Goin' to the Movies

Informin' You About Movies

Films To See, Those You Might Have Missed In 2009

'The Hurt Locker' headlines the must-see films you might have missed in '09

December is well upon us, and a few major films that have not released but there are many more you might have missed that are either generating a ton of awards buzz as a film or have must-see performances. Below is a list of a few of those key films and when to expect some to hit DVD, theaters, or those already there. Continue reading

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December 14, 2009 Posted by | Hittin' Homes, Hittin' Theaters, Interestin' News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hittin’ Theaters: Something For Everyone!

Some of yall might have had your heads in the sand for the past few months, but this weekend will be a great time for movies. I will first say that tonight I will be watching “Paranormal Activity” (92%, 26 reviews)  and I am very excited. Second, the movie list this weekend goes beyond just new films. In case you haven’t heard, Toy Story 1 & 2 will be hitting theaters again, but this time digitally remastered and in 3-D!

Some of yall might scoff at 3-D and its supposed gimmick, but of the few 3-D films I have experienced, I had an enjoyable time and they weren’t built with the “gimmick” in mind but instead utilized it effectively. Additionally, I have no qualms about seeing both Toy Story films again, and especially remastered and utilizing post-release 3-D effects. According to Box Office Mojo, the double-feature will hit about 1,600 screens beginning tomorrow. The total time cost of that double-feature is 2 hours, 49 minutes, but they will be glorious. Just make sure you take the time for your eyes to readjust before hitting the highway!

Of the new films that hit theaters this weekend, there are four highlights. For your convenience, the movie titles double as links to find theaters and show-times in your area playing that movie.

First off is the Zombie killing horror-comedy (horredy? comror?) “Zombieland” starring Woody Harrelson that looks fantastic and has been getting very positive reviews (91%, 44 reviews). It’s going to be violent, and it rightfully has an R-rating while it clocks in at 1 hour, 21 minutes.

Next is “Whip It!”, which I had previously covered. The comedy stars hot-commodity Ellen Page and is Drew Barrymore’s first directorial gig. The story revolves around the out-of-place Page who is trying to figure out where she belongs when she is introduced to roller derby and falls head over skates for it. The film has been getting positive reviews (78%, 46 reviews) and clocks in at 1 hour, 51 minutes with a PG-13 rating.

Third on the list is the Ricky Gervais (The Office, Extras) comedy “The Invention of Lying”. The premise is that of a world where lying simply doesn’t exist, and everyone seems to rudely speak the truth. That is, until Gervais’s character starts telling lies and everyone believes it is the truth. Interesting premise that many critics feel is elevated by the great comedic cast of Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Rob Lowe, Luis C.K. and Tina Fey. So far it sits at 59% with 46 reviews, carries a PG-13 rating and runs 1 hour, 40 minutes.

Finally, we have the new Coen Brothers film, “A Serious Man”. The plot, as with most Coen Brothers films, is hard to peg down based on the clips I have seen, so I’ll use IMDb’s description instead:

A black comedy set in 1967 and centered on Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern professor who watches his life unravel when his wife prepares to leave him because his inept brother won’t move out of the house.

So far, the film has a 83% rating out of 29 reviews, carries an R rating (which Coen Brothers film hasn’t?) and runs 1 hour, 45 minutes. Unfortunately, this film will only be a limited release for the time being, hitting 6 theaters nationwide tomorrow. They will gradually expand the release, so keep an eye out.

Clearly, if you are looking for laughs, this weekend has you covered in almost every way imaginable.

Hit the jump for the limited release list and expansions. Continue reading

October 1, 2009 Posted by | Hittin' Theaters | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hittin’ Theaters: ‘Paranormal Activity’

'Paranormal Activity' has given audiences sleepless nights

Ten years ago, “The Blair Witch Project” scored big with critics and audiences. The film holds an impressive 85% fresh rating with over 120 reviews while going on to gross nearly $250 million worldwide in the box office alone. Considering Blair Witch used a minuscule budget, reportedly $60 thousand dollars, the box office gross alone made for one the most profitable films in history.

Flash forward to the present, and we have had a flurry of “found footage” films with the similar shaky-cam experience. Some films use a larger budget while others remain simple and inexpensive but seemingly more effective. “Paranormal Activity” is the latter, filmed for $15,000 over a week span, which has spooked test audiences and the festival circuit since 2007. In particular, the film gained recognition when it affected Steven Spielberg, who reportedly gave the test DVD back to Universal in a garbage bag.

Paranormal has a 90% fresh rating, but only has 10 reviews at this time. Tonight, at midnight, in 13 different college towns across the U.S., the film will screen and will continue playing in those same college towns for the next days. Click here to see if it is playing near you.  Additionally, the film is finally getting an expanded release some time next month and Paramount has decided to roll out a new campaign for potential audiences to “Demand It!” in their locale of choice.

By visiting the eventful site here and “demanding” the film in your area, Paramount will work with local theaters to get the film played in high demand locales. Using this method will help Paranormal roll out in areas where a large audience exists that is clamoring for the film. Pretty unique concept for a film and there is great potential for smaller films to use this method to better gauge target audiences.

I will refrain from hyping the film too much, but let it be said that everyone I follow at various movie news and horror sites have given reviews that range from positive to gushing. That alone is enough for me to give the film a shot and see how I feel.

There are two trailers, but I won’t link them because I question their ability to sell the film. If you need a briefing on what the film is about, here:

A woman (Katie) feels that a spirit haunts her in her sleep because she hears noises and whispers late at night. So, her boyfriend (Micah) sets up audio recording equipment as well as a stand for a hand-held camera  in the house in the attempt to uncover if anything is in fact haunting her. What unfolds for the audience is the footage of the increasingly twisted sleepless nights the couple has.

Is it a gimmick film? Perhaps. However, if the means to the ends actually works well enough to effectively frighten you, who cares?

September 24, 2009 Posted by | Hittin' Theaters | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Interestin’ News: ‘Trick ‘r Treat’ Hits Various Screens

trick_r_treat[1]Last week I posted a piece about the soon-to-hit-DVD film “Trick ‘r Treat” and how it was a shame it would only see a very limited engagement in theaters (it has been in distribution hell since 2007). I also posted that any news I received, I would pass on.

So, here is some great news for those that live in the Los Angeles, California area: you lucky dogs will be able to see the film on October 4th and 5th at the New Beverly Cinema presented by Shock ‘Till You Drop. While that is only a day or two (depending on which day you see it)  before the film hits store shelves, they have an extra surprise: it will be part of a double feature with George A. Romero’s “Creepshow” on both days.

Additionally, CineFamily presents “TrT” on Oct. 2, 8 p.m. at The Silent Movie Theater in LA. Keepin’ the California theme going is the Long Beach Comic Con, running from Oct. 2-4, and will premiere “TrT” on Oct. 3 from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

For those familiar with the awesome Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX, you might know that “TrT” will screen there on Sept. 25 at 9:45 p.m.

Finally, the film will screen overseas at the Sainte Maxime Film Festival in France that runs from Oct. 24 until Nov. 4.

For the uninitiated, after the jump is the trailer for this highly anticipated film that hits DVD, Blu-ray, a few on-demand services and digital download on Oct. 6. Continue reading

September 21, 2009 Posted by | Hittin' Theaters, Interestin' News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment