1. Jack And Jill (Sony/Columbia, 3,438 Theaters, 91 Minutes, Rated PG): Like him or not, Adam Sandler usually doesn’t do the expected plot in his movies. Whether it be a grown man having to go through 12 grades of school to earn an inhertance, being a 1980’s wedding singer jilted at the alter, or being a man who receives a magic remote control that allows him to control his life, Sandler usually strays from the sterotypical comedy plot.
That’s what makes this one so disappointing, because Sandler is employing hackneyed and old comedy concepts–dressing in drag, twins, family who hate each other–and combining it into a wafer-thin plot.
Sandler plays Jack and Jill, a medically impossible pair of identical twins, who come together each Thanksgiving to give each other grief.
2. Immortals (Relativity, 3,112 Theaters, 110 Minutes, Rated R): I feel the tagline for this movie should be “Did you like Clash of the Titans? Then you’ll like this film! Thought Clash of the Titans would be better if it was more like 300? Then this film is for you! Didn’t like Clash of the Titans at all? Then this film is for you too!”
The plot is taken from the same Greek myths that Clash of the Titans was–Theseus must face off against the mad Titans to save all of humanity–but now with more slow motion, stop-and-go swordplay to keep your attention.
If anything, this will be your opportunity to see the new Superman, Henry Cavill, in action. He plays Theseus
3. J. Edgar (Warner Brothers, 1,910 Theaters, 137 Minutes, Rated R): This film opened on Wednesday, but it is getting a wider release today, so we’ll cover it here because it’s pedigree pretty much forces us to, and because it is essentially the film that kicks of the annual Oscar season.
This film has Oscar contender written all over it. It is directed by Clint Eastwood (2 Oscars for directing), stars Leonardo DiCaprio (3 time Oscar nominee) and is written by Dustin Lance Black (who won an Oscar for his script for Milk). And it’s a bio pic about a controversial, yet widely known public figure.
Normally, you would just had the statuettes over when a film has this much going for it. However, this is a bit early for a Oscar contender to be released, even with all the things this film has going for it. That gives me a little cause for concern.
Since J. Edgar has a great chance to do well at the forthcoming Oscars, I felt its about time to start this yearly feature of the new releases posts.
The most interesting thing to see about J. Edgar is if Leonardo DiCaprio will get a nomination, if not win, an Oscar. He is at the point of his career that he has done worthy work in the past (some that he wasn’t even nominated for, like The Departed) but his lack of accolades from the Academy is begining to take on the appearance of their being a bias against him. This role, where he ages 50 years on screen as a larger-than-life real person, should get him over the Oscar hump if he does it well. If he succeeds in the role and doesn’t even get nominated, then you’ll know someone at the Academy hates him.
In other Oscar contenders opening in limited release, Warner Herzog’s documentary look at the death penalty, Into the Abyss, opens in 12 theaters. On paper, this should be in the running for the Best Documentary prize, but that category never goes as expected.
Opening in New York and Los Angeles is Melancholia, the latest from Lars von Trier. von Trier has been a controversial figure in film, both for what he puts on the screen and what he says off it. But Kirsten Dunst supposedly gives an Oscar caliber performance in the lead role, and could be honored come nomination time.