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Dec 14, 2007

TGITDNMAR (12/14/07)

It's that time again for TGITDNMAR, which (obviously) stands for Thank God It's The Day New Movies Are Released.

It's mid-December...where is all the Oscar buzz? Where is the mad rush of SERIOUS DRAMAS that comes every year at this time? I mean, I know There Will Be Blood is still coming, and The Kite Runner is amongst this week's releases. The Hanks-Roberts-Hoffman flick Charlie Wilson's War comes to us next week, but that's really about it. I suppose this is why they're re-releasing The Hunting Party to theaters this week - in a year so devoid of serious Oscar contenders, even a little-seen Richard Gere-Terence Howard movie that no one really cared about has a chance.

To say nothing of my favorites, at this point, I'm forecasting the Best Picture nominees to be: No Country for Old Men, Michael Clayton, Ratatouille, and American Gangster, with either Atonement, There Will Be Blood or Into the Wild possibly being the wild card fifth entry. Who are your predictions (again, not favorites)?

I Am Legend
The title just screams "mock me," doesn't it? Will Smith stars as Tom Hanks, with a German Shepherd filling the role of Wilson the volleyball in this remake of Cast Aw-- wait a sec, that ain't right. It only appears to be that way for the first half of the movie; the second half will be filled with humanoid, virus-infected zombie people (or something). Truth is, there probably aren't a ton of cross-appeal stars that you could/would watch act by themselves for an hour, but Will Smith is one of them. Throw in the muscle and the comedy chops, and you've got yourself Tom Hanks crossed with Bruce Willis. No wonder he's a star.
Fletch's Chance of Viewing (in the theater): 92%

The Kite Runner
Marc Forster is getting to be quite the big name director. Here, the helmer of Monster's Ball, Finding Neverland and Stranger Than Fiction takes on a best-selling, beloved novel about a pair of star-crossed best friends. Looks weepy, political and topical all at once. I see this being one of those movies that is loved by all who see it, but nobody really cares enough about it to go see it in the first place. Count me in there, too.
Fletch's Chance of Viewing: 37%

Alvin and the Chipmunks
Yes, I watched (and loved) this as a kid. Saturday mornings just weren't the same without Alvin and the Smurfs. That said, they let the guy that directed Garfield 2 take on this one! (Disclaimer: I have not seen either Garfield movie, nor do I plan on doing so any time soon. Shoot me for blasting it.) Jason Lee takes on the role of Dale (Breckin Meyer wasn't available?!?!), with actually a few good names in comedy filling out some of the other parts: David Cross, Justin Long, and Jane Lynch. There's potential here, I suppose...but I'll still wait until it hits HBO to find out for myself.
Fletch's Chance of Viewing: 11%

Speaking of comedy pedigrees, two of Cross' Arrested Development co-stars are featured in the wildly anticipated Juno, in the form of Jason Bateman and Michael Cera. Hard Candy standout Ellen Page stars as the titular Juno in Jason Reitman's follow-up to the excellent Thank You for Smoking. If that weren't enough, spectacular character actor J.K. Simmons, also in Smoking, joins the gang as Juno's dad. The only downside? Jennifer Garner's on board. Boo.
Fletch's Chance of Viewing: 95%

The Perfect Holiday
Raise your hand if you've seen so much as a commercial or poster for this, not to mention a trailer. I'm guessing not too many hands are raised. Either this isn't being advertised at all, or it's only being so on BET. Weird, considering some of the names involved (Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut, Charlie Murphy, Kat Williams and Queen Latifiah). Tells me it's a stinker...
Fletch's Chance of Viewing: 1%

11 people have chosen wisely: on "TGITDNMAR (12/14/07)"

Mrs Fletch said...

Please up the percentage for your chances of viewing Kite Runner - I'd like to see it. :)

Nick said...

Hey! I saw I Am Legend today. I really REALLY liked it. You can check my review out over at boomstickreviews.blogspot.com if you want.

I also want to see Juno, but, unfortunately, it's not being released here. All we got this weekend was I Am Legend and Alvin and the Chipmunks.

J.D. said...

Ratatouille? For Best Picture? Seriously????

I'm predicting No Country, Atonement, There Will Be Blood, Sweeney Todd, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, in that order. The last one is seriously stretching it, but I can definitely see it happening.

Matt said...

I really want to see Juno and even I Am Legend if I get the chance (I read the novel's wikipedia page and want to compare it with the movie).

I'll be passing on all the other new movies but I actually have seen commercials for The Perfect Holiday. Not on my television (I still don't have one), but on my parents' hotel room's tv. At first I thought Tyler Perry's movie was being released on dvd already, but nope, this movie offers it's own... something. At least it's got Gabrielle Union though.

Anonymous said...

My Oscar predictions:

There Will be Blood
No Country for Old Men
Wild Card: Sweeney Todd, Ratatouille, Charlie Wilson's War, Into the Wild, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Fletch said...

JD - I wouldn't necessarily put Ratatouille into the Best Picture category, but I think it's a favorite for a lot of people this year, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see it up there.

As much as I like Burton/Depp, I think Sweeney Todd looks like a failure and I can't say I have much interest in seeing it. I'd be shocked if it were nominated.

The Diving Bell is getting great, great reviews, but Oscar has a way of screwing over any foreign films (see: The Lives of Others/Pan from last year). I think it just comes down to not enough people seeing them.

anon - I think Juno will get great reviews, but again, not a chance of getting a Best Pic nom, though I can almost guarantee (without having seen it, mind you) that it will get a nom for Best Original Screenplay, with a strong chance of winning.

Adam said...

Can't wait to see Juno - I AM Legend was decent, worth seeing for the dark knight trailer alone!

edog said...

Hey, Fletch. I saw Juno today, and have to say I don't see what the big fuss was about. Like Thank You For Smoking, the movie moved briskly, with little wasted time; however, I didn't find myself laughing out loud all that much - there were a couple of solid one-liners, and the movie was fairly entertaining and well-acted, but I just didn't see it as that spectacular.

Are you going to review this one? I have a question about one part of the storyline that I found strange, but it would involve spoilers.

Anyway, keep up the good work, man.

DCMovieGirl said...

Ain't nothing weird about The Perfect Holiday not getting press.

It's a "black" movie. Studios don't usually throw their ad money (or heck, much of a budget PERIOD) behind "black" films.

That being said, I'm tired of studios making gotdamn Soul Food over, over, and OVER again.

I Am Legend is my "black" movie of choice, this weekend. ;)

Fletch said...

edog - yes, I'll be reviewing Juno. Saw I Am Legend this weekend instead. Which leads to...

DCgirl - Legend was my "black" movie of the weekend (everyone else in the country's too, I see from the box office).

With The Perfect Holiday, I understand your point about Hollywood not advertising it much, but I always find it strange when any mostly-wide release slips by my radar undetected. I would have thought that I'd have seen at least one commercial for it (though I did see the poster put up at Movie Poster Addict's site a few weeks ago).

mirror_noir said...

I agree with anon. except put Juno in the wild card and Sweeny Todd as a definite win.