Vol. LXIV, No. 3
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Squeakquel (PG for mild rude humor). Animated sequel reunites the singing siblings Alvin (Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler), and Theodore (Jesse McCartney) for another round of hijinks during which they find themselves facing the pressures of school, celebrity, and competition from a female group called The Chipettes. With voiceover work by Amy Poehler, Anna Faris, and Christina Applegate.
Avatar (PG-13 for sensuality, profanity, smoking, and intense epic battle sequences). James Cameron’s long-awaited science fiction thriller, revolving around a paraplegic ex-Marine (Sam Worthington) torn between loyalty to the corporate employer which sent him to extract rare minerals from a remote planet and his concern for the welfare of the locals, especially the attractive humanoid (Zoe Saldana) who turns his head. Cast includes Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Laz Alonso, CCH Pounder, and Giovanni Ribisi.
The Blind Side (PG-13 for sexual references, drug use, and brief violence). Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw co-star in this true story about a wealthy white couple who adopt a homeless black teenager (Quinton Aaron) and help him pursue his dream of playing football in college and professionally.
The Book of Eli (R for profanity and graphic violence). Denzel Washington stars in the title role of this post-apocalyptic adventure about a peaceful warrior forced to fight his way across a vast violent lawless wasteland which was once America in order to protect the sacred book that holds the key to saving humanity. Cast includes Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Beals, and Tom Waits.
Broken Embraces (R for profanity, sexuality, and drug use). Magical drama dealing with themes of love and betrayal, and revolving around a grieving writer (Lluis Homar) left blind by the car accident which claimed the life of his lover (Penelope Cruz). With Blanca Portillo, Jose Luis Gomez, and Tamar Novas. In Spanish and English with subtitles.
Crazy Heart (R for profanity and brief sexuality). Jeff Bridges stars in this adaptation of Thomas Cobb’s bittersweet best seller about a washed-up womanizing alcoholic country crooner in search of salvation who gets a little help on the road to redemption from a supportive, investigative journalist (Maggie Gyllenhaal) with a heart of gold.
Daybreakers (R for profanity, graphic violence, and brief nudity). Science-fiction thriller, set in 2019, revolving around a research scientist’s (Ethan Hawke) attempt to save humanity from extinction after a plague turns 95 percent of the people on the planet into bloodthirsty vampires. With Sam Neill, Isabel Lucas, and Willem Dafoe.
Extraordinary Measures (PG for mature themes, suggestive material, and mild epithets). Screen adaptation of Pulitzer Prize winner Geeta Anand’s novel about a couple (Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell) who start a foundation to find a cure for the rare genetic disorder threatening the lives of two of their children (Meredith Droeger and Diego Velasquez). With Harrison Ford, Alan Ruck, Dee Wallace and Courtney B. Vance.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (PG-13 for profanity, violent images, smoking, and some sensuality). Christopher Plummer plays the title character in this fairy tale about a traveling theater troupe offering audiences an opportunity to pass through a magical mirror into an enchanting parallel universe. Directed by Terry Gilliam and featuring Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, Verne Troyer, Tom Waits, and the farewell performance of the late Heath Ledger.
Invictus (PG-13 for brief profanity). Clint Eastwood directs this uplifting saga based on John Carlin’s best seller recounting recently elected South African President Nelson Mandela’s (Morgan Freeman) attempt to unite his apartheid divided nation during the national rugby team’s run to the 1995 World Cup Championship. Co-starring Matt Damon and Scott Eastwood.
It’s Complicated (R for drug use and sexuality). Midlife crisis sitcom about a divorced restaurateur (Meryl Streep) who embarks on an ill-advised affair with her remarried ex-husband (Alec Baldwin) after sparks start to fly again at their son’s (Hunter Parrish) college graduation. With Steve Martin, Lake Bell, Mary Kay Place, Rita Wilson, and Zoe Kazan.
Leap Year (PG for sensuality and mild epithets). Romantic comedy revolving around a scheming young woman (Amy Adams) who plans a trip with her boyfriend (Adam Scott) to Dublin where, in accordance with Irish tradition, a man must accept a woman’s marriage proposal on February 29th. With Matthew Goode, John Lithgow, and Noel O’Donovan.
Legion (R for profanity and graphic violence). Horror film about the intrepid band of truck-stop diners rallying around a fallen Archangel (Paul Bettany) to protect a pregnant waitress (Adrianne Malicki) carrying the Christ child from a vengeful God who’s intent on eradicating the human race he’s lost faith in. Cast includes Dennis Quaid, Tyrese, Charles S. Dutton, and Lucas Black.
The Lovely Bones (PG-13 for profanity, mature themes, violence, and disturbing images). Peter Jackson directs this adaptation of Alice Sebold’s novel about a 14-year-old (Saoirse Ronan) who observes her grieving family from Heaven after she’s raped, murdered, and dismembered by the serial killer (Stanley Tucci) living next-door. Cast includes Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, and Susan Sarandon.
Sherlock Holmes (PG-13 for intense violence, startling images, and one suggestive scene). Latest incarnation of the legendary sleuth created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle features Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role, accompanied by Jude Law as the loyal Dr. Watson. Crime thriller pits the pair in a battle of wits with a diabolical Satanist (Mark Strong) who has risen from the dead to resume a gruesome killing spree.
The Spy Next Door (PG for mild violence and crude humor). Action comedy about a retired CIA Agent (Jackie Chan) who finds himself matching wits with his Russian archenemy (Magnus Scheving) after one of his girlfriend’s (Amber Valletta) children inadvertently downloads a top secret formula. Cast includes George Lopez, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Lucas Till.
The Tooth Fairy (PG for mild epithets, crude humor, and sports action). The Rock stars in the title role of this family comedy about a hockey player famous for knocking out opponents’ teeth who gets a big lesson about what’s really important in life after being sentenced to a week of hard labor as the Tooth Fairy. Cast includes Abigail Breslin, Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews, and Billy Crystal.
Up in the Air (R for profanity and sexuality). Jason Reitman directs this screen adaptation of Walter Kirn’s best seller about a hatchet man (George Clooney) who works for a downsizing corporation who suddenly finds himself grounded just when he’s on the brink of accumulating ten million frequent flyer miles and right after he’s fallen in love with a like-minded traveler (Vera Farmiga). With Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, Sam Elliott, Danny McBride, and Zach Galifianakis.
The Young Victoria (PG for mild sensuality, smoking, brief violence, and mild epithets). Historical costume drama chronicling the early years in the reign of Queen Victoria (Emily Blunt) and her enduring love for Prince Albert (Rupert Friend). Cast includes Miranda Richardson, Paul Bettany, and Jim Broadbent. In English and German with subtitles.
Youth in Revolt (R for sexuality, profanity, and drug use). Sitcom about an 18-year-old’s (Michael Cera) quest to lose his virginity in the wake of his trailer trash parents’ (Steve Buscemi and Jean Smart) separation. With Portia Doubleday as the object of his affection, and a supporting cast including Zach Galifianakis, Justin Long, Fred Willard, and Ray Liotta.
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