Get Rich Or Die Tryin' (D: Jim Sheridan, 134 min)
We've seen other charismatic rappers make the move to the big screen - Ice T, Ice Cube, Mos Def and of course Eminem, to name just a few. So there's reason to believe that 50 Cent will successfully cross over in Get Rich Or Die Tryin' . And it is his life story, just like Eight Mile was loosely based on Eminem's. It can't hurt that the brilliant Jim Sheridan 's helming the project, although how an Irish guy whose best projects hone in on experiences he's passionate about - The Boxer, for example, and In America, which is semi-autobiographical - will handle an American hiphop story remains to be seen. Look for glimpses of T.O.
Opens Wednesday (November 9). Screened after press time - see mini review online (www.nowtoronto.com/film) November 8 and full review in next week's paper.
Bob The Butler (D: Gary Sinyor, 90 min)
Ottawa's shock comic Tom Green hasn't had the best big-screen career, especially post-Drew Barrymore. Maybe this film will put him on the map. He plays a career-challenged type who seeks employment with Brooke Shields , a single mom of two kids ( Genevieve Buechner and Benjamin B. Smith ). Big shocker: this is a family pic, and it's obviously positioning him for a wider audience. But don't expect a kinder, gentler Green. The film still comes with a language and crudeness warning.
Chicken Little (D: Mark Dindal, 77 min)
The sky's been falling at the box office for a lot of titles this season - except animated ones. That family crossover demographic is all-important these days. Witness the success of Wallace And Gromit, Madagascar and Corpse Bride. Now comes this much-anticipated version of the tale about the chicken who crowed that the world was coming to an end, not because of avian flu but because an acorn fell from the sky. The voice-over cast is among the most eclectic in recent memory: Zach Braff (as the bespectacled title character), comic geniuses Amy Sedaris , Fred Willard , Harry Shearer and Catherine O'Hara and camp icons Don Knotts and Adam West . Let's see if the flick's tasty or a turkey during its all-important opening weekend.
Both Bob The Butler and Chicken Little open Friday (November 4). Screened after press time - see reviews November 3 and 7 at www.nowtoronto.com/film.