by Kyle Shearin
As the year continues to trudge forward, it is becoming abundantly clear that no movie experience is complete until it is brought to us full third dimension glory. If the tremendous successes of “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland” are any indication of how much bank is to be made from this new trend, we are in for much more. But let’s face it, not every movie can or should be rendered in this newfangled fashion. Worry not, while these movies might not come with cool paper glasses, they still show promise that the 2-D format of filmmaking is still worth watching.
“Hot Tub Time Machine”
After a night of heavy drinking in a hot tub, four friends (John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke) inexplicably wake up in the year 1986. “Hot Tub Time Machine” premiered at Comic-Con last year and has slowly been building hype on the internet much like 2006’s ridiculously titled “Snakes on a Plane.” The absurd premise serves as a tribute to 80s classics such as “Weird Science” and “Teen Wolf” but is much raunchier as the film has garnered an ‘R’ rating. It’s nice to the see playfulness exhibited, but hopefully the movie’s title isn’t the only funny thing about the film.
Noah Baumbach’s new movie stars Ben Stiller as an aimless, jobless New Yorker who moves to Los Angeles to housesit for his more successful younger brother and reevaluate his own life. While there, he tries to reconnect with his former band-mate Ivan (Rhys Ifans) and becomes infatuated with his brother’s assistant, Florence (Greta Gerwig). It’s always great to see Ben Stiller act in serious roles, but newcomer Greta Gerwig might be the star that shines brightest on screen. A must if you’re a Baumbach fan, as this looks to be one for the nuanced and awkward loving crowd.
“Leaves of Grass”
“Leaves of Grass” stars Edward Norton, a repressed college professor who returns home to Oklahoma after finding out his estranged twin brother (also played by Norton) was murdered in a pot deal gone terribly wrong. After arriving home, Norton finds out that his brother isn’t actually dead, but just needs his help take down a local drug lord played by Richard Dreyfuss. One Edward Norton performance usually garners its own attention, but given the film was praised endlessly by Roger Ebert and the double Norton roles, it’s hard to have some interest.
“Clash of the Titans”
Inspired by Greek mythology, “Clash of the Titans” is a remake of the 1981 film of the same name. The movie follows Perseus (Sam Worthington), who was born a god but raised as a mortal, as he leads a group of men to fight evil demons, daunting beasts, and stop Hades (Ralph Fiennes) from taking over earth. Liam Neeson plays Zeus. The movie has been in development for the better part of the past decade, but finally settled with Louis Leterrier (“The Incredible Hulk”) as director. “Clash of the Titans” probably won’t use the memorable stop-motion animation that was featured in the original but will be given the 3-D treatment.
Having no superpowers, martial-arts training or extreme wealth, it’s nearly impossible to be a full-fledged superhero. But try telling that to teenager Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), who becomes a crime-fighting machine named “Kick-Ass” after being inspired by his comic book heroes. He soon becomes a sensation that creates a sub-culture of vigilante superheroes played by Nicholas Cage, Chloe Moretz and “Superbad’s” Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Given its high level of violence, vulgarity and refreshing take on the genre, “Kick-Ass” will definitely not be the typical comic-book movie
Iron Man 2
The summer of 2008 was a good year for comic book movies. With the release of “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk” and “The Dark Knight” all being crowd pleasers and box-office smashes, it was the boost the super-hero genre needed. And so billionaire Tony Stark (Robert Downy Jr.) is back as everybody’s favorite armored superhero Iron Man. Mickey Rourke plays the new Iron Man antagonist Whiplash, while Sam Rockwell will play a younger Justin Hammer, a rival for Stark. The first film enthralled critics and moviegoers alike with its special effects and refreshing take on the new franchise. Now, with the inclusion of fan favorite War Machine in action, Iron Man 2 is looking to replicate its first installment’s success.