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SFRevu Media Column- 03/2007  Next Month / Last Month
In order to provide timely reviews, we appreciate media kits, preview invitations and preview DVDs. All dramatic presentations received will be listed in this column. Send Materials and Invitations to: Gayle Surrette c/o SFRevu 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613 Email should be sent to: media (at) sfrevu.com

300 by Zack Snyder (Director) ( 29 March 2007 / ) - Amazon.com: Like Sin City before it, 300 brings Frank Miller and Lynn Varley's graphic novel vividly to life. Gerard Butler (Beowulf and Grendel, The Phantom of the Opera) radiates pure power and charisma as Leonidas, the Grecian king who leads 300 of his fellow Spartans (including David Wenham of The Lord of the Rings, Michael Fassbender, and Andrew Pleavin) into a battle against the overwhelming force of Persian invaders. Their only hope is to neutralize the numerical advantage by confronting the Persians, led by King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), at the narrow strait of Thermopylae.

More engaging than Troy, the tepid and somewhat similar epic of ancient Greece, 300 is also comparable to Sin City in that the actors were shot on green screen, then added to digitally created backgrounds. The effort pays off in a strikingly stylized look and huge, sweeping battle scenes. However, it's not as to-the-letter faithful to Miller's source material as Sin City was. The plot is the same, and many of the book's images are represented just about perfectly. But some extra material has been added, including new villains (who would be considered "bosses" if this were a video game, and it often feels like one) and a political subplot involving new characters and a significantly expanded role for the Queen of Sparta (Lena Headey). While this subplot by director Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead) and his fellow co-writers does break up the violence, most fans would probably dismiss it as filler if it didn't involve the sexy Headey. Other viewers, of course, will be turned off by the waves of spurting blood, flying body parts, and surging testosterone. (The six-pack abs are also relentless, and the movie has more and less nudity--more female, less male--than the graphic novel.) Still, as a representation of Miller's work and as an ancient-themed action flick with a modern edge, 300 delivers. --David Horiuchi (see review)

Meet the Robinsons by Stephen J. Anderson (Director) (Buena Vista 30 March 2007 / ) - Plot Synopsis: Lewis is a brilliant inventor with a surprising number of clever inventions to his credit. His latest and most ambitious project is the Memory Scanner, a machine that will help him find his birth mother so they can become a family. But before he can find her, his invention is stolen by the dastardly Bowler Hat Guy and his diabolical hat and constant companion, Doris. Lewis has all but given up hope when a mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson whisks our bewildered hero away in a time machine and together they team up to track down Bowler Hat Guy in a showdown that ends with an unexpected and unbelievable twist of fate.

Actors: Angela Bassett, Daniel Hansen, Jordan Fry, Matthew Josten, John H. H. Ford (see review)

Premonition by (Sony Pictures 16 March 2007 / ) - A housewife is shocked when her husband dies in a car crash and suddenly reappears the next day. She realizes it was only a premonition and tries to avert the tragedy. Sandra Bullock, Julian McMahon, Nia Long, and Amber Valletta star. (Source: Sony Pictures)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Kevin Munroe (Director) (Warner Bros. 23 March 2007 / ) - Amazon.com: From a visual standpoint, this CG feature starring the venerable '80s and '90s superheroes the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is nothing short of slam-bang; the computer animation has a scope and look that transcends both the original comics and animated series and the three live-action features that preceded it. Writer/director Kevin Munroe creates a striking animated world for the four heroes in a half-shell to live, play, and fight in, and the action sequences are occasionally breathtaking in their speed and complexity. But where TMNT stumbles is its bland plot, which picks up after the last of the live-action features with all four teen turtles in disarray, and abandons longtime villain Shredder in favor of an industrialist (well voiced by Patrick Stewart) who recruits the Foot Clan (including Karai, played by Zhang Ziyi) to revive thirteen ancient monsters to aid in his world domination scheme. It's a simple and fun story for kids, but longtime Turtles fans will miss the wry humor and smart sense of irony of the original comics (created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, who gets an executive producer credit here) in this storyline. Still, for most adolescent audience members, such concerns won't matter a whit in the face of the abundant action. --Paul Gaita

Director: Kevin Munroe

Writers: Kevin Eastman (creator Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book & characters) & Peter Laird (creator Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book & characters) ...

Cast(Cast overview, first billed only)

    Chris Evans ... Casey Jones (voice)
    Sarah Michelle Gellar ... April O'Neil (voice)
    Mako ... Master Splinter (voice)
    Kevin Smith ... Diner (voice)
    Patrick Stewart ... Max Winters (voice)
    Laurence Fishburne ... Narrator (voice)
    Ziyi Zhang ... Karai (voice)
    Mitchell Whitfield ... Donatello (voice)
    James Arnold Taylor ... Leonardo (voice)
    Mikey Kelley ... Michelangelo (voice)
    Nolan North ... Raphael/Nightwatcher (voice)
    John Di Maggio ... Colonel Santino (voice)
    Paula Mattioli ... General Serpiente (voice)
    Kevin Michael Richardson ... General Aquila (voice)
    Fred Tatasciore ... General Gato (voice)

The Host by (Bonzai Media Corporation 9 March 2007 (limited) / ) - Product Description: As it has done for ages, the Han River continues to pierce the very center of the capital city Seoul, but one day in the year 2000....Through an unfortunate incident , a creature of an obscure nature is conceived in the waters of the river. As the creature slowly starts to grow in the depths of the river, people fail to sense signs of an impending disaster, devoting themselves to the Korea-Japan World Cup soccer finals, the president elections and to their individual lives. Then one day in 2005, in front of countless citizens taking a stroll and enjoying the weekend on the banks of the Han River, the creature reveals itself in a Shocking display of horror. (Source: Bonzai Media Corporation)

The Last Mimzy by Bruce Joel Rubin (screenplay) and Toby Emmerich (screenplay) (New Line Cinema 23 March 2007 / ) - Two siblings begin to develop special talents after they find a mysterious box of toys. Soon the kids, their parents, and even their teacher are drawn into a strange and sometimes terrifying world.

(Source: New Line Cinema)

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