Stand Up Guys: Another possible spawn of the Expendables series: the even-older all-star ensembles. Stand Up Guys boasts Pacino, Walken, and everham (and current Oscar nominee, entirely for hamming) Alan Arkin, while the upcoming Last Vegas boasts Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, and, uh, Kevin Kline (clearly wandering away from his true calling: starring in the comedy version of this type of movie with Steve Martin and Rick Moranis). Then again, maybe all of these movies are just ripping off Space Cowboys, which you may have noticed I find a way to mention in this column at least once a month. Stand Up Guys got an inexplicable and possibly contractually obligated Oscar-qualifying Los Angeles run in December; now it's back for a possibly contractually obligated semi-wide run in fewer than 500 theaters nationwide. I get the feeling that as Pacino and his generation of actors age, they're checking each other off of lists: Walken and Pacino haven't costarred together before, so let's get it done! An Alan Arkin/Robert De Niro shtick-up can't be far behind.
Warm Bodies: I kept reading claims at various points in the Twilight film series that such-and-such sequel was the one where they get a little bit of a sense of humor about the whole thing, especially regarding the last couple of Condon-directed installments. For me, you can't claim good humor in a Twilight movie until one of your intentional laughs outshines one of your unintentional ones, and I don't know that this ever happened in those movies (or if it did, it was in non-joking gray areas, like the clear and intentional hilariousness of Michael Sheen's performance that is nonetheless not exactly a joke, per se). Out to prove that but the merest of changes would vastly improve the Twilight template, Warm Bodies sounds like a sorta-rip-off that is also almost certainly, on the basis of the trailer alone, a much better movie, about a zombie boy with traces of humanity who falls in love with a Kirsten Stewart lookalike and begins to behave somewhat more like a non-brain-eating person again. My highly unreliable box-office sense tells me this is going to be a hit; audiences often appear puzzled by horror-tinged comedies, but this one looks broad (and non-horrific) enough to hit that Zombieland sweet spot.