Resident Evil: Extinction
directed by Russell Mulcahy
Mike Epps, Ashanti, Ali Larter — no, it’s not the potential cast of Roll Bounce 2: Bounce Back. Those are just some of the featured leads in this third installment of the woeful zombie trilogy. The cinematography on the trailer looks pretty impressive, and then with a thud, you realize it’s another Resident Evil movie. Milla “I could have been Angelina Jolie” Jovovich will be pretty good as the badass bounty hunter, but she can’t make this wreck worth watching. Whatever happens, people will still be confounded by one big mystery at the end: Who is paying to see these movies?
Good Luck Chuck
directed by Mark Helfrich
After being praised for his unexpected dramatic performance in this year’s Mr. Brooks, Dane Cook returns to his wheelhouse in this comedy co-starring Jessica Alba. Ever since a goth chick put a curse on Chuck, every girl that sleeps with him ends up marrying the man of their dreams soon after. One day (surprise!) Chuck falls in love with Alba’s adorable character and hilarity ensues as he tries to put off jumping in the sack with her. The movie could be a good watch, if only because Cook might scream, “Somebody has shit on the coats…somebody his shit on all the coats!”
Into the Wild
directed by Sean Penn
If you’ve read Jon Krakauer’s chronicle of the life of Christopher McCandless–the modern-day John Muir who burned all his money and set out for Alaska to live off the land–you have a good feeling about the movie version. Emile Hirsch, cast perfectly by writer-director Penn, plays McCandless, alongside Vince Vaughn, in a welcome return to the dramatic chops he showcased early in his career in A Cool, Dry Place and Return to Paradise. McCandless’ free spirit earned him his share of detractors, but it’ll be hard not to like Hirsch in the adolescent role he has played so well in The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, The Emperor’s Club and The Girl Next Door.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
directed by Andrew Dominik
Casey Affleck has always been underappreciated as an actor, but this western could finally vault him to leading-man status. Some have blasted the title for its verbose spoiling of the movie, but it sets the stage for an epic portrayal of James by actor-producer Brad Pitt. Audiences didn’t care for the movie after initial test screenings, and shooting was completed almost two years ago, which makes us worry it’s not as exciting as the title makes it seem. In that time, the movie has been chopped and re-cut; let’s hope co-producer Ridley Scott doesn’t turn this into an explosion-fest.
directed by Joe Nussbaum
Pick your Shakespeare play or Grimm Brothers fairy tale (say, Snow White). Pick between high school or college (in this case, college), and then between Lindsay Lohan, Michelle Trachtenberg, or Amanda Bynes. Repeat again and again, or at least until your movies stop rolling in dough. So we have Sydney White, starring former Nickelodeon kid Amanda Bynes and directed by Joe Nussbaum, whose latest hit was a straight-to-video American Pie sequel that might have been either the 7th or 8th edition in the franchise. If you want an entertaining movie set in the young academic world, hold out and see Charlie Bartlett instead.