REPUBLIBOT WEEKEND MOVIE PREVIEW: Movies Opening 12-18-09

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So, to get started let's just get this off of my chest right up front; I‘m not really reviewing anything here. Unless stated otherwise I’ve not seen any of the movies in this ‘Preview’. I am really just thoughtlessly passing judgment on films that are scheduled to open this week and that I haven’t researched at all (not even a little bit). All of the film information in these previews, including the plot summary, has been pulled from the Opening This Week page of IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/nowplaying/). In this week’s installment we are taking quick looks at: Did You Hear About the Morgans, Avatar, and Crazy Heart – amongst others…

So... are we good now? Good. Can we get started? Excellent. Follow me to after the jump...

Did You Hear About the Morgans?
Director: Marc Lawrence
Stars: Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sam Elliott
Studio: Columbia Pictures
The Plot: In New York City, an estranged couple (Grant and Parker) who witness a murder are relocated to small-town Wyoming as part of a witness-protection program.

The Republibot Take: How many times can they make this movie before the general public finally catches on? I mean not this exact movie but movies exactly like this. It is like they only have one central plot per situation. Boy meets Girl, something slapsticky happens to tear them apart and boy and girl struggle heroically to be back together. Boy and girl are together but it isn’t working, boy must win back the love of the girl, something slapsticky happens that gives him the chance to win her back.

Uggghhh… Is life so homogenous that this is the only way that true love works – meet cute/re-meet cute?

I hate film romances like that – my favorite romantical movies of all time are: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Truly Madly Deeply, High Fidelity, She’s Having a Baby, and Serendipity.

Sci-fi Quotient is at about a 1, just because there has to be some kind of fantastical element in there somewhere, otherwise how perfectly awful will it be.

Avatar
Director: James Cameron
Stars: Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez
Studio: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
The Plot: A paraplegic former marine (Worthington) accepts a unique mission that sends him to the planet Pandora, where, through a connection to a remotely controlled biological body, he learns the way of the indigenous Na'vi people. His link to this world puts him in direct opposition with his orders to infiltrate the Na'vi and remove the barrier between them and the precious ore desired by military and corporate interests.

The Republibot Take: I am seeing this at the mid-night showing tonight, but I should go ahead and write the review now because I have already made up mind – it is going to be mind blowingly awesome with regard to the CG, the 3D is going to make me nauseous, the Na’vi character designs are going to make me chuckle throughout the movie, the acting is going to be stiff and the story is going to suck out loud. If I have a chance tomorrow and into the weekend to bang out a review that I think is worthwhile I will try to post it for all of you my dear readers (or is it reader?).

Sci-fi Quotient is an impressive 9.25 – why not a 10? Well because of the 9 foot tall kitty cat people, silly.

Crazy Heart [12/16 -- limited]
Director: Scott Cooper
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures
The Plot: A hard-living country music singer (Bridges) makes a reach for salvation with the help of a journalist (Gyllenhaal) set in her attempt to find the real man behind the musician.

The Republibot Take: There are times when I think that Jeff Bridges is the most underappreciated actor of our generation. The man is simply good in everything he is in. And he is rarely in anything really bad. He was robbed when he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor for Fisher King – he should have been nominated and won for Best Actor for that movie. Robin Williams had the supporting role, Jeff Bridges carried that movie and was its heart and soul. He was in Tron, too. And Iron Man. And The Big Lebowski. (I only added that because everyone talks about it reverently, but I haven’t actually seen it – at first it was just because I had missed it during its theatrical release but as time passed and more and more people lectured and chastised me for not having seen it yet, it became harder and harder to get up the energy to actually see it. But I am sure it is just great.)

Maggie Gyllenhaal is a big hit and miss for me – I dug her in Stranger Than Fiction, but was put off by her in The Dark Knight. Collin Farrell will always be a 90% great Bullseye. I don’t listen to country music though, so all in all, I doubt I will ever see this movie.

Sci-fi Quotient is 2.5 just for the casting.

Nine [limited -- wide expansion on 12/25]
Director: Rob Marshall
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz
Studio: Weinstein Company, The
The Plot: Famous film director Guido Contini (Day-Lewis) struggles to find harmony in his professional and personal lives, as he engages in dramatic relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his mother.

The Republibot Take: And how many times do they have to make this movie? I mean really? Isn’t it a remake of 8 ½, which was remade as 10 and then was a musical on Broadway with Desperado guy. I want to make my own version and call it 6 and 1/4th – about an average guy married to an average gal and they fight over how spicy the chilli is and he storms off to finish his Fantasy Football draft while she calls her sister to be sure that they were still on for the park walk on the weekend. And then they go to bed and watch Conan O’Brien together and then get some sleep.

Sci-fi Quotient is a big Z-E-R-O.

The Young Victoria [limited]
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Stars: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany
Studio: Apparition
The Plot: A dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria's rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert.

The Republibot Take: I am trying really hard to get my persistent case of childhood Anglophilia under control. Luckily it only extends as far as comedy goes – and some long running Science Fiction TV shows – and late 60s and 70s music. By that I mean I have no idea if this movie is a period drama – if there are sword fights or palace intrigue or what. My inclination is that no, there is isn’t. So, if there isn’t I am not sure what the allure would be at all.

Sci-fi Quotient is 1, because Paul Bettany sounds familiar.

There is an Elephant in the room this week, so the pickings are slim – it would be great to see who can come up with the meanest Six Word review of Avatar in the comments section or directed at us on Twitter (@republibot). I can have R2 figure out a good prize for the winner as decided by the team here at Republibot central.

Otherwise, join us next week as we discuss The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, Sherlock Holmes, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel…

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