REPUBLIBOT WEEKEND MOVIE PREVIEW: Movies Opening 2-19-10

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Is February over yet? Honestly, will this winter ever end? Anyway, it looks like a pretty sparse movie going week on the Republibot Weekend Movie Preview. We only have one even remotely interesting movie opening. But first, a quick reminder: I have not seen any of these movies, nor have I researched any of them. The whole point of this weekly feature is for to pass judgment on films I have not yet seen. All of the film information presented here, including the plot summary, has been pulled from the Opening This Week page of IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/nowplaying/). This week we are previewing Shutter Island, The Ghost Writer and a couple of others that I don’t want to scroll down and copy and paste back up here…

So, if you are ready, let’s begin – right after the jump.

Shutter Island

Director: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo

Studio: Paramount Pictures

The Plot: When a psychotic killer (Mortimer) disappears from a mental institution on Shutter Island, a pair of U.S. Marshals (Ruffalo and DiCaprio) race against the clock in order to track her down.

The Republibot Take: I am not a huge Scorsese fan (I know, I know – big surprise, I am not a fan of anything), but I respect him as a film maker and though I don't go out of my way to see every one of his movies, I do selectively look forward to some of his work. On Shutter Island I wasn’t really looking forward to it a whole lot and then I accidentally read the ending of the story in the Graphic Novel adaptation of the original book (by some guy I don't remember his name right now off the top of my head) and got my head rocked right off of my shoulders.

So I am definitely in.

The Sci-Fi Quotient won’t be very high, unfortunately so on our all new Thermometer based scale, with 100 being Alien and 32 being A Room With A View, this comes in at a solid 63 degrees.

The Ghost Writer

Director: Roman Polanski

Stars: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia

Studio: Summit Distribution

The Plot: A ghostwriter (McGregor) hired to complete the memoirs of a former British prime minister (Brosnan) uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy.

The Republibot Take: Let’s be honest here right up front – I have no interest whatsoever in seeing this movie. Regardless of your political persuasion, you cannot be a conscientious human being and give this guy a pass for jumping bail and hiding out in France, just because he and the other glitterati think that simple human decency and accountability don't need to apply to them because they get paid unconscionable amounts of money to put out mediocre filmed entertainment every couple of years.

Sci-Fi Quotient comes in at sub-zero on this – don't pay to see it, don’t reward him or the others that think they have earned some kind of cultural entitlement and that what he did wasn’t a heinous evil thing.

Happy Tears [limited]

Director: Mitchell Lichtenstein

Stars: Parker Posey, Demi Moore, Rip Torn

Studio: Roadside Attractions

The Plot: Sisters Jayne (Posey) and Laura (Moore) return home to Pittsburgh to tend to their father (Torn), who is wrestling with dementia. The touchy family dynamics are amplified by the presence of their dad's new girlfriend and a search for buried gold in the backyard.

The Republibot Take: Parker Posey gets a thumb up, but Demi Moore gets a thumb down. Rip Torn is always fun, especially when he apparently isn’t acting. Now, having said all of that, this movie sounds like a complete mess. Is one of the sisters struggling with her sexual identity too? Maybe, the new girl friend is pregnant. Possibly the buried gold in the backyard is stolen war treasure and Grandpa Simpson and Mr. Burns are waiting for the Father to die so they can divvy it up.

Obviously, I am having a hard time getting excited about this movie. I would love to start a little side business in which the big studios can send me their production slate and I can send back vague notes on what I like (“main female role is awesome, perfect that it is being played by Kate Beckinsale”) and what I don’t (“main actress is all wrong, role should be played by Kate Beckinsale”).  I swear, it is win-win proposition. Their movies do better, and I take a little off the top.

Sci-Fi quotient on this is floating right around 46 degrees.

The Good Guy [LA/NY]

Director: Julio DePietro

Stars: Alexis Bledel, Scott Porter, Bryan Greenberg

Studio: Roadside Attractions

The Plot: Manhattanite Beth (Bledel) finds her fledgling romance with Wall Streeter Tommy (Porter) complicated by the introduction of Daniel (Greenberg), Tommy's co-worker.

The Republibot Take:  Holy cow. What is it with Roadside Attractions? They are the studio producing this and they produced that last little weird bit of nothing that we just discussed. Wasn’t Alexis Bledel in a couple episodes of Chuck last year? I may be wrong on that. Right now I am actually thinking she was in Sin City in a small role. I guess it doesn’t really matter. I am sure the pitch for this went thusly:

Producer: We are really excited about this, we see it as being a cross between Sex In The City and Love Actually.

Studio Exec One: Interesting

Studio Exec Two: Yes, very interesting.

Producer: So…?

Studio Exec Three: It’s a go.

Producer: Excellent.

And then just before production started they realized that Wall Street 2 was starting to get some buzz.

Some days I feel like I am just stealing money out of your pockets after writing these things. However, since I am not getting paid and any monies from advertising (please click on our sponsors) that would be coming my way is being rolled back into the technical operation of the site in order to give you an increasingly pleasant browsing experience, I am not going to feel too bad.

Next week looks better – for you and me. So be sure to join us then when we preview The Crazies, Cop Out, Defendor, and The Yellow Handkerchief amongst others.

Until then, see you in the comments.

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