This is Jeff Bayer, and I don't update this site very often. If you'd like to listen to my current movie podcast you can find it at MovieBS.com.

New this Week: 'The Eagle,' 'Just Go with It' and 'Life as We Know It (DVD)'

Hitting movie theaters this weekend:

The Eagle - Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland Gnomeo and Juliet - James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Maggie Smith Just Go with It - Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker Justin Bieber: Never Say Never - Justin Bieber, Boys II Men, Miley Cyrus In Her Skin - Guy Pearce, Sam Neill, Miranda Otto (limited)

Movie of the Week

The Eagle

The Stars: Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland The Plot: In Roman-ruled Britain, a young Roman soldier endeavors to honor his father's memory by finding his lost legion's golden emblem. The Buzz: It didn’t blow me away, but the trailer for The Eagle did make me want to check this one out in the theater. The cinematography and filming locales of The Eagle look to be fantastic. The score in the trailer was fairly derivative; standard music to augment the excitement and adventure that such a film promises. The story seems fairly basic, but I'm interested in learning more, mostly due to the time period and the setting of the film. With a good script, this could make for an excellent film.

The cast looks solid — I’ve always loved Jamie Bell, and I’m excited to see his career is still in full swing. By my estimation, Channing Tatum is also a solid actor, but I feel like he’s got too modern a look for a 2nd-century Roman warrior. In still photography, with some grit and grime photo-shopped in, I could see it, but in the film's trailer, I just kept thinking that he looked like a man/boy contemporary to present day fraternity keggers. Perhaps he’ll prove me wrong though, I wouldn’t be too surprised. He showed phenomenal chops in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. It’s nice to see that Donald Sutherland is still in the game, as he’s been consistently good in most everything I’ve seen him in — he’s an old stand-by, and should add some necessary weight to the picture.

Ultimately, for me, the strongest point of this trailer was when director Kevin Macdonald’s name was flashed on screen. He directed State of Play, The Last King of Scotland, and perhaps my favorite documentary ever: Touching the Void. Learning that it was Macdonald at the helm of The Eagle was an automatic-bid for my future attendance. Consider me sold.

Every Friday we'll have new reviews of the latest films. TSR's complete Film Review Database

New Blu-ray and DVDs released this week:

Amarcord [The Criterion Collection] (BD) - Magali Noël, Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio Five Corners (BD/DVD) - Jodie Foster, Tim Robbins, Todd Graff For Colored Girls (BD/DVD) - Janet Jackson, Anika Noni Rose, Whoopi Goldberg I Spit on Your Grave (BD/DVD) - Sarah Butler, Jeff Branson, Andrew Howard It's Kind of a Funny Story (BD/DVD) - Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts Life as We Know It (BD/DVD) - Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Josh Lucas Legends of the Fall (BD) - Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn Middle Men (BD/DVD) - Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribisi, Gabriel Macht My Soul to Take (BD/DVD) - Max Thieriot, John Magaro, Denzel Whitaker Ong Bak 3 (BD/DVD) - Tony Jaa, Dan Chupong, Primorata Dejudom Paranormal Activity 2 (BD/DVD) - Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Molly Ephraim A Private Function (BD) - Michael Palin, Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott The Romantics (DVD) - Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin, Josh Duhamel Still Walking [The Criterion Collection] (BD/DVD) - Hiroshi Abe, Yui Natsukawa Tamara Drewe (BD/DVD) - Gemma Arterton, Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper Thelma and Louise (BD) - Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel Uncle Buck (BD) - John Candy, Macaulay Culkin, Jean Louisa Kelly Wild Target (BD/DVD) - Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint You Again (BD/DVD) - Kristen Bell, Odette Yustman, Sigourney Weaver

Blu-ray/DVD of the Week

Life as We Know It

The Stars: Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Josh Lucas The Plot: Two single adults become caregivers to an orphaned girl when their mutual best friends die in an accident. The Buzz: Was Katherine Heigl’s fifth straight romantic-comedy sweet redemption or a further slide down the spiral? The answer is somewhere in the middle, it would seem. Panned by the critics, but buoyed by a semi-successful run at the B.O. ($53 Million domestically)  Life as We Know It finds itself floating, just barely, on the smash side of the bomb/smash barrier. From what I can see from here, the leading pair’s chemistry looked to be better than previous Heiglian pairings (see Ashton Kutcher, Gerard Butler). It’ll be interesting to see if Duhamel follows this up with more romantic comedies; Heigl had that affect on Butler, so I’d bet on such.

Check out our reviews of these movies and more ... TSR's complete Film Review Database

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