OnVideo: NOVEMBER's Top Movies
CATS AND DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALOREIn the eternal battle between cats and dogs, one crazed feline has taken things a paw too far. Former elite agent Kitty Galore has gone rogue and plans to unleash a diabolical device designed to not only bring her canine enemies to heel but also to take down her former kitty comrades and make the world her scratching post. Faced with this dire threat, cats and dogs must work together for the first time ever to save themselves and their beloved humans from global cat-astrophe. Blends live action with state-of-the-art puppetry and computer animation.
Director: Brad Peyton. Stars: Chris O'Donnell and Jack McBrayer; Voices of Christina Applegate, Michael Clarke Duncan, Neil Patrick Harris, Sean Hayes, James Marsden, Bette Midler, Nick Nolte, Wallace Shawn, Roger Moore, Paul Rodriguez, Joe Pantoliano. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 82 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $42.672 million, Warner. Available: 11/16.
CHARLIE ST. CLOUDZac Efron stars as Charlie St. Cloud, a small-town hero and an accomplished sailor who has it all: the adoration of his mother and younger brother, and a Stanford scholarship. His bright future is cut short when tragedy strikes, taking his dreams with it. Now Charlie is torn between honoring a promise he made years ago and pursuing his newfound love with a former high-school classmate. Based on the acclaimed bestseller.
Director: Burr Steers. Stars: Zac Efron, Kim Basinger, Charlie Tahan, Amanda Crew, Augustus Prew, Donal Logue. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 109 min., Drama, Box office gross: $31.136 million, Universal. Available: 11/9 .
A CHRISTMAS CAROLDisney's 3-D animated retelling of the Christmas classic. Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) begins the Christmas holiday with his usual miserly contempt, barking at his faithful clerk (Gary Oldman) and his cheery nephew (Colin Firth). But when the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come take him on an eye-opening journey revealing truths Old Scrooge is reluctant to face, he must open his heart to undo years of ill will before it's too late.
Director: Robert Zemeckis. Stars: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Bob Hoskins, Sammi Hanratty. 2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 98 min., Family, Box office gross: $137.850 million, Disney. Available: 11/16.
EAT PRAY LOVELiz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) is a modern woman on a quest to marvel at and travel the world while rediscovering and reconnecting with her true inner self. At a crossroads after a divorce, Gilbert takes a year-long sabbatical from her job and steps uncharacteristically out of her comfort zone, risking everything to change her life. In her wondrous and exotic travels, she experiences the simple pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy; the power of prayer in India, and, finally and unexpectedly, the inner peace and balance of love in Bali. Based on Elizabeth Gilbert's bestseller.
Director: Ryan Murphy. Stars: Julia Roberts, James Franco, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, Billy Crudup, Javier Bardem. 2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 140 min., Romance, Box office gross: $79.710 million, Sony. Available: 11/23.
THE EXPENDABLESA hard-hitting action/thriller about a group of mercenaries hired to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator. Once the mission begins, the men realize things aren't quite as they appear, and they find themselves caught in a dangerous web of deceit and betrayal. With their mission thwarted and an innocent life in danger, the men struggle with an even tougher challenge -- one that threatens to destroy this band of brothers.
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) is a man with nothing to lose. Fearless and void of emotion, he is the leader, the sage and the strategist of this tight-knit band of men who live on the fringe. His only attachment is to his pickup truck, his seaplane and his team of loyal modern-day warriors. The team behind him is made up of Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), former SAS and a savant with anything that has a blade; Yin Yang (Jet Li), a master at close-quarter combat; Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), a long-barrel weapons specialist; Toll Road (Randy Couture), a skilled demolitions expert and considered the intellect of the group; and Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), a combat veteran and an expert in precision sniping who struggles with his own demons.
When the mysterious Church offers Barney a job no one else would take, Barney and his team embark on what appears to be a routine mission: overthrow General Gaza (David Zayas), the murderous dictator of the small island country of Vilena and end the years of death and destruction inflicted on its people. On a reconnaissance mission to Vilena, Barney and Christmas meet their contact Sandra (Giselle Itie), a local freedom-fighter with a dark secret. They also come to learn who their true enemy is: rogue ex-CIA operative James Monroe (Eric Roberts) and his henchman Paine (Steve Austin). When things go terribly wrong, Barney and Christmas are forced to leave Sandra behind, essentially giving her a death sentence. Haunted by this failure, Barney convinces the team to return to Vilena to rescue the hostage and finish the job he started.
Director: Sylvester Stallone. Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Giselle Itie, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren, Charisma Carpenter, David Zayas, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Eric Roberts. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 103 min., Action, Box office gross: $102.516 million, Lionsgate. Available: 11/23.
FLIPPEDTwo eighth graders start to have feelings for each other despite being total opposites. Based on the 2001 novel "Flipped" by Wendelin Van Draanen. When second-graders Bryce and Juli first meet, Juli knows it's love. But Bryce isn't so sure. Girl-phobic and easily embarrassed, young Bryce does everything he can to keep his outspoken wannabe girlfriend at arm's length ... for the next six years, which isn't easy since they go to the same school and live across the street from each other. But if Juli finally looks away, will it be Bryce's turn to be dazzled? Follows Bryce and Juli from grade school to junior high (1957-63), through triumph and disaster, family drama and first love, as they make the discoveries that will define who they are -- and who they are to each other.
Director: Rob Reiner. Stars: Madeline Carroll, Callan McAuliffe, Rebecca De Mornay, Anthony Edwards, John Mahoney, Penelope Ann Miller, Aidan Quinn, Kevin Weisman, Morgan Lily, Ryan Ketzner, Gillian Pfaff. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 90 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $1.704 million, Warner. Available: 11/23.
GOING THE DISTANCEErin and Garrett are good together -- even when they're apart. When aspiring journalist Erin (Drew Barrymore) moves to San Francisco to finish her last year of school, boyfriend Garrett (Justin Long), an assistant music scout, stays in Manhattan to pursue his ambitions and wait on that promotion he's been promised. With a webcam connection and frequent flier miles, the two gamely navigate the pitfalls and miscommunications of their bi-coastal romance, dodging bad advice from friends and some predatory singles who won't take "taken" for an answer. But when it seems their wait is almost over, Erin scores her dream job in California just as Garrett's career heats up in New York. The big breaks they've been hoping for could break them up for good ... unless their love can truly go the distance.
Director: Nanette Burstein. Stars: Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate, Ron Livingston.. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 102 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $17.797 million, New Line. Available: 11/30.
GROWN UPSGathering to mourn the passing of their beloved basketball coach, five childhood best friends and teammates reunite at the summer lake house where they celebrated their biggest championship victory 30 years earlier. Over the course of the Fourth of July weekend, the kids-at-heart realize that just because they've all grown up and started families doesn't mean that they've lost that old spark. Picking up where they left off, they discover that growing older doesn't mean growing up. Adulthood is what you make of it, and no one at the lake house is eager to be the grown up of the gang.
Director: Dennis Dugan. Stars: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 102 min., Comedy-Drama, Box office gross: $159.372 million, Sony. Available: 11/9.
I'M STILL HEREDocumenting Joaquin Phoenix's transition from the acting world to a career as an aspiring rapper, this film is a portrayal of a tumultuous year in Phoenix's life. With remarkable access, the documentary follows the Oscar-nominee as he announces his retirement from a successful film career in the fall of 2008 and sets off to reinvent himself as a hip hop musician. The film is a portrait of an artist at a crossroads and explores notions of courage and creative reinvention, as well as the ramifications of a life spent in the public eye.
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHTAnnette Bening and Julianne Moore star in this portrait of a modern American family. Nic (Bening) and Jules (Moore) are your average suburban couple raising their two teens, Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson), in Southern California. But when the kids secretly track down their "donor dad," Paul (Mark Ruffalo), an unexpected new chapter begins for everyone as family ties are defined, re-defined and then re-re-defined.
Director: Lisa Cholodenko. Stars: Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 104 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $20.512 million, Universal. Available: 11/16.
KNIGHT AND DAYTom Cruise and Cameron Diaz star in an this action comedy in which a chance encounter thrusts a woman and a charming but lethal operative into a series of adventures across the globe. As if dodging assassins and uncovering world-changing secrets weren't enough, she must now figure out if he is a good guy, a traitor -- or just plain crazy. It's breezy and lightweight but who cares -- the leads are so nice to watch.
Director: James Mangold. Stars: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, Marc Blucas, Maggie Grace. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 110 min., Action Comedy, Box office gross: $76.307 million, Fox. Available: 11/30.
THE LAST AIRBENDERAir, Water, Earth, Fire. Four nations tied by destiny when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others. A century has passed with no hope in sight to change the path of this destruction. Caught between combat and courage, Aang (Noah Ringer) discovers he is the last Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara (Nicola Peltz), a Waterbender, and her brother, Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), to restore balance to their war-torn world. Based on the hugely successful Nickelodeon animated TV series.
Director: M. Night Shyamalan. Stars: Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi, Cliff Curtis, Seychelle Gabriel. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 103 min., Action-Fantasy, Box office gross: $131.567 million, Paramount. Available: 11/16.
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLDMeet charming and jobless Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera). A bass guitarist for garage band Sex Bob-omb, the 22-year-old has never had a problem getting a girlfriend. It's getting rid of them that proves difficult. From the girl who kicked his heart's ass -- and now is back in town -- to the teenage distraction he's trying to shake when he finally meets the woman of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), love hasn't been easy. He soon discovers, however, his new crush has the most unusual baggage of all: a nefarious league of exes controls her love life and will do whatever it takes to eliminate him as a suitor. As Scott gets closer to Ramona, he must face an increasingly vicious rogues gallery from her past -- from infamous skateboarders to vegan rock stars and fearsomely identical twins -- all told, seven evil exes who are coming to kill him. And if he hopes to win his true love, he must vanquish them all before it really is game over.
Director: Edgar Wright. Stars: Michael Cera, Alison Pill, Mark Webber, Johnny Simmons, Ellen Wong, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick, Jason Schwartzman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Brandon Routh. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 112 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $30.438 million, Universal. Available: 11/9 .
THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICEBalthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can't do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protege. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It'll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes
Director: Jon Turteltaub. Stars: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Toby Kebbell, Omar Benson Miller, Monica Bellucci, Alice Krige. 2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 111 min., Fantasy Thriller, Box office gross: $63.017 million, Disney. Available: 11/30.
TOY STORY 3Woody and Buzz had accepted that their owner Andy would grow up someday, but what happens when that day arrives? In the third installment of "Toy Story," Andy is preparing to depart for college, leaving his loyal toys troubled about their uncertain future. Andy decides to store his friends in the attic, but they're mistakenly sent off to a day care center, where the untamed tots with sticky little fingers don't play very nice. When Woody, Buzz and the gang want to get a chance to be played with by the older kids, they bump up against the Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear, who rules the day care toys with an iron fist. There's only one thing for the gang to do: they plan a great escape.
Director: Lee Unkrich. Stars: Voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, John Ratzenberger, Michael Keaton, Estelle Harris, Jodi Benson, Ned Beatty, Wallace Shawn. 2009, CC, MPAA rating: G, 102 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $400.8 million, Disney. Available: 11/2.
VAMPIRES SUCKA spoof of teen vampire-themed movies (you know who you are). Becca, an angst-ridden teenager at a new high school, finds herself torn between two supernatural suitors: a moody vampire and an extremely hairy werewolf. Meanwhile, she has to contend with her controlling father, who embarrasses her by treating her like a child; and deal with all the trials and tribulations of high school life. Becca and her friend's romantic issues all collide at the prom. From Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, who brought you "Scary Movie."
Director: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer. Stars: Jenn Proske, Matt Lanter, Diedrich Bader, Chris Riggi, Ken Jeong, Anneliese van der Pol. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 80 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $36.365 million, Fox. Available: 11/30.
All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray Player, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.
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November 1, 2010