You may have noticed that there was no New Movies column last week. The reason why is simple — there were no new releases! Plus, the chances of any big shakeup in the order of the top ten was unlikely, so I chose to take the day off and get some well deserved rest (at least I think it was well deserved). Anyway, I am back and 2009 is upon us with its first cinematic offerings. The next few weeks will see a blend of Oscar-type films widening their releases after a limited December and new offerings which will most likely not offer up anything terribly special. However, I am always willing to be surprised.
Bride Wars. (2008, 90 minutes, PG, comedy, trailer) Nothing like getting a new year kicked off with a little Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson. The two play childhood best friends who happen to be getting married at the same time. The duo have been imagining their respective weddings ever since they were kids, however their dreams are imperiled over a clerical mistake, so let the wars begin! I don’t think this looks all that special, but I am also not part of the target audience. Still, it looks like harmless fun.
Not Easily Broken. (2008, 99 minutes, PG-13, drama, trailer) This does not look all that bad. It is a drama that centers on a couple and what happens when the wife is injured in an accident and the husband becomes attracted to another woman. Sounds simple enough, but the trailer makes it look pretty good. The cast includes Morris Chestnut and Taraji P. Henson. It was directed by Hoodlum-helmer Bill Duke.
The Unborn. (2008, 87 minutes, PG-13, horror, trailer) Of the initial crop of 2009 films, this is the one I’ve most been anticipating. Well, I was until I saw that it is rated PG-13. I know, it still could be good, but the trailer looked wild and seemed to point towards an R rating. I guess I will see it anyway, perhaps it will be good. The movie is about a teenager who resents her mother for abandoning her, but discovers reasons why her mom did what she did when strange things begin to happen. She even uncovers a long running curse on her family. The cast includes Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, and Cam Gigandet. David Goyer is the man behind the camera and one can only hope this is closer to The Crow and Dark City than The Invisible.
Gran Torino. (2008, 116 minutes, R, drama, trailer) Of the remaining 2008 films that I want to see, this has to be near the top of the list (alongside The Wrestler). The trailer looks utterly bad ass and Clint Eastwood looks like Dirty Harry — the Later Years. Eastwood (who also directs) is Walter, a stubborn veteran who is forced to face his long-held misguided beliefs when a Chinese family move in next door and gang violence lands on his doorstep. This looks fantastic, I just hope it lives up to expectations.
Also opening this week, but not near me:
- Just Another Love Story
- Made in USA
- Yonkers Joe
Box Office Predictions
I suspect that the draw of the Hudson/Hathaway combination will help propel their bridezilla film to the top of the box office chart. It looks like fun escapism and that would seem to be a big draw these days. Hot on its tale will be Oscar hopeful, and well-promoted Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood’s second film of 2008. How do you think it will play out?
Here is how I think the top ten field will line up:
|1||Bride Wars||$22 million|
|2||Gran Torino||$17 million|
|3||Marley & Me||$14 million|
|4||The Curious Case of Benjamin Button||$13 million|
|5||Bedtime Stories||$9.5 million|
|6||The Unborn||$8 million|
|7||Yes Man||$7 million|
|9||Seven Pounds||$5 million|
|10||Slumdog Millionaire||$4 million|