Before we get to movies in theaters today, we have an interesting new casting announcement. It’s rare that I love a big shoot ‘em up action franchise (and no, I don’t consider werewolves in a league with trained assassins) but there is one in particular – The Bourne Series – that I follow avidly. Never paid attention to the X-Men, or any Spider Men, or even most of the Bat Men – just not so into the superhero genre. But Matt Damon and Bourne? That’s something altogether different. So here’s the deal: the fourth installment is ready to go but in it, we don’t focus on Damon’s Jason Bourne – rather, this one’s all about another highly-trained killer (who may or may not know who he is, and why there’s a beautiful woman in his bed, and who the guys chasing him across European rooftops are). Point is, the filmmakers have gone out of their way to add this other character to the series. And what Big Star did they cast? Well, let’s just say they had their pick of the hot young muscular litter. Turns out they went with The Hurt Locker’s Jeremy Renner (who has two Oscar nominations under his belt – not bad for someone we’d never heard of three years ago.) Plus, he was great in HL and then continued to blow people away in The Town (he was pretty mesmerizing – if you haven’t seen it, try the gritty thriller with Ben Affleck and Jon Hamm –it’s worth it). So bravo to Jeremy Renner for becoming the latest piece in the Bourne puzzle. That’ll be out next summer, by the way.
Now, to today’s movies. There are four big ones out. The latest in Tyler Perry’s ultra-successful Medea family franchise, one about Product Placement, one about big cats of Africa, and one with Rob Pattinson and an elephant (the tickets for which have been prominently displayed on my kitchen counter for a week).
Let’s start with Water For Elephants. This is based on the runaway bestseller about a young man (played here by Pattinson) orphaned during the Depression who then predictably gets involved with the circus. There, he meets a lady (Reese Witherspoon) and we can guess what happens there, but he must also contend with the woman’s “sadistic” husband (the genius Christoph Walz) and we can pretty much guess what happens there too. I have been excited about this movie for months and it looks tremendous and even though it may not be a blockbuster, I am 485% certain that it will be at least 300% better than Pattinson’s last outing which was called Remember Me. In fact, word of mouth here is excellent and that’s not just the Twihard in me speaking.
Tyler Perry’s latest, Madea’s Big Happy Family stars Perry himself alongside Loretta Devine (who doesn’t do too much wrong onscreen) and Bow Wow. Here Madea must get her very busy grandchildren’s attention so that they can behave like a real family in the face of a health crisis. Moving on, Morgan Spurlock wowed everyone (except McDonalds) with his movie Super Size Me and now he’s back with another film called The Greatest Movie Ever Sold which is all about product placement; evidently the whole documentary was bought and paid for by advertisers – so it should be very, very cool. I’ll definitely check that one out.
Finally, we have a new Disney doc called African Cats – all about said felines and the ways in which they treat and raise their young. This looks very powerful indeed and it’s getting a lot of buzz – so that’s definitely something for the whole family. Nor can the trailers for this be beat.
That’s what’s playing…have a great weekend. As always, let us know what you saw and what you thought.
1) African Cats
2) The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
3) Madea’s Big Happy Family
4) Water For Elephants