This week's releases:
2012: Roland Emmerich's most recent take on destroying the world, this time with John Cusack is the likeable everyman leading us through this thrill-ride that blows-'em-up real good. Based on the idea of the end of the world as we know it coinciding with the end of the Mayan calendar, all hell breaks loose and all but the most politically incendiary landmarks around the world are erased of the face of the world, like a big reset button was pushed. Emmerich's blown up lots of stuff in The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day and Godzilla ('98). Cusack seems to be stepping into shoes normally worn by Nic Cage, but his affable nature played well in Con Air and Identity, so he'll surely add some credibility that seem like an after-thought since Will Smith or Tom Cruise weren't available. With Thandie Newton, Amanda Peet, and Oliver Platt, as well as appearances by Danny Glover and Woody Harrelson.
Pirate Radio: In what could be a beautiful mash-up of High Fidelity, Almost Famous and A Hard Day's Night, relentlessly hip Philip Seymour Hoffman plays dj on a ship off the coast of England in 1966. Kenneth Branagh plays a feathers-ruffled English minister who wants the ship off the air. With Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost (most familiar to North American audiences as Simon Pegg's right hand in Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz)and Rhys Darby (familiar to N.A. audiences as Murray Hewitt from Flight of the Conchords). Set in an amazing era of music and re-edited since it's not-great European release, this should at least be a fun trip!
*poster from the European release