Thursday, November 5, 2009

REVIEWS: MOVIES TO SEE THIS MONTH

1. A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol is a 2009 film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ 1843 story of the same name, as it stars Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins, Robin Wright Penn and Cary Elwes.


A Christmas Carol is a Victorian morality tale of an old and bitter miser, Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey), who undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of one night. Mr. Scrooge is a financier/money-changer who has devoted his life to the accumulation of wealth. He holds anything other than money in contempt, including friendship, love and the Christmas season. But an encounter with the ghostly figure of Jacob Marley (Gary Oldman) sets the stage for a mysterious and magical encounter with three phantasmic beings to help him realize the true magic of Christmas itself; as they help to bring kindness to his otherwise cold heart. The Ghosts remind him of the man he used to be, the hard truth of what the world is today, and what will happen if he does not strive to be a better man.

The movie was directed by Academy Award winner, Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express; Beowulf). Opens: November 6, 2009 Runtime: 1 hr. 36 min. Rated: PG


2. The Fourth Kind
The Fourth Kind is an upcoming science fiction/thriller/horror film written and directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi, and starring Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas and Will Patton.


The Fourth Kind claims to be a re-enactment of original documentary footage. It also claims to use never-before-seen archival footage that is integrated into the film; as it set in 1972, where a scale of measurement was established for alien encounters. When a UFO is sighted, it is called an encounter of the first kind. When evidence is collected, it is known as an encounter of the second kind. When contact is made with extraterrestrials, it is the third kind. The next level, abduction, is the fourth kind. This encounter has been the most difficult to document...until now. Structured unlike any film before it, The Fourth Kind is a provocative thriller set in modern-day Nome, Alaska, where—mysteriously since the 1960s—a disproportionate number of the population has been reported missing every year. Despite multiple FBI investigations of the region, the truth has never been discovered. Here in this remote region, psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler (Milla Jovovich) began videotaping sessions with traumatized patients and unwittingly discovered some of the most disturbing evidence of alien abduction ever documented.

Opens: November 6, 2009 Runtime: 1 hr. 38 min. Rated: PG-13.

3. The Men Who Stare at Goats
The Men Who Stare at Goats is a 2009 comedy by director Grant Heslov and it is based on the book of the same title by author Jon Ronson, an account of Ronson's investigation of attempts by US military forces to use psychic powers. It stars George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges.


The Men Who Stare at Goats follows a struggling reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor), trying to lose himself in the romance of war after his marriage fails, gets more than he bargains for when he meets a Special Forces Lyn Cassady (George Clooney) who reveals the existence of a secret, psychic military unit whose goal is to end war as we know it. The founder of the unit has gone missing and the trail leads to another psychic soldier who has distorted the mission to serve his own ends. Intrigued by Cassady's assertions that they can walk through walls and kill goats by fixed gazes, Wilton follows him on a dangerous, top-secret mission across Iraq to find the brigade's founder, Bill Django (Jeff Bridges).

Opens: November 6, 2009 Runtime: 1 hr. 33 min. Rated: R

4. The Box
The Box is a horror film based on the 1970 short story "Button, Button" by author Richard Matheson, which was previously adapted into an episode of the 1980s in carnation of the The Twilight Zone. The film is written and directed by Richard Kelly and stars Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella.


The Box is based on a suburban financially strapped married couple, Norma (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur (James Marsden) in Richmond, Virginia in 1976; face a moral dilemma when they receive a gift (a box) that bears irrevocable consequences. With the press of a button, their simple wooden box will bestow $1 million; however, a stranger somewhere else will die, at the same time. The box will be theirs for only 24 hours, and as time ticks away, Norma and Arthur confront the depth of their humanity as they consider their choices.

Opens: November 6, 2009 Runtime: 1 hr. 45 min. Rated: PG-13

5. 2012
From the guy that brought us Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow and 10,000 BC; is 2012 is an action/adventure directed by Roland Emmerich. The film has an ensemble cast which includes John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Woody Harrelson.


The movies explores the idea of a global doomsday event coinciding with the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar’s current cycle on or around 2012 (the northern hemisphere's winter solstice) and it tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors.
Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) is a divorced father who occasionally works as a limousine driver and a writer, while his ex-wife (Amanda Peet) and children live together with her new boyfriend. In Guatemala reports start coming in of mass suicides in the Mayan jungles of people attempting to avoid the impending apocalypse. The IHC (Institute for Human Continuity), a secret organization, has realized the situation and begun constructing vast arks beneath the Himalayan mountains to save both the human race and significant animal species for when doomsday finally happens. There are arguments however about how and when the governments of the world will alert their fellow citizens and even discussions about how the remaining survivors will be selected to survive the final judgment.

Opens: November 13, 2009 Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min. Rated: PG-13

6. Pirate Radio
a.k.a The Boat That Rocked (retitled Pirate Radio for North American release) is an ensemble comedy film, as it stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Kenneth Branagh and January Jones.


Pirate Radio is set in 1966, as it tells a story about a fictitious pirate radio station broadcasting from a ship to the United Kingdom. This group of rouge DJs, on a boat in the middle of the Northern Atlantic, played rock records and broke the law all for the love of music. The songs they played united and defined an entire generation and drove the British government crazy. By playing Rock n Roll they were standing up against the British government who did everything in their power to shut them down. The band of rebels is lead by The Count, played by the Academy Award Winning Philip Seymour Hoffman, Quentin the boss of Radio Rock, Gavin the greatest DJ in Britain, Midnight Mark, Doctor Dave and Young Carl who comes of age amidst the chaos of sex, drugs and rock n roll. The film features an unbelievable selection of music including The Beatles, The Stones, Beach Boys, Dusty Springfield, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Smokey Robinson, David Bowie, Otis Redding, Cat Stevens just to name a few. The film is laugh out loud funny and speaks to the rock n roll rebel in all of us. The film was written and directed by Richard Curtis.

Opens: November 13, 2009 Runtime: 1 hr. 55 min. Rated: R

7. The Blind Side
The Blind Side is drama written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game” by Michael Lewis. Its casts are Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates and Quinton Aaron.


The Blind Side is based on a homeless black teenager, Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) has drifted in and out of the school system for years. Then Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) and her husband, Sean (Tim McGraw), take him in, transforming Michael's life and theirs. With help from his new-found family, tutors and coaches, he realizes his potential as a student and football player.

Opens: November 20, 2009 Runtime: 2 hr. 6 min. Rated: PG-13

8. New Moon
One of the year’s most anticipated movies, New Moon (also as The Twilight Saga: New Moon) is a romantic fantasy based on the novel of the same name by Stephenie Meyer and which is the second instalment of the phenomenally successful TWILIGHT series and sequel to 2008's Twilight, which is based on Meyer's previous novel. Directed by Chris Weitz; the film stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, reprising their roles as Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, and Jacob Black, respectively. Other members of the cast include Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Nicki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Rachelle Lafevre, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Billy Burke and Peter Facinelli.


New Moon continues from where twilight left off, which is the romance between mortal and vampire soars to a new level as Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) delves deeper into the mysteries of the supernatural world she yearns to become part of—only to find herself in greater peril than ever before. On Bella’s 18th birthday, Edward, the vampire she loves, and his family throw her a birthday party. While unwrapping a gift, she gets a paper cut, which causes Edward's adopted brother, Jasper, to be overwhelmed by her blood's scent and attempt to kill Bella. To protect her, Edward decides to end their relationship, and the Cullens move away from Forks. This leaves Bella heart-broken and depressed.


In the months that follow, Bella learns that thrill-seeking activities, such as motorcycle riding, allow her to "hear" Edward's voice in her head. She also seeks comfort in her deepening friendship with Jacob, a cheerful companion who eases her pain over losing Edward. Bella later discovers that Jacob is a werewolf. He and his fellow werewolves protect Bella from the vampires Laurent and Victoria, the latter of whom seeks revenge for her dead mate, James, whom the Cullens killed in Twilight.


Meanwhile, a series of miscommunications leads Edward to believe that Bella has killed herself. Distraught over her supposed suicide, Edward flees to Italy to provoke the Volturi, vampire royalty who are capable of killing him. Alice and Bella rush to Italy to save Edward, arriving just in time to stop him.

Opens: November 20, 2009 Runtime: 2 hr. 10 min. Rated: PG-13

So which team will you be, Edward or Jacob?