Smooth-talking playboy Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) is on a fast track to the top of the pharmaceutical sales industry -- promoting the miracle drug Viagra by day and charming the ladies by night. However, Jamie is taken aback when he meets Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway), a radiantly sexy free spirit who doesn't allow her treatment for Parkinson's get in the way of living her life. As Jamie and Maggie juggle their respective medications, they are forced to reassess their budding romance when they realize that love is the ultimate high. Based on the best-selling book "Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman" by Jamie Reidy
Vitals: Director: Edward Zwick. Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Josh Gad, Gabriel Macht, Judy Greer, George Segal, Jill Clayburgh.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 112 min., Romantic Comedy, Box office gross: $31.999 million, Fox.
The true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's (James Franco) remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah. Over the next five days Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, scale a 65 foot wall and hike over eight miles before he is finally rescued. Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers (Clemence Poesy), family, and the two hikers (Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara) he met before his accident. Will they be the last two people he ever had the chance to meet? A visceral, thrilling story. Nominated for Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor (Franco), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song ("If I Rise"), Best Original Score. Vitals: Director: Danny Boyle. Stars: James Franco, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn, Sean Bott, Treat Williams, John Lawrence, Kate Burton, Clemence Poesy.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 94 min., Drama, Box office gross: $11.299 million, Fox.
The return of hard-core action hero Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson after attempts at Arnold Schwarzenegger-inspired comedy movie gigs (not including his stint as governor of California). We'd rather see The Rock crack heads than jokes. After 10 years in prison, Driver has a singular focus -- to avenge the murder of his brother during the botched bank robbery that led to his imprisonment. Now a free man with a deadly to-do list in hand, he's finally on his mission ... but with two men on his trail -- a veteran cop just days from retirement, and a young egocentric hitman with a flair for the art of killing and a newfound worthy opponent. The hunter is also the hunted. It's a do or die race to the list's finish as the mystery surrounding his brother's murder deepens, and new details emerge along the way hinting that Driver's list may be incomplete.
Vitals: Director: George Tillman Jr. Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Maggie Grace, Carla Gugino, Moon Bloodgood.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 98 min., Action, Box office gross: $23.081 million, Sony.
Contemporary musical with 12 song-and-dance numbers about a small-town girl with big vocal talent who gets a job working at a modern day burlesque nightclub. Ali (Christina Aguilera) is a small-town girl with a big voice who escapes hardship and an uncertain future to follow her dreams to L.A. After stumbling upon The Burlesque Lounge, a majestic but ailing theater that is home to an inspired musical revue, Ali lands a job as a cocktail waitress from Tess (Cher), the club's proprietor and headliner. Burlesque's outrageous costumes and bold choreography enrapture the young ingenue, who vows to perform there one day. Soon enough, Ali builds a friendship with a featured dancer (Julianne Hough), finds an enemy in a troubled, jealous performer (Kristen Bell), and garners the affection of Jack (Cam Gigandet), a bartender and fellow musician. With the help of a sharp-witted stage manager (Stanley Tucci) and gender-bending host (Alan Cumming), Ali makes her way from the bar to the stage. Her spectacular voice restores The Burlesque Lounge to its former glory, though not before a charismatic entrepreneur (Eric Dane) arrives with an enticing proposal.
Vitals: Director: Steven Antin. Stars: Christina Aguilera, Cher, Stanley Tucci, Kristen Bell, Cam Gigandet, Julianne Hough, Eric Dane, Alan Cumming, Peter Gallagher.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 119 min., Musical, Box office gross: $38.633 million, Sony.
The Next Three Days
Life seems perfect for John Brennan until his wife, Lara, is arrested for a murder she says she didn't commit. Three years into her sentence, John is struggling to hold his family together, raising their son and teaching at college while he pursues every means available to prove her innocence. With the rejection of their final appeal, Lara becomes suicidal and John decides there is only one possible, bearable solution: to break his wife out of prison. Refusing to be deterred by impossible odds or his own inexperience, John devises an elaborate escape plot and plunges into a dangerous and unfamiliar world, ultimately risking everything for the woman he loves.
Vitals: Director: Paul Haggis. Stars: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Liam Neeson, Jonathan Tucker, Brian Dennehy, RZA.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 122 min., Action, Box office gross: $21.1 million, Lionsgate.
When hard-working TV producer Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) is fired from a local news program, her career begins to look as bleak as her hapless love life. Stumbling into a job at "Daybreak" (the last-place national morning news show), Becky decides to revitalize the show by bringing on legendary TV anchor Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford). Unfortunately, Pomeroy refuses to cover morning show staples like celebrity gossip, weather, fashion and crafts, let alone work with his new co-host, Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton), a former beauty queen and longtime morning show personality, who is more than happy covering morning "news." As Mike and Colleen clash, first behind the scenes and then on the air, Becky's blossoming love affair with fellow producer, Adam Bennett (Patick Wilson), begins to unravel. And soon Becky is struggling to save her relationship, her reputation, her job and ultimately, the show itself.
Vitals: Director: Roger Michell. Stars: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, 50 Cent.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 107 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $30.982 million, Paramount.
The Jackass guys are back for another round of mischief and mayhem. Johnny Knoxville goes head-to-head with an angry bull, Bam Margera stumbles through a tunnel of high-voltage tasers, and Steve-O takes to the skies in a fully loaded porta-potty.
Vitals: Director: Jeff Tremaine. Stars: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn, Preston Lacy.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 94 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $117.109 million, Paramount.
Documentary chronicles the events that led to the $20 trillion global financial crisis. Through interviews with key financial insiders, politicians and journalists including Congressman Barney Frank, former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, Financial Times associate editor and chief economics commentator Martin Wolf and former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, this insightful film reveals that the 2008 economic downturn was a result of the disastrous collision of the unchecked investment banking bubble, rampant deregulation and corrupt economists. Nominated for a 2011 Producers Guild Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary and Writers Guild Award for Best Documentary Screenplay.
Vitals: Director: Charles Ferguson.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 120 min., Documentary, Box office gross: $3.884 million, Sony.
Inspired by the life story of boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg)and his trainer brother Dick Eklund (Christian Bale), chronicling the brothers' early days on the rough streets of Lowell, Mass., through Eklund's battle with drugs and Ward's eventual world championship in London. It's a gritty, affectionately humorous, yet stirring comeback tale of the unlikely boxing hero his half-brother, who had to come apart as opponents before coming together as brothers in a scrappy fight to win a long-shot championship and strengthen the bonds of their family.
Vitals: Director: David O. Russell. Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 104 min., Drama, Box office gross: $82.400 million, Paramount.
Tells the story of three people who are haunted by mortality in different ways. Matt Damon stars as George, a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife: he has a pyschic gift to communicate with the dead. On the other side of the world, Marie (Cecile de France), a French journalist, has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And Marcus (Frankie/George McLaren), a London schoolboy, loses his twin brother in a truck accident and desperately wants to reconnect with himt. Each are on a path in search of the truth; their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might -- or must -- exist in the hereafter.
Vitals: Director: Clint Eastwood. Stars: Matt Damon, Cecile de France, Frankie and George McLaren, Jay Mohr, Bryce Dallas Howard, Marthe Keller, Thierry Neuvic, Derek Jacobi.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 126 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $31.448 million, Warner.
The film is based on Jeffrey Eugenides' short story "Baster," which was first published in The New Yorker. Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) is a smart, fun-loving, 40-year-old single woman who, despite her neurotic best-friend Wally's (Jason Bateman) objections, decides it's time to have a baby -- even if it means doing it herself ... with a little help from a charming sperm donor (Patrick Wilson) and a turkey baster. Wally, however, gets drunk at a party celebrating the soon-to-be artificial insemination, and surreptitiously replaces her donor's semen with his own -- without remembering a thing. When Wally and Kassie reunite years later, he gets acquainted with her cute -- though slightly neurotic -- son, and is then forced to live with the secret that he is the boy's real father.
Vitals: Director: Josh Gordon, Will Speck. Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Jeff Goldblum, Juliette Lewis, Patrick Wilson.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 100 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $27.758 million, Miramax Films/Lionsgate.
During an impromptu trip to Europe to mend a broken heart, Frank (Johnny Depp) unexpectedly finds himself in a flirtatious encounter with Elise (Angelina Jolie), an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path. Against the breathtaking backdrop of Paris and Venice, their whirlwind romance quickly evolves as they find themselves unwittingly thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse -- full of international web of intrigue and danger. Director Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck helmed the Academy Award-winning film "The Lives of Others" (Best Foreign Language Film, 2006).
Vitals: Director: Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck. Stars: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 103 min., Action Thriller, Box office gross: $66.559 million, Sony.
It was supposed to be a simple birthday weekend in Southern California. But when sunrise arrives two hours early in the form of a haunting light from an unknown source, a group of friends watch in terror as people across the city are drawn outside and swept into massive alien ships that have blotted out the L.A. skyline. From tankers to drones and hydra-like extraterrestrials, the aliens are inescapable and seemingly indestructible. Now, it will take every survival instinct the group has to elude capture.
Vitals: Director: Colin Strause, Greg Strause. Stars: Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, Donald Faison, David Zayas, Brittany Daniel, Crystal Reed, Neil Hopkins.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 100 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $20.955 million, Universal.
How Do You Know
Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) is a woman whose athletic ability is the defining passion of her life, having been her focus since early childhood. When she is cut from her softball team, everything she has ever known is suddenly taken from her. Not knowing what to do, she begins a fling with Matty (Owen Wilson), a major league baseball pitcher, a self-centered ladies man -- a narcissist with a code of honor. George (Paul Rudd) is a straight-arrow businessman whose complicated relationship with his father, Charles (jack Nicholson), takes a turn when George is accused of a financial crime, even though he's done nothing wrong. Though he may be headed to jail, George's honesty, integrity, and unceasing optimism may be his only path to keeping his sanity. Before Lisa's relationship with Matty takes root, she meets George for a first date on the worst evening of each of their lives: She has just been cut, and he has just been served. When everything else seems to be falling apart, they will discover what it means to have something wonderful happen.
Vitals: Director: James L. Brooks. Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, Jack Nicholson, Kathryn Hahn, Molly Price, Mark Linn-Baker, Lenny Venito, Shelley Conn, Tony Shalhoub.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 121 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $30.2 million, Sony.
Live action/CGI. Jellystone Park has been losing business, so greedy Mayor Brown decides to shut it down and sell the land. That means families will no longer be able to experience the natural beauty of the outdoors -- and, even worse, Yogi and Boo Boo will be tossed out of the only home they've ever known. Faced with his biggest challenge ever, Yogi must prove that he really is "smarter than the average bear" as he and Boo Boo join forces with their old nemesis Ranger Smith to find a way to save Jellystone Park from closing forever.
Vitals: Director:Eric Brevig . Stars: Dan Aykroyd (voice), Justin Timberlake (voice), Anna Faris, Tom Cavanagh, T.J. Miller, Nathan Corddry, Andrew Daly.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 82 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $96.307 million, Warner.
Nina (Natalie Portman, Best Performance by an Actress Oscar winner) is a ballerina in the New York City Ballet trying to make it to the top. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But a new dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis), also impresses Leroy and becomes Nina's competition. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly with her innocence and grace, but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan with her fiery personality. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.
Vitals: Director: Darren Aronofsky. Stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 108 min., Drama, Box office gross: $99.337 million, Fox.
When the kingdom's most wanted -- and most charming -- bandit Flynn Rider (voice of Zachary Levi) hides out in a mysterious tower, he's taken hostage by Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore), a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair. Flynn's curious captor, who's looking for her ticket out of the tower that she's been locked away in for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief, and the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse, an overprotective chameleon and a gruff gang of pub thugs. A musical comedy re-imagining of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale.
Vitals: Director: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard. Stars: Voices of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman, M.C. Gainey, Jeffrey Tambor, Brad Garrett, Paul F. Tompkins, Richard Kiel.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 100 min., Animated, Box office gross: $186.356 million, Disney.
A suspense-filled glimpse into the dark corridors of political power, Fair Game is a riveting action-thriller based on the autobiography of real-life undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts), whose career was destroyed and marriage strained to its limits when her covert identity was exposed by a politically motivated press leak. As a covert officer in the CIA's Counter-Proliferation Division, Valerie leads an investigation into the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Valerie's husband, diplomat Joe Wilson (Sean Penn), is drawn into the investigation to substantiate an alleged sale of enriched uranium from Niger. But when the administration ignores his findings and uses the issue to support the call to war, Joe writes a New York Times editorial outlining his conclusions and ignites a fire storm of controversy.
Vitals: Director: Doug Liman. Stars: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Ty Burrell, Michael Kelly, Bruce McGill.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 108 min., Drama, Box office gross: $9.382 million, Summit Entertainment.
Made in Dagenham
Based on a true story about a group of spirited women who joined forces to demand equal rights for working women in Britain in the 1960s. Although far from the Swinging Sixties of Carnaby Street, life to the women of Dagenham is tinged with the sounds and sights of the optimistic era, heard on their radios and seen on their TV sets. Rita O'Grady (Sally Hawkins) reflects that upbeat era, along with her friends and co-workers at the city's Ford Motor Factory, who laugh in the face of their poor conditions. Lisa (Rosamund Pike) is a fiercely intelligent Cambridge-educated woman who feels a bit trapped, tending to the home with a husband who suggests she keep her opinions to herself. No one thought the revolution would come to Dagenham, until one day, it did. Rita, who primarily sees herself as a wife and mother, is coerced into attending a meeting with shop steward Connie, sympathetic union representative Albert (Bob Hoskins) and Peter Hopkins (Rupert Graves), Ford's Head of Industrial Relations. What she expects to be simply a day out of work, complete with a free lunch, turns into much more when she and her colleagues become enraged by the lack of respect shown in the meeting to the women employees. With humor, common sense and courage Rita and the other women take on their bosses, an increasingly belligerent local community and finally the government, as their intelligence and unpredictability proves to be a match for any of their male opponents. Daring to stand up and push boundaries, the women changed a system that no one wanted to admit was broken.
Vitals: Director: Nigel Cole. Stars: Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Rosamund Pike, Miranda Richardson, Rupert Graves. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 113 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.997 million, Sony.
All Good Things
Inspired by the most notorious missing person's case in New York history, the film is a love story and murder mystery set against the backdrop of a New York real estate dynasty in the 1980s. Director Andrew Jarecki's (the documentary "Capturing the Friedmans") first dramatic feature is based on the story of Robert Durst, scion of the wealthy Durst family. Durst was suspected but never tried for killing his wife Kathie who disappeared in 1982 and was never found.
Vitals: Director: Andrew Jarecki. Stars: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella, Lily Rabe, Philip Baker Hall, Diane Venora, Kristen Wiig.
2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 101 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $.428 million, The Weinstein Co./Magnolia Home Entertainment.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a
Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center),
and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.