Weekend Preview

WillisIt’s another active weekend for theaters. We’ve got more cartoon mice, the return of John F’ing McClane, Michael Moore slips another documentary into the mainstream, and a movie so full of estrogen it could make the aforementioned John McClane take up scrap-booking.

There are a lot of big movies out now. Does your nearest theater have enough screens to hold all these heavy hitters? It feels like one would need to stay on top of all of these if they hoped to see them on the big screen in a theater. It feels like the good movies still making money will be crowded out by the rest of the field. I remember back when I went and saw Entrapment after it had been out for a while with friends and not a single person was in the theater. But then maybe that was just because it was the movie Entrapment (I kid). Let’s talk movies.

New in theaters this week:

Ratatouille

Pixar is back this week adding what is sure to be another hit to its already long list of successes. Ratatouille follows the story of Remy (Patton Oswalt), a mouse living in a famous restaurant who longs to become a chef despite the his family’s skepticism and the rat-hating restaurant staff.

You’ve heard about this one, and if you’ve got kids they’re probably dragging you to this one regardless, so there’s not much I could write here that would matter. Just at a glance, it seems to be the same old game from Pixar, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing I guess. Personally I wouldn’t mind a break from all the talking animal movies, but I’m not here to put them down.

This one seems to have another good cast of voice talent, as these types of movies usually do. I found it interesting that Patton Oswalt was given the lead role in this one. He isn’t the big name you might expect to see from a big time Pixar movie, but he’s a funny guy. He should be entertaining. Oswalt is joined by Ian Holm, Brian Dennehey, Brad Garrett, Janeane Garofalo, Will Arnett, John Ratzenberger, and even the legendary Peter O’Toole.

Prediction:

They’ll keep making these kinds of movies as long as they keep raking in the cash, which I expect them to continue this weekend. Hard to say just how much, however, with all of the other blockbusters already out.

Live Free or Die Hard

Bruce Willis reprises his role as John McClane this weekend in the newest installment of the Die Hard franchise. There has been a lot of talk about the fact that this is the first Die Hard in the post 9/11 world where “terrorists” are seen so differently. That should give this movie an interesting undercurrent. This time around, an internet-based terrorist group tries to systematically shut down the United States.

I haven’t actually seen any of the previous Die Hard movies, which puts me at a disadvantage writing a preview of this one. From what I’ve read though this one sounds like another great popcorn movie. Justin Long (Accepted, Dodgeball, Mac from the Mac vs. PC ads) who I like, joins Willis this time as he tries to save the world one more time. Timothy Olyphant draws the role of the adversary to McClane this go ’round. The underrated Cliff Curtis also stars. It’s worth mentioning that this one is rated PG-13. The tagline is Yippee Ki Yay Mo – John 6:27. Does that mean that’s as close as we’ll get to an F-bomb?

Prediction:

It is hard to get a read, but I expect this one to be the big moneymaker this weekend. The fact that Transformers is looming on the horizon may convince some people to save their money for one more week. Either way, this one should be an entertaining flick. If you were a fan of the other Die Hard movies, it looks like this one won’t dissapoint.

Sicko

Michael Moore is back. This time he’s taking on the American health care system. Moore compares our health care system to that of several other countries. He’s gotten a bit of heat for taking several 9/11 rescue workers to Cuba to explore their free health care system.

Prediction:

This one may get buried underneath the blockbusters, but health care is a big issue in our country, so it is sure to continue to stir up controversy. Moore has a knack for getting under some people’s skin while whipping others up into a frenzy. With so few high profile documentaries, this one is almost certainly an Oscar contender, and will likely lead to repeated debate on health care up to and possibly beyond Oscar time.

Evening

This is not your typical “guy” movie. Here is a plot outline straight from IMDB: “A drama exploring the romantic past and emotional present of Ann Grant and her daughters, Constance and Nina. As Ann lays dying, she remembers, and is moved to convey to her daughters, the defining moments in her life 50 years prior, when she was a young woman. Harris is the man Ann loves in the 1950s and never forgets.” That should tell you all you need to know about whether or not this one is for you.

I have to admit, this one packs a powerhouse cast. Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Meryl Streep, and Glenn Close. All great actresses. They should be right in their element with this one too. Cameos from Barbara Streisand, Bette Midler, Jessica Tandy, and Katherine Hepburn (okay…none of that is true).

Prediction:

As a 24 year old male, it’s hard for me to imagine who will be ponying up the $10 dollars for a ticket to see this one in theaters. I’m not saying it will be a bad movie. I could be amazing. It’s just that with all of the other franchises and blockbusters packing them in, this one just seems out of place.

It definitely makes for a change of pace if that’s what you are looking for. I bet this would make for a good mother/daughter movie. Meanwhile, dad and brother can catch Die Hard.

Top 5 Predictions:

1. Live Free or Die Hard

2. Ratatouille

3. Evan Almighty

4. 1408

5. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

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