Summer of Same

May 2009

by Bill Gibron

26 April 2009

 

Up

 


cover art

Up

Director: Pete Docter & Bob Peterson
Cast: Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, John Ratzenberger, Jordan Nagai

(Pixar)
US theatrical: 29 May 2009 (General release)
2009

Review [29.May.2009]
29 May


Up

Is this the one? Is this the Pixar film which finally provides a chink in the otherwise flawless armor of the Northern California hit factory. Granted, every time the minds behind Toy Story and Cars are questioned about their latest endeavor (A mouse that wants to be a chef? A lonely robot on a desolate destroyed Earth?), they usually end up proving the doubters wrong. This time around, a retired balloon salesman decides to go on one last adventure, and inadvertently takes a rotund Boy Scout along for the ride. Aside from a recent successful screening for Harry Knowles and his pals at Ain’t It Cool News, not much else is known about this movie. Even the trailer does the typical Pixar bait and switch. Still, one can’t help but wonder if CG champions can continue on this winning streak forever. Up may be just another animated masterpiece. Or it could be Pixar’s folly—finally.



cover art

Drag Me to Hell

Director: Sam Raimi
Cast: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, David Paymer

(Universal Pictures)
US theatrical: 29 May 2009 (General release)
2009

Review [29.Oct.2009]
Review [29.May.2009]
29 May


Drag Me to Hell

Pro: Sam Raimi, Mr. Evil Dead himself, is back doing what he does best: out and out old school horror. Con: the film is supposedly shooting for a PG-13 rating. Pro: those who have already seen it swear it is a new creepshow classic. Con: it’s PG-13. Look, let’s face it. When someone like Raimi returns to his roots to deliver a demonic tale of witchcraft, curses, and a literal journey into the bowels of the underworld, we don’t want it defanged. Yet thanks to certain studio mandates about marketing and macabre success, we are stuck dealing with material suitable for pubescent teens. Joy. Still, if anyone can pull it off, it’s the man behind one of the definitive terror triptychs (and successful comic book franchises) or all time.



cover art

Departures

Director: Yōjirō Takita
Cast: Masahiro Motoki, Ryoko Hirosue, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kimiko Yo, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Takashi Sasano

(Regent Releasing)
Very limited release: 29 May 2009
2008

Review [11.Jan.2010]
29 May


Departures

Everyone thought Waltz with Bashir was a shoe-in to win the 2009 Foreign Language Film Oscar when this little known Japanese effort about a cellist turned mortician walked away with the prize. Since then, American audiences outside the main metropolitan areas have wondered if the Academy was thinking straight when they made this decision. With a gradual roll out across the country, we will soon have our answer. Here’s guessing it will be good, if not great.


Topics: adoration | alison lohman | amanda peet | amy adams | amy sedaris | anton yelchin | armin mueller-stahl | arsinée khanjian | ayelet zurer | bård owe | ben barnes | ben cross | ben stiller | bill murray | breckin meyer | brian cox | bruce greenwood | bryce dallas howard | carlos cuarón | chris elliott | chris pine | christian bale | christopher guest | christopher plummer | cisco reyes | colin firth | common | damon wayans | dance flick | danny huston | darius mccrary | david alan grier | david paymer | dennis quaid | departures | devon bostick | diego luna | dolores heredia | donald faison | drag me to hell | easy virtue | edward asner | emma stone | eric bana | espen skjønberg | evan rachel wood | ewan mcgregor | fred ward | gael garcía bernal | ghita nørby | ghosts of girlfriends past | guillermo francella | hank azaria | helena bonham carter | hiam abbass | hugh jackman | isaach de bankolé | james garner | jane alexander | jennifer aniston | jennifer garner | jessica biel | jessica mas | john cho | john ratzenberger | jr. | justin long | karl urban | kazuko yoshiyuki | kristin scott thomas | lacey chabert | liev schreiber | management | matthew mcconaughey | mike epps | moon bloodgood | mos def | next day air | night at the museum: battle of the smithsonian | o'horten | owen wilson | paz de la huerta | pierfrancesco favino | rachel blanchard | robert forster | rudo y cursi | ryan reynolds | sam worthington | sasha grey | scott speedman | simon pegg | star trek | stellan skarsgård | steve zahn | summer movies | terminator salvation | the girlfriend experience | the limits of control | tilda swinton | tom hanks | tsutomu yamazaki | up | will.i.am | winona ryder | wood harris | woody harrelson | x-men origins: wolverine | yasmin deliz | zachary quinto | zoe saldana
//comments
//related
//Blogs

'Wanted' Is a Spaghetti Western That Will Leave You Wanting

// Short Ends and Leader

"The charisma of Giuliano Gemma and some stellar action sequences can't save this sub-par spaghetti western.

READ the article