Video Vault: Year in Preview

2007 Year in Preview

It isn’t often that Vault looks ahead. It is even less often that Vault looks ahead to what’s coming to a theater near you. We in the Vault are primarily concerned with what is coming to your local video store because, as you all know, Vault doesn’t get out much. We’ll take the big flat panel, the surround and a few cold ones over an uncomfortable movie house seat and $11 worth of popcorn any day.

A while back in the Vault Mail, though, Shawn from Clearfield asked us to consider a look ahead to the films breaking in 2007. I’ve been researching and reading ahead for two months now and I think I’ve got some fun movies to look forward to.

As a forethought, I’d like to explain that looking forward to films that have not been released yet is a dicey proposition. It is really hard to find the little chestnuts that Vault so loves. It is simpler to look up the big name actors and directors and have a reasonable assurance, based on past performance, of what can be expected.

Of course … I could be wrong.

Credit where it is due, Vault has used extensively three excellent Web sites that you should consider using as well. Some of the thumbnails here were borrowed all or in part from MovieWeb.com. We’ve also used the references of the Movie Review Query Engine, which you can find at mrqe.com, and, of course, the wonderful Internet Movie Database, which you can find at imdb.com. Vault strongly suggests you check those sites out and bookmark ’em. There is more information there than you could hope to wade through for our purposes today, which is an easy glance into the 2007 first run crystal ball.

I don’t know what it says about the movie industry, but you’re going to get a helluva big dose of sequels, animation and super-hero movies this year. Vault also senses this year to be really big in the “fantasy” genre.

About sequels: Vault’s first rule of thumb is to avoid movies with numbers in the title. So when Bruce Willis returns as John McClane this summer in “Live Free or Die Hard,” twelve years after “Die Hard 3,” you can forgive 20th Centrury Fox for leaving the word or number “Four” out of it. Ahhh, they’re onto us.

But seriously, practically everything this year has franchise or sequel written all over it. Here’s a list:

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are returning in March and director Kevin Munroe and Warner Brothers will be using state of the art CGI to breathe new life into an idea that started out as a pretty funny one back in the 1980s.

A worse idea, but maybe a more popular franchise in the 1980s was the Transformers who return under the direction of action / sci-fi pro Michael Bay for a big July 4 release. I have to tell you the look of the trailer is pretty boss and it has the feel of an “Independence Day” kind of blockbuster as the Autobots and Decepticons bring their fight to earth in another CGI smack-down.

Other big franchises set to go are “Spider-Man 3,” “Shrek the Third,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” and, of course, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”

Lesser sequels include “Evan Almighty,” which replaces the very expensive Jim Carrey with the twice as funny Steve Carell as a congressman who God (still Morgan Freeman) directs to build an ark. “28 Weeks Later” continues the zombie furor created by the highly original 2003 horror hit, “28 Days Later.” George Clooney leads the hugest all-star cast of thieves ever assembled back into action in “Oceans 13” in early June and two weeks after that we get yet another super-hero cage match in “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” All Vault has to say about that is God bless Jess Alba as the not-so invisible woman in ridiculously tight lycra. Sorry, folks, but she was the only breathtaking moment in the FF’s 2005 tryout.

You’ll also see sequels like “Saw IV” in October, “The Punisher II” (The 2004 original was very good with decent star power.) in November and “Alien vs. Predator: Survival of the Fittest” and “National Treasure II” (It has to do with Abe Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth this time.) in December.

Of all these repeats, reruns and retreads, Vault most highly anticipates “Spider-Man 3” and the next chapter of the Harry Potter cycle. Director Sam Raimi’s wicked visual style and apparent intimacy with the comic book style of his hero place his Spidey films above all other films in the super-hero genre, capturing perfectly the flow and movement of what super-heroes ought to be and filling his comic book characters with real emotional depth. Tobey Maguire’s rain-soaked, upside down kiss with Kirsten Dunst in the 2002 original was one of the best kisses in screen history. Vault does not exaggerate.

And the Harry Potter films have legitimized the fantasy genre in much the same way that “Star Wars” elevated the science fiction genre. Has there ever been a more successful franchise than J.K. Rowling’s fantastic cast of charming magical adepts? This level of success is natural because the characters are rich, the stories fascinating and the imagination expansive behind every book and subsequent film.

But, my friends, that only has gotten us past this year’s sequels. It is fitting to move on to the world of fantasy, having ended on the latest escapades of Harry Potter. Fantasy films, thanks to Rowling and Tolkien and their towering ilk represent the next great expansion in movies. With today’s advances in computer graphic imaging, literally anything a filmmaker can imagine is now possible. And there are a number of films coming out this year that aim to take advantage of the new, larger, toy box.

The guy profiting most right now is writer Neil Gaiman who is involved with two big money films that boast serious star-power, “Stardust,” starring Robert De Niro, Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Peter O’Toole and Ian McKellen, and “Beowulf,” which features Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins and John Malkovich.

“Stardust” is the story of a young man who tries to thaw the heart of his love by going on a quest to retrieve a fallen star. Princes, witches and ghosts all vie for possession of the powerful artifact, too, leading our hero to discover the true meaning of love.

“Beowulf,” directed by Robert Zemeckis, is the story of the mighty warrior of the title who slays the demon Grendel and incurs the wrath of its monstrous yet seductive mother in a conflict that transforms a king into a legend.

A film that might be really interesting if New Line doesn’t neuter it is “His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass.” It stars Nicole Kidman in Philip Pullman’s screenplay that portrays the church as an institution which is experimenting on its congregation in an effort to remove original sin. Fascinating, no? But New Line, in a move that critics say buckles to pressure from America’s bible belt, has moved to eliminate the strong religious material. Things are looking grim as director Chris Weitz removed himself from the project in December. We’ll see what happens. If “His Dark Materials” sees the light of day, will it be a brave, challenging story or will it be a neutered piece of trash? Only time and money can tell.

Vault is anticipating the arrival in March of “Bridge to Terabithia.” The Disney film, based on the Newberry Award Winning children’s novel by Katherine Paterson, takes off on a kind of Narnia or “Pan’s Labyrinth” type of vibe where two kids find their own kingdom in the forest. “Pan’s Labyrinth,” which is in theaters now, may be a better fantasy bet, though.

Frank Miller is another author who is doing nicely by the expanded fantasy wave in films. His graphic novel “Sin City” was faithfully adapted in 2005 and now his graphic novel, “300,” dealing with the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. looks to bring a new sizzle to the sword and sandal set. Thermopylae was perhaps the most legendary military last stand in history as 300 Spartan soldiers fought to the death against a Persian army of well over one million.

Other entries of note in the fantasy category for 2007 include “The Last Mimzy,” “Ghost Rider,” “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,” “Enchanted,” and “The Water Horse.”

Big ticket animated features include Walt Disney / Pixar’s story about Parisian cuisine from a rat’s perspective, “Ratatouille” and Dreamworks’ production of Jerry Seinfeld’s screenplay, “Bee Movie,” which deals with a bee that doesn’t want to make a career in the honey industry.

Now here are 32 other films of all types that might make you happy in the year to come. I’ve included a healthy dose of foreign films because it may surprise you that much of the world’s greatest cinema does not originate in Hollywood. Foreign films are best found in art houses in the city and are very rare on the big screen in Central Pennsylvania. They are still difficult to find on local shelves when they come out on DVD sometimes years later. Discriminating independent video stores are often your best bet outside some of the subscription services out there.

The Italian
(Russia)
It’s a pretty tall order to ask a six-year-old to suddenly take on responsibility for his own life. The questions facing Vanya are really tough: does he want to live a comfortable life as an adopted child of a loving family in Italy? After all, for an abandoned Russian child like Vanya it really doesn’t sound like a bad option. Serene life under the Mediterranean sun is awaiting him. But the boy longs to find his own mother, so he decides to set off in search of her. But before he can begin, Vanya must learn to read the file that holds the information he needs to find her. He embarks on his quest-and encounters a mysterious and dangerous world. The world of children is a universe with its own laws; a realm in which sometimes one’s heart speaks louder than one’s intellect.
See this site:http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/48/4148/summary.php



Inland Empire

Laura Dern stars as a Hollywood actress in yet another trippy David Lynch film, “Inland Empire.”

Manohla Dargis of the New York Times calls this film “Extraordinary, savage…and one of the first films I’ve seen this year that deserves to be called art. Dark as pitch, as noir, as hate, by turns beautiful and ugly, funny and horrifying” it exists as “Mulholland Drive’s” evil twin. It is director David Lynch’s deeply weird story of a Hollywood actress, Laura Dern, who literally loses herself inside her role.



The Lives of Others
(Germany)
East Berlin, November 1984. Five years before its downfall, the former East-German government ensured its claim to power with a ruthless system of control and surveillance. Party-loyalist Captain Gerd Wiesler hopes to boost his career when given the job of collecting evidence against the playwright Georg Dreyman and his girlfriend, the celebrated theater actress Christa-Maria Sieland. After all, the “operation” is backed by the highest political circles. What he didn’t anticipate, however, was that submerging oneself into the world of the target also changes the surveillance agent. The immersion in the lives of others–in love, literature, free thinking and speech–makes Wiesler acutely aware of the meagerness of his own existence and opens to him a completely new way of life which he has ever more trouble resisting. But the system, once started, cannot be stopped. A dangerous game has begun.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/49/4149/summary.php

Close to Home
(Israel)
“Close to Home” places the Israel-Palestine conflict into the background and the social lives of young Israeli female soldiers into the foreground. “Close to Home” is much more a story of life and growing up than one with a political message. It is not about governments but how the decisions of politicians and religious leaders set the stage for the drama that is young adulthood. The two central characters, Mirit and Smadar are thrown together by the commanding officer of their unit, and are made responsible for stopping Arabs on the streets of Jerusalem for ID cards. But Smadar and Mirit couldn’t be more different. The two remain unfriendly until a bomb explosion creates a tenuous bond of friendship between the two. After the bombing, Mirit and Smadar are given an easier assignment checking bags at the entrance to a fancy hotel, but Mirit ignores her duties and takes off with a guest ultimately landing her in a military prison. Mirit’s and Smadar’s passions and interests are surprisingly divorced from the Israel-Palestine conflict. The compulsory army service is seen as just another unpleasant hurdle to clear in order to start the adult portion of one’s life.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/12/4112/summary.php

Avenue Montaigne
(France)
Directed and co-written by Daniele Thompson (“La Bûche,” “Jet Lag”), and selected as France’s Official Entry for this year’s Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar, “Avenue Montaigne” centers on Jessica (Cecile de France) a beautiful young woman from the provinces who comes to Paris and lands a job waiting tables at a chic bistro on fabled Avenue Montaigne, the city’s nexus for art, music, theater and fashion. Jessica’s customers include a popular TV actress (Valérie Lemercier) who is courting a major Hollywood director (Sydney Pollack) for her first serious film role; a wealthy art collector (Claude Brasseur) who is about to liquidate a lifetime’s worth of treasures at auction; and an illustrious classical pianist (Albert Dupontel) who is at odds with his manager/wife (Laura Morante) as to where his career is headed. Precisely because Jessica doesn’t know how celebrated these people are, her guileless and completely unintimidated engagement in their lives has a transforming effect on them – and ultimately her.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/43/4543/summary.php

Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams
(Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Set in a contemporary Sarajevo still reeling from the aftermath of war, “Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams” is a textured and authentic testament to the innate drive to triumph over conflict. Throughout the film, Jasmila Zbanic reveals the women of Grbavica to be a community of strong-willed survivors. Esma (Mirjana Karanovic) is a single mother who lives with her rebellious twelve-year-old daughter, Sara (Luna Mijovic), in the Grbavica district of Sarajevo, a neighborhood used as an internment camp during the conflict in the nineties. In a nuanced, beautifully rendered performance, Karanovic portrays a woman who has surrendered to life’s graver indignities, while consciously affirming her existence through small triumphs.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/18/4718/summary.php



Black Snake Moan



Sam Jackson chains Christina Ricci in his home in “Black Snake Moan.” Vault just loves the title of this movie. Beat’s “Snakes on a Plane” anyway. And, uh, Sam? Keep up the good work!

Desire is a burning sickness for Rae (Christina Ricci), a feverish need that eats at her soul, while making her the white-trash sexual target of every man and boy in her small Tennessee town. When her true love Ronnie (Justin Timberlake) leaves for military service, Rae plunges into wild excess. Beaten, left for dead, she’s taken in by Laz (Samuel Jackson) a reformed bluesman, a private self-contained black man who nurses deep anger of his own. Fiercely committed to his task of keeping her alive, Laz makes Rae his prisoner to give her a chance at freedom, and finds his own way back to the full force of life in the bargain.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/04/4004/summary.php



Glastonbury
(UK)
Glastonbury is now the best known, longest running and most pre-eminent music festival in the world. Fuelled by a staggering range of music, the movie will embrace the spirit, characters and overwhelming experiences of the festival as it reflects the extraordinary world changes of the last three decades.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/03/4603/summary.php

Into Great Silence
(France/Germany)
Nestled deep in the postcard-perfect French Alps, the Grande Chartreuse is considered one of the world’s most ascetic monasteries. In 1984, German filmmaker Philip Gröning wrote to the Carthusian order for permission to make a documentary about them. They said they would get back to him. Sixteen years later, they were ready. Gröning, sans crew or artificial lighting, lived in the monks’ quarters for six months-filming their daily prayers, tasks, rituals and rare outdoor excursions. This transcendent, closely observed film seeks to embody a monastery, rather than simply depict one. It has no score, no voiceover and no archival footage. What remains is stunningly elemental: time, space and light. One of the most mesmerizing and poetic chronicles of spirituality ever created, “Into Great Silence” dissolves the border between screen and audience with a total immersion into the hush of monastic life. More meditation than documentary, it’s a rare, transformative theatrical experience for all.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/41/4741/summary.php

Dinosaurs 3D: Giants of Patagonia
(IMAX)
If it weren’t for a series of cataclysmic events; a comet impact being first on the list, our planet could well still be the domain of dinosaurs. Dinosaurs fascinate us so much, that many people wish they were amongst us. Fortunately, the large format “Dinosaurs 3D” will be the closest thing to actually being in the presence of the extraordinary creatures without looking into our own extinction at the same time. Following Pr Rodolfo Coria, a world-renowned Argentinian paleontologist, we visit sites of major discoveries he has contributed to in Patagonia and travel back in time to see these amazing beasts come to life. Patagonia has given us the largest living animal to have ever walked the Earth: the titanesque plant-eating Argentinosaur, and its nemesis, the Giganotosaur, a bipedal carnivore, that could easily challenge the famous T-Rex. Deeply rooted in science, the film carries the audience through the lives of two specimens of these superb achievements of evolution. The action is intense and the landscape is out of this world. At times, the camera takes us into space to witness the movement of the tectonic plates or the arrival of a comet that will seal the fate of the Dinosaurs. As the movie leaves our Patagonian giants behind to jump forward to the end of this extreme chapter of Earth’s history, we learn through science that although most species of their evolutionary branch have disappeared, the Dinosaurs are still with us today. You can see them easily. They sometimes perch on wires in your back yard. You’ve even probably eaten quite a few of them. They are birds.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/43/2743/summary.php

The Host
(South Korea)
The talk of the 2006 Cannes International Film Festival, “The Host,” the latest film from critically acclaimed visionary director Bong Joon-ho, has already garnered a substantial amount of international buzz. Utilizing state-of-the-art special effects courtesy of a creative partnership between Weta Workshop (“King Kong,” “The Lord of the Rings”) and The Orphanage (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Sin City”), “The Host” is equal parts creature-feature thrill ride and poignant human drama.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/57/4457/summary.php

Beyond the Gates
Based on a true story. An exhausted Catholic priest and a young idealistic English teacher find themselves caught in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. They must now choose whether to stay with the thousands of Tutsis about to be massacred or to flee for safety.
See this site: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0420901/

The Ultimate Gift
Jason thought his inheritance was the gift of money and lots of it… but Jason thought wrong. Based on the best-selling book “The Ultimate Gift” by Jim Stovall, the story sends trust fund baby Jason Stevens on an improbable journey of discovery, having to answer the ultimate question: “What is the relationship between wealth and happiness?” Jason had a very simple relationship with his impossibly wealthy Grandfather, Howard “Red” Stevens. He hated him. No heart-to-heart talks, no warm fuzzies, just cold hard cash. So of course he figured that when Red died, the whole “reading of the will” thing would be another simple cash transaction. He figured that his Grandfather’s money would allow him to continue living in the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed. But what Red left him was anything but simple. Red instead devised a plan for Jason to experience a crash course on life. Twelve tasks, which Red calls “gifts,” each challenging Jason in an improbable way, the accumulation of which would change him forever.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/33/4533/summary.php

Maxed Out
When Hurricane Katrina ravaged America’s Gulf Coast, it laid bare an uncomfortable reality-America is not only far from the world’s wealthiest nation; it is crumbling beneath a staggering burden of individual and government debt. “Maxed Out” takes us on a journey deep inside the American debt-style, where everything seems okay as long as the minimum monthly payment arrives on time. Sure, most of us may have that sinking feeling that something isn’t quite right, but we’re told not to worry. After all, there’s always more credit! “Maxed Out” shows how the modern financial industry really works, explains the true definition of “preferred customer” and tells us why the poor are getting poorer and the rich getting richer. By turns hilarious and profoundly disturbing, “Maxed Out” paints a picture of a national nightmare which is all too real for most of us.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/92/4692/summary.php



The Wind That Shakes the Barley
(Ireland / UK)

Ireland 1920: workers from field and country unite to form volunteer guerrilla armies to face the ruthless “Black and Tan” squads that are being shipped from Britain to block Ireland’s bid for independence. Driven by a deep sense of duty and a love for his country, Damien abandons his burgeoning career as a doctor and joins his brother, Teddy, in a dangerous and violent fight for freedom. As the freedom fighters’ bold tactics bring the British to breaking point, both sides finally agree to a treaty to end the bloodshed. However, despite the apparent victory civil war erupts and families who fought side by side find themselves pitted against one another as sworn enemies, putting their loyalties to the ultimate test.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/84/4084/summary.php



The Page Turner
(France)


A small-town butcher’s daughter, Mélanie, aged about ten, seems to have a special gift for the piano. She takes the Conservatory entrance exam, but fails after being distracted by the thoughtless behaviour of the chairwoman of the jury, a well known concert pianist. Bitterly disappointed, Mélanie gives up the piano. Some ten years later, while working as an intern with a law firm, Mélanie meets Monsieur Fouchécourt, the husband of the woman who changed her life without a doubt. Mélanie’s efficiency and devotion are quickly noticed and Monsieur Fouchécourt recruits her into his home to look after his son. Madame Fouchécourt soon warms to Mélanie when her musical sensitivity comes out, and the young woman becomes her page turner …
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/83/4683/summary.php


Grindhouse
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez are each directing a 60-minute horror tale for “Grindhouse”. Rodriguez’s part, “Planet Terror,” will be a zombie movie, while Tarantino’s section, “Death Proof,” will a slasher film. Faux trailers and ads will run between the two pics as an intermission.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/12/3212/summary.php

The Flying Scotsman
“The Flying Scotsman” is a feature film based on the remarkable true story of Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree. In 1993, and as an unemployed amateur, Obree broke the world one-hour record on a bike of his own revolutionary design, which he constructed out of scrap metal and parts of a washing machine.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/45/4645/summary.php

Next
In this adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s ‘The Golden Man’, Nicholas Cage plays a man who can see into the future and change it any way that he wants. As he tries to avoid capture by a government organization, he must win the love of a woman (Julianne Moore) who he learns will be the mother of his child.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/16/3016/summary.php

Jindabyne
(Australia)
A modern day adult ghost story. Outside the Australian town of Jindabyne, local man Stuart Kane (Gabriel Byrne) is on a fishing trip with friends when they discover the body of a murdered girl. What follows will change their lives forever. It is Stuart’s wife Claire (Laura Linney) who must undertake a redemptive journey to lay the dead girl to rest.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/06/4106/summary.php

The Hip Hop Project
From Executive Producer Bruce Willis, “Word.Life: The Hip Hop Project” is the dynamic and inspirational story of a group of New York City teenagers who transform their life stories into powerful works of art, using hip hop as a vehicle for self-development and personal discovery. The film traces the evolution of the Hip Hop Project, an award-winning outreach program created by Kazi, a formerly homeless teenager turned youth mentor. During four years of collaboration, the group produced a powerful and thought-provoking album that provides a revealing look at their lives. In contrast to all the negative attention focused on hip hop and rap music, this is a story of hope, healing and the realization of dreams. Shot almost entirely on film over the course of four years, “Word.Life: The Hip Hop Project” is a visually compelling movie that captures the incredible journey of the young people. Their music, heard throughout the film, is vibrant, emotionally raw and riveting. Inspired by the teenagers’ mission to heal themselves and their community, Pressure Point Films is donating all of its net profits from the film to non-profit arts organizations working with underserved children and teens, and to a scholarship fund benefiting the students of the Hip Hop Project.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/51/4051/summary.php

Fido
Welcome to Willard, a small town lost in the idyllic world of the 50’s, where the sun shines every day, everybody knows their neighbor, and rotting zombies deliver the mail.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/93/3393/summary.php

The Bourne Ultimatum
The third installment of the successful spy franchise based on the Robert Ludlum novels.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/41/3141/summary.php

Becoming Jane
“Becoming Jane” centers on a love affair British novelist Jane Austen (Anne Hathaway) began as a 20-year-old — with brilliant, roguish Irishman Tom Lefroy — that inspired her career as one of the world’s great romantic writers. The movie also looks at how the writer’s relationship with Lefroy helped create the male characters in “Pride & Prejudice.”
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/66/4566/summary.php

Drama/Mex
Three intense human relationship stories are interlaced during one night in contemporary Acapulco. Once upon a time a luxurious port, now in decadence, Acapulco serves as a background for a suicidal old man, for a 15 year old runaway girl, and for a young couple who face the hardships of separation after a tragic break up.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/63/4663/summary.php

Halloween
Rob Zombie’s vision of this film is an entirely new take on the legend and will satisfy fans of the classic “Halloween” legacy while beginning a new chapter in the Michael Myers saga. This new movie will not only appeal to horror fans, but to a wider movie-going audience as well. It will not be a copycat of any prior films in the “Halloween” franchise.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/26/4126/summary.php

Into the Wild
Sean Penn adapts Jon Krakauer’s novel about the young idealistic Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch), who leaves his life behind to go to the Alaskan wilderness.
See this site: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758758/

The Heartbreak Kid
Ben Stiller plays a man who hastily marries a young woman he thinks is his perfect mate. As he watches her turn into a nightmare on their honeymoon, he meets another woman who might be his real soulmate (Michelle Monaghan). Directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/34/4334/summary.php

The Mist
Published in 1985 as part of Stephen King’s short story collection “Skeleton Crew,” “The Mist” takes place in a small town where a thick mist engulfs the area, killing those caught in its darkness. Terrified survivors seek refuge in a supermarket, while a swarm of murderous critters tries to get in.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/03/4703/summary.php


There Will Be Blood

Paul Thomas Anderson has adapted the Upton Sinclair novel, “Oil,” in his movie “There Will Be Blood,” about a California oil barron.  Set for release in December.

Writer/Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s sprawling epic about family, greed, corruption, and the pursuit of the American dream. Set in the booming west coast oil fields at the turn of the 20th century, “There Will Be Blood” follows the rise of rugged prospector Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) who becomes an independent oilman after hitting it rich with the strike of a lifetime. The film is inspired by Upton Sinclair’s novel “Oil!”
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/43/4743/summary.php

I Am Legend
Robert Neville (Will Smith) is a brilliant scientist, but even he could not contain the terrible virus that was unstoppable, incurable… and manmade. Somehow immune, Neville is now the last human survivor in what is left of New York City… and maybe the world. But he is not alone. He is surrounded by “the Infected”-victims of the plague who have mutated into carnivorous beings who can only exist in the dark and who will devour or infect anyone or anything in their path. For three years, Neville has spent his days scavenging for food and supplies and faithfully sending out radio messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. All the while, the Infected lurk in the shadows, watching Neville’s every move, waiting for him to make a fatal mistake. Perhaps mankind’s last, best hope, Neville is driven by only one remaining mission: to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus using his own immune blood. But his blood is also what The Infected hunt, and Neville knows he is outnumbered and quickly running out of time.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/53/3453/summary.php

Charlie Wilson’s War
Based on George Crile’s book about the CIA’s largest and most successful covert CIA operation, the arming of the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan. The covert ops were engineered by Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), a charismatic, wheeler-dealer, liberal Texas congressman who teamed with a rogue CIA operative (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). The two manipulated Congress, the CIA and a host of foreign governments in order to assist the Afghan rebels in their fight against the Soviets in the 1980s. Many of the men armed by the CIA went on to become the Taliban’s enforcers and Osama bin Laden’s protectors. Also stars Amy Adams and Julia Roberts.
See this site: http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/62/4562/summary.php

Whew! Well that about does it for another year, folks. Tell ya what; just tack this article to the cork-board and let me know which ones stunk and which ones were awesome as they roll along. And until I finally get to see “Dreamgirls” … Enjoy!

Video Vault: The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
Video Vault: The Devil Wears Prada

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