Tag Archives: Olivia Wilde

In Theaters This Weekend: Holiday movie season FINALLY arrives!

17 Dec

We’ve been waiting patiently all November and December for the studios to start releasing their big holiday movie season blockbusters and Oscar hopefuls, and after what seems like an eternity of stringing us along with one big movie a week (or none at all), it’s finally here, and a hotly anticipated sequel is leading the pack.

TRON: Legacy, the follow-up to 1982’s underachiever-turned-cult-hit TRON, is blazing a light-bike trail into theaters, and the video game based movie is expected to rake it in this Christmas season. Riding high on nostalgia, when this sequel was announced, all the fan-boy sites lit up with excitement, and the finished product looks pretty sharp, looking like they actually got a budget for special effects this time, and rolling out in 3D, no less. Starring Garrett Hedlund and the stunning Olivia Wilde, with Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitnner reprising their roles, the only way this movie is going to suck is if they load up on CGI and nostalgia, and completely forget to write an interesting script, which surprisingly happens more often than you think…

The Fighter opens this weekend as well, and it’s making a strong case for Oscar contention. The true story of Boston boxer Micky Ward (played by Boston actor Mark Wahlberg), and his junkie brother and former boxer himself (played by Christian Bale), is the centerpiece here, and it’s the struggle between knowing when to fight for your family, and when to fight for yourself that’s going to carry this one into Oscar season. Now don’t get us wrong – if you think you’re going to see any acting better than Christian Bale this year, you’re wrong; he’s going to run away with this one. But the movie as a whole just doesn’t strike us as the same caliber as a Rocky or Raging Bull. Bale is a heavyweight here, but the rest of this movie should just throw in the towel.

Also opening up is something for the date-night set, and on paper, this looks great. Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, and Jack Nicholson, in a James L. Brooks romantic comedy that deals with a couple sticky situations? Perfect, right? But then you actually take a look at the movie, How Do You Know, and ‘sticky’ becomes the best adjective you can find. Wilson, a professional baseball player, and Witherspoon, a former softball player, live together until she finally has it with his fear of commitment. Old friend Paul Rudd just so happens to be around when she walks out and tries to capitalize on her newly single status, but oh wait, didn’t you forget you were in the middle of a federal indictment that your dad Jack Nicholson keeps trying to tell you about but you keep running away so you don’t have to hear it? Doesn’t really make you seem like boyfriend material. This movie could be an easy way to kill a couple of hours and make your girlfriend happy, but all in all it can’t possibly stack up to the sum of its parts.

And last, and certainly most least, is Yogi Bear the movie, a mix of live action and 3D animation that is sure to provide the worst jokes and most groan-worthy moments of 2010. With Dan Aykroyd as the voice of Yogi, an unrecognizable Justin Timberlake as the voice of Boo Boo, and Tom Cavanaugh as a completely neutered Ranger Smith, none of the talents are used to their best potential. Cavanaugh can’t display his edgy wit, Timberlake’s voice is so manipulated that he might as well not even be in the movie, and let’s face it, Aykroyd hasn’t been funny since the first Ghostbusters. If you have kids, I can’t fault you for going to see this if they’re begging you, but for God’s sake, if you actually check this out on your own, you need to get your head checked.

In limited release: Casino Jack, the Jack Abramoff story starring Kevin Spacey as the sleazeball lobbyist is hitting select markets this weekend, and so is Rabbit Hole, based off a play about a marriage turned upside down after the death of a child, starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart.

Whew, that’s a lot of movies. At least you know that now the studios are serious about the holiday season. Can’t wait to see what’s next…

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Cowboys & Aliens

27 Nov

By josh

Hollywood is in love with alien invasion movies lately. Skyline premiered earlier this month, and the trailer for Battle: Los Angeles is now previewing in theaters. It seems like there’s a veritable invasion movie renaissance happening right now. However, what those two movies have in  common – hostile aliens invading modern-day L.A. – is probably the biggest thing that sets it apart from next summer’s big close encounter flick, Cowboys & Aliens, as the name so clearly gives away, these aliens make their run at earth’s domination in the wild, wild west. With a premise that has B-movie written all over it, this Steve Spielberg-produced, Jon Favreau-directed film looks to be an A-list blockbuster of the first kind.

The trailer opens up with Daniel Craig awaking alone in the desert with no memory, and a strange other-worldly metal bracelet on his left wrist. He proves to be a wanted man, and lawmaker Harrison Ford wants the rights to him after he’s captured by a local posse. All standard practices in any western, oh, but then I forgot about the alien attack. Spaceships come down and start tearing up the frontier town, and you can officially kiss your traditional western goodbye. Ford and Craig team up, Olivia Wilde plays the beautiful girl, and that bracelet on James Bond’s wrist proves to be the only weapon that can stop the unfriendly visitors. So far, so good.

How this movie has kept such a low profile while in production is beyond me, but from this first look, it looks to be a lot of fun. It’s great to see Daniel Craig team up with Harrison Ford who, aside from the phenomenally disappointing return to the Indiana Jones universe with Crystal Skull, hasn’t been in a legitimate action movie in years. It is going to be incredibly fun to see Ford in a serious action role again, for despite its silly premise and steampunk cues, Cowboys & Aliens takes on a more serious tone. With a feel of the recent War of the Worlds remake (the sights and sounds are very reminiscent), we’re in for a thriller of an alien movie, with one hell of a twist.

The people you can thank for that tone is Worlds director Spielberg, and Favreau, who after proving he can bring box office gold with Iron Man, has gotten quite the clout as big-time director in Hollywood. It’s clear that as producer, Spielberg’s got his fingerprints all over this, and he’s got quite the track record with alien films, with Worlds and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But let’s not forget who was responsible for that completely misguided fourth Indian Jones film, and despite Favreau’s recent success, unfortunately we remember the last time he visited space with 2005’s Zathura. Both director’s have hits and misses when it comes to science fiction, but with Spielberg they’ve proved rare, and hopefully Favreau can continue to ride this high.

So, will it suck?

No. And I say that as objectively as I can. Yes, I love Steven Spielberg; yes, I’m a huge fan of both Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig; yes, I’m in love with Olivia Wilde, and I’ve been rooting for Favreau since Swingers came out in the 90’s. But viewing this trailer, you’ve got two things going on – you’ve got the Old West-meets-aliens thing going on, and you’ve got a smirk-free, straight-faced take on it. How easy would it have been to be tongue-in-cheek with this one? I mean, remember what happened with Wild Wild West? We praise the person who proposed this movie, and after studio execs had a good chuckle, said “No, I’m serious.” Aside from the great casting choices, the thing that’s making this movie work for me is that fact that Favreau and Spielberg are taking a good idea seriously, no matter how ridiculous the concept may be.

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