This week we get an interesting little mix, blending high brow with the low. Pseudo-documentary comedies rub shoulders with Hong Kong martial arts, World War I action/drama stands alongside political drama, not to mention indie horror and foreign thrillers. Anything sound interesting to you?
Jet Li's Fearless. (2006, 104 minutes, PG-13, action, trailer) This is the movie I have been waiting for, except I don't like the possessive they added to the title. This is Jet's final martial arts epic, which seems to be confusing a lot of people. No, he is not retiring from the movies, he is just retiring from wushu and the films that employ that style. This means there will be no more Heros or Once Upon a Time in Chinas with him. We will be more likely to see things like Unleashed and Kiss of the Dragon — at least that is what I took it to mean. Anyway, this is the story of Huo Yuanjia, a man who battled through tragedy to become a legendary fighter who fought for his country. The action was choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping (The Matrix) and it was directed by Ronny Yu (The Bride with White Hair).
Flyboys. (2006, 139 minutes, PG-13, adventure, trailer) The flying scenes in the trailer look absolutely spectacular, and hopefully the rest of the movie will be just as good. James Franco and Jean Reno star in this story of American pilots joining the fight in Europe prior to the US entering WWI. This is based on the true story of the first American fighter squadron.
Jackass Number Two. (2006, 95 minutes, R, comedy, trailer) OK, did anyone really ask for this? Do people even remember Jackass? It seems like so long ago when that was popular. Well, something lured Johnny Knoxville back to the world of insane stunts. This will surely be the top film this week, but will it top the original? Also, word has it that the bit with the tooth extraction in the commercial is not int he film, due to the subject's accusations of sexual misconduct.
All the King's Men. (2006, 128 minutes, PG-13, drama, trailer) The latest Sean Penn Oscar hopeful descends on us today. It is based on the novel by Robert Penn Warren, and loosely on the life of Huey Long. It follows the political career of Willie Stark, an idealist filled with good intentions who turns to corruption as his career soars. It looks interesting, but I am not so sure I like Penn; he seems to be wildly overacting in the trailer clips.