||# Of Screens
||Alice in Wonderland
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1. "Alice in Wonderland:" Tim Burton takes a stab at Lewis Carroll's timeless tale of a young girl (Mia Wasikowska) lost within a fantasyland with this 3-D production of Alice in Wonderland. The Lion King's Linda Woolverton provides the script, with Hollywood heavyweights Richard Zanuck and Joe Roth heading up the production team. Burton veteran collaborator Johnny Depp co-stars as The Mad Hatter in the Walt Disney Productions picture. - Jeremy Wheeler, All Movie Guide
2. "Brooklyn's Finest:" In the course of one chaotic week, the lives of three conflicted New York City police officers are dramatically transformed by their involvement in a massive drug operation in 'Brooklyn's Finest,' a new crime drama from acclaimed director Antoine Fuqua ('Training Day').
Burned out veteran Eddie Dugan (Golden Globe-winner Richard Gere) is just one week away from his pension and a fishing cabin in Connecticut. Narcotics officer Sal Procida (Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke) has discovered there's no line he won't cross to provide a better life for his long-suffering wife and seven children. And Clarence "Tango" Butler (Oscar nominee Don Cheadle) has been undercover so long his loyalties have started to shift from his fellow police officers to his prison buddy Caz (Wesley Snipes), one of Brooklyn's most infamous drug dealers. With personal and work pressures bearing down on them, each man faces daily tests of judgment and honor in one of the world's most difficult jobs.
When NYPD's Operation Clean Up targets the notoriously drug-ridden BK housing project, all three officers find themselves swept away by the violence and corruption of Brooklyn's gritty 65th Precinct and its most treacherous criminals. During seven fateful days, Eddie, Sal and Tango find themselves hurtling inextricably toward the same fatal crime scene and a shattering collision with destiny. - moviephone.com.
3. "Shutter Island": Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio team up as a pair of U.S. Marshals who travel to a secluded island off the coast of Massachusetts to search for an escaped mental patient, uncovering a web of deception along the way as they battle the forces of nature and a prison riot in this Martin Sco
rsese-helmed period picture. Laeta Kalogridis adapts Dennis Lehane's novel of the same name, with Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures splitting production and distribution duties. Ben Kingsley co-stars as the head of the institution where the patient resided, while Michelle Williams portrays Leonardo DiCaprio's deceased wife, whose memory haunts him during the investigation. Max Von Sydow, Emily Mortimer, Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson, and Jackie Earle Haley round out the supporting cast. - Jeremy Wheeler, All Movie Guide.
4. "Cop Out:" Directed by Kevin Smith ('Zack and Miri Make a Porno'), 'Cop Out' features two longtime NYPD partners on the trail of a stolen, rare, mint-condition baseball card who find themselves up against a merciless, memorabilia-obsessed gangster. Jimmy (Bruce Willis) is the veteran detective whose missing collectible is his only hope to pay for his daughter's upcoming wedding, and Paul (Tracy Morgan) is his "partner-against-crime" whose preoccupation with his wife's alleged infidelity makes it hard for him to keep his eye on the ball.
5. "Avatar": A paraplegic ex-marine finds a new life on the distant planet of Pandora, only to find himself battling humankind alongside the planet's indigenous Na'vi race in this ambitious digital 3D sci-fi epic from Academy Award-winning Titanic director James Cameron. The film, which marks Cameron's first dramatic feature since 1997's Titanic, follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a war veteran who gets called to the depths of space to pick up the job of his slain twin brother for the scientific arm of a megacorporation looking to mine the planet of Pandora for a valued ore. Unfortunately the biggest deposit of the prized substance lies underneath the home of the Na'vi, a ten-foot-tall, blue-skinned native tribe who have been at war with the security arm of the company, lead by Col. Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang). Because of the planet's hostile atmosphere, humans have genetically grown half-alien/half-human bodies which they can jack their consciousnesses into and explore the world in. Since Jake's brother already had an incredibly expensive Avatar grown for him, he's able to connect with it using the same DNA code and experience first-hand the joys of Pandora while giving the scientific team, led by Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) and Norm Spellman (Joel David Moore), some well-needed protection against the planet's more hostile forces.
On a chance meeting after getting separated from his team, Jake's Avatar is rescued by Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), a Na'vi princess, who brings him into her tribe in order to give the humans a second chance at relating to this new environment. When word gets out of his increasing time with the alien species, Quaritch enlists Jake to do some reconnaissance for the company, as they'd like to persuade the tribe to move their home before taking more drastic measures to harness the treasure hidden below. Yet as Jake becomes one with the tribe and begins to understand the secrets of Pandora, his conscience is torn between his new adopted world and the wheelchair-bound one awaiting him when the psychic connection to his Avatar is broken. Soon battle lines are drawn and Jake needs to decide which side he will fight on when the time comes. The film was shot on the proprietary FUSION digital 3D cameras developed by Cameron in collaboration with Vince Pace, and offers a groundbreaking mix of live-action dramatic performances and computer-generated effects. The revolutionary motion-capture system created for the film allows the facial expressions of actors to be captured as a virtual camera system enables them to see what their computer-generated counterparts will be seeing in the film, and Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning Weta Digital visual-effects house supervises Avatar's complex special effects. - Jeremy Wheeler, All Movie Guide