can really shine.
directed by Matteo Garrone
At last year’s Cannes Film Festival, it picked up the Grand Jury Prize. It was chosen to represent Italy in the category of Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards (though it didn’t get the nod) and it’s already won five awards at the European Film Awards. Based on the book by Roberto Saviano, an author who has been under 24-hour protection since its publication thanks to continuous death threats, the movie weaves together five stories that depict the organized crime of the Camorra criminal organization in Naples and Caserta. Those looking for a great real life crime movie will be happy to see this hit the screens. And anyone still in withdrawal from “The Sopranos” or looking for the next Godfather might want to see this true-to-life account of how a mafia-like organization has affected Italy and its people. With a gripping story and a great director who makes it all the more compelling, the only thing that could be stopping people from rushing into the theaters is the use of subtitles. Suck it up people, it’ll be worth it.
Under the Sea 3D
directed by Howard Hall
Get ready to hear yourself saying a lot of “Ohhhs” and “Ahhhs” as well as the occasional “What the hell is that?” In this IMAX feature, the sequel to 2006’s Deep Sea, we are once again submerged for a look at some of the fascinating sea life in Southern Australia, New Guinea and the Indo-Pacific areas, getting a chance to not only see the strange and beautiful but also the effect that global warming has had on the ocean. Narrated by Jim Carrey, this movie’s for anyone who’s ever wondered what it’s like to be in this world that sits below us and most likely not for those people who do not like the feeling of having seals and other creatures jump out at you in 3D.