Trouble With the Curve


Trouble With the Curve

Amy Adams discovers that Clint Eastwood is very sensitive about “empty chair” jokes.

(2012) Drama (Warner Brothers) Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Robert Patrick, Matthew Lillard, Joe Massingill, Ed Lauter, Chelcie Ross, Raymond Anthony Thomas, George Wyner, Bob Gunton, Jack Gilpin, Clifton Guterman, Scott Eastwood, Jay Galloway. Directed by Robert Lorenz

 

Baseball is a game of timing. The batter has to time his swing just so to connect and hit it out of the park. The runner has to start his sprint and just the right time to successfully steal the base. The outfielder has to time his jump to put himself in a position to catch the ball. And the pitcher has to know when the right time to throw that nasty fastball down the middle is or else he’ll be watching the ball exit the playing field.

Life is all about timing too. Nobody know that better than Gus Lobel (Eastwood). A longtime scout for the Atlanta Braves, he was responsible for signing some of the most important players in the history of the franchise. He’s an anachronism though; whereas in the post-Moneyball era clubs have come to rely on computers and statistics, Gus is all about instincts and intangibles. He can tell more about a player from the sound of their bat connecting to the ball than most scouts can from an entire laptop full of statistics and computer analyses. The Braves have the number two pick in the upcoming draft and they’re interested in a player named Bo Gentry (Massingill). They send Gus to check him out.

But that timing is actually bad. Gus is developing macular degeneration and isn’t seeing as well. His friend (and chief of scouting) Pete Klein (Goodman) recognizes that something is wrong. Worried for his friend and knowing that Gus’ contract is up in three months which the general manager Vince (Patrick) hasn’t decided to re-sign him, and knowing that Philip Sanderson (Lillard), an ambitious and ruthless scout wants Gus gone, calls Gus’ daughter Mickey (Adams).

Mickey is also in the midst of some bad timing. She’s a lawyer whose relationship with her dad has been chilly for some time, which is more or less how Gus wants it. She’s also ambitious and driven, bucking to be the first female partner in the firm and the youngest partner ever. She’s working on an important case for the firm and winning it would be her key to having her name on the door.

Pete wants her to go down to North Carolina and keep an eye on the old man. She’s reluctant to do it – and her proud and cantankerous dad doesn’t want her to do it. In true Hollywood fashion, that’s exactly what she does.

At first the two are back in their usual patterns of behavior. Then into the mix comes Johnny Flanagan (Timberlake), a pitcher that Gus once signed who had a promising career until he blew his arm out. Now he’s scouting for the Red Sox, hoping to land a job in their broadcast booth next season. He too is there to see Gentry and determine whether he’s worthy of the first pick in the draft.

He gets googly eyed for Mickey pretty much from moment one but she’s just out of a relationship with a fellow lawyer (Guterman) that left her feeling as if she might be emotionally closed off after all. However it doesn’t take long for Flanagan’s charm to work on her and the two begin to get closer.

However, Gus has his doubts about the arrogant, self-absorbed Gentry who certainly can hit them out of the park. Nothing the stats and his direct observation tell him that there’s anything other than big time endorsement deals and multi-million dollar contracts in Gentry’s future – other than his gut. While Gus’ baseball instincts aren’t in question, he doesn’t seem to know how to relate to his daughter and she blames him for abandoning her twice.

This is not so much a movie about baseball except metaphorically and baseball has always worked superbly well as a metaphor. This is first and foremost a movie about relationships. It is also a movie about communication – and  movie about timing, yes.

Eastwood has made an art out of playing the cantankerous old man and he does a pretty solid job of it here. He came out of retirement (as an actor) to do this for a friend and colleague when some space opened up on his directing schedule when Beyonce Knowles’ pregnancy put the planned remake of A Star is Born into turnaround. Although Eastwood isn’t saying it this time, there’s a good chance this is his final film as an actor so that accounts for something.

Adams is one of the most likable actresses in Hollywood. She’s very much the girl next door type, although she can be smoldering and sex when she needs to be (as she is in a lake swimming scene). She has some good chemistry with both Timberlake and Eastwood. I have to admit that she’s been one of my favorites for several years now.

Goodman, Patrick and Lillard are solid character performances and Goodman, who once played Babe Ruth on the silver screen, makes a fine baseball man. Lillard is a fine actor as well – no reflection on him – but his character is kind of cliché in nearly every way. I don’t think the character needed to be drawn quite the same way; he could have been a passionate believer in computers as a tool for evaluating baseball talent without being quite such a d-bag. I think the movie would have worked better with a more sympathetic antagonist.

There are some real emotional scenes to deal with here, most of which having to do with the things that caused Gus to be so closed off and, well, scared to put it bluntly. That these things affected his relationship with his daughter is a pleasant surprise. These scenes and others that deal with the way they relate to each other are the best in the movie. The presence of Eastwood and Adams doesn’t hurt either, but while the writing is flawed, the basic premise is solid and the movie works overall. Definitely this is not one just for baseball fans or geriatrics.

REASONS TO GO: Eastwood is always engaging and Adams makes a nice foil for him. Baseball sequences are good. Some nice dialogue and character development.

REASONS TO STAY: Predictable. Would have been better without a generic antagonist.

FAMILY VALUES: The language can get salty; there are some sexual references and some of the themes are pretty heavy.

TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Eastwood, who had announced that the 2008 film Gran Torino would be his last on-camera appearance came out of acting retirement to star in long-time producing partner Lorenz’ first film as a director.

CRITICAL MASS: As of 10/2/12: Rotten Tomatoes: 54% positive reviews. Metacritic: 58/100. The reviews are mediocre.

COMPARISON SHOPPING: Bull Durham

ATLANTA BRAVES LOVERS: The team Gus works for is the Braves;  the walls of the Braves offices (and Gus’ home) are decorated with pictures of their greatest players going back to their days as the Milwaukee Braves.

FINAL RATING: 7/10

NEXT: Ong Bak 2

Advertisements

New Releases for the Week of September 21, 2012


September 21, 2012DREDD

(Lionsgate) Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Rakie Ayola, Wood Harris, Warrick Grier, Jason Cope, Joe Vaz, Scott Sparrow. Directed by Pete Travis

In the future, the world is divided into irradiated wastelands and vast cities overcrowded and crime-ridden. Justice is dispensed by Judges, a combination street cop, judge, jury and executioner. The most feared of these is Dredd, who with his rookie partner Anderson is tasked with riding the streets of Slo-Mo, a drug that allows users to experience reality at a fraction of its normal speed. However, the drug lord who controls most of it, an ex-prostitute named Ma-Ma doesn’t take too kindly to having her business interrupted and a war erupts that will push even Dredd beyond his limits. Based on the iconic British comic series.

See the trailer, promos and featurettes here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard, 3D

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: R (for strong bloody violence, language, drug use and some sexual content)

10 Years

(Anchor Bay) Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Justin Long, Kate Mara. A group of friends reunite for their 10 year high school reunion. This ensemble piece follows them through the big night to see how they have – and haven’t – changed over the years as their tangled relationships begin to unravel before their very eyes.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Drama

Rating: PG-13 (for language, alcohol abuse, some sexual material and drug use)

End of Watch

(Open Road) Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera. Two cocky young police officers patrol the mean streets of south central Los Angeles, one of the most dangerous areas in the country. They wind up in the crosshairs of a Mexican drug cartel after a routine traffic stop leads them into places they never dreamed they’d be. Only their loyalty and support for one another and the love of their families stands between them and oblivion.

See the trailer and clips here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Crime Drama

Rating: R (for strong violence, some disturbing images, pervasive language including sexual references, and some drug use)

Heroine

(UTV) Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Shahana Goswami. A Bollywood actress, once the best in the business, sees her career go on the decline despite her best efforts to stay on top.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Bollywood

Rating: NR

House at the End of the Street

(Relativity) Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Theriot, Gil Bellows. A newly-divorced mom and her teenage daughter move into a new house hoping to make a fresh start. That is, until they discover that a neighboring home was the scene of a gruesome multiple murder. Things go downhill from there when the daughter develops a relationship with the only survivor of the massacre – and the person responsible for the crime may be back for seconds.

See the trailer, featurettes and a clip here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Horror

Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and terror, thematic elements, language, some teen partying and drug material)

The Master

(Weinstein) Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rami Malek. Shortly after the Second World War a down-on-his-luck veteran is ensnared by a charismatic intellectual who has created a faith-based organization to which the vet becomes his right-hand man. However, the ex-soldier begins to see and hear things that cause him to question the faith he has embraced and the man who has become his mentor.

See the trailer and clips here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Drama

Rating: R (for sexual content, graphic nudity and language)

Trouble With the Curve

(Warner Brothers) Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman. A baseball scout, one of the most respected in the game, is starting to show his age. His eyesight isn’t so good and he wants to go out on top, but his team is questioning his judgment. His only option is to ask his daughter, a bright young lawyer who has grown apart from him as of late, to help him. She puts her career on hold despite her misgivings and her father’s objections to spend some quality time with him and in the process, the two find out some long-held secrets about one another that might tear them apart permanently.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Sports Drama

Rating: PG-13 (for language, sexual references, some thematic material and smoking)

Unconditional

(Harbinger Media Partners) Michael Ealy, Lynn Collins, Bruce McGill, Diego Klattenhoff. When a senseless act of violence takes the husband of a children’s author away from her, she loses her faith and her desire to live. However, an encounter with a couple of kid leads to a reunion with her oldest friend whose compassion and kindness towards the kids in an underprivileged neighborhood leads to new revelations about God’s role in her life.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Christian Drama

Rating: PG-13 (for some violent content and mature thematic elements)

Four-Warned: September 2012


September 2012

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. LOOPER (1.3)
2. DREDD (1.5)
3. TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE (1.6)
4. COLD LIGHT OF DAY (1.7)
TIE. RESIDENT EVIL: REDEMPTION (1.7)
TIE. COLD LIGHT OF DAY (1.7)

FOUR TO SEEK OUT (FILMS NOT IN WIDE RELEASE)
1. HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE (1.4)
2. THE OTHER DREAM TEAM (1.5)
3. BRANDED (1.6)
4. WAR OF THE BUTTONS (1.7)

RATING SYSTEM: 1) Must-see, 2) Should-see, 3) Perhaps-see, 4) Don’t-see

SEPTEMBER 5, 2012

FOR ELLEN (Tribeca) Genre: Drama. A wannabe rock star signs away custody to his six-year-old daughter in a divorce but isn’t sure he can walk away from her just yet. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.7 Could be Paul Dano’s most affecting role yet.
GIRL MODEL (Cinereach) Genre: Documentary. A devastating look at young Russian teen models thrown into the meat grinder of the Japanese modeling scene. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.2 A surprisingly powerful documentary that was screened at this year’s Florida Film Festival. My review can be read here.

SEPTEMBER 7, 2012

BACHELORETTE (Radius) Genre: Sex Comedy. An after-hours party by three bridesmaids on the eve of their friend’s wedding turns into something extraordinary. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.5 Looks kind of like a low-rent Bridesmaids.
BRANDED (Roadside Attractions) Genre: Science Fiction. In a dystopian future, a global corporate conspiracy uses subliminal advertising to keep the population docile. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.6 Looks amazing in a sort of William S. Burroughs meets H.P. Lovecraft kind of way.
THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY (Summit) Genre: Action. A young man vacationing with his family in Spain discovers that his father is a spy when his family is captured and held hostage in exchange for a briefcase his dad might have stolen. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.7 Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver face off; this is what dreams are made of.
DETROPIA (Loki Films) Genre: Documentary. The rise, fall and resurrection of a great American city – Detroit to you and me – is explored. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.1 While the movie looks at Detroit specifically, this is a microcosm of what all of America is going through.
THE EYE OF THE STORM (Sycamore) Genre: Comedy. The children of an Australian matriarch gather at her bedside as she lays dying, but even in her last days the force of her personality remains undimmed. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles. RATING: 2.4 Looks rather droll, kind of an Aussie drawing room comedy.
HELLO, I MUST BE GOING (Oscilloscope Laboratories) Genre: Romantic Comedy. A newly divorced woman finds refuge in her parent’s home where she takes up a passionate affair with a 19-year-old actor. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles. RATING: 2.7 Funny and sexy, you’d almost think it was French.
THE IN-BETWEENERS (Wrekin Hill) Genre: Sex Comedy. Four young British men holiday in Greece for the opportunity of sex, drinking and…oh, more sex. Maybe.. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.9 If you think American Pie would have been even better with a British accent, this one’s for you.
KEEP THE LIGHTS ON (Music Box) Genre: Drama. Explores the relationship of two gay men starting in the late ’90s and its evolution through turbulent times in the LBGT community. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.3 Looks powerful and effecting judging on the trailer.
RAAZ 3 (Fox Star) Genre: Supernatural Horror. A fading Bollywood star resorts to black magic to usurp the position of a young starlet and maintain her standing. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.6 Looks pretty durn scary!
TOYS IN THE ATTIC (Hannover House) Genre: Animated Feature. A group of courageous Cold War-era toys cross international boundaries to rescue one of their own. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.4 Sounds a lot like Toy Story but it’s got an imaginative world all its own.
THE WORDS (CBS) Genre: Drama. A struggling author finally gets the acclaim and fortune for his newest novel; but he didn’t write it and there is one person who knows who did. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.5 A terrific cast but some of the publicity features makes me think the filmmakers are a little too full of themselves.
[REC] 3: GENESIS (Magnet) Genre: Horror. An outbreak of a disease that turns wedding guests into flesh-eating zombie ruins a wedding. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.9 Somewhere, George A. Romero is smiling.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2012

FRANCINE (Factory 25) Genre: Drama. A female ex-con settling in a small town substitutes animals for human relationships, with tragic results. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 3.3 No trailer but with Melissa Leo in the title role, that automatically makes it interesting to me.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2012

10 YEARS (Anchor Bay) Genre: Drama. A ten-year high school reunion sets the stage for a group of classmates to revert to the way they used to be in high school. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.1 An impressive young cast elevates this above standard The Big Chill wannabe fare.
ARBITRAGE (Roadside Attractions) Genre: Thriller. A billionaire hedge fund manager finds his professional and private lives falling apart. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.9 Saw this as part of Sundance USA earlier this year; you can read my review here.
BRAWLER (Self-Released) Genre: Action. Two brothers involved in the underground fight scene in New Orleans are set at each other’s throats when one sleeps with the other’s wife. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.6 Supposedly based on a true story but the trailer looks really cheesy.
FINDING NEMO 3D (Disney) Genre: Animated Feature. Clownfish Marlin goes looking for his son in an awe-inspiring undersea 3D world. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, 3D) RATING: 3.8 Yet another Disney 3D cash grab.
LIBERAL ARTS (IFC) Genre: Comedy. A prodigal son returns to college to give a speech at his favorite professor’s retirement dinner only to fall for a comely co-ed. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.6 Terrific cast (Richard Jenkins, Elizabeth Olsen, Josh Radnor, Allison Janney) but kind of a been there done that plot.
THE MASTER (Weinstein) Genre: Drama. The right hand man of a charismatic leader of a faith-based intellectual organization begins to have doubts about his superior’s motives. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.0 From director Paul Thomas Anderson, who has some fascination with the subject.
RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION (Screen Gems) Genre: Horror. Alice takes the fight to the Umbrella Corporation while the T-Virus becomes a global pandemic. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, 3D, IMAX 3D). RATING: 1.7 The last one might have been the best of the series; this one could be better.
STEP UP TO THE PLATE (CinemaGuild) Genre: Documentary. Legendary master chef Michel Bras passes his 3 Michelin star rated restaurant to his son Sebastian, which doesn’t prove to be as easy as you might think. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.6 I haven’t yet seen a foodie documentary that has really knocked my socks off.
STOLEN (Millennium) Genre: Action. A master thief trying to go straight must come up with $10 million or his kidnapped daughter will die. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.1 The trailer looked pretty…well, standard.
THE TROUBLE WITH THE TRUTH (Winning Edge) Genre: Drama. A divorced jazz musician finds he has feelings for is ex on the eve of their daughter’s wedding. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.0 The trailer is quite intriguing; sounds like some real insight to love, loss and adult relationships.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2012

TEARS OF GAZA (Self-Released) Genre: Documentary. A Norwegian documentarian, moved by the 2008 Gaza bombings, takes raw footage from amateur cameramen and cell phones and weaves it into a compelling story as it examines the effects of the Israeli military action on the civilians of the area. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.2 War is easy from an armchair; seeing what becomes of those caught in the crossfire is a whole other story.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2012

17 GIRLS (Strand) Genre: Drama. A group of 17 girls in a small French fishing village decide to get pregnant at the same time. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.7 Based on an incident that happened here in the States.
ABOUT CHERRY (IFC) Genre: Drama. A young girl with a difficult home life is about to graduate high school but winds up supporting herself through making porn movies instead. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.1 Looks with an unflinching eye at why young women do porn; I wonder if it’s lurid for its own sake or if it has a legitimate story to tell.
BACKWARDS (Required Viewing) Genre: Sports Drama. A driven female rower who quit the sport after not making the Olympic team returns to her high school alma mater to coach the same sport she just left. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.8 Kind of predictable looking judging on the trailer.
DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL (Goldwyn) Genre: Documentary. This is the life of a woman whose stints as editor at Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue helped define fashion through the 20th century all the way until now. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.9 Again, I have no interest whatsoever in fashion; someone with a better understanding of it will like this more.
DREDD 3D (Lionsgate) Genre: Science Fiction. In a future when cops are called Judges because they dispense justice (including execution) on the spot, a Judge takes on a corrupt drug lord who is waging war against Mega City One. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, 3D). RATING: 1.5 One of the great comic books of all time may be getting the movie version it deserves.
HEAD GAMES (Variance) Genre: Documentary. Examines the epidemic of concussion in American sports from youth sports to the professionals and it’s devastating impact on the lives of those afflicted by them. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles. RATING: 2.3 From the director of Hoop Dreams and based on a book from former WWE wrestler and college football star Chris Nowinski comes this chilling look at an injury that destroys lives.
HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET (Relativity) Genre: Horror. A mom and her teenage daughter move into a home next door to one where a massacre took place; and of course the daughter falls for the sole survivor of the tragedy. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.6 Stars Jennifer Lawrence which is going to put a lot of butts into seats.
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE (Sundance Selects) Genre: Documentary. The story of how a group of activists with little to no scientific training helped virtually eradicate AIDS as a death sentence. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.4 The trailer is moving and awe-inspiring. Proof that change is possible if we are willing to fight for it.
MY UNCLE RAFAEL (Slater Brothers) Genre: Family Comedy. A reality TV producer inserts a faux Armenian uncle into the home of a dysfunctional family. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.6 It just looks…umm, unconvincing.
THE OTHER SON (Cohen Media Group) Genre: Drama. An Israeli and a Palestinian discover they were switched at birth. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 3.4 o trailer available as of this writing so can’t really comment on what the film looks like.
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER (Summit) Genre: Teen Drama. A group of shy outcasts band together in high school to form lasting friendships in spite of all the challenges that growing up throws at them. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.2 Based on the Stephen Chbosky best-seller.
THREE STARS (First Run) Genre: Documentary. The daily lives of ten chefs, all of whom have been honored with three Michelin stars at their restaurants. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 3.1 Sounds intriguing but again, no trailer.
TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE (Warner Brothers) Genre: Sports Drama. An aging baseball scout losing his eyesight must rely on his daughter to help him evaluate one last prospect. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.6 Clint Eastwood is starring in it? That’s all I need to hear.
UNCONDITIONAL (Harbinger) Genre: Faith Drama. A best-selling children’s author finds her faith sorely tested when her husband is murdered. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 4.0 Inspired by true events, I’m told.
WAR OF THE BUTTONS (Weinstein) Genre: Drama. Two rival gangs from neighboring French villages must band together to save a Jewish girl from the Nazis. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.7 Courage comes in all shapes and sizes.
YOU MAY NOT KISS THE BRIDE (Freestyle) Genre: Romantic Comedy. A pet photographer is forced to marry a mob daughter but when she’s kidnapped on their honeymoon finds himself in the line of fire. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.5 Could go either way; might be funny, might be forced.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2012

THE WAITING ROOM (International Film Circuit) Genre: Documentary. One day in the life of a struggling inner city Oakland hospital. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.1 Looks powerful and moving. Why isn’t this playing in the Bay Area?

SEPTEMBER 28, 2012

THE BARRENS (Anchor Bay) Genre: Horror. A man taking his family on a camping trip may be losing his mind – or he may be actually being stalked by the infamous Jersey Devil. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.6 Kind of cliché but “True Blood” fan fave Stephen Moyer stars and it may well be a lot better than it sounds.
BRINGING UP BOBBY (Self-Released) Genre: Drama. A career con artist must choose between giving up her son or giving him up for a chance at a better life for them both. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.4 Written and directed by actress Famke Jansen and starring Milla Jovovich – actually the trailer looked pretty intriguing.
THE HOLE (Big Air) Genre: Horror. Some teens find a bottomless hole in their basement which once uncovered unleashes the most disturbing of nightmares. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.9 Joe Dante previously directed Gremlins and The Howling and this kind of fits right in with that level of horror.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (Columbia) Genre: Animated Feature. Into a hotel for monsters run by Count Dracula and his daughter who chafes at his over-protectiveness comes the most scary creature of all – a human. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.3 Looks about as fun as any animated feature so far this year.
LOOPER (Tri-Star) Genre: Science Fiction. In the future, the mob will use time travel to send people they want to erase to assassins called Loopers which works really well until one Looper is given his future self to kill. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.3 A really intriguing premise for a movie.
THE OTHER DREAM TEAM (The Film Arcade) Genre: Sports Documentary. The improbable story of the Lithuanian Olympic basketball team, which went from being part of the Soviet Union to being sentimental favorites and underdog overachievers. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.5 Looks like the kind of movie that will bring a smile to your heart.
SOLOMON KANE (Radius) Genre: Fantasy. A damned 16th century soldier vows to live a life of peace to offset his cruel actions but when a darkness threatens the world he must once more take arms. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.1 Looks spectacular but has been sitting on the shelf for years which doesn’t inspire confidence.
WON’T BACK DOWN (20th Century Fox) Genre: Drama. A single mom takes it upon herself to improve the educational system in her poverty-stricken area on behalf of her child who is unable to read. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.3 Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, two of the strongest actresses working today, star.

SCHEDULED TO BE REVIEWED HERE AS NEW RELEASES
The Words, Resident Evil: Retribution, Dredd 3D, End of Watch, Trouble With the Curve, Hotel Transylvania, Looper, Won’t Back Down.