- Battle: Los Angeles- My fair city takes a beating this weekend with the sci-fi\action\alien disaster flick. I love disaster movies, or at least the disaster movies of yore (Earthquake, The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno), they had the right ingredients of melding effects with comedy, with a slight dash of camp thrown in for good measure. The modern ones seem so wooden in comparison, the acting and writing too overtaken by the computerized razzle dazzle. Then again, this could be soon pleasurable Grade-B schlock. Either way, it's poised to win the weekend.
- Mars Needs Moms- 2011's latest 3-D spectacle uses the same motion capture technology implemented in Robert Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol and The Polar Express, Zemeckis himself is a producer of this Disney animated hybrid based on the book by Berkeley Breathed. What strikes me about this film, featuring the acting\voices\impressionist facial expressions of Seth Green, Dan Fogler (Take Me Home Tonight) and Joan Cusack, is how barely visible the film appears to be, did Disney try and bury this one, and why?
- Red Riding Hood- Amanda Seyfried dons the famous frock is an adaptation of the favored fairy tale directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Twilight), with a supporting cast featuring Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Lukas Haas, Virginia Madsen and Julie Christie. The odds are likely against this one, but I'm mildly intrigued, and all that promise that Hardwicke showed on her debut feature- Thirteen, while reasonably depleted since then, I marginally maintain hope in her finding the right balance between pop and informed female characters.
- Black Death- an arty period horror film set during the great plague starring Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, John Lynch and Clarie van Houten (Black Book.)
- Certified Copy- The latest from acclaimed international filmmaker Abbias Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry, The Man Without a Past) stars Juliette Binoche (in a role that earned her the best actress award at last year's Cannes Film Festival) and William Shimmel in a playful and romantic drama that calls to mind the Before Sunrise\Sunset, which is always a good thing.
- Jane Eyre- The first high minded period drama of 2011, coming courtesy of Focus Features, in a prestige bouquet arrangement, and glowing reviews (it's right now at least the top reviewed film of 2011) starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Sally Hawkins and Judi Dench. Directed by Cary Fukunaga, his second film after the acclaimed 2009 Sin Nombre. I feel like I've seen the trailer to this seven thousand times, so I'm glad to finally be rid of it.
- Elecktra Luxx- a sequel of sorts to the 2009 indie Women in Trouble, which was a not terrible Almodovar rip off starring Carla Gugino (always enjoyable) as a pregnant porn star. She is supported by Joseph Gordon Levitt, Alicia Silverstone and Timothy Olyphant.