We continue our 2008 movie preview with Walt Disney Studios. This upcoming year, they will bring us plenty of groovin’, plenty of well-animated robots and puppies and of course, some Martin Lawrence. Let’s take a look at what they’ve got lined up for us in ’08.

Step Up 2 The Streets

Release Date: February 14, 2008

Genre: Drama

Cast: Briana Evigan, Robert Hoffman, Will Kemp, Cassie Ventura,
Adam G. Sevani, Telisha Shaw

Directed by: Jon M. Chu

Synopsis: Step Up 2 The Streets is the follow-up to the smash hit “Step Up,” which ignited theaters in August 2006. When rebellious street dancer Andie (BRIANA EVIGAN) lands at the elite Maryland School of the Arts, she finds herself fighting to fit in while also trying to hold onto her old life. When she joins forces with the school’s hottest dancer Chase (ROBERT HOFFMAN) to form a crew of classmate outcasts to compete in Baltimore’s underground dance battle The Streets, she ultimately finds a way to live her dream while building a bridge between her two separate worlds.

Our Thoughts: The first Step Up wasn’t as bad as it should have been, but that doesn’t mean The Streets will be an Oscar winner. For some reason though, I think that all of my 14 year old cousins will be into it.

College Road Trip

Release Date: March 7, 2008

Genre: Comedy

Cast: Martin Lawrence, Raven-Symoné, Donny Osmond

Directed by: Roger Kumble

Synopsis: Choosing which college to attend can be the most exciting and thrilling time of a young woman’s life…unless your overprotective father isn’t quite ready to let you go. In the Disney family comedy, COLLEGE ROAD TRIP, Melanie (RAVEN-SYMONÉ) is eagerly looking forward to her first big step towards independence when she plans a “girls only” road trip to check out prospective universities. But when her overbearing police chief father (MARTIN LAWRENCE) insists on escorting her instead, she soon finds her dream trip has turned into a hilarious nightmare adventure full of comical misfortune and turmoil.

Our Thoughts: This isn’t the first time Martin Lawrence has shown up on our preview in a mid-life crisis comedy. In fact, this will make 3 if you include 2007’s Wild Hogs. You do the math.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Release Date: May 16, 2008

Genre: Fantasy / Adventure

Cast: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Ben Barnes, Peter Dinklage, Pierfrancesco Favino and Sergio Castellitto, with Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan

Directed by: Andrew Adamson

Synopsis: One year after the incredible events of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” the Kings and Queens of Narnia find themselves back in that faraway wondrous realm, only to discover that more than 1300 years have passed in Narnian time. During their absence, the Golden Age of Narnia has become extinct, Narnia has been conquered by the Telmarines and is now under the control of the evil King Miraz, who rules the land without mercy. The four children will soon meet an intriguing new character: Narnia’s rightful heir to the throne, the young Prince Caspian, who has been forced into hiding as his uncle Miraz plots to kill him in order to place his own newborn son on the throne.

Our Thoughts: Big special effects, a very successful franchise and the action gets turned up a notch — I think we can get into that.

Wall-E

Release Date: June 27, 2008

Genre: Animation / Adventure

Voice Cast: Fred Willard, Jeff Garlin, Ben Burtt

Directed by: Andrew Stanton

Synopsis: What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off? WALL•E, a robot, spends every day doing what he was made for. But soon, he will discover what he was meant for. From Academy Award®-winning writer-director, Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo”), Disney/Pixar’s WALL•E is the story of one robot’s comic adventures as he chases his dream across
the galaxy.

Our Thoughts: Even though this film has only a few speaking parts, we know that Pixar has never disappointed us in the past. Wall-E should be a winner.

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Swing Vote

Release Date: Summer 2008

Genre: Comedy

Cast: Kevin Costner, Paula Patton, Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Stanley Tucci, Judge Reinhold, George Lopez, Willie Nelson, Mare Winningham, Richard Petty, and introducing Madeline Carroll

Directed by: Joshua Michael Stern

Synopsis: Swing Vote follows the story of Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner), an apathetic, beer-slinging, lovable loser, who is coasting through a life that has passed him by. The one bright spot is his precocious, over-achieving twelve-year-old daughter Molly. She takes care of both of them, until one mischievous moment on Election Day, when she accidentally sets off a chain of events which culminates in the election coming down to one vote…her dad’s. SWING VOTE is a comical look at the journey of one father and daughter who discover that everyone has the power to change the world.

Our Thoughts: Very solid cast, but this one sounds a little slapsticky.

South of the Border

Release Date: Fall 2008

Genre: Comedy / Adventure

Cast: Piper Perabo, Manolo Cardona and Jamie Lee Curtis, with the voices of Andy Garcia, Plácido Domingo, George Lopez, Salma Hayek, Edward James Olmos, Paul Rodriguez, Cheech Marin, Piolin and Drew Barrymore

Directed by: Andrew Stanton

Synopsis: In the Disney comedy, SOUTH OF THE BORDER, a pampered Beverly Hills Chihuahua named Chloe (voice of DREW BARRYMORE) finds herself accidentally lost in the mean streets of Mexico without a day spa or Rodeo Drive boutique anywhere in sight. Now alone for the first time in her spoiled life, she must rely on some unexpected new friends—including a street-hardened German Shepherd named Delgado (voice of ANDY GARCIA) and an amorous pup named Papi (voice of GEORGE LOPEZ) — to lend her a paw and help her to find her inner strength on their incredible journey back home.

Our Thoughts: It’s kind of like Underdog, only with the Taco Bell dog.

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Miracle at St. Anna

Release Date: Fall 2008

Genre: Drama

Cast: Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, Omar Benson Miller, Matteo Sciabordi, John Leguizamo, Naomi Campbell, Joseph Gordon Levitt, James Gandolfini

Directed by: Spike Lee

Synopsis: Miracle at St. Anna chronicles the story of four black American soldiers who are members of the US Army as part of the all-black 92nd “Buffalo Soldier” Division stationed in Tuscany, Italy during World War II. They experience the tragedy and triumph of the war as they find themselves trapped behind enemy lines and separated from their unit after one of them risks his life to save an Italian boy.

Our Thoughts: Spike Lee has the goods. Derek Luke is generally fantastic. This could make a run at Oscar.

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Confessions of a Shopaholic

Release Date: Fall 2008

Genre: Comedy

Cast: Isla Fisher

Directed by: P.J. Hogan

Synopsis: Rebecca Bloomwood is a sweet and charming New York City girl who has a tiny, little problem that is rapidly turning into a big problem: she’s hopelessly addicted to shopping and drowning in a sea of debt. While Rebecca has dreams of working for a top fashion magazine, she can’t quite get her foot in the door—that is, until she snags a job as an advice columnist for a new financial magazine published by the same company. Overnight, her column becomes hugely popular, turning her into an overnight celebrity. But when her compulsive shopping and growing debt issues threaten to destroy her love life and derail her career, she struggles to keep it all from spiraling out of control…and is ultimately forced to reevaluate what’s really important in life.

Our Thoughts: Mrs. Borat is a hottie, so we can be swayed to see this one.

Bolt

Release Date: November 26, 2008

Genre: Comedy / Adventure / Animation

Voice Cast: John Travolta and Susie Essman

Directed by: Chris Williams, Byron Howard

Synopsis: For super-dog BOLT (voice of JOHN TRAVOLTA), every day is filled with adventure, danger and intrigue—at least until the cameras stop rolling. When the star of a hit TV show is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood soundstage to New York City, he begins his biggest adventure yet—a cross-country journey through the real world. Armed only with the delusions that all his amazing feats and powers are real, and with the help of two unlikely traveling companions: a jaded, abandoned housecat named Mittens (voice of SUSIE ESSMAN) and a TV-obsessed hamster in a plastic ball named Rhino, Bolt discovers he doesn’t need superpowers to be a hero.

Our Thoughts: Disney certainly did not disappoint us with Meet the Robinsons, so we are a little excited about Bolt — John Travolta and all.


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