Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The Reel Deal
By Raechel Donahue
Ah, I can almost smell the sweet buds of Spring, so close are we to a new one of what we laughingly refer to here in Southern California as “seasons.” And as we approach that oh, so special time, movies—like people in love—will tend to get, well, downright silly.
Take, for instance, Race to Witch Mountain, which will roll out on March 13. Seriously, take it. Take this movie out back and shoot it. You may remember the original kid flick, Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) and this is nothing like it. Director Andy Fickman did not describe the film as a remake but instead as "a new chapter within the world of Witch Mountain.” Erk. The new chapter includes a monster called Siphon that was created by the folks who brought us the scary Alien and creepy Predator. Siphoned off all the fun, that’s what this monster did. Despite an engaging performance from AnnaSophia Robb (Bridge to Terabithia), Race is just another vehicle for Dwayne Johnson, who definitely did not Rock our world in this outing.
Then, on March 20, along comes I Love You, Man, a product of the twisted mind of John Hamburg (Along Came Polly, Zoolander). It is the story of Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd), a real estate agent who finally gets engaged to a hottie (Rashida Jones) only to learn that he doesn’t have enough male friends to even have a decent best man. Thus begins a series of oddball male dates, culminating in what we’d have to call an awkward situation, and one best left to the potential audience to suffer through (we don’t like spoilers, even in the silliest of comedies). Light hearted stuff, which one might intuit since the title comes from a Budweiser ad. You gotta love pop culture, man.
Always a sucker for animation, we were all over Monsters vs. Aliens, which has many of our favorite genres all wrapped up into one gumdrop of a film. And it’s in 3-D! When a SoCal babe named Susan Murphy mysteriously grows to 49’ 11”, she is labeled a monster, captured and stashed away in a secret fortress along with a whole group of gross, slimy and just plain weird monsters collected by the military over the years. But when aliens attack, the status of these misunderstood creatures changes. Ooze gonna save us? On March 27, it’ll be the monsters, of course!