Fast and Furious
directed by Justin Lin
After eight years and three movies in the franchise, the original cast of The Fast and the Furious comes together again for a fourth installment, perhaps realizing that their careers since breaking out in 2001’s similarly named movie have furiously gone nowhere, fast. Jordana Brewster (NBC’s “Chuck”), Vin Diesel (Babylon A.D.), Michelle Rodriguez (last seen picking up your trash on the side of the road) and Paul Walker (?) return to seek revenge and break the law—all while exotic girls and cars stand around looking sexy. Director Justin Lin’s first foray into the franchise was with 2006’s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, so getting behind the wheel for this movie was probably an easy ride for him. And if the convoy heist in the teaser trailer is any indication, the movie will likely turn out pretty darn cool, which is pretty much what a movie like this is ultimately trying to achieve.
directed by Matt Aselton
Paul Dano, fresh off his tête-à-tête with Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, stars as Brian Weathersby, a twentysomething mattress salesmen on the cusp of (hopefully) adopting a baby from China. Enter Zooey Deschanel, sure to throw an adorably wide-eyed wrench into those plans when she happens upon his store, falls asleep on one of his mattresses and takes over his life forever upon waking. (In a romantic sort of way, one hopes.) First time writer-director Matt Aselton premiered the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival where it was met with mixed reviews, but Dano (who’s also producing) and Deschanel could prove a charismatic indie duo.
directed by Greg Mottola
Mottola’s follow-up to his outrageously hilarious 2007 comedy Superbad, Adventureland looks as though it will not disappoint. The film stars a nice mix of comedic talent promising newcomers; Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale), Kristen Stewart (Twilight) and comedic masterminds such as Ryan Reynolds and “SNL” stars Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. Adventureland tells Mottola’s semi-autobiographical tale of a recent college grad who takes a job at an amusement park after an unsuccessful job search and is surprised to find that it may just be the best thing that could have happened. Mottola set himself very high standards with Superbad, but, with this cast and storyline, Adventureland may just be able to meet—or even exceed—expectations.
directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Moviemaking team (and couple) Boden and Fleck follow up their appropriately lauded Half Nelson with his tale of national identity cloaked as a story about a young Dominican baseball player trying to make it in America’s Major League. The film has fared well at festivals and received a Spirit Award nomination for its screenplay, but the question here is whether or not newcomer Algenis Perez Soto (who beat out hundreds of other non-acting ball players for the lead) can carry the film as Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps did for Boden and Fleck in Half Nelson.