New Releases: August 14

Bandslam Poster1. Bandslam (Summit Entertainment, 2,121 Theaters, 111 Minutes, Rated PG): Good lord, there’s a lot of movies coming out this week. Hey, Hollywood, there is still a lot of weeks left in summer! Spread things out a little!

I’m going to go through these quicker than usual. So try and stay with me.

I only know two things about this film. One, it stars teenybopper star Vanessa Hudgens, a woman who can’t seem to stop taking cell phone pictures of herself naked. Attention: young Hollywood! Cell phones can be hacked! So if you take pictures of yourself nekkid to send to whoever, don’t go crying when they appear all over the Internet.

Second, there is a god-awful cover of Bread’s “Everything I own” in the film. This song is so solid that artists as diverse as Boy George and N’Sync can do pretty good cover versions of it. It is hard to screw this one up, but they did in this movie. Which bodes ill for it because this film is about a group of kids from different classes who form a band that wins a local battle of the bands contest.

If that isn’t enough to make you avoid this film, Hudgens’ character’s name is Sa5m. Yes, because she is a quirky free spirit or something. Couldn’t be more pretentious if they tried.

District9Poster2. District 9 (Tri-Star, 3,049 Theaters, 112 Minutes, Rated R): If there is a record for number of films a movie is compared to, then this one would hold it. Lets see. It’s been compared to Alien Nation, Independence Day, Iron Man, and Transformers. And that’s just from the trailer alone. Whether or not it actually resembles any of those films is something we are going to find out.

The promotional blitz for this has been going on for well over a year. Posters for it were all over last year’s San Diego Comic Con. So this one has been in the works for a while.

The film deals with aliens who have come to Earth as refugees and the problems they cause by being here. The cast is filled with unknowns, so there is really nothing to draw people in except that plot. Will it be strong enough to make a dent at the box office? I guess we’ll see this week.

GoodsPoster3. The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (Paramount Vantage, 1,838 Theaters, 90 Minutes, Rated R): Ah, used car dealerships. When will they ever be anything less than a wellspring of comedy?

This film has the appearance of being a cross between Used Cars and Dodgeball. A down on their luck car lot must make a lot of money over the July 4th weekend or else be bought out by a bigger, slicker dealership.

The film has a pretty intriguing cast. Any film that has Alan Thicke, Ving Rhames, Charles Napier and James Brolin in it is worth seeing for curiosity value alone. And finally Jeremy Piven has found a vehicle to channel his Ari Gold-ness into a lead film role. Good going Jeremy. Take it easy on the sushi, okay?

PonyoPoster4. Ponyo (Disney, 927 Theaters, 100 Minutes, Rated G): There is something so right about the partnership between Hayao Miyazaki and Disney. Both are legends in the field of celanimation and bothfill their movies with awe and wonder. Of course, Miyazakiis a bit more esoteric with his plots, but still. It’s a marriage made in Heaven.

This film revolves around a five year old boy who enters into a friendship with goldfish princess who longs to be human.

If that plot seems a bit out there, well, you’re probably right. However, when it comes to Miyazaki, it is pretty normal.

If you can only see one movie this week, take a chance on this one. I haven’t seen every Miyazaki film, but the ones I’ve seen were truly special and magical.

TimeTravelersWifePoster5. The Time Traveler’s Wife (New Line, 2,988 Theaters, 107 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Funny story. I bought the novel this film was based on the week it came out. I figured, I like time travel, why not take a chance. Right after I bought it, right after I left the store, I loaned it to a friend of mine. I still have yet to get it back.

The ads for this film compelled me to call this friend to playfully hassle her as to where the book was at all this time and give her a hard time for keeping it so long. Her response was, “You should thank me. I saved you from having to read it!” Take that as an indication as to what to expect from this film.

One thing that bothers me about this film. Eric Bana is 41, Rachel McAdamsis 30. Now, in romantic movies, that kind of age difference is fairly common when it comes to men in relationship to women (and reversed in Sandra Bullock’s case). However, withthe whole time travel angle, the disparity in ages takes one an extra level of creepiness. Add to that the scene where Bana’s character visits McAdams’ character as a child and I just want to crawl out of my skin. Yuck!

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About William Gatevackes 1928 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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