Every month I’m going to look at every movie on the release schedule and try to assign them a numerical value corresponding to how anxious I am to see it. The lower the number, the more I want to see it. A one means I would walk through hell and high water to see it; a four means there’s no interest whatsoever. The numbers are not arrived at scientifically but they aren’t arbitrary either.
The numbers aren’t a reflection of the artistic merit of any of these films, but merely a reflection of my willingness to go to a movie theater and see it. The top four scores will be gathered as a means of reflecting the movies I’m anticipating the most; you may use that as a guide or not.
Each entry is broken down as follows:
NAME OF FILM (Studio) Genre A brief description of the plot. Release plans: Wide = Everywhere, Limited = In selected markets. RATING A brief comment
Keep in mind that release dates are extremely subject to change, even at this late date.
FOUR TO SEE
1. DRIVE ANGRY 3D (1.8)
2. SANCTUM (1.9)
tie. UNKNOWN (1.9)
4. I AM NUMBER FOUR (2.0)
FOUR TO SEEK OUT (FILMS NOT IN WIDE RELEASE)
1. VANISHING ON 7TH STREET (2.0)
2. A GOOD MAN (2.1)
tie. ORGASM INC. (2.1)
4. OF GODS AND MEN (2.3)
RATING SYSTEM: 1) Must-see, 2) Should-see, 3) Perhaps-see, 4) Don’t-see
FEBRUARY 4, 2011
COLD WEATHER (IFC) Genre: Mystery. A young man who once was a promising forensic scientist turns detective when an ex-girlfriend goes missing. Release Strategy: New York/Los Angeles. RATING: 2.9 Could be charming if done right; no trailer yet so no clue.
DRESSED (OneRock) Genre: Documentary. The story of Nari Manivong, a formerly homeless young man pursuing his dream in the cutthroat New York clothing design business. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.9 This doesn’t interest me. At all. If it did, I’d watch Project Runway.
THE OTHER WOMAN (IFC) Genre: Drama. After a law clerk has an affair with her boss, they wind up marrying and she is forced to cope with a precocious stepson, an angry ex-wife and a personal tragedy. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.7 Natalie Portman is on a hot streak; that might wind up giving this film a higher profile.
THE ROOMMATE (Screen Gems) Genre: Thriller. A college freshman’s roommate becomes obsessed with her. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 3.0 Didn’t I see this before and wasn’t it called Single White Female?
SANCTUM (Universal) Genre: Action Thriller. A group of cave explorers are trapped in an unexplored cave when a cyclone causes it to flood. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, 3D and IMAX 3D). RATING: 1.9 The involvement of James Cameron will draw some crowds in; hopefully the movie will justify it.
WAITING FOR FOREVER (Freestyle Releasing) Genre: Romantic Comedy. When a failing actress returns home after her father becomes ill, she realizes the feelings of an old childhood friend are far stronger than just friends. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.4 Rachel Bilson is moving upwards on my actress chart and the trailer looked charming.
FEBRUARY 11, 2011
CARANCHO (Strand) Genre: Thriller. The romance between an idealistic doctor and an ambulance chasing lawyer is threatened by corruption in the Argentine insurance industry. Release Strategy: New York only. RATING: 3.3 Argentina is proving to be adept at churning out good thrillers.
CARBON NATION (Clay Way) Genre: Documentary. Dedicated individuals seek solutions to reduce carbon emissions and help stave off climate change. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.5 While I’m a proponent for all the solutions the movie displays, I’m not sure they make a great case for them.
CEDAR RAPIDS (Fox Searchlight) Genre: Comedy. An insurance agent comes out of his shell at a convention. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.6 Ed Helms gets his first leading role; could be the one that makes him a star.
CERTIFIABLY JONATHAN (Self-Released) Genre: Mockumentary. A look at one of the most gifted and innovative comics of all time, Jonathan Winters and his quest to get his paintings hung in the Museum of Modern Art. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.0 Not sure this is an adequate forum for the talents of one of the greatest ever.
THE EAGLE (Focus) Genre: Swords and Sandals. A young Roman yearns to learn the fate of his father, who disappeared along with his entire legion in Britain. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.1 This has been oft-delayed and has changed studios which isn’t a good sign.
GNOMEO AND JULIET (Touchstone) Genre: Animated. Shakespeare’s most famous romance as interpreted by lawn decor. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 3.1 Could be too strange for its target audience.
IN HER SKIN (IFC) Genre: Crime Drama. When the body of a missing 15-year-old Australian girl is found in a neighbor’s yard, the ensuing realization her friend killed her sends shockwaves through the community. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.6 A terrific cast and an intriguing plot make this high on my list of films to watch out for on Netflix.
JUST GO WITH IT (Columbia) Genre: Comedy. Adam Sandler has friend Jennifer Anniston pose as his wife in order to impress a girl he wants to date. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 3.0 Yeah, I’d be impressed too.
JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER (Paramount) Genre: Horror. Teen pop sensation Bieber’s concert film. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 4.0 The fact that this will make millions is simply a sad fact of the continued unraveling of American musical taste.
ORGASM INC. (First Run) Genre: Documentary. A filmmaker covering the development of a female Viagra shows Big Pharma pursuing profit ahead of the health of the women using their product. Release Strategy: New York only. RATING: 2.1 A fascinating subject.
POETRY (Kino International) Genre: Drama. A free-spirited South Korean grandmother discovers she has Alzheimer’s as she is taking a poetry course. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.7 Sounds a bit schmaltzy but this could be another Korean cinematic gem.
VIDAL SASSOON: THE MOVIE (Phase 4) Genre: Documentary. The legendary hair stylists’ influence on fashion and grooming is documented. Release Strategy: New York/Los Angeles. RATING: 3.9 Because you’re worth it.
FEBRUARY 18, 2011
BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON (20th Century Fox) Genre: Urban Comedy. Martin Lawrence returns as a detective with a penchant for going undercover in a dress. This time, his stepson is along for the laughs. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 3.8 I didn’t even like the first Big Momma – I have a feeling I’m really going to hate this one.
BROTHERHOOD (Olive) Genre: Drama. A fraternity pledge initiation goes horribly wrong and the pledge must stand up to save a friend’s life. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.5 Looked suitably intense, although I’ve seen a few too many fraternity-pledge-gone-wrong movies to be excited about this one.
THE CHAPERONE (Goldwyn) Genre: Action Comedy. A wheelman trying to go straight after a prison stretch and repair his relationship with his family runs into a few road blocks while chaperoning a field trip for his daughter. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.4 This WWE funded film will probably turn up heavy on action and light on quality.
EVEN THE RAIN (Vitagraph) Genre: Drama. An interweaving story of Columbus’ discovery of America and the making of a movie. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.8 Meant to be an allegory on the treatment of aboriginals in South America.
I AM NUMBER FOUR (DreamWorks) Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi Action Thriller. Alien teenagers develop their superpowers while hiding on Earth from the monsters that destroyed their world. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, IMAX). RATING: 2.0 Usually this would sound terrible, but D.J. Caruso’s directing so it might be good.
UNKNOWN (Warner Brothers) Genre: Thriller. A doctor wakes up from a coma in Berlin to discover his wife doesn’t recognize him and another man has assumed his identity. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.9 This looks awesome; Liam Neeson has his most kick-ass role since Taken.
VANISHING ON 7TH STREET (Magnet) Genre: Horror. After a mysterious blackout in Detroit, people are disappearing into the darkness. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.0 The trailer looks terrifying; the cast not so much.
FEBRUARY 25, 2011
DRIVE ANGRY 3D (Summit) Genre: Supernatural Action. A criminal who is sent to Hell for his crimes escapes back to Earth to rescue his baby grandchild from a vicious cult. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, 3D). RATING: 1.8 This looks over-the-top and insane – one I’ve been looking forward to since I first saw the trailer.
THE GRACE CARD (Goldwyn) Genre: Spiritual Drama. A police officer’s son dies in a tragic accident, causing a crisis of faith. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 4.0 Sorry, I don’t get into films that preach to me.
A GOOD MAN (Film Presence) Genre: Documentary. An Australian man weds his bride despite her incapacitation due to a stroke; he then turns his attention to helping his town reverse an economic downturn…by opening a brothel. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.1 Sounds like a very unusual subject for a film; I like quirky in this case.
HALL PASS (New Line) Genre: Sex Comedy. A pair of wives gives their knuckleheaded husbands Hall Passes – free reign to do whatever they like for a week without repercussions. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.3 It’s the Farrelly Brothers…’nuff said.
HEARTBEATS (IFC) Genre: Romantic Comedy. A pair of best friends finds their friendship turning into rivalry over a new roommate. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles. RATING: 2.9 This sounds a bit pedestrian and without a trailer I’m wondering what it brings to the table for a fairly done-to-death concept.
OF GODS AND MEN (Sony Classics) Genre: Drama. A group of French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim neighbors until a massacre sets tensions high. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles. RATING: 2.3 Based on a true story – could be something special.
SHELTER (Weinstein) Genre: Supernatural Horror. An expert in multiple personalities is confronted by a patient whose personality may be more than human. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.3 This sounds like it could be really scary – just the way I like it!
SCHEDULED TO BE REVIEWED HERE AS NEW RELEASES
Sanctum, Just Go With It, Gnomeo and Juliet, The Eagle, I Am Number Four, Unknown, Drive Angry 3D, Hall Pass