Welcome to a new weekly column at Starpulse. As a movie trivia guru and trailer addict with practically a photographic memory of actors and directors, I will provide you with the inside scoop before you hit the multiplex with your hard earned cash. You'll receive a first look at the movies premiering each week, and I'll offer my predictions about which ones will be worth your $10, which ones you should wait to rent, and which ones aren't worth your time.
Set in 1987, recent college graduate James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg
) takes what he thinks will be a dead-end job at his local amusement park, but he soon realizes it's exactly what he needs to prepare him for the real world.
Written and directed by "Superbad
" director Greg Mottola, "Adventureland" is a more personal movie based on Mottola's own post college experience. The movie boasts a strong supporting cast of characters that include Bill Hader
("Superbad") as the park's owner, Kristen Stewart
") as the love interest, Ryan Reynolds
") as a local musician and handyman, and Martin Starr ("Knocked Up
") as a stoner co-worker. SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT?
- See it. "Adventureland" looks like it will be a hilarious coming of age story that should bring fans of "Superbad" back to the theaters. The cast seems like it will have a solid chemistry, and the trailer indicates that despite an 80's setting, Mottola avoids dressing his actors in period clichés. If you've ever held a crappy job to help pay the bills, you should have no problem identifying with James and his friends.
Ex con Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel
) resumes his feud with agent Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker
) when a crime brings them back to Los Angeles. The two are forced into an uneasy truce as they team up to confront a mutual enemy. From daring gas tanker hijacking to tunnel crawls across international lines, Dom and Brian find that the key to victory is pushing their limits behind the wheel.
Returning from the last "Fast and Furious" outing "Tokyo Drift
," are both director Justin Lin and writer Chris Morgan. The real draw for fans of the series however, is the return of the main actors in the first movie: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster
, and Michelle Rodriguez
. This is advertised to viewers with the movie's tagline "New Model. Original Parts." SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT?
- Rent it. This sequel to a decidedly average movie is several years too late for most people to care enough about the characters. Aside from the exciting convoy heist in the trailer, there doesn't appear to be much substance behind the eye candy.
Brian (Paul Dano
), a 28-year-old mattress salesman hoping to adopt a Chinese baby, becomes swept up in a romance with Happy (Zooey Deschanel
), a woman who falls asleep on one of the beds in his store. To win her heart he must compete with her father Al Lolly (John Goodman
), a loud mouthed art collector with a bad back.
"Gigantic" is written and directed by newcomer Matt Aselton and executive produced by Paul Dano. Despite the relative inexperience of some of those tied to the film, the movie gains legitimacy by the presence of veteran actors like Ed Asner and John Goodman.SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT?
- Rent this one. The movie has a limited release of Los Angeles and New York City, which certainly makes it hard for a large portion of audiences to see. If you are a resident of New York or LA, it still might be worth waiting. The trailer makes the movie seem like a cookie cutter indie comedy, about love in uncommon places and dysfunctional families without anything new to say.
"Sugar" follows the life of Miguel Santos, a.k.a Sugar, a Dominican baseball player trying to play in the big leagues and to pull his family out of poverty. He gets his break at age 19, moving up to the US minor league system, but when his pitching abilities wane; he starts to question his life's aspiration.
Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, writers of "Half Nelson
" team up to co-write and direct this sports drama. So far though, "Sugar" has seen less buzz than "Half Nelson" since its premiere at the Sundance film festival. SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT?
- Rent it. The film has a limited release, so chances are you probably won't find it in theaters. Even though Sugar tells the story of unique individual from a fresh perspective, the trailer makes it look like the typical sports movie about one man fighting the odds to succeed.
During the spring of 1936, in the Paris neighborhood the Faubourg, three friends are upset about the closing of their local theater the Chansonia. With the support of locals who listen to Monsieur TSF's radio Pigoil, Milou, and Jacky decide to produce a "hit" musical to save the Chansonia.
"Paris 36" is a French language foreign film, directed by Christophe Barratier. Barratier's last work released in the United States was his 2004 Oscar-nominated musical "The Chorus
." SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT?
- See it. Visually the film looks stunning, filled with bright colors of the theater, and musical numbers that feel like they will come alive on the big screen. Overall it seems like an excellent period piece that will delight fans of foreign films and musicals. Seeing the film might be challenging though, due to its limited release.
In 1957 a fiery object from space crashes into a California mountaintop, bringing a great threat to the Earth. A murderous creature called the Ghota escapes planning to destroy life on the planet. A benevolent alien from the craft named Urp inhabits the body of Ted Lewis (Eric McCormack
), a local astronomer, and with the help of Tammy (Jenni Baird
), a waitress from the local diner, they are on a quest to save mankind.
A sci-fi comedy shot in the B-movie style of the 50s, "Alien Trespass" is director R.W. Goodwin's first foray into big screen directing. Goodwin is better known in television for producing, directing and writing episodes of the "X-Files
." SEE IT, RENT IT, SKIP IT?
- See it or rent it. As a limited release, you might not get the opportunity to catch this one in theaters. But if you do, it should be a fun movie to check out. Fans of cheesy sci-fi movies of the 50s will love the style and premise of this movie. That being said, if you have to wait and rent it, you could be doing the movie a favor. Much like B-movies of the 50s, "Alien Trespass" could become a cult classic once it's released on video. What films do you want to see this week? Let us know in the comments!
Story by Evan Crean
Starpulse contributing writer