Lauren Rabaino

American Gangster

From director Ridley Scott, the man responsible for such blockbusters as “Hannibal,” “Black Hawk Down” and “Gladiator,” comes “American Gangster,” a film that will only need the names of Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe to get an Oscar.

Based on a true story, Washington plays a drug lord who smuggles heroin into Harlem by hiding it inside American coffins coming back from Vietnam. In other words, he gets to be the ultimate badass (as if he wasn’t already) as Crowe attempts to stop him. Great director, great actors, great story. What more do you need?

Beowulf

If only you were still in high school, you’d not only get to read the poem, but watch what looks to be a great, innovative film to go with it.

Director Robert Zemeckis brings his digital enhancements to “Beowulf,” much like he did with “The Polar Express.” This time, however, it has a frighteningly amazing look to it.

Not only is it entirely digital (and possibly ahead of its time), but it sports an impressive cast: Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins and John Malkovitch.

And did I mention Neil Gaiman, the legendary fantasy writer whose recent film work includes “Stardust” and “MirrorMask,” co-wrote the screenplay? Hopefully, “Beowulf” delivers.

I Am Legend

Oh God, it’s Will Smith in another futuristic film about the end of the world. Or is it?

In “I Am Legend,” a man-made virus takes over the world, and Smith is the only non-mutant human left alive. The plot is adapted from a novel by Richard Matheson.

“I Am Legend,” even with Smith as the only real actor involved, has potential in its current stage. No trailer has shown what these mutants look like, but judging by the CGI in the current trailer, there is a good chance that they won’t ruin the already painfully uncomfortable mood that the film sets.

Whether Smith can carry the entire film on his own is yet to be seen.

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