The Silver Bullet ~ “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” Trailer

Synopsis: A look at love through the eyes of five interconnected couples experiencing the thrills and surprises of having a baby, and ultimately coming to understand the universal truth that no matter what you plan for, life doesn’t always deliver what’s expected.

Release Date: May 18, 2012

Thoughts: Hmmm…what do I expect to expect from this?  Not a lot, despite several interesting cast members and an early May delivery date.  I just see a bunch of B-list actors cavorting around in this film version of the famed instruction manual on pregnancy.  I’m sure that the early summer release of this will nab much the same audience that took so well to Bridesmaids the same time last year but other than that I can’t see this film having a huge box office take.  This second trailer seems to focus more on the male side of things – a smart move as it will need all the 18-30 year old males it can snag to produce the results they are going for.

The Silver Bullet ~ “Headhunters” (Hodejegerne) Trailer

Synopsis: An accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary.

Release Date:  April 27, 2012

Thoughts: Jo Nesbø has made a splash here recently with his gritty Nordic thrillers. Undeniably helped by the success of Steig Larson’s Dragon Tattoo trilogy, Nesbø was already fairly well known to Swedish readers and now US audiences are getting a taste of the film version of one of his books.  While likely headed for an American remake, I’ll be sure to track this one down as it looks right up my alley.  I appreciate the reserve this film treatment seems to take on a tale that could have been quite ordinary.  Even though I’m not familiar with the novel on which it is based, knowing Nesbø more than a little blood and guts will be spilled along the way.

The Silver Bullet ~ “Neighborhood Watch” Teaser

Synopsis: Suburban dads form a neighborhood watch group to get time away from their families, only to discover a plot to destroy Earth.

Release Date:  July 27, 2012

Thoughts:  As a teaser, I guess this accomplishes its goal of showing its target audience who all is involved.  Strange, though that it doesn’t make any mention that not only does it have Stiller/Vaughn/Hill in it – but that it’s really an action-comedy involving space invaders.  Oh well…we have a few more months until this is unleashed upon weary summer audiences that will have been beaten down by a few months of special effects and big-budget adventures.

The Silver Bullet ~ “Chernobyl Diaries” Trailer

Synopsis: Follows a group of friends who, while vacationing in Europe, find themselves stranded in the abandoned city only to discover that they are not alone.

Release Date: May 25, 2012

Thoughts:  I know, I know.  You’re saying to yourself…”ANOTHER semi found footage scare fest from the guy who created Paranormal Activity?”  Thankfully, this looks like it jettisons the hand held aspect fairly quickly or at least doesn’t rely on it as heavily as other films of its kind.  The overly loud trailer provides some fairly decent creepy moments and I give it credit for being set in a place that would be scary without radioactive creatures running amok.  I’m guessing this will be another summer diversion that could open big but make its way to DVD/Blu-Ray before the end of August.

What Movie Should Joe See? ~ Express/Crime/Blue

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It’s poll time again!

Even me, a die-hard movie fan, has a list of movies they are ashamed to admit they either haven’t seen or don’t remember seeing.  I’m not going to air all my shameful misses now…but here are three that I think it’s time for me to see/rewatch.

You hold the cards (or remote, if you will)…let your vote be counted!

Voting is open until next Sunday (April 1) and please leave a comment as to why you chose what you chose :)

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Down From the Shelf ~ Parenthood

The Facts:

Synopsis: The Buckman family is a midwestern family all dealing with their lives: estranged relatives, raising children, pressures of the job, and learning to be a good parent and spouse.

Stars: Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Robards, Tom Hulce, Martha Plimpton, Keanu Reeves, Dianne Wiest

Director: Ron Howard

Rated: PG-13

Running Length: 124 minutes

TMMM Score: (8/10)

Review:   23 years on, this film continues to entertain and surprise me with each viewing.  I think seeing this as a nine year old my understanding of some situations wasn’t fully there yet.  Moving into seeing it as a teenager and then a young adult and now veering toward true adulthood I find myself seeing this in a new light based on where I am with my life.  For a while I responded most to the Martin/Steenburgen family storyline, then it was the Moranis character was most interesting to me.  My appreciation of Weist’s role is the one constant and it’s no big shocker she was nominated for an Oscar (I can’t say she was totally robbed as I’ve not seen Brenda Fricker’s winning role in My Left Foot)  Howard directs this one with a light touch that has stood the test of all these years.  At this time, these were the types of movies that he had a strong voice with.  As the years pass he has moved on to more challenging works with darker themes but I have always responded to the 80’s and early 90’s Howard films.   

The large cast is in top form working with great material that was culled from the lives of its director, producers, and writers.  Giving it that personal touch elevates the movie to a more realistic tone that pays dividends to the viewer.  I have to give special mention to Helen Shaw who plays, simply, Grandma.  Her speech near the end not only sums up everything we’ve seen so far but provides Martin with the best punchline in the movie. 

I pop this one in at least once a year – with its recent release on Blu-Ray it’s nice to view it anew with its remastered video and audio.  Whether it’s your first viewing or 20th there is something here for all audiences.

Down From the Shelf ~ The Goodbye Girl

The Facts:

Synopsis: After being dumped by her live-in boyfriend, an unemployed dancer and her 10-year-old daughter are reluctantly forced to live with a struggling off-Broadway actor.

Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings  

Director: Herbert Ross

Rated: PG

Running Length: 111 minutes

TMMM Score: (7/10)

Review:  While she was married to Neil Simon, Mason had a heck of a successful career.  Of her four Academy award nominations two of them came from work she did with her husband.  In the case of The Goodbye Girl, it was Drefyuss that would bring home Oscar gold and it’s not underserved.  As Elliot Garfield, Dreyfuss gives one of his very best performances by capturing the humor and drive of his character and he plays well off of Mason’s energy.  Mason also admirably takes on the unlucky in love single mom role with gusto and honesty – her dance audition scene is both darkly comical and heartbreaking.  Cummings also nabbed an Oscar nom for her work here as Mason’s wise-cracking daughter and she tempers the funny with a few great moments of sadness.  That’s what I really loved about this piece.  Each character has moments of great levity but we are shown that the humor usually is masking some sadness within.  Dreyfuss wants to do good work, Mason wants that good old-fashioned thing called love, and Cummings wants a male figure that won’t vanish overnight.

Simon’s dialogue is crisp and not too insider-y even though most of the action revolves in and around the New York Theater scene of the 70’s.  Ross directs the players well though the script being quite Simon-y there are times when it feels a bit stage based (no wonder it was adapted into a musical about a decade later). 

The comedies of the 70’s ran the gamut from cerebral to slapstick and this one fits nicely into middle.  I laughed out loud several times but realized that I wasn’t necessarily laughing at the words but the situations themselves.  It’s sincerely funny and does feel timeless on the whole.  Remove some of those hairstyles and bellbottoms and the film would still work as a modern piece.