Likewise, what you see is what you get with BEE MOVIE. From the title down to screenwriter Jerry Seinfeld’s animated performance as a career-driven bee whose plans go askew when he talks to a human, this based-on-nonsense comedy looks like a reinvention of Woody Allen’s Antz. Renée Zellweger and Matthew Broderick get a case of the hives.
There’s also lots of good buzz surrounding THE KITE RUNNER, an adaptation by Mark Forster (Monster’s Ball) of Khaled Hosseini’s bestseller about family life in Afghanistan across decades of historical atrocity.
VIDEO: The trailer for No Country for Old Men
Set in the same country but from another point of view, Robert Redford’s LIONS FOR LAMBS surveys the war in Afghanistan, from the grunts on the ground to the political hacks making hay from the confusion and bloodshed. And if that doesn’t get the Academy’s attention, there’s the cast, which includes Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, and Redford himself.
The Lions people will be getting a run for their Oscar money from NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN — it appears that Joel and Ethan Coen have returned to Fargo form with this adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s bloodsoaked thriller. Josh Brolin is a wily Texan who comes across a pile of murdered drug dealers and a suitcase full of money; he takes the latter and is soon on the run. Look for Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Woody Harrelson, and Kelly MacDonald to be among the names bruited about later this year for acting honors.
Those names probably won’t be joined by that of Vince Vaughn, but he’s sure to win some fans as FRED CLAUS, Santa’s cantankerous black-sheep brother. David Dobkin of the mostly hilarious Wedding Crashers directs, and a cast including Paul Giamatti, Miranda Richardson, Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates, and Kevin Spacey belie the utter dumbness of the film’s current trailer.
VIDEO: The trailer for Beowulf
Just in time for college midterms is Robert Zemeckis’s BEOWULF, an adaptation of the Old English epic with a screenplay by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary. Ray Winstone plays the warrior hero who must battle the beast Grendel and resist the wiles of his foe’s diabolical, seductive mother. Adding clout to the cast are Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, Robin Wright Penn, and, as G’s mom, Angelina Jolie.
Those taking courses in Latin American literature might get extra credit for watching LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA, an adaptation of Gabriel García Márquez’s ribald, magical-realist classic by Mike Newell, who most recently wrestled with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It’s the archetypical tale of a youth who tries to compensate for the loss of the love of his life by getting laid. In other words, a Hispanic version of Run, Fat Boy, Run starring Javier Bardem, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Liev Schreiber, and Benjamin Bratt.
VIDEO: The trailer for August Rush
Thanksgiving brings a brief reprieve from doom, gloom, and required reading. Unless you’re reading fairy tales. In ENCHANTED, a wicked queen banishes a beautiful princess from a magic kingdom to Manhattan. Prince Charming comes to the rescue, but has she fallen for a divorce lawyer? Kevin Lima directs Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, and Susan Sarandon in this Disney holiday effort.