Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Notable Films of 2012: Volume Ten (Final)

Exactly one month and roughly 70,000 words later, here is the tenth and final volume of this year's "Notable Films of 2012" guide.
In this chapter I look at movies that include the return of Sam Worthington's Perseus as he battles the Greek Gods, Daniel Radcliffe leaving behind Harry Potter to take on a classic Victorian ghost story, a zombie teen romantic fantasy, a stripped down reinvention of Emily Bronte's classic "Wuthering Heights", and a love story as told by Terrence Malick.
There's also Brad Pitt tackling epic socio-political satire in a post zombie apocalyptic world, a tale of lovers from two worlds with different gravitational pulls, James McAvoy as a cop hunting the one that got away, Bradley Cooper dealing with the fallout of plagiarising someone else's work, and a Disney animated film about an 8-bit video game character.
Untitled David Chase Movie (aka. Twylight Zones)
Opens: October 19th 2012
Cast: James Gandolfini, Brad Garrett, Jack Huston, Christopher McDonald, Molly Price
Director: David Chase
Analysis: A reunion of sorts for fans of "The Sopranos", that show's creator David Chase and star James Gandolfini team for Chase's directorial debut which takes them back to New Jersey. Instead of exploring a crime family in contemporary times however, this is a coming of age tale set in the 60's with a focus as much on the parents as there is on the teens.
The action centers around a garage rock band named The Twylight Zones and the families of the band members. Chase claims the drama will explore how post-war, post-Depression era parents gave their children as many advantages as they could and now can't help but feel a little jealous of the more liberated and adventurous future their kids are able to enjoy that they weren't while they grew up.
It may sound fairly conventional on the surface, but Chase's skill should not be underestimated considering his 'Sopranos' changed the face of cable television. Whatever title the film finally settles on, many have already begun to compare this to Cameron Crowe's masterful "Almost Famous" as a potential new benchmark for teen drama.
What to Expect When You're Expecting
Opens: May 11th 2012
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock 
Director: Kirk Jones
Analysis: The dismal failure of "New Year's Eve" has sadly only slowed down rather than stopped the emergence of one of the more tedious of recent film genres - the star-packed ensemble rom-com. "Love Actually", even with its cloying sentiment, was one of the few examples where it worked despite the formula trappings. "He's Just Not That Into You" and "Valentine's Day" on the other hand make anyone but the most die-hard forgiving of rom-coms in general shudder in fear.
Nevertheless studios love them - with each star only doing a few days work they can land big names and yet still make these movies at a quite economical price and market it entirely on the stars involved. So it comes as no huge surprise that Lionsgate wants in on the action and is using Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel's famed self-help guide for soon-to-be mothers as the basis.
To do that, scribes Heather Hach and Shauna Cross constructed a narrative following five couples (and their friends, co-workers, etc.) who'll have their own subplots that'll no doubt occasionally interact. Jennifer Lopez and Rodrigo Santoro play a couple who adopts a baby from abroad even though he's not ready for a kid. Anna Kendrick and Chace Crawford are food-truck owners and old flames who come together which leads to her becoming pregnant.
Elizabeth Banks plays the owner of a boutique selling goods to new mothers who becomes one herself and promptly begins to doubt her beliefs on raising children. Chris Rock is the head of a social group teaching soon-to-be fathers what to expect. Cameron Diaz and Matthew Morrison are a pair who team for a celebrity dance show - not sure how a baby comes into that one. Dennis Quaid, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Joe Manganiello, Rebel Wilson, Brooklyn Decker, Thomas Lennon and Cheryl Cole also have small roles.

darkhorizons for the rest


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