What’s Hot at the Movies This Week 1/8/09

| January 8, 2009

The top five movies at the box office this week all seem to have one thing in common. They each have a major star guiding it and pulling it along right to the front of the line. People are just going to naturally clamor to see Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Jim Carrey.
1. Marley & Me. It’s no surprise that this movie is doing so well. It’s the type of blockbuster that can appeal to different audiences. It’s a family film, yet also has enough in it to attract adult audiences as well. Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston star as two newspaper writers that adopt a dog that is adorable and charming as all get out, but has a destructive streak in him. Once they add kids to the mix, it just gets even crazier, yet the film doesn’t just focus on crazy dog and kid stuff, it focuses on life. Check out my review of this film to find out how I connected to it.
2. Bedtime Stories. Adam Sandler is usually good for a box office smash, and it seems when he tones down the sophomoric humor that they turn into blockbusters. He stars in this one as the handman at a hotel who tells his niece and nephew stories only to have them come true after the fact. The kids start to realize all this as well, and they start to add some really outlandish things to the stories that really makes everything go wonky.
3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Just like Sandler, Brad Pitt usually seems to have a smash or blockbuster in him as well, and with all the hype lately of his famiy like with Angelina Jolie, and Jennifer Aniston’s verbal attacks on her taking up with a married man, it’s only going to do that much better. It must make Jen feel somewhat good, though, that she’s the one on top at the box office. Based on the story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pitt stars as a guy that is born as an old man and gets younger as he ages instead of the other way around. Read what Rick Villalobos and Elaine Hegwood Bowen have to say about it.
4. Valkyrie. And just like all of the above actors, Tom Cruise is certainly good for a smash or blockbuster, and is also good for interesting tidbits by the gossipers as well. Definitely playing against his normaly leading man type roles, Cruise stars in this true story as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg who plots to get rid of Adolph Hitler for good and to overthrow the Nazi government using Hitler’s emergency plan called OperationValkyrie . Check out Jason Coffman’s review as he explains why this could change your mind about WWII films.
5. Yes Man. You know the drill at this point. Just like all the others here in the top five, we have another actor in Jim Carrey that drives people to the theater with his movies. It seems like a classic Carrey role, and since I first started seeing trailers for this, it’s reminded me of Liar, Liar. Here Carrey stars as a guy whose life is very unsatisfying. He enters into a self help program that instructs him to never answer no, agreeing to everything with a simple yes. Read Neal Fischer’s review to read why he thinks we should all try Carrey’s instructions as an experiment.
Opening this weekend:
Bride Wars. Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson star in this film as best friends who agree to be each other’s maids of honor and set their weddings a few weeks apart at the same hall. A mixup happens with both weddings being booked on the same day, but neither bride wants to change her date, setting off a custody battle of sorts for the day, as they soon get very vengeful. Candice Bergen and Kristen Johnston costar in this film as well. I think it will either be extremely successful or bomb horribly, but I’m pretty much counting on it being successful.

Not Easily Broken. Morris Chestnut and Taraji P. Henson star in this drama that is adapted from the book by Bishop T.D. Jakes as a couple that has the opposite in succcess as they had planned on. An injury stopped his plans to be a major league baseball player, leaving him as the head of a construction company, and she has become a successful real estate agent who seems to concentrate too much on her career. When she gets hurt in a car accident, it opens up their eyes to there being some serious problems in their relationship as they seem to have grown apart.

The Unborn. The description of this film reminds me somewhat of The Haunting of Molly Hartley that was out a few months ago. Odette Yustman stars as a woman whose mother had left her as a child, causing years of pain and confusion, but she’s starting to realize just why this was as she becomes haunted by nightmares that threaten everyone she loves. Gary Oldman stars as her spiritual advisor who she turns to for help in stopping the nightmares.

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