Movie Buzz: Seeing Stars

Metro Spirit | September 8, 2008
Congratulations, moviegoers, you just survived one of the most abysmal weekends for box office receipts in the last five years. Perhaps you stayed home and watched football or you really just had no desire to see Nicolas Cage play a hitman. Either way, Tinseltown would like to reward viewers for their patience with some exciting openers that will have them seeing stars.

It's difficult to think of two living actors whose names induce feelings of simultaneous admiration and fear the way Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino do. The Italian-American actors are revered as living legends in Hollywood for their roles in films like Taxi Driver and Scarface, respectively.

Righteous Kill marks the first time the two acting giants have shared a significant amount of time on the big screen. Previously, they acted together in The Godfather: Part II and Heat, but spent little time onscreen at the same time.

DeNiro and Pacino play veteran cops chasing a serial killer who murders bad guys, something the justice-seeking duo doesn't seem to mind all that much. This psychological thriller comes from director Jon Avnet, who has certainly come a long way since helming sentimental chick flicks like Fried Green Tomatoes.

The movie's interestingly diverse supporting cast includes rapper Curtis Jackson (50 Cent) and New Kid on the Block Donnie Wahlberg, along with actors Brian Dennehy and Jon Leguizamo.

Another A-list male duo headlines an opener from the Coen brothers. Burn After Reading features George Clooney and Brad Pitt, who have appeared together in the virtual "dream team" of actors known as Ocean's Eleven, and its two sequels.

Known for twisted murder plots and an odd sense of humor, the writing and directing Coens have brought audiences award-winning flicks like Fargo and No Country for Old Men. Their new movie is a darkly comic thriller in which Pitt and actress Frances McDormand (wife of Joel Coen) play gym employees who find the memoirs of a CIA agent (played by John Malkovitch) and naively attempt to blackmail him.

Clooney has worked with Joel and Ethan Coen in the past, playing the lead in both Intolerable Cruelty and O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Those looking for something with a little more estrogen have two additional viewing options. Writer-director-producer-actor Tyler Perry, who traditionally explores family relationship among African Americans in his films (Madea's Family Reunion, Why Did I Get Married?) is doing more of the same in The Family That Preys.

A nice departure from predictable family dynamics in Perry's story finds veteran actresses Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates together in what can best be explained as a more mature and infinitely more tame version of the onscreen friendship portrayed in Thelma and Louise.

Former America's sweetheart Meg Ryan resurfaces to star in a remake of a 1939 George Cukor film, The Women. Cukor's version starred legendary actresses Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell, so Ryan and the cast (including Annette Benning, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Debra Messing) have big shoes to fill.

Last seen nationwide in last year's In the Land of Women, Ryan plays a wealthy socialite who finds out her husband is cheating on her with a shop girl, played by Eva Mendes. Look for cameos by well-known actresses like Carrie Fisher and Bette Midler.
Contact for Reprint Rights
  • Address: 3124 B Washington Road, Augusta, GA 30907
  • Phone: (706) 496-2535