Last Tuesday I had the privilege of seeing Jason Reitman
's "Up in the Air
" and I have to say, it's a brilliant film. Much like he does in "Thank You for Smoking
," Reitman takes a character that has the potential to be very unlikable and makes him sympathetic to the audience.
Ryan Bingham (George Clooney
) is a man whose career involves laying people off around the country, which is a sensitive subject in America given the current economic state. Reitman exercises great care with Bingham, showing us that the man isn't coldhearted. Bingham inspires those he lays off to find new careers by telling them that losing a job could open the door to a happier more successful life in another occupation.
While it's not always the most upbeat film, "Up in the Air" compels the audience to feel real emotions. When Bingham's life is going great it's easy to feel happy for him, but when he's down you find yourself right there with him. My grade for "Up in the Air" is an A.
Disney returns to its time honored style of traditional 2-D animation this week with "The Frog and the Princess." Other films arriving in theaters comprise the historically based "Invictus," the supernatural thriller "The Lovely Bones," the emotional drama "A Single Man," and the comedy "The Slammin' Salmon."
Set in the New Orleans French Quarter during the Jazz Age, a young girl named Princess Tiana (Anika Noni Rose
) kisses a frog hoping she can turn him back into a human, but unfortunately the kiss turns her into a frog as well. The pair embarks on a journey to reverse the spell and become human again.
"The Frog and the Princess" reunites Disney creative minds Ron Clements and John Musker, the team behind classics like "Aladdin
" and "The Little Mermaid
." Clements and Musker direct this tale and receive assistance with the story from fellow Disney collaborators Greg Erb, Don Hall, Rob Edwards, and Jason Oremland.
WHO SHOULD SEE IT:
Children, who experienced the magic of Walt Disney animation from an early age, will be anxious to see the company return to its roots. If you're the type of person who prefers hand drawn animation to the frequently used computer generated fare, then this film is for you.
This film based on true events, follows the life of Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman
) after the fall of the apartheid in South Africa. Taking place during his first term as president, it shows his campaign to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup event in order to unite his countrymen.
Veteran filmmaker Clint Eastwood
directs this factually based movie set in the mid 1990s. Anthony Peckham, the scribe of the upcoming "Sherlock Holmes
" starring Robert Downey Jr.
, pens the screenplay for "Invictus." WHO SHOULD SEE IT:
Audiences that admire Clint Eastwood as a director should go see this drama, which has been billed as one of his best to date. If you're also a fan of Matt Damon, you will want to see him in the role of rugby star Francois Pienaar.
In this supernatural story, young Susie (Saoirse Ronan
) observes her family from the space between life and death, as they cope with the trauma of her brutal rape and murder.
Known best for the writing and direction he brought to the "Lord of the Rings" series, Peter Jackson
brings his creative influence to this movie. Jackson directs and writes this film based on a novel by Alice Sebold with the help of Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens. Joining Saoirse Ronan on screen are veteran actors Mark Wahlberg
, Rachel Weisz
, Susan Sarandon
, and Stanley Tucci
WHO SHOULD SEE IT:
Viewers that appreciate Peter Jackson's visual flair and ability to make a very pretty movie are the ones that should see "The Lovely Bones." If you're interested in seeing Jackson deviate from the epic storylines he has cultivated recently then you should check this one out.
An English professor in Los Angeles (Colin Firth
) mourns the recent passing of his partner, as he tries to go about a normal day in his life.
Fashion guru Tom Ford blazes a trail into the world of cinema directing and writing his first feature length film. Collaborating with David Scearce on the screenplay, Ford adapted the story from a novel by Christopher Isherwood.
WHO SHOULD SEE IT:
Fans of the actor Colin Firth will want to see him, in a role that has been heralded as one of his finest. If you're looking for a serious drama that explores themes of death and loss, then you probably want to see "A Single Man."
Cleon Salmon (Michael Clarke Duncan
), a former boxer turned restaurant owner, finds himself in over his head with debt to a Yakuza gang. He contrives a devious plan to repay his dues to the mobsters: for one night, the waiter who sells the most food wins $10,000, while the loser receives a few well placed punches from Cleon himself.
Broken Lizard, the team behind oddball comedies like "Super Troopers
" and "Beerfest
" is responsible for this restaurant themed flick. Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, and Jay Chandrasekhar of Broken Lizard penned the screenplay. Heffernan, who played Rod Farva in "Super Troopers," directs "The Slammin' Salmon."
WHO SHOULD SEE IT:
If you laughed at the zany humor of "Super Troopers" and "Beerfest," then you should see this movie. Anyone who likes crude humor should look no further than this comedy.
Story by Starpulse contributing writer Evan Crean
, a movie trivia guru and trailer addict with a practically photographic memory of actors and directors. Get a first look at the movies premiering each week, which which ones will be worth your $10, which ones you should wait to rent and which ones aren't worth your time.