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August 26, 2009 > Movie Review: New Releases

Movie Review: New Releases

By Mona Shah

District 9
In Theatres: August 14
Rated: R for bloody violence and pervasive language.
Runtime: 112 minutes

Cast: Sharlito Copley, David James

Over twenty years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees, the last survivors of their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa's District 9 as the world's nations argued over what to do with them.

Now, patience over the alien situation has run out. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens' welfare - they will receive tremendous profits if they can make the aliens' awesome weaponry work. So far, they have failed; activation of the weaponry requires alien DNA.

The tension between the aliens and the humans comes to a head when an MNU field operative, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), contracts a mysterious virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most valuable - he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Ostracized and friendless, there is only one place left for him to hide: District 9.



Bandslam
In Theaters August 14
Rated: PG for some thematic elements and mild language
Runtime: 111 mins.

Cast: Alyson Michalka ("Phil Of The Future"), Vanessa Hudgens ("High School Musical"), Gaelan Connell ("Chocolat"), Scott Porter ("Friday Night Lights"), Lisa Kudrow ("Friends"), David Bowie

When gifted singer-songwriter Charlotte Banks (Michalka) asks new kid in town Will Burton (Connell) to manage her fledgling rock band, she appears to have just one goal in mind: go head-to-head against her egotistical musician ex-boyfriend, Ben (Porter), at the biggest event of the year, a battle of the bands.

Against all odds, their band develops a sound all its own with a real shot at success in the contest. Meanwhile, romance brews between Will and Sa5m (Hudgens), who plays a mean guitar and has a voice to die for. When disaster strikes, it's time for the band to make a choice: Do they admit defeat, or face the music and stand up for what they believe in?



Inglourious Basterds
In Theaters August 21
Rated: R
Runtime: 150 minutes

Cast: Brad Pitt, Christopher Waltz, Eli Roth, BJ Novak, Dianne Kruger, Til Schweiger, Daniel Bruhl, Mike Myers, Samm Levine, Melanie Laurent


In the first year of the German occupation of France, Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent) witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema.

Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) organizes a group of Jewish American soldiers to perform swift, shocking acts of retribution. Later known to their enemy as "the basterds," Raine's squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) on a mission to take down the leaders of the Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquis, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own.... Employing pulp and propaganda in equal measure, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds weaves together infamous, oppressed, real and larger-than-life the stories of WWII.



Gamer
In Theaters: September 4
Rated: Rated R for frenetic sequences of strong brutal violence throughout, sexual content, nudity and language.

Cast: Gerard Butler, Terry Crews, John Leguizamo, Chris Ludacris Bridges, Kyra Sedgwick

Gamer is a high-concept action thriller set in a near future when gaming and entertainment have evolved into a terrifying new hybrid. Humans control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online games: people play people...for keeps. Mind-control technology is widespread, and at the heart of the controversial games is its creator, reclusive billionaire Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall). His latest brainchild, the first-person shooter game "Slayers," allows millions to act out their most savage fantasies online in front of a global audience, using real prisoners as avatars with whom they fight to the death.

Kable (300's Gerard Butler) is the superstar and cult hero of the ultra violent "Slayers." Kable is controlled by Simon, a young gamer with rock star status who continues to defy all odds by guiding Kable to victory each week. Taken from his family, imprisoned and forced to fight against his will, the modern day gladiator must survive long enough to escape the game to free his family, regain his identity and to save mankind from Castle's ruthless technology.

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