The Girlfriend Experience
directed by Steven Soderbergh
Acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh’s new feature has been making some noise on the film festival circuit, thanks to its plot (which details five days in the life of a high-end New York City call girl), its on-the-fly, scriptless filming methods and barely-there structure and its choice of lead actress (Sasha Grey, an adult film star with more than 150 films listed on her IMDb profile). The story follows Chelsea as she juggles a relationship with her boyfriend (Chris Santos), the demands of her VIP clients and the difficulties of her work, all set in the five days before the 2008 election. The film has been polarizing audiences since the unfinished version screened at Sundance and Tribeca, leading Soderbergh to confess to indieWIRE.com, “I’m surprised when anybody likes it.”
directed by McG
If director McG can stay away from, well, everything that was his Charlie’s Angels franchise and show us that he’s more than three simple letters, Terminator Salvation has the potential to be great. Salvation shows us a different side of the struggle between the few surviving humans led by John Connor (Christian Bale) and Skynet, the artificial-intelligence group intent on wiping out the human race. The film also stars Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese, the hero of James Cameron’s Terminator, and Sam Worthington as Connor’s mysterious fellow soldier. We all discovered Bale was taking the gig seriously after hearing him give director of photography Shane Hurlbut the lashing of a lifetime, and it’s hard to ignore his recent involvement in the resurrection of that other once-great franchise that had gone stale…
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
directed By Shawn Levy
Really? Is another Night at the Museum necessary? Sure the sequel offers a great cast but how much better could the movie really be? In addition to the original cast and Amy Adams, the film features an impressive lineup of current comedic talent including Hank Azaria, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Christopher Guest, Ricky Gervais and Eugene Levy. The sequel is backed mostly by the same moviemaking team as the first, with director Levy at the helm, supported by writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, head writers and co-creators of hit television series “Reno 911!” The movie will center around Larry Daley’s (Stiller) adventure to the Smithsonian Institute, (which, coincidentally, also comes alive at night?) where he must rescue the little men from the original, Jedediah (Owen Wilson) and Octavius (Steve Coogan), who have been mistakenly sent to the famed Washington, D.C. museum. C’mon.
directed by Damien Wayans
Everyone get ready, here comes the next generation of Wayans. Dance Flick, the newest Wayans brothers parody, is directed by Damien Wayans (28), co-written and co-executive produced by Craig Wayans (32) and stars Damon Wayans Jr. (26) as the lead character, Thomas Uncles (it’s transposed, get it?). Though the next generation is at the forefront, the movie is still backed by the originals, with Keenan Ivory, Shawn and Marlon all receiving writing credits. Dance Flick is to Save the Last Dance what Scary Movie was to Scream, telling the story of Uncles and his rich, white dancing partner Megan White (Shoshana Bush), as they try to dance their way to the top. The recent string of Wayans Bros. movies have been nothing to write home about (unless to warn your family of the horrors embedded within Little Man). But hopefully these younger Wayans can regain some of that classic, “In Living Color”-era Wayans humor.
directed by Stephan Elliott
After a nearly 10-year moviemaking hiatus following 1999’s tepidly received thriller Eye of the Beholder, director Stephan Elliott looks to return to his roots with this lighthearted romantic comedy. The film is set in the 1920s and stars Jessica Biel as Larita Whittaker, a newlywed American who travels to England with her new husband, John (Ben Barnes) to meet her stuffy, British in-laws (Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas). The film has been bouncing around the festival circuit since September 2008 and reviews are mostly positive, with much praise given to Biel and Thomas. Here’s hoping Elliott’s unique writing and directing (as evidenced in 1994’s The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) make this more than your average empty plot rom-com.