OnVideo: MAY's Top Movies
DAYBREAKERSThe year is 2019. A mysterious plague has swept over the earth, transforming the majority of the world's population into vampires. Humans are now an endangered, second-class species -- forced into hiding as they are hunted and farmed for vampire consumption to the brink of extinction. It's all up to Edward Dalton, a vampire researcher who refuses to feed on human blood, to perfect a blood substitute that might sustain vampires and spare the few remaining humans. But time and hope are running out -- until Ed meets Audrey, a human survivor who leads him to a startling medical breakthrough. Armed with knowledge that both humans and vampires will kill for, Ed must battle his own kind in a deadly struggle that will decide the fate of the human race.
Director: Peter Spierig, Michael Spierig. Stars: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Claudia Karvan, Michael Dorman, Sam Neill, Vince Colosimo, Isabel Lucas. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 98 min., Horror, Box office gross: $29.423 million, Lionsgate. Available: 5/11.
DEAR JOHNBased on the novel by best-selling author Nicholas Sparks. The story of John Tyree (Channing Tatum), a young soldier home on leave, and Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), the idealistic college student he falls in love with during her spring vacation. Over the next seven tumultuous years, the couple is separated by John's increasingly dangerous deployments. While meeting only sporadically, they stay in touch by sending a continuous stream of love letters overseas -- correspondence that eventually triggers fateful consequences.
Director: Lasse Hallstrom. Stars: Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried, Richard Jenkins, Henry Thomas, D.J. Cotrona, Cullen Moss, Gavin McCulley, Jose Lucena Jr., Keith Robinson, Scott Porter. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 105 min., Melodrama, Box office gross: $76.694 million, Sony. Available: 5/25.
EDGE OF DARKNESSThriller set at the intersection of politics and big business. Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) is a veteran homicide detective on the Boston Police Department and a single father. When his only child, 24-year-old Emma (Bojana Novakovic), is murdered on the steps of his home, everyone assumes that he was the target. But he soon suspects otherwise, and embarks on a mission to find out about his daughter's secret life and her killing. His investigation leads him into a dangerous, looking-glass world of corporate cover-ups, government collusion and murder -- and to shadowy government operative Darius Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), who has been sent in to clean up the evidence. Craven's solitary search for answers about his daughter's death transforms into an odyssey of emotional discovery and redemption.
Director: Martin Campbell. Stars: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Shawn Roberts, Bojana Novakovic, Frank Grillo, Gbenga Akinnagbe. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 117 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $40.310 million, Warner. Available: 5/11.
EXTRAORDINARY MEASURESThe true story of John Crowley, a man who defied conventional wisdom and great odds to pursue a cure for his children's life threatening disease. From his working class roots, Crowley (Brendan Fraser) has finally begun to taste success in corporate America. Supported by his wife Aileen (Keri Russell) and their three children, John is on the fast track. But just as his career is taking off, Crowley walks away from it all when his two youngest children, Megan and Patrick, are diagnosed with a fatal disease. Harnessing all of his skill and determination, Crowley teams up with a brilliant, but unappreciated and unconventional scientist, Dr. Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford). Together they form a bio-tech company focused on developing a life-saving drug. One driven to prove himself and his theories, the other by a chance to save his children, this unlikely alliance eventually develops into mutual respect as they battle the medical and business establishments in a fight against the system -- and time. Basically a glorified TV movie produced -- not surprisingly -- by CBS Films, a new feature division of the network.
INVICTUSThe inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match.
Director: Clint Eastwood. Stars: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge, Julian Lewis Jones, Marguerite Wheatley. 2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 133 min., Drama, Box office gross: $36.215 million, Warner. Available: 5/18.
LEAP YEARWhen Anna's (Amy Adams) four-year anniversary to her boyfriend passes without an engagement ring, she decides to take matters into her own hands. Inspired by an Irish tradition that allows women to propose to men on Leap Day, Anna follows Jeremy (Adam Scott) to Dublin to propose to him. But after landing on the wrong side of Ireland, she must enlist the help of the handsome and carefree local Declan (Matthew Goode) to get her across the country. Along the way, they discover that the road to love can take one to very unexpected places.
Director: Anand Tucker. Stars: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott, Bill Nighy, Kaitlin Olson, John Lithgow. 2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 101 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $24.734 million, Universal. Available: 5/4.
LEGIONIn this supernatural action thriller, an out-of-the-way diner becomes the unlikely battleground for the survival of the human race. When God loses faith in Mankind, he sends his legion of angels to bring on the Apocalypse. Humanity's only hope lies in a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner and the Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany). Their mission: protect a waitress and her sacred unborn child from the relentless, bloody siege of the demonic legion.
Director: Scott Stewart. Stars: Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson, Doug Jones, Jon Tenney, Charles S. Dutton, Lucas Black, Kate Walsh, Adrianne Palicki, Kevin Durand, Willa Holland. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Sci-Fi Horror, Box office gross: $36.101 million, Sony. Available: 5/11.
Watch the "Legion" trailer
MESSENGER, THEBen Foster stars as Will Montgomery, a U.S. Army officer who has just returned home from a tour in Iraq and is assigned to the Army's Casualty Notification service. Partnered with fellow officer Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson) to bear the bad news to the loved ones of fallen soldiers, Will faces the challenge of completing his mission while seeking to find comfort and healing back on the home front. When he finds himself drawn to Olivia (Samantha Morton), to whom he has just delivered the news of her husband's death, Will's emotional detachment begins to dissolve and the film reveals itself as a surprising, humorous, moving and very human portrait of grief, friendship and survival.
Director: Oren Moverman. Stars: Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, Jena Malone, Eamonn Walker. 2009, CC, MPAA rating: R, 105 min., Drama, Box office gross: $1.006 million, Oscilloscope Pictures. Available: 5/18.
NINEPassion, fantasy, lust, love, art, style, delusions, dreams. Life has always been a circus for world-famous 1960s movie director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis)... only now he can't escape as the filmmaker begins work on his project. Renowned for his brilliant moviemaking and desired by many, Guido is about to kick off production on his highly anticipated ninth picture, "Italia," when, suddenly, the bottom drops out of both his ample creative powers and his fervid love life, as they simultaneously unravel out of control. Surrounded by a panorama of astonishing women -- his tempting mistress Carla (Penelope Cruz), his devoted wife Luisa (Marion Cotillard), his muse Claudia (Nicole Kidman), his costume designer and confidante Lilli (Judi Dench), a flirty journalist from Vogue (Kate Hudson), an instructive prostitute from his childhood (Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson) and his beloved Mamma (Sophia Loren) -- Guido searches for inspiration and possible salvation amid the free fall. As he does, the historic Stage 5 at Cinecitta Studios in Rome is lit up by Guido's most evocative desires, memories and dreams -- which transform into dynamic, expansive musical fantasies -- as the production draws ever closer to the moment when Guido must overcome his demons and call "Action!" The innovative, award-winning Broadway musical sensation inspired by Fellini's "8 1/2" comes full circle back to the screen, stirringly re-invented as the richly cinematic story of an artist's epic mid-life crisis by director Rob Marshall, who brought "Chicago" so dazzlingly to life. Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical "Nine," with book by Arthur L. Kopit, music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and adaptation from the Italian by Mario Fratti, the film is written by Michael Tolkin and Anthony Minghella.
Director: Rob Marshall. Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren, Kate Hudson, Fergie. 2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 119 min., Musical, Box office gross: $19.664 million, Sony. Available: 5/4.
ROAD, THEBased on Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize winning novel. Dark, dreary post-apocalyptic tale of a journey taken by a father (Viggo Mortensen) and his young son (newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee), across a barren landscape blasted by an unnamed cataclysm, searching for safety while battling starving stragglers and marauding packs of cannibals.
Director: John Hillcoat. Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Robert Duvall, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Kodi Smit-McPhee. 2009, CC, MPAA rating: R, 119 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $7.85 million, The Weinstein Co./Sony. Available: 5/25.
SPY NEXT DOOR, THEJackie Chan stars as Bob Ho, an undercover CIA superspy who decides to give up his career in espionage to settle down with his next-door neighbor and girlfriend, Gillian (Amber Valletta). But Bob has one more mission to complete before Gillian agrees to marry him: winning over her three opinionated kids. When Gillian suddenly has to leave town, Bob volunteers to babysit the children so he can earn their approval. But when one of the kids mistakenly downloads a top-secret formula from his computer, Bob's arch-enemy, a Russian terrorist, moves in for the attack, forcing Bob to juggle the roles of spy and prospective stepfather in the most challenging mission of his career.
Director: Brian Levant. Stars: Jackie Chan, Madeline Carroll, Alina Foley, George Lopez, Billy Ray Cyrus, Amber Valletta, Katherine Boecher. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 94 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $21.539 million, Lionsgate. Available: 5/18.
TOOTH FAIRYDerek Thompson is 'The Tooth Fairy,' a hard-charging minor league hockey player whose nickname comes from his habit of separating opposing players from their bicuspids. When Derek discourages a youngster's hopes, he's sentenced to one week's hard labor as a real tooth fairy, complete with the requisite tutu, wings and magic wand. At first, Derek "can't handle the tooth" -- bumbling and stumbling as he tries to furtively wing his way through strangers' homes, doing what tooth fairies do. But as Derek slowly adapts to his new position, he begins to rediscover his own forgotten dreams. Dull and uninspired despite the continuing charm of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Director: Michael Lembeck. Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews, Chase Ellison, Billy Crystal. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 101 min., Family Comedy, Box office gross: $56.231 million, Fox. Available: 5/4.
VALENTINE'S DAYEnsemble comedy follows the intertwining story lines of a group of Los Angelinos as they find their way through romance over the course of one Valentine's Day. Couples and singles experience the pinnacles and pitfalls of finding, keeping or ending relationships in a day in the life of love.
Director: Garry Marshall. Stars: Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts, Taylor Swift. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 125 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $106.420 million, New Line. Available: 5/18.
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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May 1, 2010