Following the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 last week, it seems like studios have decided to hide the trash in it's shadow. This week's line-up would have to be one of the worst of the year to date. Opening in cinemas tomorrow are Bad Teacher, Larry Crowne, The Eagle, 5 Days of War and Beautiful Lies. All, with the exception of 5 Days of War (which has not accumulated a rating yet) are sitting on 'Rotten' at Rotten Tomatoes.
Bad Teacher - Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz) doesn't just give out F's. She's also foul-mouthed, ruthless and inappropriate. She drinks, she gets high, and she can't wait to marry her meal ticket and get out of her bogus day job. When she's dumped by her fiance, she sets her plan in motion to win over a rich, handsome substitute (Justin Timberlake) - competing for his affections with an overly energetic colleague. When Elizabeth also finds herself fighting off the advances of a sarcastic, irreverent gym teacher (Jason Segel), the consequences of her wild and and outrageous schemes give her students, her co-workers, and even herself an education like no other. I'm no Diaz fan, but I was turned off this immediately after watching the trailer.
Larry Crowne - Until he was downsized, affable, amiable Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) was a superstar team leader at the big-box company where he's worked since his time in the Navy. Underwater on his mortgage and unclear on what to do with his free time, Larry heads to his local college to start over. There he becomes part of a colourful community of outcasts, also-rans and the overlooked all trying to find a better future for themselves - often moving around town in a herd of scooters. The film is written and directed by Tom Hanks, in surprisingly bland and conventional fashion I believe, and also stars Julia Roberts.
The Eagle - Directed by Kevin McDonald (The Last King of Scotland) and adapted by Jeremy Brock from Rosemary Sutcliff's historical adventure novel The Eagle and the Ninth (1954), the film tells the story of the young Roman officer (Channing Tatum) searching to recover the lost Roman eagle standard of his father's legion in the northern part of Great Britain. The story is based on the Ninth Spanish Legion's supposed disappearance in Britain and also stars Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland.
5 Days of War - From Anchor Bay Entertainment comes 5 Days of War, an action-packed international thriller from director Renny Harlin. Based on true events, this intense film is a vivid account of a renegade American journalist, his cameraman and a local woman caught between enemy lines, and determined to not only survive, but tell the world what was happening, during the swift by devastating 5 day war between Russia and the Georgian Republic in 2008. It's playing at Palace Cinemas, and from the promotional material to the cast of washed-up actors (including Val Kilmer and Andy Garcia) this looks like one to skip. It does star Richard Coyle, though. Anyone familiar with the show Coupling will know that he is usually quite good.
Beautiful Lies - An anonymous love letter leads to a slew of misunderstandings in this lighthearted comedy starring Audrey Tautou. When Emilie (close to 'Amelie') opens a heartfelt love letter from a secret admirer, her first instinct is to throw it in the trash. The skeptical salon owner has a change of heart when she realises what such a sentiment would mean to her lonely, despondent mother, Maddie. On a whim, Emilie forwards the letter, and goes on with her day. Later, when Maddie happens across Jean - a smitten Arab handyman and the original author of the amorous note - the mother and daughter find themselves in a heated competition of the same man. Not even the lovely Audrey Tautou could get me in the cinema to watch this.
Weekly Recommendation: I guess it depends on the sort of film you feel like. I'm sure Bad Teacher will be amusing at times, and Larry Crowne seems quite light-hearted easy viewing. But with films like Hanna, Senna, Jane Eyre, Win Win and Beginners coming in the next month, I'd encourage you to save your money for them.