Another packed weekend of releases overshadowed by better holdovers and one massive opening.
The Bourne Ultimatum – The end of a solid trilogy and the second pairing of Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass. Jason Bourne continues to search for answers about the people who trained him to punchisize faces.
The last one suffered only due to the “shaky cam” filming that annoyed people, including me. But Greengrass has had time to perfect this technique, using it very well in United 93 (he was nominated for an Oscar). Reviews are praising Ultimatum for being a “constant surge of adrenaline,” but it seems he’s using the hand-helds again.
This is supposed to be the final Bourne movie, after Damon and producer Marshall confirmed that they are done after this one. It’s a shame too, since this spy has seemed to outdo Bond in every way. But the author of the origin books has taken up the story and is in the process of writing the fourth and fifth novels.
Damon works with the best directors. He is already trying to determine if his 2009 schedule will allow for him to star in Greengrass’s next Imperial Life in the Emerald City or Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant. That’ll be after he works with Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather) and Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain). Must be nice.
Becoming Jane – I like Anne Hathaway. I think she’s a likable gal and is nice to look at. She also happens to have talent in the acting department, something that most beautiful actresses nowadays can’t boast.
However, this early in her career, she has a habit of being outdone by more likable performances. She was the lead in Devil Wears Prada, but was firmly in the shadow of Meryl Streep. And in Brokeback Mountain she took a backseat (no pun intended) to the leading men. Even Havoc was only talked about because she shed her good girl image along with her top. Do people still say “hubba hubba?”
But in Becoming Jane, she takes the lead as pre-writer Jane Austen. It’s been out since March in the UK and has gained some sort of rabid fan base. I think I’ll pass, since it looks like shes filling her “English upper class” quota on the resume. Hathaway is surrounded again by a decent cast, so maybe I’ll ask my mom to watch it and tell me if it’s any good.
– The lead role was originally written for Will Ferrell (who stayed as producer), but was filled by SNL character Andy Samberg. Samberg is known best for his hilarious short films that circulated YouTube for months. I’m hoping this movie is funny against all the evidence that it’s not. Maybe it will have a lot of ridiculousness, like Dirty Work.
Underdog – “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!” I’m having bad Garfield flashbacks seeing the pictures for this Disney disaster. Jason Lee might be a big “get” if he wasn’t then signed to star alongside CGI versions of Alvin and the Chipmunks. What is he doing? I doubt even kids will enjoy this movie.
The Ten (LA/NY) – This film has been making the rounds at the film festivals since January, and I can’t wait to see it. It is ten comedy short stories, each centered on one of the ten commandments, starring some of Hollywood’s familiar faces. No relation to Polish director Kieslowski’s more serious Decalogue series (which is amazing by the way).