Gerard Butler has become something of a journeyman actor, despite the fact that his good looks make him a heartthrob. While his big breakout role might have been with 300, the past few years he has become best known for his turns in romantic comedies. Now, he takes on the adaptation of a true story with Chasing Mavericks, the story of a young surfer named Jay (Jonny Weston, who was found through an extensive online casting search) who learns about gigantic waves just outside his home on the California coastline. Like many true stories, the movie becomes about the bonding between Jay and Frosty (Butler) just as much as it is about Jay’s search for giant waves and proving to himself he can do something he sets out to do. Despite the fact that the movie had some production problems (mainly, director Curtis Hanson had to drop out at the end of filming due to health problems, being replaced by Michael Apted) reviews are generally positive for the type of film it is, a feel good movie for all ages. As long as it’s not too predictable, it should be an entertaining time on the water.
Victoria Justice stars as a girl stuck babysitting her little brother on Halloween, until he gets lost amongst the trick or treaters, and the night becomes a hunt to find him before her mom finds out he’s missing. Fun Size is from Nickelodeon Studios, and although it was supposed to be made mostly for kids, it has received a PG-13 rating (which may be under appeal currently), which would prevent most of the intended audience from being able to see it. Still, in the vein of classic Halloween movies from the 80’s, it explores the holiday from a kid’s point of view, instead of focusing on the horror and scary aspects of the holiday, which is rare these days. This one will be in wide release, and I’m sure it will make some good money over the weekend before Halloween.
The Wachowski siblings are back with their good friend Tom Tykwer to tackle a time bouncing, alternate life sci-fi/fantasy epic starring Tom Hanks and Halle Barry, amongst a cast of great character actors. Based on the novel by David Mitchell, it looks like a massive undertaking, and the trailers make it out to be a complete visual feast. The Wachowskis are obviously known for their visual flair in filmmaking, and so is Tykwer, so I’m not concerned how it will look. I’m more concerned that it won’t end up making any sense, or being too many ideas crammed into too little time, but so far, reviews are generally positive, so I’m curious to see this one for myself.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
The first Silent Hill movie became a bit of a surprise hit when it grossed nearly $100 million in theaters. It was a difficult climb for the video game adaptation, as R-rated horror films have enough going against them, and being based on a beloved video game franchise, Silent Hill had all the ingredients to be a big failure. Instead, it did well, and now the inevitable sequel is hitting theaters, albeit with limited promotion and a seemingly smaller budget. The film was supposed to happen years ago, again to be written by Roger Avary, until he was sent to jail for killing a passenger while driving drunk. Eventually, the studio hired Michael J. Bassett to write and direct the sequel, with the excellent and creepy Deathwatch under his belt, the director was the perfect choice for the creepy intelligence of Silent Hill. Sean Bean, Malcolm McDowell, and Carrie Anne-Moss round out the cast of this 3D sequel, but the lack of promotion worries me that the studio doesn’t have much faith in it. I suppose we’ll see how the weekend treats it.
IN LIMITED RELEASE
This remake of Nicolas Winding-Refn‘s powerful 1996 film hits a few theaters in major cities this weekend. For those uninitiated by the original film, there may be something here beyond a watered down rehash of the original, but for those that have seen the original, they will probably be underwhelmed, like I was in my review.