Friday, August 19, 2011

Weekend Movie Guide

"Conan the Barbarian" - Jason Mamoa, Ron Perlman, Stephen Lang
A fearsome and muscled-up warrior (Mamoa) looks to avenge the destruction of his village. This remake of the Arnie "classic" hasn't gotten quite the attention that I'm guessing the studio anticipated. Action movies don't have to necessarily be good to be fun and entertaining (see: "The Expendables") but even the action movie buffs I've talked to aren't all that excited about "Conan." This is the first big screen role for Mamoa who was in my mind the least impressive part of HBO's "Game of Thrones" from this Spring and it remains to be seen if this will boost up his credibility as an actor. Add in that director Marcus Nispel is best known for the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" remake've been warned.

Value: $5 "Conan" will probably look much better on the big screen than your home TV but the reviews have been bad. I can't imagine it'll be worth the price of theater admission.

"One Day" - Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess
After spending one glorious night together, the life events of a young pair (Hathaway, Sturgess) are shown each year on the anniversary of that first date. Does that sound like an odd combination of "One Fine Day" and "The Lake House" to you? Yeah, me too. Director Lone Scherfig's follow-up to "An Education" isn't doing so well with the critics and looks to have a lackluster opening weekend at the box office. I'm a fan of neither Hathaway nor Sturgess and find both of them to be a bit off-putting. I can't quite put my finger on what it is that bothers me about them but it's there nonetheless. Pairing them together sounds like a polite form of torture.

Value: $3 If you're just desperate for a date movie, I guess you could talk yourself into this one.

"Fright Night" - Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant
After becoming convinced that his new neighbor (Farrell) is a vampire, a small town teenager (Yelchin) enlists the help of a vampire expert (Tennant) to take down the menace. I was totally on board for "Fright Night"...until I saw the trailer. Yikes. As a tongue-in-cheek cross between "The Lost Boys" and "Disturbia" I think there was a place for this film. But now I feel like this is closer to a spoof that takes itself too seriously and that's something I just cannot abide by. The reviews have been fairly positive, though, and I think in the right roles Farrell can be excellent so I'm ready to be proven wrong...I just don't think I will be.

Value: $5 Definitely a rental in my book, not worth the price of admission otherwise.

"Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 4D" - Jessica Alba, Joel McHale, Jeremy Piven
A big time spy (Alba) and her two unsuspecting step children join forces to prevent a mad villain (Piven) from taking over the world. Or something like that. Honestly, has ANYONE seen a "Spy Kids" movie since the original? I mean, I don't have kids but I work with kids and I've never once heard a kid say, "Oh, "Spy Kids 3" is the best!" Also, what does 4D mean? Will the theater be filled with the smell of sweaty kids who've been running around chasing bad guys? Or will the audience actually be able to feel Joel McHale's pain as he participates in the destruction of his career?

Value: $2 I can't imagine this is worth anything unless you've got kids who just love the "Spy Kids" canon.

"Griff the Invisible" - Ryan Kwanten, Maeve Dermody, Marshall Napier
A wannabe superhero (Kwanten) finds his life changed when he meets a scientist (Dermody) who aids him in his noble quest. Because what we really need is another homemade superhero film.

Value: $2 There could be something interesting here if "Griff" pops up on Netflix Instant.

"Amigo" - Joel Torre, Chris Cooper, Garrett Dillahunt
During the Philippine-American war, a local leader (Torre) struggles to keep the peace within his settlement as an American colonel (Cooper) tries to take over. Director John Sayles has a cult following and always manages to grab a top notch cast to work in his low budget, often controversial films. I'm more interested in this because of Dillahunt, one of the most underrated actors in the industry and an absolute favorite of mine.

Value: $4 No one outside of LA and New York will get a chance to see this in theaters but I'll keep it on my radar should it pop up on Netflix or HBO.


  1. Are you going to check out/review any of these? I saw Fright

    When it comes to the major releases anyways, I am Curious about Conan, Hoping to see Hathaway, Avoiding Alba.

    We'll see! Thanks for the list!

  2. Conan and Fright Night will probably both make their way into my living room but I'll probably stay away from the cinema altogether this time around. There's always hope for next week!


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