Friday, August 26, 2011

Weekend Movie Guide

And you thought last week was rough. Things will pick up soon, dear readers, but this week...this week probably isn't going to help much with the summer doldrums.

"Our Idiot Brother" - Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer
Three sisters (Banks, Deschanel, Mortimer) take turns allowing their simple-minded, hippie brother (Rudd) to crash in their houses after he returns from a jail stint to find himself homeless. Yes, another R-rated comedy. The trailers for "Brother" tried to play the film off as kindhearted and even sweet but that can go wrong quite quickly. Reviews have been mediocre but one thing "Brother" has going for it is an all-star cast, especially Rudd who is almost always good even in a bad movie.

Value: $5 I'm right on the fence with this one. I was optimistic in the early going but reviews from critics I trust have me leaning toward calling this a bust. But it's still Paul Rudd so...

"Colombiana" - Zoe Saldana, Jordi Molla, Michael Vartan
A highly trained assassin (Saldana) looks to avenge the death of her family at the hands of a Colombian drug cartel. On the plus side, this is produced by Luc Besson who knows how to make an entertaining action film. I always enjoy a good explosion. On the down side, I don't think Saldana is capable of carrying a film on her own and this is a pretty sparse supporting cast around here. Also, the trailer is horrible and confusing which does nothing to help sell the film.

Value: $3 HBO: Yes. Theater: No thanks.

"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" - Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison
After moving in with her father (Pearce) and step-mother (Holmes), a girl (Madison) discovers a group of creatures who torment her at every turn and hope to bring her into their world. A remake of the 1973 "classic" and produced by Guillermo del Toro, "Afraid of the Dark" seemed like a solid bet earlier this year but the press has been bad and I find it's always best to be wary of any film that puts Katie Holmes in a starring role. I'm seriously creeped out by the trailer which is no surprise sense I'm seriously creeped out by all horror movies but early reviews have labeled it a dud.

Value: $3 If you're a horror fan, you're about to enter your favorite time of year and "Afraid of the Dark" could be a nice primer. Otherwise...Katie Holmes.

"Higher Ground" - Vera Farmiga, Joshua Leonard, Dagmara Dominczyk (limited)
A woman (Farmiga) causes a stir within her highly devout community when she begins to struggle with her faith. The directorial debut of Farmiga, "Higher Ground" has earned extremely positive buzz for its honest but fair portrayal of Christianity and wrestling with one's faith. Farmiga is a favorite of mine and the subject matter is quite intriguing so I'd be running out to see this one if only it was available somewhere near me.

Value: $5 "Higher Ground" probably won't be coming to a theater near you but there's a good chance it will pop up on Netflix Instant before too long.


  1. I just saw Farminga in "Source Code" last night. She impressed me.

    "Columbiana?" No thanks. I am tired of anorexic 100 pound women beating up the world. I know some truly tough women. Not one of them would ever be cast by Hollywood. Mass wins.

  2. More true to say that mass is rarely a drawback, perhaps. My faith in the weight of leverage and precision in a fistfight notwithstanding, I still have no interest in Columbiana. I have a finely tuned "trailer sense" and this one's a stinker.

  3. No doubt. Saw that trailer again today. Garbage.

  4. One of these Hollywood starlets would break like a twig in a real fight. But you're right about the trailer.


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