Synopsis: A small-town father must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world.
Release Date: April 16, 2014
Thoughts: The good news here is that this isn’t a sequel to Greg Kinnear’s dreadful 1996 “comedy” Dear God. No, Heaven is for Real looks like the kind of PG-rated schmaltz that won’t do much harm should you happen to find yourself at the theater with nothing to take your mom to. These heavenly movies can be a bit weighty; sacrificing story and character development for the pushing of a message the filmmakers are hell-bent on getting across. Kinnear is a likable actor but has never been someone that demands attention from audiences so it’s nice to see the more interesting Kelly Reilly (snubbed for a Best Supporting Actress last year for her work in Flight) on board as Kinnear’s wife. Aiming to inspire, I’m interested to see if Heaven is for Real can find a balance in its lofty message without resorting to cheap tearjerker ploys.
Synopsis: With the 70s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to take New York’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.
Release Date: December 20, 2013
Thoughts: Well, the second trailer for the sequel to 2004’s Anchorman has arrived and, like the first preview, I’m left cold. Though I know the first film has achieved a high position on the list of cult favorites over the years, I’ve never been a big fan of what’s essentially an overlong comedy routine from Will Ferrell and his gang. Now I think all of these men are funny individually but I’ve yet to be swayed that as a group they’re the laugh riot they think they are. I barely cracked a smile during this…and that doesn’t bode well for my enjoyment of the finished product. I realize I’m in the minority here and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is poised to be a huge holiday box-office hit, but man-child humor has to work extra hard to get a laugh out of me and so far I’m unimpressed.
Synopsis: An English teacher’s life is disrupted when a former student returns to her small town after failing as a playwright in New York.
Release Date: May 17, 2013
Thoughts: Julianne Moore has made some interesting choices in film as of late…and they haven’t always been good. Though the Oscar nominated star has been on the A-List for some time, in the last few years she’s popped up in several indies that skipped a theatrical run and it’s left me wondering who exactly is choosing her projects. Set to hit the mainstream again with October’s anticipated remake of Carrie, Moore has this little film coming out right at the beginning of a busy summer movie season. Though the premise looks promising and supporting cast nicely diverse (save for Mirror, Mirror’s blandly boring Lily Collins), I still would like to sit down with Ms. Moore and ask “what gives” as it relates to her film compass.
Synopsis: An ensemble comedy intertwining different tales.
Release Date: January 25, 2013
Thoughts: Here’s a film I’ve been hearing about for a while now thanks to a word of mouth publicity campaign. Though it reminds me a lot of the uneven semi-classic Kentucky Fried Movie, this particular entry sold me on the cast list alone. You have Oscar nominated/winning females (Naomi Watts, Uma Thurman, Kate Winslet, Halle Berry) side by side with men that run the gamut from A-List (Hugh Jackman, Richard Gere) to has beens (sorry fellow MN Seann William Scott). Many famous faces/names also wrote and directed the shorts so here’s hoping that the good stuff is great and the bad stuff is short. I’ve laughed at this trailer (and its Not Safe For Work red band trailer here) and do anticipate liking this when it’s released later in January.