New movies for Aug. 15

New movies

Tropic Thunder

The gist: A bunch of pretty good actors play a bunch of egotistical actors who are making a war movie but are so self-absorbed they don't notice when they encounter real bad guys. Where's Rambo? R

Starring: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Nick Nolte, Steve Coogan, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Jay Baruchel, Matt Levin, Andrea De Oliveira, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise,

The buzz: Finally, a comedy after tbt*'s hearts. "It's raunchy, outspoken — and also a smart and agile dissection of art, fame and the chutzpah of big-budget productions," Entertainment Weekly gushes.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

The gist: Javier Bardem gets to live out countless male fantasies in a Woody Allen flick about a guy who always gets the girl, for better or worse. PG-13

Starring: Bardem, Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz and Rebecca Hall.

The buzz: Fairly smoldering, for a Woody Allen movie. "Vicky Cristina Barcelona isn't high-grade Allen," the St. Pete Times says. "... But it has Bardem offering a primer for any guy seeking action, and not a restraining order."

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The gist: An embarrassing add-on from Lucas & Co. to try to squeeze the last few dollars out of your wallet. Seriously, Jedi saving Jabba the Hutt's son? Fail. PG

Starring: Voices of Matt Lanter, Ian Abercrombie, Anthony Daniels, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Kane, Matthew Wood, James Arnold Taylor and Christopher Lee.

The buzz: It captures none of the magic of either trilogy. "The video game-ready results play more like a feature-length promo for the imminent TV series of the same name than a stand-alone event," the Hollywood Reporter says.

Mirrors

The gist: Mega-creepy tale about Jack Bauer and his family fighting ghosties by torturing them to life. Or something. R

Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton, Cameron Boyce, Erica Gluck, Amy Smart, Mary Beth Peil, John Shrapnel and Jason Flemyng.

The buzz: No preview here, but the commercials are spooky enough for us to overlook that it'll be just awful.

Fly Me to the Moon

The gist: It's like A Bug's Life, but with houseflies. And the Apollo 11 mission. G

Starring: Voices of Nicolette Sheridan, Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, Robert Patrick, Kelly Ripa, Adrienne Barbeau, Ed Begley Jr. and Buzz Aldrin in the flesh.

The buzz: The aim to teach about the space race is admirable, but this one can't achieve orbit. "An awkward mix of proficient 3-D animation, detailed technical recreation and strained storytelling that stalls on takeoff," the Hollywood Reporter says.

Bottle Shock

The gist: The French always think they're so special, with their Bordeauxs and their Burgundies. Look how the Napa Valley stood up to the bullies in this winemaking story. PG-13

Starring: Alan Rickman, Chris Pine, Bill Pullman, Rachael Taylor, Dennis Farina, Eliza Dushku and Bradley Whitford.

The buzz: Like Napa Valley wines, it's not too bad if you don't expect too much. "It's Rocky with a corkscrew, an underdog story easy to embrace even if you're a Bud drinker," the St. Pete Times says.

Henry Poole is Here

The gist: A terminally ill man ends up with a water stain that some people say looks like Jesus, and finds reasons to live life when he meets some woman and yada yad yada. PG

Starring: Luke Wilson, Radha Mitchell, Adriana Barraza, George Lopez, Cheryl Hines, Rachel Seiferth and Morgan Lily.

The buzz: Predictable and flaccid. Even with this cast. "If inciting boredom is the worst sin a filmmaker can commit, being timid is right behind it," the Charlotte Observer admonishes.

— Joshua Gillin jgillin@tampabay.com

Upcoming releases

Wednesday: The Rocker

Aug. 22: The House Bunny; The Longshots; Death Race

New movies for Aug. 15 08/14/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2008 8:54pm]

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