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Release Date: January 13, 2012
Studio: Anchor Bay
Director: Xavier Gens (Frontier(S), Hitman)
Starring: Lauren German, Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia, Michael Eklund, and Rosanna Arquette.
Plot: In this graphic and violent  post-apocalyptic thriller, nine strangers- all tenants of a New York high rise apartment- escape a nuclear attack by hiding out in the building’s bunker-like basement.

Trapped for days underground with no hope for rescue, and only unspeakable horrors awaiting them on the other side of the bunker door, the group begins to descend into madness, each turning on one another with physical and psychosexual torment.

As supplies dwindle, and tensions flare, and they grow increasingly unhinged by their close quarters and hopelessness, each act against one another  becomes more depraved than the next. While everyone in the bunker allows themselves to be overcome by desperation and lose their humanity, one survivor holds onto a thin chance for escape even with no proise of salvation on the outside.

Thoughts: This sci-fi flick originally saw release in March via South by Southwest, then also screened at the San Diego Comic Con. I have not yet seen it, but it looks like an interesting take on the post-apocalyptic sub genre. The visuals look awesome and the cast features genre fan favorite Michael Biehn and the underratted Gilmore Girls and Heroes alum Milo Ventimiglia. I’ve always loved the concept of strangers locked in a single location as the world around them ends. The character study of what they might do as things get worse and worse is very interesting. You can check out the opening scene of the film over at its official website.

Release Date: November 23, 2011
Studio: Disney
Director: James Bobin (The Flight of the Conchords, Da Ali G Show)
Starring: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, the voices of Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, and David Rudman (along with a bunch of cameos!)
Plot: On Vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world’s biggest Muppet fan, his brothers Gary (Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (adams) from Smalltown, USA, discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex Richman (Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets’ former stomping grounds.

To stage The Greatest Muppett Telethon Ever and raise the $10 million dollars needed to save the theater, Walter, Mary, and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their seperate ways.

Thoughts: I saw The Muppets earlier today and I’ll start off by saying that I was disappointed in it. I’m not a diehard Muppet fan, but I am a fan. This movie was such a love song to the past that I actually felt alienated because I wasn’t a diehard fan. It was like one long inside joke that I wasn’t a part of. And unlike Pixar’s movies or flicks like Shrek that are made for kids but can be enjoyed by adults, The Muppets is aimed directly at kids and was almost work to sit through. Don’t get me wrong, I did not hate The Muppets. The parts of the movie that actually focused on them was enjoyable and there were a lot of laughs and smiles to be had. The big problem was that the film took too long to get us to the actual Muppets that we came to see, and even still there was too much focus on the human characters and the newest muppet Walter. I usually love both Jason Segel and Amy Adams, but their characters and story just did not work here. They were more distracting than anything else.

If you have kids, I recommend you taking them to see this. The same goes for if you are a huge fan of The Muppet Show. If you are a passing fan like me, wait and watch this on Blu-Ray or Cable.

Release Date: November 18, 2011
Studio: Warner Brothers
Director: George Miller (Mad Max, Happy Feet)
Starring the Voices of: Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings trilogy), Pink (Catacombs), Robin Williams (Aladdin), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), and newcomber Ava Acres.
Plot: The sequel to Happy Feet, the Academy Award-winning animated smash hit, “Happy Feet Two” returns audiences to the magnificent landscape of Antarctica in superb 3D.

Mumble, The Master of Tap, has a problem because his tiny son, Erik, is choreophobic.  Reluctant to dance, Erik runs away and encounters The Mighty Sven—a penguin who can fly!  Mumble has no hope of competing with this charismatic new role  model.  But things get worse when the world is shaken by powerful forces.  

Erik learns of his father’s guts and grit as Mumble brings together the penguin nations and all manner of fabulous creatures—from tiny Krill to giant Elephant Seals—to put things right.

Thoughts: It is funny, I haven’t seen as much advertising for the sequel to the the dancing and singing penguin animated musical than I thought I would. The original was cute and entertaining, even if it hit audiences over the head with its final message. As an avid fan of all things penguins, I’ll be seeing this and the trailer gives me hope that it will be just as entertaining as the original.

Release Date: November 11, 2011
Studio: Relativity Media
Director: Tarsem Singh (The Cell)
Starring: Henry Cavill (The Tudors), Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2), John Hurt (Incredible Hulk), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Stephen Dorff (Public Enemies)
Plot: As a power-mad king razes ancient Greece and threatens to destroy mankind, a heroic young villager rises up against him in a thrilling quest as timeless as it is powerful.

The brutal and bloodthirsty King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) and his murderous army are rampaging across Greece, demolishing everything in their wake with ruthless efficiency. Village after village falls to Hyperion’s legions and each victory takes him one step closer to his goal: unleashing the power of the sleeping Titans to vanquish both the Gods of Olympus and all of humankind.

It seems nothing will stop the evil king’s mission to become the undisputed master of the world, until a stonemason named Theseus (Henry Cavill) vows to avenge the death of his mother in one of Hyperion’s raids. When Theseus meets the Sibylline Oracle, Phaedra (Freida Pinto), her disturbing visions of the young man’s future convince her that he is the key to stopping the destruction. With her help, Theseus assembles a small band of followers and embraces his destiny in a final desperate battle for the future of humanity.

Thoughts: At first I just dismissed Immortals as a 300 rip off, but the latest trailer got me a little more interested in the movie and the fact that it stars the future Superman Henry Cavill makes me hope that it is good. The supporting cast is top notch with John Hurt, Mickey Rourke, and Freida Pinto, but how many movies have great casts that end up completely lackluster. The script is the debut feature by the pair of Charley and Vlas Parlapanides. With an endless ocean of scripts there must have been something special about it, which made it stand out and led to a studio pumping 75 million dollars in the idea. I wasn’t a fan of Tarsem Singh’s The Cell, but a lot can change in 11 years. The footage of Immortals screams 300, but who is to say that another film can’t share that style and also be awesome? I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt. Lets hope I don’t regret it.

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