Making its debut this weekend on Showtime was last year’s “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”, starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt.
“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” tells the story of two people involved in trying to introduce salmon to the Yemen River, at the behest of a wealthy Sheikh in the region. McGregor plays a an expert who initially decries the effort as unfeasible, but who slowly comes around to the possibility. He and Blunt have to work through the difficulties of both the project and their romantic lives.
It’s a lightweight little movie that won’t ask much of you over its runtime, but its optimism, combined with the charm of the leads, make it an enjoyable watch.
Premiering this weekend on HBO was this year’s “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island”.
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens, Luis Guzman and Michael Caine, this “family friendly” film posits that Jules Verne’s “Mysterious Island” actually exists.
When a young man gets a coded transmission from his adventurer grandfather, he and his stepfather head off in search of the legendary island, only to discover more than they bargained for. Along with the family crew of the downed helicopter they chartered to get them there, they’ll have to find a way not only to survive, but to escape the “Mysterious Island”.
Aimed squarely at kids, this film needs to be given a little bit of slack for its juvenile sensibilities and slight characters. But not too much…
Alexandre Dumas first published “Les Trois Mousquetaires” in 1844. It tells the tale of a young man who travels to Paris in order to join the Musketeers of the Guard, a light cavalry unit charged with protecting the King of France. The tale has become a classic, still widely available in print today, and has seen iterations in nearly every form of media there is; there have been tv shows, radio programs, video games and of course numerous films.
I have to imagine though, if Dumas saw this particular iteration, by Paul W.S. Anderson of “Resident Evil” fame, his thought would be “What the $&#% is this?”
Making its debut this weekend on Starz was last year’s “Carnage”.
Directed by Roman Polanski and starring Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz, “Carnage” is a comedy based on a stage play. After a school yard altercation, the parents of the two boys involved get together briefly to discuss the incident. But what begins as a brief meeting to resolve an issue escalates into a quite a row.
Making its debut last weekend on Cinemax was 2011’s “Johnny English Reborn”, the sequel to 2003’s “Johnny English”.
Johnny English is a bumbling, inept, dense MI7 agent, played by Rowan Atkinson. He’s the antithesis of Bond’s suave, cool, athletic secret agent. English is just as apt to trip over his shoelaces as he is to successfully use a gadget on a bad guy.
Atkinson is a bit of an acquired taste, and he’s 95% of this film, so a good deal of your mileage will depend on your enjoyment of him, but I can imagine that fans of his will be pleased, and there’s plenty here for people who would enjoy a good spy spoof as well.
Making its debut on Starz this weekend was this winter’s surprise smash hit, “The Vow”.
Starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, “The Vow”‘s strategic Valentine’s weekend release helped it open at number one and stay strong on the chart, remaining in the top ten for six weeks and grossing just under $200 million worldwide.
It’s the story of a woman who loses her memory in a car accident, and as a result, forgets the entire period of time when she knew her husband. He’s a complete stranger to her. As a result, he has to fight to regain her affection all over again.
The question that easily presents itself is: Is “The Vow” memorable, or is it best forgotten?
Making it’s debut last weekend on HBO was last year’s animated feature, “Hop”, featuring the voice work of Russell Brand, Hugh Laurie and Hank Azaria and starring James Marsden, Kaley Cuoco, Elizabeth Perkins, Gary Cole, and David Hasselhoff.
It’s a live action/animated blend Easter themed children’s movie, brought to you by Illumination Entertainment, the same folks who did “Despicable Me”. It’s the story of a bunny who doesnt wish to inherit the title and responsibilities of Easter Bunny from his father, so he runs away to the world of humans.
Hi sojourn into the land of people triggers a chain of events that may just lead to the first human serving as Easter Bunny.
Showing for the first time on Showtime this past weekend was “Our Idiot Brother”, last year’s Paul Rudd dramedy vehicle.
“Our Idiot Brother” is about a burn-out who gets re-interjected into his sisters’ lives after serving a stint in jail for selling marijuana to a cop. Not a plain clothes, undercover cop… a cop in full out uniform. Rudd’s Ned is a fried space cadet who completely lacks motivation, but has an abundance of good nature and a simple outlook on life. He’s also a bit of a blabbermouth, he can’t seem to keep anything in confidence.
His presence in their lives, predictably, winds up being a change agent for each of them.
Making its unseasonal debut on HBO this weekend was “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas”.
John Cho and Kal Penn reprise their roles as the stoner duo Harold Lee and Kumar Patel, only this time, things have changed. Harold is a successful, married homeowner, while Kumar… hasn’t changed a single bit. In fact, it’s safe to say he’s barely even moved. When Kumar stops by Harold’s house on Christmas Eve, a comedy of errors ensues that finds the two up to their eyeballs in drugs and danger.
It’s crass and crude (occasionally really crass and crude), but certainly has its share of funny, irreverent humor.
Making its premiere on HBO last weekend was last year’s animated feature from DreamWorks Studios, “Puss in Boots”.
“Puss in Boots” is a spin-off prequel featuring Antonio Banderas’ feline character from the “Shrek” series of movies. It focuses on Puss as a young swashbuckler, as he attempts to pilfer the legendary magic beans from the notorious Jack and Jill, intending to scale the giant beanstalk in order to steal the goose that lays the golden eggs from the giant. Along the way, he has to deal with the treacherous Humpty Dumpty, and the seductive Kitty Softpaws.
Puss was a great addition to the “Shrek” series.
The question here is: Can he support a movie of his own?