By R. Kurt Osenlund, The Good Life fim critic
DISNEY'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Director Robert Zemeckis returns to the performance capture animation style he employed in "The Polar Express" and "Beowulf" with this bold re-imagining of Charles Dickens' classic holiday tale. Attempting to silence the detractors of his previous performance capture efforts (namely critics who specifically commented on the characters appearing lifeless), Zemeckis has said that he and his team of effects wizards have refined the technology, which involves filming actors covered in motion-detecting sensors, and then digitally recreating everything from basic forms to facial expressions. Jim Carrey is the guy wearing the sensors this time out, portraying Scrooge as well as the three ghosts who visit him.
Blockbuster kingpin Roland Emmerich ("Independence Day," "The Day After Tomorrow") is a hit-or-miss filmmaker. Usually miss. "Tomorrow" was ludicrous, as was Emmerich's last movie, "10,000 B.C." At this point, no moviegoer worth his or her salt enters this guy's films expecting a plausible, compelling storyline. But where Emmerich excels is in the area of special effects -- he always seems to be pushing the limits of visual pow and grandeur. His latest spectacle is "2012," another entry in the apocalypse genre inspired by the ancient Mayan prophecy that claims Earth will expire three years from now. Based on the look of this trailer, "2012" is primed to be Emmerich's most eye-popping picture to date.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
This 2010 remake of Wes Craven's immortal 1984 slasher flick has Michael Bay as a producer, which doesn't exactly bode well in terms of quality. In fact, given the track record of recent horror movie recycle projects, there isn't much of anything here that shows a lot of promise. Except, that is, for the presence of Oscar nominee and comeback kid Jackie Earle Haley ("Little Children," "Watchmen"), who'll be stepping into Robert Englund's shoes as the notorious Freddie Krueger. Haley, who's created a bevy of interesting characters in the past few years, is reason enough to spark my interest in this otherwise (seemingly) uninteresting movie.