It’s a busy day as we get a fix of aliens and period drama. Disney unleashes its latest dismal-looking Robert Zemeckis-produced motion capture flick, Mars Needs Moms which had me hopeful until I saw the trailer. Now all the fun has been sucked out of it by the endlessly lifeless humans and their inexpressive faces once again. It hasn’t worked before (Polar Express, Beowulf, and worstly Disney's A Christmas Carol) so go ahead, Zemeckis, prove me wrong! Meanwhile Jonathan Liebesman will try to prove us all right that the man can finally make a good movie with the less family friendly Battle: Los Angeles. Thankfully all of the trailers have made it look head and shoulders above his previous entries consisting of Darkness Falls and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. Here’s to hoping.
Meanwhile, two oft-told, well-known tales get updated versions competing for recognition. The better looking of the two belongs to Sin Nombre’s director Cary Fukunaga’s thriller tone twist on the classic Jane Eyre. With Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots, Craig Roberts and Sally Hawkins in the mix, should at least be some great acting to say the least. On the other hand, the director of the first Twilight installment brings us an updating of Red Riding Hood. I’m sure they dropped the Little once they cast Amanda Seyfried in the lead but Catherine Hardwicke’s sets all look like she’s filmed on a high school auditorium and we all know her idea of sensuality is people staring at each other and biting their lips for two hours. Hopefully Seyfried will maintain the watchability factor as there’s no doubt Gary Oldman will overact to steal the show, and why not?
With the last name of Burger, lets hope that director Neil Burger can bring something tasty to the table with Limitless. While the screenwriting duties of Leslie Dixon over the past ten years may make her seem out of place (The Heartbreak Kid, Hairspray, Just Like Heaven, Freaky Friday, and Pay It Forward), none of those films have been complete busts with more wins than losses. And seeing how Burger gave us The Illusionist (2006), underseen thanks to Christopher Nolan’s superior The Prestige; a story about an enhancement drug could be the right fix to bring his career to the forefront. Having Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro in front of the cameras hopefully help too, however, their hit to miss ratio have been more middling lately than most so we’ll just have to see.