Release Date: September 11, 2009

Movie of the Day for Sunday, April 19, 2009
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You'd think Beckinsale could afford better living conditions.

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Position Staff In Brief
128/169 Max Braden Did the trailers mislead me into expecting some alien/supernatural element to this movie? Dramatic things happen but the drama isn't gripping, especially since it's like a long episode of Cold Case

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Oops, I just made a spelling error. If this wasn’t the age of computers, I might have to reach for the whiteout to fix it. You know, the liquid you used to use to clean up and redo a typo? Fortunately, that’s not what this preview is about. It’s about the movie titled Whiteout, a thriller set in the driving white snow of Antarctica. The always-luscious Kate Beckinsale plays Carrie Stetko, a U.S. Marshall tracking a killer on the vast block of ice. With the sun setting and the continent about to succumb to darkness for six months, time is a commodity in short supply. Somewhat surprisingly, this film is based on an award-winning comic book mini-series with the same title. The Matrix producer Joel Silver re-ups in that role here, tapping Dominic Sena, former Janet Jackson (Rhythm Nation era) music video helmer, for directorial duties. Sena also led 1993’s Kalifornia and 2001’s Swordfish among others.

The London born Beckinsale is still a bit of an unknown quantity at the stateside box office. She has been part of a number of ensemble casts in big budget films like Pearl Harbor and The Aviator and is also a respected indie actress (Laurel Canyon, Snow Angels). However, film fans know her best for headlining fantasy vampire films in 2003’s Underworld (51 million domestic vs. 22 million budget) and its 2006 sequel Underworld: Evolution (62 million vs. 50 million). She also co-starred with a flaming arrow wielding Hugh Jackman (X-Men’s Wolverine) in similar subject matter in 2004’s box office failure Van Helsing (120 million domestic vs. 160 million budget). But those are all effects driven pieces featuring tight as can be outfits on the “Maxim Hot 100” actress. Whiteout promises much more clothing and far less blood suckling so it is difficult to predict how that may translate.

Sena has had one real hit with the aid of Nic “don’t call me Coppola” Cage and Angie “six-kids” Jolie in “Gone in 60 Seconds”, a film that had so much going for it. It had two bankable box office names, a familiar topic (being as it was a remake), a 90 million budget and a summer release date. Still, it only sped to $101 million on the odometer domestically, so it wasn’t a runaway hit by any means. The pace of Whiteout shouldn’t be quite as fast literally or figuratively, as a cop versus killer drama moves a little slower while being fleshed out. Only time will tell if the Sena and Beckinsale combo will drive people to the theatres, but like the sun setting in Whiteout’s Antarctica, that time will be running out soon. (Brandon Scott/BOP)

Vital statistics for Whiteout
Main Cast Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht, Tom Skerritt
Supporting Cast Columbus Short, Alex O'Loughlin
Director Dominic Sena
Screenwriter Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Distributor Warner Bros.
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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