Movies This Week: April 9, 2010
Clash of the Color Schemes topped the B.O. last weekend despite claims the 3D technology was more Viewmaster than Cameronvision. By taking in $61 million, it’s already made back a little under half of its budget. Meanwhile, Tyler Perry’s ode to Couples Retreat made back its budget and then some, which is why the dude’s projects continue to be greenlit. The cybernetic organism that is Miley Cyrus lip synched her way to #4. One movie entering theaters hopes couples make this weekend a three day date night, while a host of musical movies take the stage for a battle of the bands, and God continues to ignore my demands.
In this action comedy targeted to moms and dads delaying divorce, Steve Carell and Tina Fey play Phil and Claire Foster, a married couple with kids, who are bogged down with the routine domestic life. Phil tries to spice things up by taking Claire to a fancy seafood restaurant where he throws caution to the wind and takes a no show couple’s reservation. This leads to a couple corrupt cops (one of whom is played by master thespian Common) confronting them in a classic case of mistaken identity (say that 10 times fast). Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Mila Kunis, and Ray Liotta also cash checks in what should do decent biz if The Office and 30 Rock are any indication.
“From the thorn emerges the flower.” That’s a very poetic (AND SCIENTIFICALLY IMPOSSIBLE!!!!) tagline for this drama starring Benjamin Bratt as Che Rivera, a former inmate and recovering alcoholic who is both respected and feared within the Mission district community of San Francisco. When he discovers his only son is gay, he flips his wig, beats him, and disowns him. Not bad for a full day’s work. Over the course of the film, Che learns that being a man means more than fighting to survive, it means having the balls to rise above his bigoted ways and showing unabashed love for his son, but totally not in a gay way, Ese! The film’s made its way around the festival circuit, playing at Sundance, San Francisco, and Palm Springs to name a few.
Dear God, can you wipe out my insurmountable debt from school loans, hook me up with a Playmate, and throw a couple inches on to my modest mouse? No response? Okay, can you help this 8 year old kid with cancer? No response? Hmm, well, at least you’ve given us the gift of hope (and Hope) and as we all know, hope floats. It also springs eternal. Especially when you’re a harried mailman who’s watched Crossroads one too many times. Or maybe he’s at a crossroads, and one of those roads leads to this 8 year old with cancer and a pretty decent MILF. Oh boy, I think having God, cancer, and MILF in the same paragraph might be the final death knell for this writer – no offense, kid. Hey, as long as the kid survives, I’m cool with that. I do this for the kids.
The Square… Australian for Fear. If you get that joke, we need to grab a Foster’s sometime. This Australian neo-noir thriller directed by Nash Edgerton and written by his blood broham, Joel, and non-blood brother Matt Dabner stars Claire van der Boom. If you didn’t get giddy after reading her name, check your pulse. How awesome is that name? The pic originally released in Australia way back in the summer of 2008 and, thanks to Apparition Films, will grace a limited number of screens here in the United States of MexiCanada. Story focuses on two married people who have an affair with each other and plan to leave their respective others, but, like all airtight plans involving forgery, conspiracy, adultery, and deception, things take a turn for the worse. Someone needs to tell these characters that hope floats. Just write a letter to God. Doy.
Is Dakota Fanning legal yet? No? Okay, no worries. I’ll just pretend I’m thinking about Kristen Stewart. I mean, she’s gotta be 18 by now, right? Well, the tagline from the film’s poster reads, “It’s 1975 and they’re ready to explode” with a pic of a cherry. What the H am I supposed to think! This biographical drama from Apparition Films is based on Cherie Currie’s memoir, Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway, which tells the story of the legendary 1970s all girl rock band, The Runaways. The film’s band is comprised of Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart), Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning), Sandy West (Stella Maeve), Lita Ford (Scout Taylor-Compton), and a fictional character named Robin because Jackie Fox loves courtroom drama. Pic premiered at the San Francisco Film Festival, had a limited release in mid-March, and opens wide (haha!) this weekend.
It’s really not an overstatement when I say, “I love Christina Ricci.” So, even thinking about her curtain call hurts me in several different places on my body and in my soul. Even in this psychological horror flick from Anchor Bay, I can’t bear the thought of her fictional character, Anna, meeting her maker. Question is can your mind bear After.Life’s central plot – Is Anna dead or alive? She awakens in a funeral home after a nasty car crash only to have the funeral director, Eliot (played by Liam Neeson in his 700th role of the past year), prepping her body for her funeral. Initially in vehement denial, Anna slowly begins to accept Eliot’s convincing assertion she is, in fact, deceased. Anna’s boyfriend, Paul (Justin Long) suspects Eliot is lying but his attempts to alert the authorities results in suspicions he might be insane. Please please please have Liam’s first line be, “I have a very particular set of skills…”
Liquid Terminator Robert Patrick stars in this upcoming supernatural horror film about a mysterious and deadly board game that brings out the worst in people. Like Monopoly, only less corruption of the soul, if that’s possible. Initially discovered in Pan‘s tomb by an archaeologist in Turkey, the game makes its way back to Beacon Island in Maine where the lone survivor of the expedition group hides the game, then kills himself and the expedition’s investor. $100 says he goes, “Game over!” before pulling the trigger. Eighty years later, a group of friends visit the house for a weekend of fun and discover the game in a secret room. As they play, their innermost darkness surfaces resulting in murderdeathkills. My guess? The lone resident of the island (Patrick) has absolutely NOTHING to do with it. (wink)
The original version of the first ever feature length documentary about the life of the Doors debuted at Sundance, but was redubbed to feature narration by Johnny Depp. I’ll pause a moment while the girls reading this regain consciousness… all set? Okay. The more girl-friendly iteration debuted at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2009 and went on to screen in London, Berlin, and a handful of other festivals. Fans will be able to relish in the previously unseen footage from the band’s formation in 1965 to Jim Morrison’s death in 1971, providing new insight into the group’s legacy. The soundtrack features 13 songs ranging from studio versions to live performances and is now available at Amazon.
Who Do You Love
Rounding out the crop of musical movies in theaters this weekend is a biopic of the record producer Leonard Chess and was named after the Bo Diddley song. Anyone else remember the commercial he shot with Bo Jackson? That is the only reason his name rings a bell. Sad. Shooting took place in New Orleans then they filmed! ZING! It seems every other production these days shoots or sets up shop in New Orleans. Curious Case of Benjamin Button, HBO’s new series Treme, CBS’ short-lived K-Ville, Deja Vu, and Boondock Saints. I might be wrong about that last one. Personally, I think it’s a great way to bring some cash flow to the area, but let’s spread the wealth. Detroit has been calling me non-stop. Shoot another fifteen Robo-Cops there for cripes sake.