A Perfect Getaway

A Perfect Getaway is the kind of romp that plays on people’s fears of having too much of a good time away from the mundane but at least controllable confines of an American city. Milla Jovovich and Steve Zahn are honeymoon couple, Cydney and Cliff, who decide to hike eleven miles to a remote beach. Along the way they meet another couple, Cleo (Chris Hemsworth) and Kale (Marley Shelton), and traveler’s Nick (Timothy Olyplant) and Gina (Kiele Sanchez). Rumor has it that a couple murdered a pair of honeymooners in Honolulu and are still at large around the islands. Director-writer David Twohy (The Chronicles of Riddick, Pitch Black) provides the kind of fireside spooky story that people love plus a liberal amount of twists and red herrings to warrant a sequel.

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G. I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

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When Paramount decided to hold back on the reviewers pre-screening of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the usual suspicious sniffs of turkey wafted around Hollywood as fast celebrity gossip. But let’s not forget that Paramount’s very own Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was panned by every critique with any note, only to become one of the biggest box office successes in recent years. Not to make drastic assumptions about young kids reading abilities but I don’t think many were taking any notice of what critiques had to say, they just wanted to see some kick ass special effects. Which brings be back to G.I. Joe. For those who have seen it, it packs every CGI punch it can muster in its 118 minute running time and satisfies grown up boy fans of the original 1964 G.I Joe plastic action figures and subsequent 1980’s comic and cartoon series. Paramount is going for the juggler with the obligatory toy merchandising tie-ins, just as they did with Transformers. And the cast list is impressive with Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Dennis Quaid, Byung-Hun Lee, Sienna Miller, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Christopher Eccleston, cashing in on what would hope to be a successful franchise of Transformer proportions.

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Set in the near future, army pals Duke (Tatum) and Ripcord (Wayans) transport a deadly weapon capable of destroying whole cities. Scottish arms magnate McCullen (Eccleston) intends to steal the device and hold the world to ransom. McCullen is a member of an evil organization called Cobra and enlists the help of its army of super fighters, Storm Shadow (Lee) and the Baroness (Miller). G.I. Joe commander General Hawk (Quaid) trains Duke and Ripcord to take on Cobra and battle to save the world.

John Hughes is Dead

Director-writer-producer John Hughes died today in NYC of a heart attack. He was 59. Perhaps no other filmmaker in Hollywood captured 1980’s American teenage-angst better than Hughes. No other decade before or since has been defined by a single director as Hughes was for the 80’s. He directed teenage classics, The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, adult comedies, Plan, Trains & Automobiles, She’s Having a Baby, and Uncle Buck. He also wrote Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, and the phenomenal hit, Home Alone. His cast of characters became famous by association: Matthew Broderick, Molly Ringwald, James Spader, Andrew McCarthy, Jon Cryer, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, John Candy, Elizabeth McGovern, and Macaulay Culkin. 

Hughes took a ten-year break from Hollywood to be with his family. For many, the 80’s died with him today. 

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Funny People

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In Judd Apatow’s third outing as director, Funny People follows box office successes, The 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up.

Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Jason Schwartman star as four ugly guys perform do stand-up comedy in Los Angeles. The roles aren’t exactly a push for these real life stand-up comics turned actors. I also get the feeling that some of the material might be a little too close to the bone. Sandler plays George Simmons, a self-absorbed stand-up comic dealing with inner demons, cancer, and an entourage of comics and comic writers. Leslie Mann, Apatow’s wife, is Laura and George’s love of his life, who is now married to Clarke, played by Eric Bana. If you love movies about the entertainment industry and its egos, then this is for you.

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British actor, Hugh Dancy (Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Jane Austin Book Club) stars in the title role, Adam, as brilliant, yet strange electronic engineer with Asperger’s syndrome and a penchant for the solar system. He meets schoolteacher, Beth (Rose Byrne), and a romance ensues. But no one said it would be easy for these two. Beth has just come out of a difficult relationship and has to weigh up having to deal with Adam’s emotional isolation and brutal honesty.  

Flame & Citron

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Sounding like a new superhero movie from Marvel’s production line, the Danish, Flame & Citron (Flamen & Citronen) is the true story of real life superheroes from the Holger Danske resistance group during World War II. The title refers to the heroes nicknames, Flame, played by Thure Lindhardt (Angeles & Demons) sported red hair and Citron, played by Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) worked at a Citroen car factory. The two Danish freedom fighters initially target pro-Nazi Danes in Nazi occupied Denmark but they soon desire to kill Germans, which ultimately leads to Nazi unrest. 

Comic Con Ends

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San Diego’s Comic-Con was a resounding success after attracting Hollywood big guns to the international comic convention last week.

Of course this was a chance for studios to show case upcoming releases, to gage fan reaction as well as gain valuable PR.

 

Robert Downey Jr. was there to promote the second Iron Man feature with director Jon Favreau. The picture is not due for release until 2010 but whipping up a good fan base seems to get in gear much earlier nowadays as part of a social media marketing effort to create free word of mouth buzz. Johnny Depp made a surprise appearance after Tim Burton spoke to fans about his version of the classic

Alice in Wonderland tale, which stars Depp as The Mad Hatter.

Twilight’s New Moon stars, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner were also on hand for frenzied fans Q&A.