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Casa De Mi Padre

Will Ferrell and a who's-who of Latin American talent star in a parody of the Telenovela ("Spanish Soap Opera") genre - and yes, it's apparently (almost) all in Spanish, which Ferrell had to learn for the role. Could either be brilliant or a disaster, but I'm excited to see Will Ferrell enter the "I can get studios to greenlight my insane-sounding pet projects" phase of his career. Trailer here.

Amazing Spider-Man

On the one hand, "we have to do it and QUICK because if we don't, Marvel might take the character back and add them to The Avengers" is both the worst, most cynically cash/contract-driven reason to make a movie and one of the worst possible conditions to make a movie under. On the other hand, those exact same factors gave us the magnificent X-Men: First Class, so maybe it's a mistake to write Sony's quickie/cheapie back-to-high-school Spider-Man reboot off this early. Then again ... its first trailer? Ghastly. We'll see.

Cabin In The Woods

Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard made this movie two years ago, but the MGM collapse and the film's supposedly waaaaaay out there plot twists got it shelved until now. A group of teenagers are stuck in a cabin and ... well, what seems like a traditional horror setup supposedly takes a big turn for the weird. There is a trailer that shows some more, but you might want to avoid it and go in cold. Choice is yours.

Red Tails

Since "Cut!" was called on Return of The Jedi, George Lucas has been talking about various smaller non-Star Wars projects he was just about to tackle. Now, one of them has finally gotten made! Officially directed by Anthony Hemmingway (but with Lucas producing, exercising control over post-production and even directing a round of re-shoots himself) it's a WWII action movie about The Tuskegee Airmen. Trailer looks promising, but let's get real - the big interest is to find out if The George Lucas Story is about to have a surprise 4th Act.

Act Of Valor

A few years ago, a production company was contracted by the U.S. Military to produce an up-to-date narrative recruitment film for the Navy's SEAL division featuring actual SEAL members and cutting edge military weapon tech in its action scenes. These sort of films are made semi-frequently, but are usually only ever shown to folks in the military who may wish to move up into other branches ... but this one wound up turning out so good that it got repurposed into a wide-release feature film. (One imagines the killing of Osama bin Laden by a SEAL team last year helped generate more interest.) None of the SEALs' real names will be used onscreen, as their identities are supposed to remain a military secret, but it should be pretty interesting to see a war movie (the story is a rescue mission) being acted out with A.) exacting attention to technical details and B.) by folks who actually know how to use the stuff we're seeing.

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet. If you find yourself in Boston on January 13-16 stop by and see Bob in person at Arisia 2012

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