Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Looking Into the Future of Movies

What will cinema look like in five years? It is such a fun, yet frightening thing to look into. First off, I have read that Steven Spielberg is developing a new technology that will allow movie goers to see a 3-dimensional movie--without the glasses. But what about the movie's plot and story? Look at this summer's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It had dazzling special effects, but had the sorriest excuse for a storyline. Yet it is the highest grossing film of the year so far. I guess the better half of movie goers these days like to turn off their brain and watch mindless action, as opposed to getting involved with well-written characters. Once movies are in 3-D, this problem will get even worse. But don't get me wrong, I love a good 3-dimensional film (Up is one of the best films of the year, in my opinion). I simply hope that these visual effects do not interfere with a nicely developed story.

The most exciting part of looking into the future of cinema is guessing what up and coming actors will make it as a well respected performer. Let's take a look at the young stars today, and whether or not they can survive.

Michael Cera - Cera, having broken through in 2007 with box office hits Juno and Superbad, is one of the most likable teens in movies today. He has that dry sense of humor that provides for great some great line deliveries. But he has not made very good career choices of late. Year One, the ridiculous comedy co-starring Jack Black, was panned by both critics and moviegoers. The young star is also coming out with what looks to be another poor film, Youth in Revolt, out next year. He should not take these leading roles, as he has already proved he is not a box office draw based off of his name alone. I think Cera should take more supporting roles, maybe in indie dramedies, as to avoid overexposure. I do not know if he has the talent to survive as an adult actor, but he has been mildly successful as a teen, so we will have to wait to see.

Jesse Eisenberg - Jesse Eisenberg is basically Michael Cera with more talent, yet a lesser known name. I seriously think Eisenberg could make it as a serious actor, as he has made some great career choices. I first noticed him in The Squid and the Whale, and was pleasantly surprised with his range in acting. He showed off his dramatic ability in the film, displayed his comedic talent in this year's Adventureland, as well as Zombieland. This blend of comedy and drama is needed in almost every successful actor.

Abigail Breslin - Breslin has made some smart career choices by not trying to take the lead role all of the time after receiving an Oscar nomination for 2006's Little Miss Sunshine. She has displayed some nice talent in supporting roles, ranging from Definitely, Maybe, to My Sister's Keeper. What she needs to do is continue finding smart scripts, and take supporting roles until she can mature into the leading lady. We all know what happens to a child star when all they do is take the leading roles; just look at Shirley Temple of Macaulay Culkin. I think Abigail Breslin can make it in Hollywood, maybe even become the next Jodie Foster.

Shia Labeouf - He has been called the next Tom Hanks, but he has virtually thrown that title away while getting into some offscreen trouble, something Tom Hanks would never do. But Labeouf has shown a likable onscreen presence, one that moviegoers can enjoy. He single-handedly crossed the $100 million mark with 2007's Disturbia, and gave a surprisingly real performance in the film. If this man ever wants to win an Oscar, though, I do believe he needs to take a little less emphasis off of the money, and try to show off more of his acting range. Rather than make another Transformers movie, he should instead try to prove that he can make a successful film again that does not require fighting robots. I think Labeouf has the talent, he just has to know what he wants out of his career.

Zac Efron - Efron is making the best career choices I have seen out of a young star, rivaling Heath Ledger's career in the early 00's. After making three wildly successful High School Musical  movies, Zac Efron has shown he can be successful while not singing or dancing with this year's hit comedy 17 Again. This was a smart career choice for him, as it was a high concept comedy, also displaying some dramatic moments. Next up for the young star is Me and Orson Welles, which will likely not be a hit at the box office, but will display Efron in a film that is purely drama, opening up his options in the future. If there is one young star today that will make the tough crossover into being a serious actor, I think it is Zac Efron.

There are plenty more young stars out there that I believe can have a strong acting career (Michael Pitt; Joseph Gordon-Levitt), just as long as they make the right career choices. Only time will tell.

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