It’s Monday, which means it’s time for the New and the News. This week, we’ve got three new wide releases hitting theaters and a slew of interesting news about the world of film. Come on inside and check it all out!
2012 (Sony) – 3,000 theaters – Reviews
Roland Emmerich is one of those high-profile Hollywood directors that only produces big budget popcorn flicks like Independence Day, Godzilla, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow, and most recently, 10,000 BC. With the release of 2012, Emmerich is probably hoping to erase any memories of the universally disliked 10,000 BC by hopping 12,012 years into the future. I’m sure there is a story somewhere inside 2012, but basically, it is an epic disaster movie that will showcase a global cataclysm in the year that the Mayans famously predicted would be the end of the world. A Summer-style action film in the middle of Winter, 2012 looks like an expensive, exciting thrill ride, and it should do very well at the box office.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (Fox) – Wide Release? – Reviews
As if Roald Dahl was not strange enough, his book is getting the big screen treatment from cinema’s resident oddball, Wes Anderson. Fantastic Mr. Fox looks like a visual treat, as its animation style looks like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It is some sort of mixture of stop motion and traditional animation, and it looks pretty interesting. That being said, I do not think that this animation will help it out very much. I think it will be visually exhausting to watch this unconventional visual style for almost two hours, for it seems more fit for a YouTube video, and I will be surprised if this is actually a hit. This is a movie that appears to have been made much more for Anderson-loving critics than the public. On another note, I’m not sure what to believe about Fox‘s release. Yahoo! Movies states that it will be getting a wide release on Friday, though Box Office Mojo’s theater counts only have it being released into 4 theaters. I think it actually will get a wide release, but I can’t be sure.
Pirate Radio (Focus) – 900 theaters – Reviews
This story follows a group of 8 rogue British DJs who defied authority in the name of rock ‘n roll music in the 1960s. Broadcasting from a boat in the North Atlantic, this “pirate radio” station had to avoid the British government to play the music they loved. I’m not much into these movies about drugs, rock music, and liberation, and I’m not sure I can buy the studio’s provided synopsis that “the songs that they played united and defined an entire generation.” That seems like a bit much. Anyway, this is probably a little too off-beat to be a huge hit, but the ads have been strong and interesting, and it should be able to carve out a small slice of box office pie for itself in the coming weeks.
James Cameron’s long-in-the-works, psychotically expensive science-fiction epic, Avatar, has been surrounded by huge buzz for years. Reports of groundbreaking technology, incredible 3D sequences, and an incredible story had people very excited. Thus, when a lackluster trailer debuted a few months ago, people were more than a little disappointed. Thankfully, a new trailer has been cut for the film, and it’s is so much better. It gives a strong sense of the story, and it features some pretty dazzling special effects. It’s hard to not be excited. Watch the new-and-improved trailer below.
Hugh Jackman declined the offer to return as host of the Oscars this year, but the LA Times was quick to report that the Academy had contracted Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin to co-host the Oscars this year. In an era of dwindling ratings for the Oscar telecast, you would think that the Academy might want to try to appeal to a younger crowd, but who knows how these decisions are made… The early reaction has been more than a little mixed, and many people are downright unhappy with the decision. As a hater of the Oscars, that makes me very happy!
If 2012 succeeds in theaters this weekend, it is appearing increasingly likely that we’ll see an ABC spinoff on screens this Fall. Director Roland Emmerich told EW, “The plan is that it is 2013 and it’s about what happens after the disaster…” Producer Mark Gordon claims that ABC “will have an opening in their disaster-related programming after LOST ends.” Interesting for sure, but I’ve never seen this type of movie-into-a-TV-show stunt work. Anyone remember My Big Fat Greek Life?
Tom Cruise, Sam Worthington, and Charlize Thereon are out, and THR writes that Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, and Alfonso Cuaron are in. Suddenly, The Tourist, a remake of a 2005 French thriller, has gone from white bread to dark and edgy. This could be a magical combination that makes for a very cool movie.