Only two wide releases jump into the fray this weekend to take on the reigning champion “Alice in Wonderland.” One can be seen in 3D while the other explores the fourth dimension! Will “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” get bullied out of the second spot by “The Bounty Hunter” or one of our new entries? I have a feeling the phrase “Great White Buffalo” will sweep dorm rooms, dive bars, and dragon lairs.
Hot Tub Time Machine
This R-rated MGM comedy is so good it cranked up the temperature and the bubbles to travel back in time one week to tell our COED editors it was releasing last Friday when, in fact, it sees a wide release this Friday! Expect numerous nods to 80s movie staples and only the finest crude humor from The Office’s Craig Robinson, hopefully soon-to-be-lead funnyman Rob Corddry, “Fogle’s a badass” line speaker Clark Duke, and 80s icons John Cusack, Chevy Chase, and George McFly. Check out our full preview here.
How to Train Your Dragon
Paramount’s latest CGI animated comedy adventure is based on the 2003 novel of the same name and comes from the creators of Shrek and Kung Fu Panda. The story follows one young Viking named Hiccup (voiced by He’s Most Likely In Your League star Jay Baruchel) who takes a captured dragon under his wing for some Avatar-like fly sessions, despite his tribe’s dragon-slaying ways. The Bounty Hunter‘s Gerard Butler, Get Him To the Greek‘s Jonah Hill, late night host Craig Ferguson, the not so ugly betty America Ferrera, the always Kick Ass Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Kristen “Spumoni” Wiig round out the voice talent. Think of it as Reign of Fire without the weird homo-eroticism. Take a date and teach her how to drain your dragon afterward.
Though it premiered domestically in New York and Los Angeles last week, this Focus Features dramedy starring Ben Stiller expands to a limited release this weekend. Noah Baumbach, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter/director of “The Squid and The Whale” pens and helms this story about a fortyish musician turned carpenter (Stiller) who’s stuck at a crossroads. While he house-sits for his brother in LA he tries to reconnect with his former band mate (Rhys Ifans) and old flame (Jennifer Jason Leigh), but ends up making a new connection with Phillip’s personal assistant and aspiring musician Florence (Greta Gerwig). Don’t expect a lot of nutshots or Simple Jack impressions here as this is more Garden State than Along Came Polly.
Director Atom Egoyan’s remake of the French erotic thriller will receive a limited release in the US and Canada via Sony Picture Classics at the pinnacle of America’s extramarital affair frenzy. This sordid and seductive tale focuses on a married woman Catherine (Jack Donaghy’s lover Julianne Moore) who utilizes the services of a doe-eyed escort (Megan Fox kisser Amanda Seyfried) to find out whether her husband (Liam “I have a very particular set of skills” Neeson) is pulling a Tiger or Jesse James. Simple enough, right? What could possibly go wrong? It’s not like a ho to double cross someone. I mean they’re pretty much all like Pretty Woman, according to Neil Young. On a serious note, Liam’s actual wife, Natasha Richardson, died in a skiing accident during the shoot. Now, that you’re all sunshine and lollipops, peep this!
Dancing Across Borders
This inspirational dance doc about a Cambodian teenager with happy feet comes from first time filmmaker Anne Bass, a former contributor to Vogue and founder of numerous ballet schools, who discovered the twinkle-toed boy during a trip to his native country. Amazed by his abilities, she brought him to New York and, against all odds, eventually wound up on the stage of the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, which I guess is like the dance equivalent of “the Big Show.” Sort of like Dances with Wolves but without the hot Native American chicks… or dancing.
For those of you with smiling Irish Eyes (read: “permanent beer goggles”) who can’t let go of that make-out session you had on St. Patrick’s Day with that green-eyed girl with the freckles and the tongue ring, you’re in luck! Take her to this Irish romance that pits an apparition-seeing widower (Ciaran Hinds) against a self-obsessed American writer (Aidan Quinn) in the battle for a supernatural novelist’s heart. Is the pen mightier than ghost sightings? Whatever you do, just don’t ask Sean Connery if “The Pen is Mightier.”
Walking Sleeping Beauty
Hailed as “one of the best comeback stories in show business history” by the Los Angeles Times, this doc about the rapid decline and bitter internal turmoil of Walt Disney Studios’ animation unit in the mid-80s and the return to dominance that followed thanks to a decade long stretch of blockbuster hits like “Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast ,” “Aladdin,” and “The Lion King.” I wonder if they tackle the real issues, like how there’s a penis hidden in the cover art of the Little Mermaid VHS sleeve or the clouds of dust spelling out “sex” in Lion King. THAT is hard-hitting investigative film-making, folks.