In case you've been tied up with Oscar mania and are ready to go back to the actual movies, there are new ones. Whether or not it's safe to go back (yeah, that time of year) is another issue entirely. Links go to trailers.
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The Reader and Slumdog Millionaire are taking their highly publicized Oscar wins to their highest screen counts yet and asking for the public's stamp of approval. Kate Winslet is a Time cover girl and Slumdog is on the cover of EW. How much more money does Slumdog have in it? It recentl cracked 100 million.
This isn't really about the theater counts but I'd love your opinion on what's going on with Entertainment Weekly these days? If you ask me they're phoning it in now that they have almost zero real competition. They skipped both pre-show Oscar covers this year which is, I guess, neither here nor there in a lackadaisical gold man year, but their lists (usually a highlight) are getting lazy. That "best directors" list (which I didn't even post) was several dozen kinds of embarrassing -- hardly worth the discussion it garnered and which it only garnered because they have no real competition at this sort of thing. A recent list of final movie appearances they're pushing, 'inspired by Heath Ledger', is also annoying. The Dark Knight is not Ledger's last film. The EW staff is too smart not to know this and they don't really claim it is... so one assume they're just planning to regurgitate this list again when The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus comes out (see previous post). I'm considering cancelling my subscription. I prefer more human movie coverage anyway. Not some corporate mandate for content content content ... even when it trumps common sense. Or am I just grumpy?
L I M I T E D
Crossing Over Wayne Kramer (The Cooler, Running Scared) directs Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, Jim Sturgess and Ashley Judd in this drama about cultures clashing, shady border business and illegal immigrants. Why is it being dumped into theaters? It has big stars and the kind of sledgehammer topic that turns Oscar voters on (see also: Crash, Traffic)
Echelon Conspiracy Greg Marks directs this thriller that sounds a bit like Eagle Eye in the mysterious threatening cell phone communications department. Shane West plays Shia Labeouf (joke. no need to correct me in the comments). With Ed Burns, Ving Rhames and Jonathan Pryce.
Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead A documentary about a capital punishment activist.
The Trouble With Romance an ensemble indie romantic comedy that restricts itself to one floor of a hotel for its action. I've always wondered why more indies didn't build tight stage-friendly locations right into their concept. Saves on budget. With Jordan Belfi, Kip Pardue, David Eigenberg and Sheetal Sheth among many others.
W I D E
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li "Based on the Video Game" is such a great selling point right? I'm confident that one day someone will make a great movie based on a video game. I mean, we didn't see Pirates of the Caribbean coming, did we? If a theme park attraction can become a super fun movie (the first one only I hasten to specify), why can't a video game? Not that it will be this one. Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) stars as Chun Li. Apparently she's half Chinese. I did not know...
Jonas Bros a 3D concert movie. Obviously we've moved into another boy band phase in pop culture (sigh). I hope they save their money. Eventually they will be searching for reality TV gigs like N'Sync is now (Justin Timberlake excluded).