The Media Morgue 2008 Year End Movie Guide

So what does the box office look like for the rest of 2008? well listed below is a an exhausting, but not necessarily exhaustive selection of 55 [ED: Holy crap!] films that will be opening throughout the remainder of the year, along with our witty and probably unnecessary opinions thrown in for good measure.

Enjoy.




September 26 (Friday)

Blindness - (description from Wikipedia): An adaptation of the 1995 novel of the same name by José Saramago about a society suffering an epidemic of blindness. The film is written by Don McKellar and directed by Fernando Meirelles with Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo as the stars. The novel's author originally refused to sell rights for a film adaptation, not wanting it to fall into the wrong hands. Meirelles was able to acquire rights with the condition that the film would be set in an unrecognizable city. Blindness premiered as the opening film at the Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2008, and the film is commercially scheduled for limited release in the United States on September 12, 2008.

JJ - 1. It’s directed by the guy who did City of God and that movie sucked hardcore. Not a single likeable character and I hoped all of them died, and I was sorely disappointed. 2. It has Julianne Moore and that’s fantastic. I love her. And 3. It has an interesting story that has people going blind for no apparent reason causing massive difficulty to life and to Julianne Moore because she’s the only one that can see. 2 out of 3 means yes I’m excited to see this. Woot.

Judge - My eyes! I cant see!! Oh wait, that's because they were closed out of boredom. Next.

TV Maven - In the Kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king...if I want to watch a bunch of people stumbling over furniture, I'll watch Dick van Dyke reruns on TV Land.

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Eagle Eye - Two strangers become the pawns of a mysterious woman they have never met, but who seems to know their every move. Realizing they are being used to further her plot for a political assassination, they must work together to outwit the woman before she has them killed.

JJ - Shia LaBeouf in a story that Steven Spielberg dreamt up. The Dynamic Duo of 2008, if I do say so myself…I suppose I’ll be seeing this one. The trailer hooked me. Thrilling.

Judge - Yeah, its an exciting trailer and I think that Shia is a very competent actor, so I am guessing that this one might be popular. It all depends on the script, which appears to be written by two first-time screenwriters. Your mileage may vary.

TV Maven - I missed the trailer, so I am forced to rely on the reputations of Spielberg and some guy whose name sounds like a French social disease. Well, Spielberg did OK with that one about the bug-eyed alien, you know, Minority Report...
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Nights in Rodanthe - Romantic drama with a doctor meeting an unhappily married woman while traveling, based on the Nicholas sparks novel of the same name.

JJ - Richard Gere and Diane Lane sounds like a boring combo and a movie about falling for someone that’s in a relationship is a bit trite if not over done. However, it’s a film that is based on a book by Nicholas Sparks and he does have interesting stories. I have a friend that will drug me and drag me to see it. So even though I think I might die if I see it. That ultimately doesn’t matter.

Judge - ugh. A sappy, romance flick with two people about as interesting as the lint between my toes. Is this all Gere can do now? Is this all Diane is good for? Sad. Pass.

TV Maven - Rodanthe? Didn't Godzilla kill that thing in a movie a long time ago. This one looks like it could use a fire-breathing giant lizard. Old people sex makes me feel oogy. (I even close my eyes when I do it...) JJ,don't do it if you might die...remember what happened in The Ring....
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Choke (Limited)- Sex addict and colonial theme park worker, Victor Mancini, (Sam Rockwell) has devised a complicated scam to pay for his mom's hospital bills while she suffers from an Alzheimer's disease that hides the truth about his childhood. He pretends to choke on food in a restaurant and the person who "saves" him will feel responsible for Victor for the rest of their lives.

JJ - It just looks interesting even though it’s raunchy. Normally that’s boring because it’s done in such a way that is boring. Odd to think of raunchy as boring but it’s possible. Plus it’s by the writer of The Fight Club (book) so that’s also going for it. It’s a defiant maybe for me (and yes I hated that title for that movie. Don’t get it, well don’t bother.)

Judge - Based just on the synopsis, it sounds terrible. However, the fact that Rockwell plays a sex addict and the red-banned trailer suggests that there is a lot of T&A in it... hell, the fact that Sam Rockwell is in it is enough to get me to see it. The story is based on the novel by "Fight Club" author Chuck Palahniuk, so it might actually be a solid, funny movie.

TV Maven - Ahhh...Kinky sex in Colonial Williamsburg... I can see the porno-names now... Miles Stand-upish, Chastity Notmuch and Shia Lebouf. Hope this one doesn't end like the last book. Spoiler: The dude is fu*king HIMSELF! He must have heard the suggestions of the early screening audiences.
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OCTOBER 2008October 3 (Friday)

Beverly Hills Chihuahua
While on vacation in Mexico, Chloe, a ritzy Beverly Hills chihuahua, finds herself lost and in need of assistance in order to get back home.

JJ - Uh….run for the border. Oh and that’s a no.

Judge - Ditto. Its going to be cheap, kiddie fodder and nothing more. It's Hollywood's attempt to occasionally be an equal-opportunity offender by insulting the intelligence of kids. Here's hoping the little shit gets heart worms and dies before the premiere. Oh and Cheech Marin plays a voice of one of the chihuahuas. How creative.

TV Maven - Judge, that's no way to talk about the great Cheech Marin!!!! Let's see...I hate Chihuahuas...I hate vapid movies that pander...yep! not enough pot in the world...

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How to Lose Friends & Alienate People – A British writer (Simon Pegg) struggles to fit in at a high-profile magazine in New York. Based on Toby Young's memoir of the same title.

JJ - I like the title. I liked the trailer because one clever line that had me laughing. Anything remotely eye catching? No. This is toss up of if there’s nothing better to see then I might see this…..but……

Judge - This film lives or dies by the comedy of Simon Pegg. Simon's one of those love him or hate him kind of guys, so its going to be a crapshoot to see if its popular enough to do anything in the box office.

TV Maven - Crapshoot! That's what I got after I ate the Chihuahua. I don't know that I'd pay to see this, but I might get it a week later on video. My remote eye-catcher needs batteries, I guess.
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Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - Two people who would never get together in normal circumstances get thrown together under strange circumstances and this goes on for about 90 minutes until the credits roll.

JJ - ……there is something better and this is it. I just like Michael Cera because of his low key manner, his dorkiness and his hilarious reactions. Every film I’ve seen him in he’s been one of the reasons it was so good. I’m seeing this film because it’s the same old same old but told in a way that makes it unique. I’ve been looking forward to it since the first time I saw the trailer. Oddly excited for a movie that’s not even a superhero movie. Weird.

Judge - yes, Michael Cera is a dork. And he is typecast into playing dorks in every film and television show he's been in. Can he do anything else becides play a dork? My guess is no. The film looks stupid. Pass.

TV Maven - C'mon, Judge, if the dude can make bank by playing that kid you gave swirlies to in high school, then God love him. It's not like their giving him an Oscar. That said, I think Cera's fine in his place. (that being in a pit full of rabid wolverines after having been dipped in gravy.)
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Religulous - Bill Maher gives his take on the state of world religion.

JJ - Love the title. Bill Maher has strong opinions. I saw Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and this one looks like something similar but with Religion. So I will be seeing this one because it fascinates me. I’ll see if he’s as fair with Religion as Ben Stein was with the Scientist.

Judge - Maher uses sarcasm and wit to poke fun at religion. That was all the description I needed to decided that I MUST see this one.

TV Maven - I have no respect for sarcasm. (I have less respect for religious nuts, so I will be seeing this flick). Ben Stein is a Tool.

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An American Carol - An anti-American filmmaker who's out to abolish the July Fourth holiday is visited by three ghosts who try to change his perception of the country.

JJ - Any movie that mocks the man that I think deserves a taste of his own terrible medicine is a movie I’ll be watching. I don’t know how well it will be because the “creator of Airplane” surely doesn’t hold a lot of water now days. That movie is ancient.

Judge - Kelsey Grammer plays George S. Patton? Combined this with John Voight pretending to be George Washington and Kevin Farley pretending he's Chris Farley in a movie by a guy who used to produce somewhat funny movies. No thanks. Michael Moore needs to be knocked down a peg or two for his particular brand of documentary filmmaking (which really cant be called a documentary when you look at it) but there are better ways than this.

TV Maven - I'm going to go out on a limb, here. JJ, a reminder, the film satire genre didn't always suck, and these guys practically INVENTED it. If anyone can pull this off, and not end up with another Scary Movie sequel, it's the creators of Airplane!
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Flash of Genius (Limited) - Based on the true story of college professor and part-time inventor Robert Kearns' (Greg Kinnear) long battle with the U.S. automobile industry, Flash of Genius tells the tale of one man whose fight to receive recognition for his ingenuity would come at a heavy price. But this determined engineer refused to be silenced, and he took on the corporate titans in a battle that nobody thought he could win.

JJ - Yes. I like Greg and I like stories where the person that did all the work fights to get the credit for doing so. I like windshield wipers as well.

Judge - It looks promising. I'd see it.

TV Maven - Yeah, yeah, it looks like it could be good, BUT...is our culture now so bankrupt that the best we can do for heroes is the guy who invented FU*KING windshield wipers? What, was Orville Redenbacher not available. C'mon Greg... even Mr.. Whipple would have been something...
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Rachel Getting Married(Limited) - a contemporary "drama with an aggressive sense of humor" about the return of an estranged daughter to the family home for her sister's wedding.

JJ - Yes. I enjoy tragic stories that turn around in the end. And I like Ann. Hopefully she’ll be believable as a “villain” of sorts. She’s a little kindhearted, which could be why she would pick to do something with a character as damaging as this one.

Judge - Trying to make Ann Hathaway look scuzzy is just not believable. She's just too cute and perfect and typecast as cute and perfect in everything she's done. Also, is the entire film handheld? If so, are they going to pass out barf bags at the theater entrance? My guess is that this will be utterly forgotten by the second weekend at the box office.

TV Maven - What's with all these weird movie titles? Girl, Interrupted, Rachel Getting Married...folks, it's Debbie DOES Dallas, not Debbie DOING Dallas. If I want to sit and cry, I'll read the financial section of the news.
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RocknRolla (Limited; Expands October 31) - In London, a real-estate scam puts millions of pounds up for grabs, naturally attraction the attention of some of the city's scrappiest tough guys (Gerard Butler, Idris Elba) its more established underworld players (Tom Wilkinson), and others -- all of whom are looking to get rich quick.

JJ - If it’s as entertaining as the trailer and creative AND, of course got that flare I liked in Lock, stock and two Smoking Barrels then it’s going to be a big, fat, E.U. yes.

Judge - Ditto. I could go on, but JJ said it best. I'll see it, but it better not disappoint.

TV Maven - I literally have nothing to say about this.

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October 10 (Friday)

Body of Lies - CIA operative Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio) uncovers a lead on a major terrorist leader suspected to be operating out of Jordan. When Ferris devises a plan to infiltrate his network, he must first win the backing of CIA veteran Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe) and the collegial, but perhaps suspect, head of Jordanian intelligence. Although ostensibly his allies, Ferris questions how far he can really trust these men without putting his entire operation - and his life - on the line.

JJ - Crowe and DiCaprio and the writer of the Departed. If this film is similar to the Departed then it’s worth my time. I did not like all of the Departed but the end made me like all of it more. It was crazy.

Judge - I caught the trailer the other day and it looks good. Its got the star power to be a hit and the story looks good. My guess is that this one will be a must see.

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City of Ember - For generations, the people of the City of Ember have flourished in an amazing world of glittering lights. But Ember's once powerful generator is failing ... and the great lamps that illuminate the city are starting to flicker.

JJ - Looks thoroughly entertaining. I enjoy movies that are fantastical in nature. Hopefully it can deliver the excitement that it gives via the trailer. Nice tagline with the “Lights Out”. Fun. Oddly.

Judge - I know nothing about this, other than what I saw in the trailer. Based on that alone, It looks good. I will be checking this one out.

TV Maven - Hey, they should invite all those blind guys from the other movie! They won't care if it's dark. Cue Riddick....

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October 17 (Friday)


Max Payne - Coming together to solve a series of murders in New York City are a DEA agent (Wahlberg) whose family was slain as part of a conspiracy and an assassin (Kunis) out to avenge her sister's death. The duo will be hunted by the police, the mob, and a ruthless corporation.

JJ - Looks interesting until the tiresome Devil storyline rears its ugly head. Uhm….meh.

Judge - Its a silly action movie based on a video game. Use your best judgement and guess how good its going to be. My guess is that the film that opens opposite of this one is going to dominate the box office, so this will be for the action kiddies and not much more.

TV Maven - I think the title says it all to those who subject themselves to a "Marky-Mark" action film whose plot is based on a video game.


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The Secret Life of Bees
- Based on a book about a little girl that is running from her father with her nanny to find the truth about her mother who recently died. The two end up at three sisters who are bee keepers.

JJ - This looks like (because of the cast is mostly women) a chick flick but not so much after viewing it. It seems a bit more than just that and that’s a good thing because it actually looks interesting to me.

Judge - I dunno. I think its still a chick flick, just cleverly disguised to appeal to more than one demographic. Pass.

TV Maven - Has got some good "buzz"... the plot has some "sting"... a "honey" of a story...thank yew...thank yew...I'll be here all week! Seriously, do bees have a secret life? What are they in to? Erotic flower pictures? Nectar-based narcotics? Dressing up like flies?

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W. - A chronicle on the life and presidency of George W. Bush, directed by Oliver Stone.

JJ - A George Bush story while he’s still in office. Interesting. I want to know what the White House has to say about that. I’ll know what I’ll have to say after I go and view the film. Yeah-yeah.

Judge - I was a bit concerned when I first heard that Josh Brolin was going to play Bush, but the trailer looks like its got Oliver Stone's typical style and it will be good to see the side of El presidente that they try very hard not to show us. This one is going to win the weekend on hype alone.

TV Maven - I can't even look at the real one without wanting to vomit.


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Sex Drive (Limited) - Eighteen-year-old Ian Lafferty sets out on a cross country drive with his best friends Lance and Felicia in order to lose his virginity to a red-hot babe he met on the Internet. But the journey, filled with hilarious misadventures and raunchy escapades, teaches all three more than they expected about life and love.

JJ - HA.HA.HA.HA. Yes. Yes I’m seeing this. Love how they show IM-ing. Pretty clever. Plus they have one of my favorite actors James Marsden. Love the Amish bit in the trailer. Good times.

Judge - No. Stupid, pointless and most-like your typical teenage T&A flick. It will be popular, but not for any real reasons.

TV Maven - Alternate title: Dude, Where's my Hymen. Suggestion for the protagonists: give it up. If you can't get laid in your town, It ain't about geography. Get a hooker, or buy someone's virginity on eBay. Busy weekend for the T&A team.
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October 24 (Friday)


He's Just Not That Into You -
and I’m not into this movie nor the book. Women.

Judge - Damn, you took my line!

TV Maven - Self-help crap book made into a movie? What's next? Men are From Mars starring Tom Cruise?!


High School Musical 3: Senior Year - As seniors in high school ,Troy and Gabriella struggle with the idea of being separated from one another as college approaches. Along with the rest of the Wildcats, they stage a spring musical to address their experiences, hopes and fears about their future

JJ - I’ve never seen the first two and I find it interesting that they are releasing the third to movie screens. Yes I understand why, I just still find it interesting. Wonder if that was their plan all along. Hook ‘em and gouge ‘em.

Judge - I'd rather watch a Friedberg and Seltzer movie on repeat. Hey, now that they are seniors, does this mean that audiences are going to be tortured with "College Musical"?? God help us all.

TV Maven - I'll admit, it's become much easier to picture Vanessa Hudgins naked, but I can do that from the comfort of my own home, without the wretched music.

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Pride and Glory - A family of New York City police officers is torn apart by a corruption scandal.

JJ - Edward Norton always = Yes.

Judge - Maybe.


Saw V -

Forensics expert Hoffman (Mandylor) goes on the hunt in order to protect the secret that he is the newest person to carry on Jigsaw's legacy.

JJ - I saw (har har) the first IV so I’ll be seeing this one. Yes they can be a bit over the top but the whole reason in liking them at all is because of the morbid morality of it all. I also am interested in how they continue this with the main baddy dead.

Judge - Its a gore flick. Lots of gore. Gorey gorey gore. Oh and maybe a nude scene thrown in for good measure. Pass.

TV Maven - Gosh, hope they don't run this franchise into the ground. Oh, wait...look how well Friday The 13th part 5 did...or Nightmare on Elm Street....or Star Trek....or...well, you get it. Countdown to Saw: the 'Re-boot' in five...four....three...



Changeling
(Limited; Expands October 31) - A woman's kidnapped son is returned, but soon she suspects it is not really her son that came back.

JJ - WOW….Angelina Jolie and Clint Eastwood movie! Dude…interesting combo there. And the trailer is so well done that I’m hooked.

Judge - OK, I'm in. I'll check this one out. It also stars John Malkovich, so thats a strong selling point.

TV Maven - I'd watch Angelina Jolie in Gilli. Seriously...nice job, God.


Passengers (Limited) - A grief counselor working with a group of plane-crash survivors finds herself at the root of a mystery when her clients begin to disappear.

JJ - The trailer is interesting but the execution of the entire thing comes off a little boring, as in they took all the exciting parts and pasted them together to form something wowing while it’s not really at all. It’s a maybe not for me.

Judge - psycho-thriller. Bah.

TV Maven - Final Destination meets Analyze This. Yeesh...


October 31 (Halloween)



Zack and Miri Make a Porno
- Lifelong platonic friends Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) look to solve their respective cashflow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to sense that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought.

JJ - The title sounds funny and the actors who are in it make it sound funnier and even though I think movies that use sex a lot are stupid….there are always the exception of those that can use it and make it funny. Hopefully. I have walked out of bad movies before. I can do it again.

Judge - One of the things I like about Kevin Smith's films is the fact that he spends a considerable amount of time trying to make the dialog interesting and amusing in its own right. I like the idea of this movie and the trailer makes it look hilarious. Although it has what seems to be a fairly over-used premise behind it, the subject matter could make this a big hit.

TV Maven - OVERUSED PREMISE?! I defy you to name one film in the history of everything that featured this premise (all of it...not just the guy-girl thing)


What Just Happened? (Limited) - A comedy about two nail-biting, back-stabbing, roller-coaster weeks in the world of a middle-aged Hollywood producer -- as he tries to juggle an actual life with an outrageous series of crises in his day job.

JJ - When a film parodies Hollywood it starts off on a good foot. This one seems to do that within the trailer. I’m interested in seeing more. Interested is the keyword, because I could also be interested in not seeing it. It goes either way.

Judge - DeNiro, Bruce Willis, Sean Penn, John Turturro, Katherine Keener, and Stanley Tucci. That is a great cast. However, DeNiro is not known for doing particularly funny films. He aint much of a comedian, but his star power is still strong enough to make this the box office hit when it opens.

TV Maven - Ever see "The Player?" Inside jokes aren't funny if you aren't on the inside. Don't believe me? Watch Ocean's Twelve.


NOVEMBER 2008

November 7 (Friday)


Role Models - Wild behavior forces a pair of energy drink reps (Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott) to enroll in a Big Brother program.

JJ - Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott are paired up in a comedy about being role models to crazed boys. Fun times. It looks like it could be hilarious if it stays within the good humor and doesn’t venture into the over done humor of who can be grosser. I’m sort of sick of those kinds of rated R movie humor.

Judge - Oh goody - kids punching a guy in the balls. THAT's never been done before. And Sean William Scott playing a douchebag. Typecast, or art imitating life?

TV Maven - Paul Rudd, in my opinion, is going the way of Ryan Reynolds...great potential, shitty choice of projects. (Ryan ruled in Two Guys and a Girl...)


Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - The sequel to Madagascar reunites the escaped Central Park Zoosters, Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo, in the sequel to 2004’s smash hit. The Madagascar Penguins will also be on board for this all-new comedy adventure.

JJ - It looks funny like oh ha. I saw the first one and it was alright. I might risk seeing this one if I’m up to only laughing like this oh ha. Plus it’s no Disney, that’s for sure.

Judge - Blah. Yet another zany animated comedy. The kids will love it, the parents will buy all the toys, the studios will bathe in money. Same old, same old.

TV Maven - I have a 6-year-old, so this may be the only movie I see this fall.


Repo! The Genetic Opera - Set in the not-so-distant future, the production tells the story of an epidemic of organ failures that devastates the planet, killing tens of millions. As scientists feverishly make plans for a massive organ harvest program, a multi-billion dollar biotech company called GeneCo begins to manufacture salvation- for a price- offering simple payment plans to those lacking the necessary funds to purchase new body parts outright. But all financed organs are subject to default procedures, including repossession at the hand of the notorious organ repo men.

JJ - This looks bloody freakin’ good. A rock Opera about a man that repossesses transplants. How could it not? Creative, crafty and by the producers of Saw. How bloody better could you get?

Judge - OK, get past the fact that its a musical. Get past the fact that it has Paris Hilton trying to sing. Get past the quick, flashy cuts of the trailer and the obvious camp feel to the whole thing set in the over-used Blade Runner-like post-apocalypatic America. What you are left with is some kick ass music, great looking gothic visuals and what might actually be something remotely resembling entertainment. If it can deliver like the trailer promises, this will be a hit.

TV Maven - Music-slash...well slashing... I guess. Believe it or not, it's been done. See Sweeny Todd instead.


Soul Men - Though it's been some twenty years since they have spoken with one another, two estranged soul-singing legends (Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac) agree to participate in a reunion performance at the Apollo Theater to honor their recently deceased band leader.

JJ - Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson in a comedy. Nice paring. Will this get the treatment of more money because of a recently dead actor is in it? I watched the trailer and felt a little sad seeing someone that was most likely well loved by many making me laugh. It seems to be a good movie and I’m willing to give it a go.

Judge - Silly. Fun if you like Motown, not bad if you like Samuel Jackson in a comedy. Not so great if you are tired of the cliche soul brother jokes. It will be number one the weekend it opens, but with the new James Bond flick opening the next weekend, its life at the top will be short.

TV Maven - Not one dead actor...two (Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac)... Jackson better watch his back.


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Limited) - Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.

JJ - I am a huge sucker for Holocaust films. There’s so much to tell about that time and it never grows boring to me. The moment I clicked on the link to see the film and what it was about and I saw the poster I knew it was a Holocaust film. I’m seeing this one. Friendships that cross bounds that go against the hate of a parent is powerful and moving. Hopefully this film pulls it off and I could like it just like I like The Kite Runner.

Judge - Great cast, great story, and well shot. A real tear-jerker set in a traumatic time. Its the kind of stuff the Academy just thrives on. This will be a big one, especially around Oscar season.

TV Maven - Personally, I can do without reminders of the Holocaust. Maybe it's because too many of my relatives were turned into air pollution. Watch Schindler's List and be done with it.


November 14 (Friday)

Quantum of Solace - Betrayed by Vesper, the woman he loved, 007 fights the urge to make his latest mission personal.


JJ - Uhm…duh. Yes. James Bond. Yes. How could one say no? Don’t answer that. YES I’ll be seeing this one. Just not midnight. I’ll stick to normal hours. It’s not a superhero film.

Judge - Bond flicks are always a n0-brainer. Both in audience appeal and most-often in in storyline. This one looks no different than any of the 21 other James Bond films that have come out before it. It will go down in history as yet-another Bond film and not much more.


TV Maven - Just wondering...is James Bond supposed to be coyote ugly?



November 21 (Friday)

Bolt - When the canine star of a hit TV show is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood soundstage to New York City, he begins his biggest adventure yet -- a cross-country journey through the real world. Armed only with the delusions that all his amazing feats and powers are real, and with the help of two unlikely traveling companions, Bolt discovers he doesn't need superpowers to be a hero.

JJ - Disney = yes from me for the most part. Especially their animated films because I think they just have that special touch that others just forget. Plus this one seems really funny with a dog that thinks he’s the character he plays and a crazed cat oh and one cannot forget the hamster who has the ball. Looney.

Judge - Take a very predictable premise, throw in some funny side-kick comic-releif characters, wrap it up in a generic, heart-wearming moral, stamp the Disney name on it and repeat a couple thousand times. Its Disney's license to print money.

TV Maven - 6-year-old = No choice.



The Soloist - Journalist Steve Lopez discovers Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, a former classical music prodigy, playing his violin on the streets of L.A. As Lopez endeavours to help the homeless man find his way back, a unique friendship is formed, one that transforms both their lives.

JJ - Robert Downey Jr. = YES always. He’s one of my all time favorite actors. The storyline is also a big yes from me because it seems interesting that a homeless man would get the attention of someone with his playing. Mainly because I always look at homeless people and think of what do they know that I do not know? What talent do they have that would astound me?

TV Maven -Ditto on Robert Downey Junior. He got hosed by the Academy for Chaplin. I smell a "make-up" Oscar.

Judge - It's good to see Robert Downey Jr getting good work and this looks like a great film. Lord knows I think he deserves that little gold dude, however I think Jaime Foxx is going to steal the show on this one.



Twilight - Bella Swan has always been a little bit different, never caring about fitting in with the trendy girls at her Phoenix high school. When her mother remarries and sends Bella to live with her father in the rainy little town of Forks, Washington, she doesn't expect much of anything to change. Then she meets the mysterious and dazzlingly beautiful Edward Cullen, a boy unlike any she's ever met. Intelligent and witty, he sees straight into her soul. Soon, Bella and Edward are swept up in a passionate and decidedly unorthodox romance. Edward can run faster than a mountain lion, he can stop a moving car with his bare hands -- and he hasn't aged since 1918. Like all vampires, he's immortal. But he doesn't have fangs, and he doesn't drink human blood; Edward and his family are unique among vampires in their lifestyle choice. To Edward, Bella is that thing he has waited 90 years for -- a soul mate. But the closer they get, the more Edward must struggle to resist the primal pull of her scent, which could send him into an uncontrollable frenzy. But what will Edward & Bella do when James, Laurent and Victoria, the Cullens' mortal vampire enemies, come to town, looking for her?


JJ - Uhm…vampire movie? Wow. I like Blade. But mainly that like was because he was a Marvel Character. I don’t know about this one. It looks cheesy in a way. Too much is going on this weekend to bother with it. This is a maybe on the no side.

Judge - Its a vampire movie that looks to reinvent the vampire into a completly different character that breaks the usual stereotypes of what a vampire is and can do. Unless you are one of the millions of teenage girls that love reading the books, I think most people will leave the theater wondering what the hell they just saw.

TV Maven - Vampire movies suck. (except Lost Boys)


November 26 (Wednesday)



Australia -Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.

JJ - Baz Luhrmann’s film…this is a big YES from me. Maybe Nichole Kidman will show that she’s worth the amount of money she receives. This movie looks really good. Excited.

Judge - I dont know. Im growing tired of the war-torn romance thing. Especially the WW2 era. Baz may give new life to the tired cliche, but I'm not expecting much.

TV Maven - At least she won't have to fake the accent. Yawns from me.



Four Christmases - A couple struggle to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas Day.

JJ - Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn in a comedy about visiting four divorced parents sound pretty funny in concept. But without seeing a trailer I can’t totally state if it’s willing to be seen or not. From that premise it sounds funny to me. I miss Reese so I might just see it to see her.

Judge - Reading the the synopsis is enough to make me cringe. Pass.

TV Maven -I swear to god I saw this on an episode of Will and Grace....


Gus Van Sant's Milk - Gay-rights icon Harvey Milk (1930-1978) was an activist and politician, and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in America; in 1977, he was voted to the city supervisors' board of San Francisco. The following year, both he and the city's mayor George Moscone were shot to death by another city supervisor, Dan White. Mr. Milk was previously the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary feature "The Times of Harvey Milk," but "Milk" is the first non-documentary feature to explore the man's life and career. "Milk" is being filmed on location in San Francisco.

JJ - A gay mayor and his lover. Well sorry, first gay mayor. Maybe. I saw an interview with James Franco and he was pretty funny about what went on in the film and he’s a pretty cool actor, but I don’t know. I don’t need to see full frontal nudity (cause there is) of a male. It’s just not on my list of things I need to see in a film. I might see this film. It’s a Maybe on the yes side.

Judge - Knowing nothing about the story except what I saw in the trailer, this is one of those films that actors love to have in their resume. Is it a good film? Maybe. Not sure.

TV Maven - Law of film: Real historical films have to have full-frontal male nudity. You don't have to like it, but there it is. (not that there's anything wrong with liking it...)


Transporter 3 - same story as the last two Transporters.

JJ - Ok. I like the first one and thought the second one was a little bland. I like the trailer to this one and I enjoy the cool fight scenes. I’ll see this one because I saw the second one for the same reason. I just like it.

TV Maven - I assume that this is what you meant, JJ. I wish I could turn my car into something that could stomp over traffic (and Shia Lebouf).

Judge - I like Statham and this is a good franchise for him to show off his action star ability, but seriously, how many more of these things can they crank out?


November 28 (Friday)

Slumdog Millionaire - The story of how impoverished Indian teen Jamal Malik became a contestant on the Hindi version of "Who Wants to be A Millionaire?" -- an endeavor made without prize money in mind, rather, an effort to prove his love for his friend Latika, who is an ardent fan of the show.

JJ - There is no trailer, as of yet, and the reviews have been off the charts because it was part of a film festival. Based on what I have read it seems pretty good and something that was not expected. Being a film about a guy who wants to impress a girl on a show that’s the India version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” sort of does have sleeper hit written between the lines.

TV Maven - I agree completely, albeit with a slightly different definition of "Sleeper". I would like to know who the Indian Regis would be..."Is that being your final answer?"

Judge - Based on the synopsis alone, I am going to the beach.


DECEMBER 2008


December 5 (Friday)

Frost/Nixon - A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon.

JJ - Ron Howard as the director sort of sold me before I saw the trailer. It looks interesting and powerful. I should rent the other Nixon movie to compare. I have yet to see that one. I do enjoy Netflix for that, though. A lot.

Judge - I like Ron Howard stuff because he takes his time and really cares about what he is producing. The trailer made this look good, but its hard to see Frank Langella as Nixon.

TV Maven - I hope it doesn't take place in a hair salon.

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Punisher: War Zone - Waging his one-man war on the world of organized crime, ruthless vigilante-hero Frank Castle sets his sights on overeager mob boss Billy Russoti. After Russoti is left horribly disfigured by Castle, he sets out for vengeance under his new alias: Jigsaw. With the "Punisher Task Force" hot on his trail and the FBI unable to take Jigsaw in, Frank must stand up to the formidable army that Jigsaw has recruited before more of his evil deeds go unpunished.

JJ - Sigh…I don’t know. It is Marvel. But I didn’t see the first one in the theaters. Maybe….bloody films that are not creative are not my forte. However they have Scarface in this film and I’m not a huge Punisher fan but I know who he is. Ha.

Judge - I dont know any of them. The comic sucks. Fanboys be damned. Its another lame sequel. Next.

TV Maven - Once again, the title describes the experience.
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December 12 (Friday)

The Day the Earth Stood Still - Remake of the 1951 classic in which aliens come to earth and warn us to live in peace or be destroyed.

JJ - I saw the original and I liked it. I saw that Keanu Reeves is in the remake and I like him. So two and two makes four and it’s a yes I’ll be seeing this one.

Judge - It looks like comparing the original to this one is like comparing Lawrence of Arabia to this one. They are about the same. Keanu sucks, but if you need a wooden, deadpan-talking non-human, you couldnt possibly cast anyone better for the part.

TV Maven - So, if everything as immobile as Keanau Reeve's face, does that make him a good actor in this?
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Defiance - Three Jewish brothers (Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell) escape from Nazi-occupied Poland into the Belarussian forest, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and others in danger.

JJ - Nothing like a resistance film and another WWII film at that. And I’m a sucker for those kinds of films, the both of ‘em. So yeah I’ll see this film. Looks good.

Judge - Looks good, with some decent action and a solid story. Maybe.

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December 19 (Friday)


The Brothers Bloom - The Brothers Bloom are the best con men in the world, swindling millionaires with complex scenarios of lust and intrigue. Now they've decided to take on one last job - showing a beautiful and eccentric heiress the time of her life with a romantic adventure that takes them around the world.

JJ - Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo along with the whacky trailer makes me say YES to seeing this film. I’m entertained by the trailer immensely. Plus the actors are pretty awesome in my book.

Judge - I'll say yes to this one. I like films like this and the cast looks good.

TV Maven - Another f*cking dyslexic title. (not that there's anything worng with that)


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Seven Pounds - In this drama a man falls in love when he is about to commit suicide.

JJ - A movie about a guy that changes the lives of seven people. That’s really all the info that I could find on this movie. And of course the film stars who? Will Smith. He knows what he’s doing when he picks films. He may not make lots of people happy with how the films turn out, but he does make the studios happy with the amount of money he brings in just because it’s him. I’ve been entertained by him a lot so I’ll be seeing this film. I await the trailer. Should be out soon. I believe.

Judge - All I gotta say about Will Smith's ability to pick films is Hancock. Enough said.

TV Maven - The Sequel to Six Degrees? That was a Will Smith movie, too.

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The Tale of Despereaux - The hero of this fairy tale is Despereaux Tilling, a small mouse with large ears, who falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful human Princess Pea.

JJ - I like animated films. I like clever animated films. I liked Dumbo. So I’m going to have to say ok I’ll see this big eared mouse because he seems funny and clever.

Judge - Its Stewart Little with bigger ears. Good to see there is some originality with computer generated animated character creation.

TV Maven - More fodder for the 6-year-old. Poor kid's having a herd enough time learning to spell.

Yes Man - A guy challenges himself to say "yes" to everything for an entire year. Based on the memoir by Danny Wallace.

JJ - Yes. But it does remind me a LOT of Liar, Liar. Soooo if I’m too busy to see this one because I’m seeing everything else that’s opening this weekend then it’s going to have to be a no. Sorry Jimmy.

Judge - The obvious answer is no. The not so obvious answer is that Jim Carrey is desperate to keep himself afloat in Hollywood, watching his once-astronomical salary for films vanish like this year's gains in the stock market. He's still over-animated and zany, which may work with audiences that havent seen it in a while, but my answer is still no. And seriously: Lord Zod is a self-help star? Oh how the mighty have fallen.

TV Maven - Uhhh...no, thanks.

Nothing But the Truth (NY, LA Only) - In Washington, D.C., a female reporter faces a possible jail sentence for outing a CIA agent and refusing to reveal her source.

JJ - Seeing how this film will not be opening in Houston, lame, I don’t know when I’ll be able to see this one. Kate Beckinsale is said to give an Oscar winning performance. This is losely based on the reporter who outed a CIA agent. I, personally, think that’s lame of a reporter to do so, but I’ll see the film and see if that changes my mind or gives me a different view point. Most likely not since reporters tend to be obnoxious, self righteous and high and mighty with the Free Speech shoved in people’s face as they steal other people’s freedoms. Such as safety in exchange for their own glory.

Judge - Wow. Got a few opinions about the media there, Jay?



December 25 (Christmas Day)


Bedtime Stories -

JJ - Adam Sandler stars in this film as a guy that tells bedtime stories and then, because this is Disney, they start to magically come true. The idea seems creative. But no trailer I can’t really say how much I’d want to see this film. Based on that it seems like something I might enjoy. Sure.

Judge - What's this? An Adam Sandler movie that DOESNT also star Rob Schneider and Allen Covert? I guess miracles do come true. But why can't Sandler have the good sense to just enjoy a nice long retirement without feeling the need to churn out heartwarming crap like this? Pass.

TV Maven - Saw "Big Fish". This looks the same to me.
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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald in which a man starts aging backwards.

JJ - Talk about an amazing pair Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt. Wow. Two of some of my favorite actors in the same film. Plus the storyline is just creative as is the trailer. I remember seeing this trailer (as the link to where I got the movies coming out stated) before Indiana Jones. I’m excited to see this. It’s a defiant YES.

Judge - Perfectly timed to take advantage of soft hearts around Christmas, this one will be a huge hit, although I dont think its particularly memorable in any way.

TV Maven - As if he doesn't have EVERYTHING (Read: Angelina) now this mope is aging BACKWARDS!

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Marley & Me - Based on the memoirs of John Grogan, this comedy is about the influence of his dog on his family.

JJ - Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston are in this film as a brother and a sister. The full title is Marley & Me: Life and love with the World’s Worst Dog. If anyone who reads my reviews knows, I hate long titles. I think they are pointless and stupid and ruin the over all enjoyment of the film. If I had the brain power and the time I would prove that long titles make less money than easily remembered short titles. The concept of this film is all about the bad, evil dog. So I might see it, but I have problems with characters who are suppose to be annoying. Because if they annoy me too much I hate the movie. But maybe on this one. And the trailer is atrocious. Horrible idea.

Judge - Oh look, another cute, funny animal for kids to fall in love with. And I agree with JJ. What's with that trailer? Thats just dumb.

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Frank Miller's The Spirit - Adapted from the comic strip, The Spirit is a action-adventure-romance. It is the story of a former rookie cop who returns mysteriously from the dead as the Spirit to fight crime from the shadows of Central City. His arch-enemy, the Octopus has a different mission: he’s going to wipe out Spirit's beloved city as he pursues his own version of immortality. The Spirit tracks this cold-hearted killer from Central City’s rundown warehouses, to the damp catacombs, to the windswept waterfront ... All the while facing a bevy of beautiful women who either want to seduce, love or kill our masked crusader. Surrounding him at every turn are Ellen Dolan, the whip-smart girl-next-door; Silken Floss, a punk secretary and frigid vixen; Plaster of Paris, a murderous French nightclub dancer; Lorelei, a phantom siren; and Morgenstern, a sexy young cop.

JJ - One of the best trailers I’ve seen all year. It’s purely wowing. One might not see the film but they should just witness the trailer. It’s another comic book movie, but not a superhero movie. It looks very awesome and of course should remind people of Sin City based solely on the look of the film. I’m going to see this one, for sure.

Judge - Its got all those neat comic book-style whiz-bang monochrome visuals that made Sin City so cool to look at. Its a comic book story, so dont expect much more. What Frank Miller lacks in character development and classic storytelling, he makes up for in visuals - which is what most grey matter-rotted audience members apparently want these days. That said, Hell yes, I will be seeing this movie.
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December 26 (Friday)


Revolutionary Road -A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children. Based on a novel by Richard Yates.

JJ - Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are in this film and this is the first paring since Titanic. That might get people to see it. I might see it because of that. Oh and of course Sam Mendes who directed the creative rose scene (and the rest) of American Beauty. Anyway…this is a maybe.

Judge- You can bet your last dime that every critic, every article, every TV special...anything and everything about this film is going to mention the Leo/ Kate thing. OK, we all know they were both in Titanic. Wonderful. Now move on. As far as this movie goes, it sounds interesting. But if that is the best it can muster, My heart will go on without ever seeing these two together again.

TV Maven - Leonardo and Kate in another "who's prettier" contest. I'd rather be arranging deck chairs on the...well...you know....

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Valkyrie - During World War II, the German Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg is severely wounded in Africa and returns home to Nazi Germany. Stauffenberg joins the German Resistance and plans Operation Valkyrie, a plot that would assassinate Germany's Nazi Führer Adolf Hitler and replace him with a shadow government. Stauffenberg finds himself taking on not only the responsibility of leading the coup, but also the task to assassinate Hitler himself.


JJ - This might bring Tom Cruise back the glory he use to have as an Actor. I think that he’s a great actor, but a crazy person. Here’s another WWII movie (this makes three this year--or so I count). This is about a SS man who decides to create a plan to assassinate Hitler. I think this is a good film because it will show (hopefully) that not all of those who were part of the SS were vile. I like how the trailer said “Director of X-Men.” Ha. I’ll see this one.

Judge - The production was plagued with setbacks but I think it might be a good film despite Tommy boy. I'll see it, but I wont like him in it.

TV Maven - Tom Cruise is returned to us by Xeno in time to create this historical film. hell, blow up some Nazis and I'm good.

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And there you have it. We'd love to hear your comments about any of the movies we mentioned. So please drop us a line or leave a comment below.

1 comment:

Rogue said...

This is a very long list! Of course I cannot read all but I have caught some really good points in here...such as the eyes cant see coz of being closed due to boredom... that actually made me grin!

Very thorugh list as i see it! Good job.

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