CHICAGO – The stage play that Harry Lennix is in town to direct – “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red” – is in its last weekend, and is giving the actor/director the best notices of the theater part in his long and successful career. For more information about the play, and ticket availability, click here.
2009 Paramount Pictures Preview: ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Defiance,’ ‘The Uninvited,’ ‘Monsters vs. Aliens,’ More
CHICAGO – Paramount Pictures has released official images, cast rosters, and synopsis information for the first half of their impressive 2009 slate of feature releases.
The 2009 Paramount films with available production stills include “Hotel For Dogs,” “Defiance,” “The Uninvited,” “I Love You, Man,” “Monsters vs. Aliens,” “The Soloist,” “The Goods: The Don Ready Story,” “Star Trek,” “Imagine That,” and “Dance Flick”.
“Hotel For Dogs”
Release date: January 16th, 2009
Cast: Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin, Kyla Pratt with Lisa Kudrow, Kevin Dillon and Don Cheadle
Directed by: Thor Freudenthal
Written by: Jeff Lowell and Bob Schooley & Mark McCorkle
Synopsis:”Hotel for Dogs” stars Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin, Lisa Kudrow, Kevin Dillon and Don Cheadle in a smart, funny comedy adventure that shows how far love and imagination can take you. When their new guardians forbid 16-year-old Andi (Roberts) and her younger brother, Bruce (Austin) to have a pet, Andi has to use her quick wit to help find a new home for their dog, Friday. The resourceful kids stumble upon an abandoned hotel and using Bruce’s talents as a mechanical genius, transform it into a magical dog-paradise for Friday - and eventually for all Friday’s friends. When barking dogs make the neighbors suspicious, Andi and Bruce use every invention they have to avoid anyone discovering “who let the dogs in.”
Release date: January 16th, 2009
Cast: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, Allan Corduner and Mark Feuerstein
Directed by: Edward Zwick
Written by: Clayton Frohman & Edward Zwick
Synopsis: Based on an extraordinary true story, “Defiance” is an epic tale of family, honor, vengeance and salvation in World War II. The year is 1941 and the Jews of Eastern Europe are being massacred by the thousands. Managing to escape certain death, three brothers take refuge in the dense surrounding woods they have known since childhood. There they begin their desperate battle against the Nazis. Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell star as brothers who turn a primitive struggle to survive into something far more consequential - a way to avenge the deaths of their loved ones by saving thousands of others. At first it is all they can do to stay alive. But gradually, as whispers of their daring spreads, they begin to attract others - men and women, young and old - willing to risk everything for the sake of even a moment’s freedom. Tuvia (Craig) is a reluctant leader and his decisions are challenged by his brother, Zus (Schreiber) who worries that Tuvia’s idealistic plans will doom them all. Asael (Bell) is the youngest, caught between his brothers’ fierce rivalry. As a brutal winter descends, they work to create a community, and to keep faith alive when all humanity appears to be lost.
Release date: January 30th, 2009
Cast: Emily Browning, Elizabeth Banks, Arielle Kebbel and David Strathairn
Directed by: The Guard Brothers
Written by: Craig Rosenberg and Doug Miro & Carlo Bernard
Synopsis: In the suspense thriller “The Uninvited,” based on the 2003 Korean motion picture “Changhwa, Hongryon” written and directed by Kim Jee-woon, Anna (Emily Browning) returns home after spending time in a psychiatric facility following her mother’s tragic death and discovers that her mother’s former nurse, Rachel (Elizabeth Banks), has moved into their house and become engaged to her father, Steven (David Strathairn). Soon after she learns this shocking news, Anna is visited by her mother’s ghost, who warns her that Rachel has evil intentions. Together, Anna and her sister (Arielle Kebbel) must convince their father that his new fiancee is not who she pretends to be, and what should have been a happy family reunion becomes a lethal battle of wills between stepdaughters and stepmother.
“I Love You, Man”
Release date: March 20th, 2009
Cast: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, J.K. Simmons, Jane Curtin, Jon Favreau and Jaime Pressly
Written and Directed by: John Hamburg
Synopsis: In “I Love You, Man,” a comedy from John Hamburg (“Along Came Polly,” co-writer of “Meet the Parents,” “Meet the Fockers,” “Zoolander”), Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd, “Knocked Up” “The 40 Year Old Virgin”) is a successful real estate agent who, upon getting engaged to the woman of his dreams, Zooey (“The Office’s” Rashida Jones), discovers, to his dismay and chagrin, that he has no male friend close enough to serve as his Best Man. Peter immediately sets out to rectify the situation, embarking on a series of bizarre and awkward “man-dates,” before meeting Sydney Fife (Jason Segel, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”), a charming, opinionated man with whom he instantly bonds. But the closer the two men get, the more Peter’s relationship with Zooey suffers, ultimately forcing him to choose between his fiancee and his new found “bro,” in a story that comically explores what it truly means to be a “friend.”
“Monsters vs. Aliens”
Release date: March 27th, 2009
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert, Kiefer Sutherland and Paul Rudd
Directed by: Rob Letterman & Conrad Vernon
Synopsis: When California girl Susan Murphy is unwittingly clobbered by a meteor full of outer space gunk on her wedding day, she mysteriously grows to 49-feet-11-inches tall. The military jumps into action and Susan is captured and secreted away to a covert government compound. There, she is renamed Ginormica and placed in confinement with a ragtag group of Monsters: the brilliant but insect-headed Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D.; the macho half-ape, half-fish The Missing Link; the gelatinous and indestructible B.O.B.; and the 350-foot grub called Insectosaurus. Their confinement is cut short, however, when a mysterious alien robot lands on Earth and begins storming the country. In a moment of desperation, the President is persuaded to enlist the motley crew of Monsters to combat the Alien Robot and save the world from imminent destruction.
Release date: April 24th, 2009
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Catherine Keener, Tom Hollander and LisaGay Hamilton
Directed by: Joe Wright
Written by: Susannah Grant
Synopsis: In “The Soloist,” an emotionally soaring drama about the redemptive power of music, journalist Steve Lopez (Oscar® nominee Robert Downey Jr.) discovers Nathaniel Anthony Ayers (Oscar® winner Jamie Foxx), a former classical music prodigy, playing his violin on the streets of L.A. As Lopez endeavors to help the homeless man find his way back, a unique friendship is formed, one that transforms both their lives. “The Soloist” is directed by Joe Wright (Golden Globe winner for Best Drama and Oscar® nominee for Best Picture “Atonement”).
“The Goods: The Don Ready Story”
Release date: August 21st, 2009
Cast: Jeremy Piven, Ving Rhames, James Brolin, David Koechner, Kathryn Hahn and Jordana Spiro
Directed by: Neal Brennan
Written by: Adam Stock & Rick Stempson
Synopsis: Who is Don Ready? Salesman? Lover? Song Stylist? Semi-professional dolphin trainer? Ready is all of the above - except for a dolphin trainer. When he’s asked to help save an ailing local car dealership from bankruptcy, Ready and his ragtag crew descend on the town of Temecula like a pack of coyotes on a basket full of burgers. Selling, drinking, selling and going to strip clubs is their stock and trade. And they do it well. What Don doesn’t expect is to fall in love and find his soul (cue heartfelt piano). “The Goods: The Don Ready Story” stars Emmy award-winning actor Jeremy Piven (“The Kingdom,” “Entourage”) and Ving Rhames (“I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” “Mission: Impossible III”). The film, from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions, is directed by Neal Brennan, creator of the hugely successful Comedy Central hit “Chappelle’s Show.”
Release date: May 8th, 2009
Cast: John Cho, Ben Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Winona Ryder, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban,
Anton Yelchin, with Eric Bana and Leonard Nimoy
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Written by: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman
Synopsis: From director J.J. Abrams (“Mission: Impossible III,” “Lost” and “Alias”), producers Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk and screenwriters Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman (“TRANSFORMERS,” “MI: III”) comes a new vision of the greatest space adventure of all time, “Star Trek,” featuring a young, new crew venturing boldly where no one has gone before.
Release date: June 12th, 2009
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Thomas Haden Church, Nicole Ari Parker, Ronny Cox and Martin Sheen
Directed by: Karey Kirkpatrick
Written by: Ed Solomon & Chris Matheson
Synopsis: In Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies’ family comedy “Imagine That,” Eddie Murphy stars as a successful financial executive who has more time for his blackberry than his seven-year-old daughter (Yara Shahidi). When he has a crisis of confidence and his career starts going down the drain, however, he finds the solution to all his problems in his daughter’s imaginary world.
Release date: August 14th, 2009
Cast: Damon Wayans Jr., Craig Wayans, Shoshana Bush, Essence Atkins and Affion Crockett
Directed by: Damien Dante Wayans
Written by: Keenen Ivory Wayans & Shawn Wayans & Marlon Wayans &
Craig Wayans & Damien Dante Wayans
Synopsis: “Dance Flick” is a hilarious new comedy that brings together the talents of two generations of the Wayans family, the explosively funny clan who brought us the “Scary Movie” franchise and “White Chicks,” as well as the groundbreaking TV series “In Living Color.” In “Dance Flick,” a young street dancer, Thomas Uncles (Damon Wayans, Jr.), from the wrong side of the tracks and a beautiful young woman, Megan White (Shoshana Bush), are brought together by their passion for dancing and put to the test in the mother of all dance battles. “Dance Flick” sends up the dance movie genre, including such recent hits as “Step Up” and “You Got Served,” as well as the classic “Flashdance.”
You can click “Next” and “Previous” to scan through this slideshow or jump directly to individual photos with the captioned links below. All photos credited to Paramount Pictures.