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Bob Garver's spring movie preview

March 02, 2009|By BOB GARVER / Special to The Herald-Mail

None of the movie theaters near me had any new movies last week, so, in lieu of my usual review, here is a preview of releases in the weeks to come.

"Watchmen" (March 6)



Stars: Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Billy Crudup

Director: Zach Snyder

Plot: A team of angsty former superheroes comes out of retirement to stop an attack on the world.

Get Excited: The film is based on a graphic novel that is widely considered to be the greatest ever written.

But Not TOO Excited: Director Snyder has a tendency to ruin everything he touches.

"Race to Witch Mountain" (March 13)



Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, AnnaSophia Robb

Director: Andy Fickman

Plot: A cab driver is tasked with protecting two kids with the power to save the world.

Get Excited: We haven't gotten a good family-friendly adventure movie in a while.

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But Not TOO Excited: Johnson won't let people call him "The Rock" anymore. This won't affect the movie, but it's still annoying.

"Duplicity" (March 20)



Stars: Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Tom Wilkinson

Director: Tony Gilroy

Plot: Two feuding spies become lovers, but can they trust each other?

Get Excited: Roberts is back to romantic comedies, Owen has finally achieved leading man status, Gilroy is hot off an Oscar nomination, the script looks smart, the supporting cast looks like a lot of fun.

But Not TOO Excited: Red-hot director, twisty plot, top-notch cast? This looks a lot like last year's disappointing "Burn After Reading."

"Monsters Vs. Aliens" (March 27)



Stars: (the voices of) Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Rainn Wilson

Directors: Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon

Plot: The government turns to a team on monsters to fight off invading aliens.

Get Excited: There's a lot of funny in the voice cast, which also includes Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Hugh Laurie, and Stephen Colbert (as the president).

But Not TOO Excited: Casting a lot of big names sometimes means that the filmmakers don't have confidence in the script.

"Fast & Furious" (April 3)



Stars: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez

Director: Justin Lin

Plot: The characters from 2001's "The Fast & The Furious" rekindle their shaky friendship and race more cars.

Get Excited: After several dull sequels, the franchise has finally brought back the elements that made it popular in the first place.

But Not TOO Excited: There aren't many who really feel that the franchise is worth saving.

"Hannah Montana: The Movie" (April 10)



Stars: Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Emily Osment

Director: Peter Chelsom

Plot: The pop star pays a visit to her hometown to reconnect with her roots.

Get Excited: Your kids probably love Miley.

But Not TOO Excited: You probably loathe Miley. Her career seems to be about ready to take a nosedive, and this might be the turning point.

"17 Again" (April 17)



Stars: Zac Efron, Matthew Perry, Leslie Mann

Director: Burr Steers

Plot: A middle-aged man reverts back to his 17-year-old self.

Get Excited: Efron is finally graduating from "High School Musical".

But Not TOO Excited: The formula has been done before.

"Obsessed" (April 24)



Stars: Idris Elba, Beyonce Knowles, Ali Larter

Director: Steve Shill

Plot: A married businessman is stalked by his new assistant.

Get Excited: Beyonce is sure to keep things steamy, and there promises to be a few sexy catfights.

But Not TOO Excited: Beyonce plays the wife, and she probably would have worked better as the dangerous assistant.

Contact Bob Garver at rrg251@nyu.edu.

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