I don’t know if it’s the fact that the Sundance Film Festival is underway locally or if it’s just because January movies are typically bad, but most movies that open during the two weekends of Sundance aren’t screened for press. Unfortunately, the one that was shown for press this week feels like it shouldn’t have been.
George Lucas and his Lucasfilm company have put out ‘Red Tails‘, and action-ish melodrama about the black fighter pilots, known as the Tuskegee Airmen, who made history during World War II. The marketing for ‘Red Tails’ has been all over the place, making it look like an action flick, a comedy and a drama. It’s really more like ‘Star Wars’ than a WWII flick. Basically, it’s an X-Wing versus Tie Fighter movie. I wish that I could have screened the next two big new releases instead of ‘Red Tails’.
Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Haywire‘ is the movie I really want to see. This revenge flick stars beautiful MMA fighter Gina Carano (or Crush, if you watched her on the ‘American Gladiators’ relaunch) as an ex-black ops soldier who takes down a group of corrupt men that double-crossed her. The fantastic supporting cast includes Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Michael Fassbender. If any of you Bonus View readers see ‘Haywire’, please let us know your thoughts.
After disappearing for the third installment, Kate Beckinsale is back as the leather-clad vampire Selene in ‘Underworld: Awakening‘. Her husband Len Wiseman, however, is only returning as a credited screenwriter. (He must be too busy with the ‘Total Recall’ remake.) Scott Speedman is also sitting this one out. In round four, humans find out about the existence of vampires and werewolves, and Selene has to lead an army to fight back against the humans that want to destroy them all. Who knows how the movie itself is, but it’ll be nice to see Beckinsale donning her vampire garb again.
After several Golden Globe wins, ‘The Artist‘ expands 662 screens, so check your local listing to see if it’s playing near you yet. Also expanding wide is ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close‘, another must-see title from 2011.
Several indie flicks begin limited theatrical runs this weekend. Ralph Fiennes’ modern adaptation of William Shakespeare’s ‘Coriolanus‘ is finally available to some audiences, as is Christian Bale’s Chinese film ‘Flowers of War‘. Another Chinese film, ‘The Viral Factor‘, opens in limited release. A new Japanese anime chapter of the ‘Fullmetal Alchemist‘ series hit the big screen this week too, sub-titled ‘The Sacred Star of Milos’.