Zack Snyder panders, Rainn Wilson acts normal, and another director remakes Mean Streets. Who gets your ticket money?
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens
Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) has called his latest CGI-riddled action fantasia "Alice in Wonderland with machine guns," which sounds about right, especially if he's referring to the retina-damaging, migraine-inducing Tim Burton adaptation of Alice from last year. Sucker Punch concerns a group of attractive young women (including Emily Browning, Jena Malone, and Vanessa Hudgens) attempting to escape a mental institution via an alternate reality made up of whatever their imaginations can conjure. In other words, there are no rules, which I think we can all agree is an ideal scenario for a director with the restraint and understated technique of Zack Snyder. I don't want to accuse Mr. Snyder of pandering or anything, but this assault on the senses appears to be specifically engineered to give the Ain't It Cool News crowd a sustained two-hour geek-gasm while the rest of us lament another nail in the coffin of coherent storytelling. Or maybe I'm overthinking this one. Girls in skintight leather blowing up Nazis, robots, and dragons! Woo-hoo!
Director: Barry Blaustein
Cast: Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Judy Greer, Rainn Wilson, Alicia Witt
Or maybe I'll just take cover in the nearest theater showing Barry Blaustein's indie ensemble comedy about a family gathering for their patriarch's seventieth birthday party and dealing with the publication of a tell-all book penned by the youngest sibling. It's hard to get my hopes up too high for a movie from the director of Guys ‘N Divas: Battle of the High School Musicals, but any cast that includes Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, and Judy Greer — not to mention Rainn Wilson acting almost like a real human being — is probably worth the price of admission, even if they aren't blowing up robots and dragons.
Director: John Gray
Cast: Karen Allen, Anthony Amorim, Zachary Booth
Movie fads may come and go, but it looks like Mean Streets knockoffs will always be with us. Writer/director John Gray, the creator of Ghost Whisperer, doesn't seem to have any interest in shaking up the familiar conventions and stereotypes associated with the genre, judging from the painfully blunt title and cliché-ridden trailer. Two brothers from the neighborhood, one hotheaded and one looking for a way out, get involved with a heist planned for the night of a big Rolling Stones concert in 1975 New York. Unoriginal doesn't necessarily mean unwatchable, and I'm always up for a well-made period crime movie, but all the talk of loyalty and family in the trailer suggests that White Irish Drinkers is just as generic as its title.
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