â€¢ 21 JUMP STREET (R) 2012â€™s biggest surprise to date has to be this brilliantly dumb comedy from star-producer-story contributor Jonah Hill. A pair of pathetic new cops, Schmidt and Jenko (Hill and comedy revelation Channing Tatum), blow their first bust. As a result, they are transferred to a special undercover unit that sends fresh-faced policemen into local schools to nab drug dealers and the like. Their angry black captain (played with perfect apoplexy by Ice Cube) tasks the duo with finding the supplier of a new synthetic drug. Schmidt and Jenko hilariously discover that todayâ€™s high school flips their previous experiences. Former cool kid Jenko is banished with the nerds, while Schmidt experiences what itâ€™s like to be popular. What should not work in this remake of the late ’80s/early ’90s Fox program, most famous as a launching pad for Johnny Depp, does with surprising comic force. The mission that Hillâ€™s The Sitter half-accomplished is successfully completed by this flick, thanks to Scott Pilgrim scripter Michael Bacallâ€™s smart riffs on ’80s action movies and two perfectly in sync leads. Could Hill/Tatum be a new comic duo or is this a one-time lightning in a bottle time deal?Â Â
ACT OF VALOR (R) At times, Act of Valor betrays its humble origins as a military recruiting tool (think of the National Guard/Three Doors Down video for â€œCitizen Soldierâ€ expanded to feature length), but at its high-octane best, this action experiment rivals its bigger-budgeted, star-laden competitors. What really sets Act of Valor apart from its action brethren is its non-professional acting troupe, an elite team of active duty Navy SEALs playing an elite team of Navy SEALs. Understanding the soldiersâ€™ dramatic limitations, the movie tends to focus on the military tasks at which they excel, and it is rare for an action movie to feel as real. The plot feels like excised hours from one of Jack Bauerâ€™s day-long terrorist battles on â€œ24,â€ but separating the truth from the fiction becomes difficult once the fighting starts. What could have just been Call of Duty: Modern Warfareâ€”The Movie exhibits technical prowess and a singular, successful gimmick that elevates the military flick above todayâ€™s stock action movie. Act of Valor cannot deliver the emotional payoff of The Hurt Locker, but it does not dishonor our fighting men and women.
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED (G) Come on, Fox! If youâ€™re going to keep releasing new Chipmunks entries each holiday season, the least you can do is make a Christmas-themed movie featuring the furry trioâ€™s classic holiday tunes. Instead, Alvin, Simon, Theodore, the Chipettes and Dave (poor, paycheck-cashing Jason Lee) start out on a cruise ship and wind up on a deserted island.
THE ARTIST (PG-13) Films today do not come as precious or charming as Michel Hazanaviciusâ€™ Best Picture winner. A silent film that is all about talking, The Artist of title refers to matinee idol George Valentin (Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin, who absolutely must be a silent film star Hazanivicius recently thawed from ice), who finds it difficult to transition from silent films to talkies, unlike rising star Peppy Miller (Academy Award nominee BÃ©rÃ©nice Bejo). But Miller has a crush on Valentin that predates her stardom and will do everything she can to help the despondent, one-time star. Like an unearthed gem, a long-lost silent relic, The Artist is at once wholly familiar yet completely foreign. Who knew a trifling eccentricity would wind up 2011â€™s most daring film?
BULLY (R) Who knows whether the final rating will be R or PG-13, but could the Weinsteins have paid for better publicity than the recent MPAA firestorm? Nope. This documentary from Lee Hirsch (Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony) digs into the daily nightmare of the over 13 million kids who are bullied online, at school, on the bus, at home and anywhere else they go. Hopefully, the MPAA will relent and allow this important doc to be released with the more teen/classroom friendly PG-13 rating.
THE CLEAN BIN PROJECT (NR) 2010. The ACC Recycling Division is sponsoring a free screening of Grant Baldwinâ€™s The Clean Bin Project, in which partners Jen and Grant compete to answer the question, â€œIs it possible to life completely waste free?â€ Watch the film and see who produces the least garbage in an entire year. Screening alongside The Clean Bin Project is Song of the Spindle, Drew Christieâ€™s animated conversation between a man and a sperm whale. Part of the 2012 EcoFocus Film Festival.
DECLARATION OF WAR (NR) 2011. ValÃ©rie Donzelliâ€™s film examines how two parents, Romeo and Juliette (Donzelli and real life partner JÃ©rÃ©mie ElkaÃ¯m), deal with their infant sonâ€™s brain tumor. The film was nominated for seven CÃ©sar Awards and won three prizes from the Gijon International Film Festival. Part of the French Film Series.
DR. SEUSSâ€™ THE LORAX (PG) Released on Dr. Seussâ€™ 108th birthday, this pleasant animated adaptation of the beloved childrenâ€™s authorâ€™s environmental fable fails to utterly charm like the filmmakersâ€™ previous animated smash, Despicable Me. The Lorax may visually stun you, and Danny DeVitoâ€™s brief time as voice of the Lorax could stand as his greatest role, one that will go unrecognized by any professional awards outside of the Annies. Unfortunately, the movie spends a lot less time with the fascinating, entertaining forest fighter than it does with Ed Helmsâ€™ The Once-ler (Iâ€™m usually a big Helms fan but his zany naÃ¯f felt incongruously calculated here) and bland Zac Efronâ€™s bland protagonist, Ted. On the bright side, the film excels as a traditional movie musical, where characters naturally transition into songs that deepen their character or advance the plot without some silly justification via subjective dream sequences or glee club memberships. The songs they sing could be more memorable; I cannot recall a single one a day later. The Lorax is not the yearâ€™s best animated feature (imagine what Pixar could do with Seuss), but the childishly funny film does not pander to its audience, young and old, even if it does preach a bit.
DRYING FOR FREEDOM (NR) 2011. Drying for Freedom examines clotheslines and Right-To-Dry legislation. Seriously, whoâ€™s trying to ban clotheslines? Screening with Drying for Freedom is Pipe Dreams about the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. After the screening, stick around for a discussion with Drying for Freedom director Steven Lake, producers Adam Merrifield and Dan Pringle and Dr. Chris Cuomo, a UGA Philosophy prof who will discuss her involvement with the Keystone XL Pipeline issue. Part of the 2012 EcoFocus Film Festival.
FATHER OF MY CHILDREN (NR) 2009. A French family struggles to survive as its patriarch, film producer Gregoire (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing), hemorrhages money. Mia Hansen-LÃ¸veâ€™s film won the Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize from the Cannes Film Festival. Part of the French Film Series sort of sponsored by the UGA French program, the film will be introduced by Dr. Richard Neupert, film studies coordinator at UGA, as well as other guests.
FOOD STAMPED (NR) 2010. Watch real life couple Shira and Yoav Potash attempt to eat a well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget. They meet with members of Congress, nutrition experts and food justice activists in their quests to eat healthy for little money. The film won the Staff Prize from San Francisco Indiefest. The screening will be followed by a discussion with local groups involved in hunger, poverty and nutrition issues. Screening with Food Stamped is American University professor Larry Engelâ€™s Potato Heads: Keepers of the Crop about one of the worldâ€™s favorite foods. Part of the 2012 EcoFocus Film Festival.
FRIENDS WITH KIDS (R) Jessica Stein herself, Kissing Jessica Stein star and writer Jennifer Westfeldt, heads back to the big screen in her directorial debut. Two besties, Julie Keller and Jason Fryman (Westfeldt and the increasingly awesome Adam Scott), decide to have a baby together, thinking their platonic relationship will suffer less from childrearing than a romantic one would. The cast is tough and filled with Bridesmaids (Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Jon Hamm and Chris Oâ€™Dowd) and Edward Burns.
GOOD DEEDS (PG-13) Good Deeds is another average melodrama from the entertainment juggernaut that is Atlantaâ€™s Tyler Perry. Perry stars as Wesley Deeds, the uptight CEO of a software company who befriends a struggling widowed mother, Lindsey Wakefield (Thandie Newton), on the virtual eve of his wedding. Naturally, his relationship with Lindsey and her cute daughter, Ariel, awaken the spark of life thatâ€™s been lying dormant in Deeds for the bulk of his adult life, a course charted by his domineering mother (Phylicia Rashad). Perry has two tonal modes: the headspinning comic/dramatic combo of his Madea movies and the grindingly humorless melodrama of his non-Madea flicks. (Why Did I Get Married? remains his best movie, as it retained a sense of humor and drama without Perry donning a dress.) Good Deeds is planted squarely in the latter camp. Lighter moments are so hard to come by you will yearn for Madea to drop in to say â€œhur-lo.â€ Supporting characters, such as Wesleyâ€™s fiancee, Natalie (Gabrielle Union), and his brother, Walter (Brian White), are infuriatingly one-dimensional. Good Deeds is duller than most of the 11 movies directed by Perry since 2006 (!); itâ€™s also superior to the bulk of them.
GOON (R) A former bouncer and family outcast (Seann William Scott) leads his semi-pro hockey team to glory by beating the crap out of anyone standing in their way. Director Michael Dowse brought us the ’80s homage Take Me Home Tonight. Co-scripter Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder) is a hockey nut trying his hand at feature screenwriting for the first time; fortunately, heâ€™s teamed with Seth Rogenâ€™s Superbad partner, Evan Goldberg. With Allison Pill, Liev Schreiber and Eugene Levy.
THE GREY (R) Formerly acclaimed Liam Neeson has almost completed his transformation into an English Denzel Washington, whose filmography is filling up with inconsequential paychecks jobs. At least Joe Carnahan (Narc, The A-Team) is writing and directing this tale of an Alaskan drilling team struggling to defeat a pack of wolves hunting them after their plane crashes in the wilderness. With Dermot Mulroney and James Badge Dale (â€œThe Pacificâ€).
HUGO (PG) Oh, to be an orphan living in an early-20th-century clock! Despite its near perfection, this 3D family filmâ€”Martin Scorseseâ€™s firstâ€”may be the loveliest wide release to struggle to find its audience this year. Yet itâ€™s no wonder Scorsese, himself a film historian as well as a film lover, decided to adapt Brian Selznickâ€™s The Invention of Hugo Cabret, whose central mystery revolves around an early cinematic master. Parisian orphan Hugo (Asa Butterfield), who lives inside the clocktower of the train station, seeks the answer to a mysterious automaton, left unsolved by his late father and clockmaker (Jude Law), with the help of a toymaker named Georges (Ben Kingsley) and his charge, Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz). Knowledgeable cinephiles will be enthralled by Selznickâ€™s story, wonderfully adapted by Oscar-nominated scribe John Logan, which I refuse to spoil, and enchanted by the legendary filmmakerâ€™s gorgeous imagery, which conjures memories of Amelie and was awarded with Oscars for cinematography, visual effects and more.
â€¢ THE HUNGER GAMES (PG-13) While a successful adaptation of a difficult book that near everyone has read, The Hunger Games has little cinematic spark. Itâ€™s a visual book report that merely summarizes the plot. Itâ€™s a well-written book report, but itâ€™s still a book report. Seabiscuit director Gary Ross was not the most obvious choice to direct this dystopian adventure in which 24 teenagers are randomly selected for a contest in which only one will survive. That bleak premise was handled with more appropriately bloody violence in the Japanese film, Battle Royale, and Americaâ€™s version of the game needed more of a visceral gut-punch to look less like â€œSurvivor: Teen Island.â€ The bookâ€™s R-rated violence was deliberately shot with near incomprehensibility so as to retain a PG-13 rating. Seeing these popular characters brought to life proved most of the controversial casting choices were successful. Jennifer Lawrence has Katnissâ€™ steely beauty, and Josh Hutcherson has Peetaâ€™s magnetism. The jury is still out on Liam Hemsworthâ€™s Gale. Woody Harrelson nails the obviously less alcoholic Haymitch. More time spent in the Capitol with Lenny Kravitzâ€™s Cinna will be a boon for the sequel. All critiques aside, I was left with one question: How long until Catching Fire?
IF A TREE FALLS (NR) 2011. If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front looks at the rise and fall of the organization the FBI once called the â€œnumber one domestic terrorism threatâ€ in America. Screening with If a Tree Falls is Journey to the Forest (Reise zum Wald), about the mythic German forest. A discussion with Dr. Chris Cuomo and Dr. Piers Stephens (UGA Philosophy Department) and local Occupy Athens activist Gretchen Elsner will follow the movie. Part of the 2012 EcoFocus Film Festival.
INTO THE ABYSS (PG-13) In the legendary Werner Herzogâ€™s newest film, his 25th documentary, the German filmmaker interviews death row inmate Michael Perry to understand why people and the government chooses to kill. Convicted of triple homicide, Perry was executed eight days after Herzog conducted his interviews; his accomplice, Jason Burkett, who was treated to the lesser sentence of life in prison, is also interviewed. A festival hit, Into the Abyss won awards from the British Film Institute and the National Society of Film Critics. The sneak preview on 3/22 also features Athens native Jeff Reynoldsâ€™ short documentary, Jerry, and a teaser trailer for his upcoming feature, Corpus: The Case of Justin Wolfe.
INTRUDERS (R) Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who did a fine job with the thanklessly difficult task of following up 28 Days Laterâ€¦ (you should also check out his Intacto), returns with a nifty-sounding horror flick. Two children, who live in different countries, are haunted by a faceless being seeking to possess them. Clive Owen and Carice van Houten (Black Book) are the two recognizable adults. Intruders sounds like an intriguing addition to 2012â€™s surprisingly strong horror lineup.
JOHN CARTER (PG-13) Civil War veteran John Carter (â€œFriday Night Lightsâ€â€™ alum Taylor Kitsch, whose career is poised to blow up or implode in 2012) is transported to Mars, where 12-foot-tall barbarians rule. WALL-E director Andrew Stanton becomes the latest Pixar filmmaker to make the jump from animation to live action. Iâ€™d love to see his film be as successful as Brad Birdâ€™s Mission: Impossibleâ€”Ghost Protocol. With Bryan Cranston, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Willem Dafoe and Thomas Haden Church.
JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (NR) A re-mastered, filmed version of the stage musical in London’s Pinewood Studio starring Donny Osmond and featuring a sing-a-long, a live introduction and post-film Q&A with Osmond himself and a never-before-seen animated opening sequence featuring an 80-piece orchestra.
JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (PG) Journey 2: The Mysterious Islandâ€™s biggest problem might be time. Many of the young people who enjoyed its 2008 forebear, Journey to the Center of the Earth, might have outgrown the Brendan Fraser/Dwayne â€œThe Rockâ€ Johnson brand of family adventure movie. Sean (Josh Hutcherson, soon to be Peeta in The Hunger Games) and his future stepdad, Hank (the always appealing Johnson), travel to the mysterious island to find Seanâ€™s granddad (Michael Caine). Along for the ride are a goofy helicopter pilot (Luis Guzman, being as Guzman-y as ever) and his gorgeous daughter (Vanessa Hudgens). The islandâ€™s giant, 3D-tastic flora and fauna make for a movie thatâ€™s fun to look at for an hour and a half, especially on the big screen, but does not create the sort of lasting impression needed to survive in todayâ€™s oversaturated entertainment market.
MIRROR MIRROR (PG) Everybody knows the Grimm fairy tale of Snow White. An evil queen, a magic mirror, seven dwarfs, a poisoned apple, Prince Charming. In the new version from Immortals director Tarsem Singh, Julia Roberts stars as the wicked queen and Lily Collins from The Blind Side plays the exiled princess seeking to get her kingdom back. Armie Hammer from The Social Network appears as the prince of Snow Whiteâ€™s dreams. If nothing else, this Disney-looking live-action flick will beat its fairy tale competitor, Snow White and the Huntsman, out of the gate.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLEâ€”GHOST PROTOCOL (PG-13) Mission: Impossible is that rare franchise that has actually gotten better with each new installment and in inverse proportion to its megastarâ€™s popularity. Tom Cruise had few peers in 1996 when the weak, original M:I opened; now heâ€™s more often a punchline, albeit a badass punchline who does many of his own death-defying stunts, like climbing the outside of the worldâ€™s tallest building. What sets the Mission: Impossible franchise apart from any other existing action series is its star-producerâ€™s knack for finding the best, new behind the camera talent. First-time live-action feature director Brad Bird is known to be an animation auteur (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles), and he apparently doesnâ€™t realize action of the live variety has limitations. Now heâ€™s the guy who can still make a Tom Cruise stunt spectacular stand out like itâ€™s the late ’90s. Cruiseâ€™s Ethan Hunt and his new team (the gorgeous Paula Patton, stalwart Jeremy Renner and A-1 comic relief Simon Pegg) must clear IMFâ€™s name after a bombing decimates the Kremlin. From Moscow to Dubai to Mumbai, the action doesnâ€™t let up from scene one.
PARADISE SAVED (NR) 1982. For the first time, the EcoFocus Film Festival reaches into the George F. Peabody Awards Collection housed at the UGA Special Collections Library to screen this documentary produced by WAGA-TV in Atlanta. Should allowed attendance at the Cumberland Island National Seashore be increased? What could happen as a result? The post-screening discussion with Dr. Gary Green, associate professor of Natural Resources, Recreation, and Tourism in UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, should enlighten audiences as to what has happened since 1982. Part of the 2012 EcoFocus Film Festival.
POINT BLANK (R) 2010. A nurse must help a thief escape his hospital imprisonment after the crookâ€™s henchmen take his pregnant wife hostage. Point Blank, which won a National Board of Review Award as one of the top-five foreign language films of the year, sounds like a summer tentpole pic. Part of the French Film Series sort of sponsored by the UGA French program, the film will be introduced by Dr. Richard Neupert.
PROJECT X (R) This teen â€œgreatest party ever filmedâ€ flick could use a more descriptive title, preferably one that doesnâ€™t get as many children of the ’80s’ hearts racing at the thought of a remake of the Matthew Broderick, Helen Hunt and a monkey movie. As a responsible adult, I lament how this teen comedy, produced by The Hangoverâ€™s Todd Phillips, condones the Internet eraâ€™s hedonism as teenage rite of passage. Three unpopular high schoolersâ€”Thomas (Thomas Mann), Costa (Oliver Cooper) and JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown)â€”throw a party so wild (sex, drugs, alcohol, fire, a midget; itâ€™s like the boys go to Bret Easton Ellis High) that not even the cops can stop it, a conceit that play rights into teenagersâ€™ already overinflated egos. As a former teenager, I wish Iâ€™d been invited. The appeal of Project X truly depends on the perspectiveâ€”adult or teenâ€”from which you view it as the party supplies few surprising acts of debauchery. It does add a novel running gag about two overzealous, overmatched teen security guards. Their misadventures had a sense of freshness from which the rest of this slightly tired party flick could have benefited.
REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR (NR) 2011. Director Chris Paine makes the rare documentary sequel to his 2006 murderish-mystery Who Killed the Electric Car? as many major automakersâ€”GM, Nissan, etc.â€”compete to create the first and the best electric car, in order to win over consumers. The film is narrated by Tim Robbins and features the beau coups of celebs that love their â€˜lectrics. Screening with Revenge of the Electric Car is Isaac Kingâ€™s Second Hand, which asks viewers to decide whether you would rather save time or save stuff. Part of the 2012 EcoFocus Film Festival.
SAFE HOUSE (R) For Safe Houseâ€™s target fans of Denzel Washington, whizzing bullets and car chases, the action flick is critically bulletproof; for me, it was competently boring. Former CIA operative turned rogue asset, Tobin Frost (Washington), goes on the run with green agent Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds, in the thankless role anyone could have filled) hot on his heels. Washington remains the laziest talent in Hollywood. What draws him to waste his chops on these action-filled scripts with such obvious plot trajectories? You can tell which CIA bigwig (the suspects being Sam Shepard, Vera Farmiga and Brendan Gleeson) Weston shouldnâ€™t trust from the trailers, and try as they might to imply otherwise, one can easily presume Washingtonâ€™s Frost hasnâ€™t gone rogue for sheer psychopathic thrills or mere greed. The predictable action is delivered with the workmanlike craftsmanship (quick edits, handheld camerawork, etc.) one expects from a production that is clearly influenced by Washingtonâ€™s work with Tony Scott, but lacks his more artful eye. Safe House should make enough money to keep Washingtonâ€™s rep as a box office draw undiminished, but wonâ€™t make much of an impression in his increasingly inconsequential filmography.
SUSHI: THE GLOBAL CATCH (NR) 2011. Screening at the Georgia Museum of Art as part of the EcoFocus Film Festivalâ€™s Night at the Museum, Sushi: The Global Catch examines how our hunger for raw fish may upset the entire oceanic ecosystem. Screening with Sushi is Eel*WaterRockMan, in which audiences are introduced to the last man on the east coast that still fishes for eel with an ancient stone weir. The movies will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Mark Hall, local restaurateur Peter Dale (The National) and fisheries biologist Dr. Duncan Elkins. Part of the 2012 EcoFocus Film Festival.
THIS MEANS WAR (PG-13) They might as well have ponied up for the â€œSpy vs. Spyâ€ license and made a truly misguided adaptation of the old â€œMadâ€ comic strip. Two of the CIAâ€™s top agents/besties, FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy), wind up dating the same girl, Lauren Scott (Reese Witherspoon). You know the drill. FDR and Tuckâ€™s friendship is tested, as both fall for Lauren, but itâ€™s more important that the player of the duo falls in love than the already sensitive one with a kid. Poorly edited early onâ€”not much makes sense in what should be a pretty straightforward first actâ€”This Means War never really finds a groove. This action romcom hybrid has a few fleeting moments, thanks to the bromantic chemistry between beefcake stars Pine and Hardy. Unfortunately, neither man shares that same spark with third lead, Witherspoon. Director McG, whose career hasnâ€™t really gone anywhere since the first Charlieâ€™s Angels (his entry in the Terminator franchise has blissfully been forgotten), gets the unnecessary action right; the required rom and com could use some work. This Means War would be an early pick for worst of 2012, but no one will remember it come yearâ€™s end.
A THOUSAND WORDS (PG-13) An Eddie Murphy family comedy, directed by Brian Robbins (Meet Dave and Norbit), thatâ€™s been in the can since 2008? Nothing in this sentence implies anything good (or funny). A literary agent, Jack McCall (Murphy), is taught a lesson on truth by a spiritual guru via the Bodhi tree that appears on his property. Every word Jack speaks leads to a fallen leaf; when the last leaf falls, so does Jack. With Cliff Curtis, Kerry Washington, Allison Janney, Jack McBrayer and Clark Duke.
TOMBOY (NR) 2011. Director CÃ©line Sciammaâ€™s latest film starts with an intriguing premise. A 10-year-old girl moves to a new town and is mistaken for a boy. Living up to that new identity proves difficult. Hollywood would take this rich idea and ruin it with a shining tween star/LCD humor. Winner of awards from Berlin, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Torino. Part of the French Film Series sort of sponsored by the UGA French program, the film will be introduced by Dr. Richard Neupert, film studies coordinator at UGA, as well as other guests, during its Mar. 26â€“Apr. 5 run.
UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING (R) Iâ€™ve never understood why the Underworld movies are so underwhelming. Vampires versus werewolves, Kate Beckinsale in skin-tight black leather, Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen all should add up to a crazy awesome movie. Instead, the three previous Underworlds make great cures for insomnia. Theyâ€™re some of the most soporific action movies Iâ€™ve ever seen. Underworld: Awakening boasts a new directing team, a third dimension and the return of Beckinsale. Itâ€™s also the most fun Iâ€™ve had watching one of these flicks, though nothing about Awakening elevates it much past the Resident Evil/Paul W.S. Anderson plane. Still, fans of the franchise should enjoy another round of blue-lit ultraviolence. Nighy and Sheen are duly missed as well; Stephen Rea alone is not just compensation for their absence. The best critique I can level at Underworld: Awakening: at least I didnâ€™t fall asleep this time. Thatâ€™s a step forward, right?
WAR HORSE (PG-13) Steven Spielbergâ€™s second holiday 2011 entry is an adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play, told through life-size puppets, about a young man named Albertâ€™s (Jeremy Irvine) journey through World War I to find his beloved horse, Joey, which was sold to the cavalry. The script, credited to Academy Award nominees Lee Hall and Richard Curtis, one of my faves, might intrigue me more than the presence of the erstwhile Mr. Spielberg. With Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Tom Hiddleston and more Brits than you could shake a Potter at.
WRATH OF THE TITANS (PG-13) Perseus (Sam Worthington) returns, but does anyone care? This huge fan of the original Clash of the Titans certainly doesnâ€™t. The Greek hero is dispatched into the underworld to rescue chief god, Zeus (Liam Neeson), whoâ€™s the victim of a kidnapping plot cooked up by one of his kids, God of War Ares (Edgar Ramirez), and his brother, God of the Underworld Hades (Ralph Fiennes). New director Jonathan Liebesmanâ€™s Battle: Los Angeles didnâ€™t quite set the world afire.
YOUâ€™VE BEEN TRUMPED (NR) 2011. The 2012 EcoFocus Film Festival Closing Night party begins with the documentary Youâ€™ve Been Trumped and ends with the audience awards. Filmmaker Anthony Baxterâ€™s Youâ€™ve Been Trumped looks at the Donaldâ€™s attempts to build â€œthe worldâ€™s greatest golf courseâ€ on an environmentally sensitive stretch of the Scottish coast. Screening with Youâ€™ve Been Trumped are Bryan Reddingâ€™s Protect Downtown Athensâ€”Athens Raise Your Voice about the effects of the proposed downtown Wal-Mart and Song of the Spindle. Part of the 2012 EcoFocus Film Festival.
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