In our third 2009 Movie Preview, we take a look the most anticipated flicks of the year from ‘Ice Age 3’ to ‘Night at the Museum 2’
ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS
The sub-zero heroes from the worldwide blockbusters “Ice Age” and “Ice Age: The Meldown” are back, on an incredible adventure…for the ages. Scrat is still trying to nab the ever-elusive nut (while, maybe, finding true love); Manny and Ellie await the birth of their mini-mammoth; Diego the saber-toothed tiger wonders if he’s growing too “soft” hanging with his pals and Sid the sloth gets into trouble when he creates his own makeshift family by hijacking some dinosaur eggs. On a mission to rescue the hapless Sid, the gang ventures into a mysterious underground world, where they have some close encounters with dinosaurs, battle flora and fauna, run amuck – and meet a relentless, one-eyed, dino-hunting weasel named Buck.
Matt Damon reunites with ”Ocean’s Eleven” director Steven Soderbergh in an adaptation of New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald’s best-selling book ”The Informer”. This film tells the tale of Mark Whitacre Damon), an Ivy League Ph.D. who was a rising star at Decatur’s Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) in the early 1990s. He wound up blowing the whistle on the company’s price fixing tactics and became the highest-ranked executive to ever turn whistleblower in US history. Whitacre secretly gathered hundreds of hours of video and audio tapes over several years to present to the FBI which became one of the largest price fixing cases in history. In the story — a dark comedy / thriller in director Steven Soderbergh’s hands — Whitacre’s good deed dovetails with his own major infractions and struggle with bipolar disorder
IS THERE ANYBODY THERE?
Fresh from the success of last year’s Boy A, John Crowley returns to the world of a young boy, fashioning a film of a very different kind. Infusing his new work with the childish naïveté of a precocious and curious lad named Edward – brilliantly played by Son of Rambow’s Bill Milner – Crowley enters this terrain with the same eerie and eloquent ease that was evident in his earlier work Edward lives, somewhat reluctantly, in a rambling hospice for the aged, of which his parents are the managers and owners. He is fascinated by death, but more interestingly, by what happens after death. Surrounded by the elderly, he is intrigued by ghosts and the paranormal. His distracted and overworked parents tolerate his interests, but Edward obsessively pursues the meaning of death, toting his tape recorder around in an attempt to find clues that will help him understand mortality. With the arrival of the bitter, burned-out Clarence (the indomitable Michael Caine), who unwillingly finds himself an inmate of the hospice, Edward’s interests take on an entirely different dimension. An ex-magician who has stopped practising his trade, Clarence no longer finds anything positive anywhere or in anyone. Irascible, irritable and angry, Clarence is at first barely able to tolerate the young whippersnapper – but it is not long before they are drawn together, two mutual outsiders trying to make sense of the world.
Directed by “Run Lola Run’s” Tom Tykwer, The International, a gripping thriller, centres on Interpol Agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) and Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts), both determined to bring to justice one of the world’s most powerful banks. Uncovering myriad and reprehensible illegal activities, Salinger and Whitman follow the money from Berlin to Milan to New York to Istanbul. Finding themselves in a high-stakes chase across the globe, their relentless tenacity puts their own lives at risk as their targets will stop at nothing – even murder – to continue financing terror and war.
THE LOVELY BONES
Based on the critically acclaimed best-selling novel by Alice Sebold, and directed by Oscar® winner Peter Jackson from a screenplay by Jackson & Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens, The Lovely Bones centres on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family – and her killer – from heaven. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal. Oscar® nominee Mark Wahlberg and Oscar® winners Rachel Weisz and Susan Sarandon star along with Stanley Tucci, Michael Imperioli and Irish Oscar® nominee Saoirse Ronan.
LAND OF THE LOST
Based on the classic television series, Land of the Lost follows a has-been scientist (Will Ferrell), a crack-smart research assistant and a redneck survivalist ( DannyMcBride) who get sucked through time and spit out into an alternate universe – one that finds them running from dinosaurs and weird reptiles called Sleestaks, while trying to figure a way out of this hybrid dimension.
MONSTERS vs. ALIENS
When California girl Susan Murphy is unwittingly clobbered by a meteor full of outer space gunk on her wedding day, she mysteriously grows to 49-feet-11-inches tall. The military jumps into action and Susan is captured and secreted away to a covert government compound. There, she is renamed Ginormica and placed in confinement with a ragtag group of Monsters: the brilliant but insect-headed Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D.; the macho half-ape, half-fish The Missing Link; the gelatinous and indestructible B.O.B.; and the 350-foot grub called Insectosaurus. Their confinement is cut short, however, when a mysterious alien robot lands on Earth and begins storming the country. In a moment of desperation, the President is persuaded to enlist the motley crew of Monsters to combat the Alien Robot and save the world from imminent destruction..
Kevin James stars as the title character Paul Blart, a single, suburban dad, trying to make ends meet as a security officer at a New Jersey mall. Though no one else takes his job seriously, Paul considers himself on the front lines of safety. When a heist shuts down the megaplex, Jersey’s most formidable mall cop will have to become a real cop to save the day.
MARLEY AND ME
Based on newspaper columnist John Grogan’s best-selling book about his life, Marley & Me is a study of a married couple, who happen to own one of the more destructive Labradors known to the canine species. From the minute newlyweds John (Owen Wilson) and Jenny Grogan (Jennifer Aniston) pick out Marley from a pen of cute Lab puppies, they realize something’s up when the seller says they can have him for a discounted price. Soon, it becomes very apparent Marley is un-trainable, as he proceeds to jump and climb and chow down on anything he can. Still, John and Jenny fall for the mutt and as their family begins to grow, as they change jobs, have babies, move to new places, Marley remains a constant fixture. But this isn’t just about a dog. Marley & Me is a heart-warming tale of a family with dog drama. Be prepared to laugh and cry, equally as hard.
Tweens and tweeks (tween geeks apparently – who knew!) can look forward to the second instalment of the “Twilight” franchise with “Golden Compass” helmer stepping into the director’s chair. In “New Moon”, we find our young heroine, Bella Swan, (Kristen Stewart) devastated by the abrupt departure of her vampire love, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) but her spirit is rekindled by her growing friendship with the irresistible Jacob Black. Suddenly she finds herself drawn into the world of the werewolves, ancestral enemies of the vampires, and finds her loyalties tested…
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN
Ben Stiller returns for a second instalment of Muesum hijinks in “Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian”. With the Museum of Natural History closed for upgrades and renovations, the museum pieces are moved into federal storage at the famous Washington Museum. The centrepiece of the film will be bringing to life the Smithsonian Institution, which houses the world’s largest museum complex with more than 136 million items in its collections, ranging from the plane Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) flew on her non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic and Al Capone’s rap sheet and mug shot to Dorothy’s ruby red slippers and Archie Bunker’s lounge chair.
Tomorrow we’ll take a look at 0-S, so stay tuned!