Movies This Week: April 4, 2010
How To Train Your Dragon unseated A Wimpy Kid. Hot Tub Time Machine would’ve been #1 if it actually were 1986, but Alice is still sitting in the Queen’s throne at the top spot. Who will knock her off? An ancient Greek or the ebony god of beautiful box office returns? In limited runs, Hannah Montana is retiring, Ed Norton spliced himself, and The Greatest movie finally hits theaters.
Clash of the Titans
Originally scheduled for a March 26th release, this Warner Brothers remake of the 1981 cult classic moved to this week after it caught a case of 3-D fever, which has spread rampantly after the success of Attack of the Blue Cat People. Don’t fret 2-D fans, it will be shown without swords in your face as well. The story centers on Perseus (Sam Worthington), son of Zeus (the Greek god of the skies played by Liam Neeson, not the wrestler played by Tommy “Tiny” Lister in the late 80s), who tries to defeat Hades (Ralph Fiennes), the god of the Underworld, before he unleashes hell on earth. Didn’t the Kardashians already do that? If the film seems too male-heavy, you can rest easy knowing Alexa Davalos and Bond girl Gemma Arterton will be wearing cleavagey togas. On a side note, were Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes separated at birth? I’ve never seen two actors look so much alike and not be related. Anyway, to prepare for the onslaught of mythological madness, take a peek at COED’s primer on Greek Gods and Monsters then dive into our clashy preview.
Why Did I Get Married, Too?
Lionsgate’s sequel to the extremely profitable 2007 release ($55 million in revenue on a $15 million budget) smells a lot like “Couples Retreat” – four couples reconnect on a week long trip to the Bahamas, but what was supposed to be a getaway turns into judgment day for their relationships. Who will stay together after this Survivor Series match between doubt and faith, fidelity and promiscuity, commitment and blah blah blah. Seriously, why DO we get married? Tax breaks? Green cards? If you saw the special Tiger Woods episode of “South Park” a couple weeks ago, you’d know that cheating on a loved one is due to [SPOILER ALERT] Alien Wizards or Wizard Aliens depending on your stance on the origins of sorcery. Surely, this will be another monetary “hit” for Tyler Perry’s team as it does fulfill the demands of a market in demand, but unless Jill Scott and Janet Jackson swap spit, I’ll settle for watching Meet the Browns on TBS. (that’s a joke)
The Last Song
Touchstone Pictures touches your heart and your wiener with this adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name that stars Billy Ray’s daughter as a daughter trying to reconnect with her father who is NOT Billy Ray Cyrus. Greg Kinnear plays the father who has since moved to Georgia since his divorce. Miley pays him a visit and ends up falling in love with an Abercrombie and Fitch model who probably scores other teen beats on the side. Cue Winger’s “She’s Only 17“. The trailer alone has more than 2.8 million views on YouTube. Knowing the core audience for this flick is teenage girls and the dudes who want to fingerblast them, you can safely assume each time this video played on YouTube, there was an audience of 5-10 girls with either a closeted gay kid or a guy willing to sacrifice machismo. Multiply 2.8 mil by 5-10 people per viewing times $10 per ticket and WHAM, you’ve surpassed Titanic.
Thomas Haden Church dons the blue collar jumpsuit he made famous in “Wings” to play a high school janitor who returns to his hometown 25 years after a horrible tragedy to rekindle the flame with his former high school sweetheart (Elisabeth Shue) after receiving a letter stating she’s terminally ill. This indie thriller from Image Entertainment premiered at Tribeca Film Festival right around this time last year and will see a limited release. THC has played some morose characters of late, with Spider-Man’s Sandman ranking as one of the worst, so let’s hope he’s not all grim reaper in what is sure to be a foreshadowing of my own demise (falling for old high school sweetheart only to realize it’s a scheme to kill someone… spoiler alert).
Leaves of Grass
Out of all the movies featuring one actor playing both twins, I think this comedy from First Look Studios places closer to Adaptation than to Double Impact or Parent Trap. Ed Norton plays an Ivy League professor who gets lured into returning home by his identical twin brother, a small time pot grower who wants to take down a local drug kingpin (Richard Dreyfuss). Ed has the range to nail both roles and seeing Mr. Holland as a drug dealer should be refreshing and different. The pic premiered at Toronto International Film Festival last September. Nothing I’ve read so far mentions this being based on the book of poetry by Walt Whitman but I bet they slip that in somehow, most likely the stoner brother rips a page from it and makes a joint. Comedy, ain’t it awesome and unpredictable?
This award-winning Chinese war film starring Jet Li was originally released in most of Asia (except) Japan in December 2007 and was formerly known as “The Blood Brothers.” Its domestic debut should satiate bloodthirsty Jet Li fans and for those with girlfriends, just say it’s a “period piece.” Chicks eat that up! Of the $40 million budget, Jet Li received $15 million to appear in the film, which is why it will see the light of day here in the states. Plot revolves around three men who become sworn brothers, then turn against one another during a rebellion In mid-to-late 19th Century China. Kind of like Three Men and a Baby without the baby or Three Kings with less Ice Cube or Funky Bunch leaders.
The Thorn in the Heart
Award-winning French filmmaker Michel Gondry documents the women in his own family, discovering unusual and surprising stories in this limited release fro Oscilloscope Pictures. The film premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and comes in at a scant 85 minute running time. If your girlfriend doesn’t accompany you to The Warlords or Clash of the Titans, make it a double dip and escort her to this ode to women. Women love watching women. Why do you think Lifetime is still around?
Academy Award nominee Carey Mulligan plays Rose, a young woman who plays ding dong ditch (minus the ditch) on a grief stricken couple, Allen and Grace Brewer (Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon), several months after they’ve lost their son, Bennett, to a fatal car crash. So, what’s the catch? Well, Rose is pregnant with Bennett’s baby. Doesn’t anyone use condoms anymore? I heard female condoms are en vogue again, which is great news, because I’m very forgetful. In all seriousness, what a genius move to name this, “The Greatest”. Amazing. The positive association that comes from merely saying the movie’s name will fool at least a handful of people in a handful of theaters. I mean, look to the left. You’re looking at The Greatest movie poster. And below, The Greatest movie trailer. You can argue all you want but this movie IS, “The Greatest.”