Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Trailer Review: Jane Eyre

Release Date: March 11, 2011

Website: Official Jane Eyre site

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots

My Review: It’s no secret that I love a good literary adaptation period drama. So it is with nerd girl pride that I look forward to the release of the umpteenth incarnation of Charlotte Brontë’s gothic love story, Jane Eyre.

Much like any of the novels by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre is a story that has been turned into more movies and TV miniseries than I can count (including one featuring a young Anna Paquin as Young Jane). Each version presents the material in varying degrees of depth, but at its core, the story is always the same: See Jane have horrible childhood. See Jane finally find happiness as a governess. See Jane fall in love with the broody and mysterious Mr. Rochester. See everything go spectacularly insane.

The trailer for this new telling of Jane Eyre hits all the right notes in setting the tone for the movie: dark, morose, and…foggy. However, there are a couple of things that make me raise an eyebrow; specifically, Mia Wasikowska (playing Jane) isn’t British and Michael Fassbender (also not British, but at least European) is way too handsome to play the “not beautiful, according to rule” Mr. Rochester. But Judi Dench is there, too, which sort of evens everything out.

Would I Pay For It?: Well, I would, but the bigger question is, would anyone else?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trailer Review: The Zookeeper

Release Date: July 8, 2011

Website: Official The Zookeeper site

Starring: Kevin James, voices of Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow, Jon Favreau, Sylvester Stallone, Cher

My Review: If you count Doctor Doolittle, Stuart Little, Cats & Dogs, and Garfield among your favorite movies of all time, then you’re in for a treat with The Zookeeper. If, however, you don’t have an affinity for talking animal movies and are over the age of four, then you already know you’ll be sitting this one out.

The Zookeeper stars the recently busy (or maybe “slumming” is a better word) Kevin James as the titular zookeeper who works at a zoo where—you guessed it—the animals talk to him. Crazy! And it just wouldn’t be a talking animal movie without a bevy of middling to popular movie stars voicing the chatty critters. This time around you can enjoy the vocal works of Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow, Jon Favreau, Sylvester Stallone, and Cher.

While my kneejerk reaction (a hearty eye roll) to The Zookeeper may be a bit unfair since I—being neither a child nor the parent of one—am not its target audience, I think I’m still justified in being annoyed with the general state of family films that are made these days. I know not all family fare can offer the brilliance of the Pixar movies, for example, but is it really necessary to resort to old, tired movie tropes that haven’t been inventive or entertaining since the 1960s when someone figured out that giving animals peanut butter makes it look like they’re talking? Kids are just young humans, not brainless morons, so it would be nice to see some family-friendly flicks that engage and inspire them, rather than rehashing what’s been done (mostly poorly) time and time again.

Jason Segel and your upcoming Muppet movie, I’m looking at you.

Would I Pay For It?: No, I don’t hate myself nearly enough to see this.