Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekend Movie Guide

"50/50" - Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick
A health-conscious 27 year old guy (JGL) has his world turned upside down when he is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. I had the opportunity to see 50/50 about 6 weeks ago and it is, to date, one of the three best films I've seen this year. Outstanding acting, smart writing, and an overall tone that combines the right blend of dark humor, seriousness, and feelgoodery (yes, I invented that word and yes, I think it's awesome) to create a truly brilliant film. This makes the haphazard marketing campaign behind it quite infuriating to me. 50/50 has been advertised as a drama, a slapstick comedy, and a buddy comedy; the studio clearly has no idea what to make of this film. As a result, it's probably going to struggle at the box office and be overlooked when Award Season rolls around and that, dear readers, would be a travesty.

Value: $10 Should be a sleeper pick for a Best Picture nomination and a Best Actor nod for JGL if the studio would just get out of the way. 50/50 is R-rated for a reason but I think it has a wide ranging appeal if viewers will give it a chance.

"What's Your Number" - Anna Faris, Chris Evans
With the help of her neighbor (Evans), a young woman (Faris) attempts to track down the men of her past relationships to determine if one of them was "Mr. Right." The first film to capitalize on the R-rated, feminine power of Bridesmaids, the trailers for What's Your Number attempt to highlight the best of this film but I'm not buying it. Faris cannot carry a movie (at least a good movie) and the supporting cast is deceptive: lots of known faces pop up here and there but you can bet none of them will be given much screen time. Never trust a trailer that puts so much prominence on what amounts to a number of cameo appearances.

Value: $2 The girls-night-out crowd should enjoy this but that's where it should end. Early reviews have been pretty bad.

"Dream House" - Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts
After moving into a new house, a family man (Craig) learns that the home was the site of a brutal murder. I've watch this film's trailer a dozen times and I'm still not sure what to think. It has a solid pedigree and an interesting twist but then again, if it's that great of a twist, why let the cat out of the bag in the trailer? With some good writing, I think Dream House has the potential to be a solid thriller but I could also see it falling into the typical traps that seem to always come along with this type of film.

Value: $4 I'm just not confident enough to put out a recommendation but if nothing else, I find Dream House to be intriguing.

"Take Shelter" - Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham
Troubled by horrible visions of the future, a man (Shannon) makes moves to lock his family in a bomb shelter, though his reasoning may have less to do with an apocalypse and more to do with self-awareness.  Michael Shannon takes on some interesting roles, doesn't he? He's one of those guys who'll do a major studio release so he can afford to do an indie film or two. I'm interested in Take Shelter and the early buzz has been quite positive. Done right, this could be a very good film

Value: $4 I'm not headed to the theater to see this anytime soon but when it hits DVD shelves, there's a solid chance I'll check it out.

"Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil" - Alan Tudyk, Tyler Labine, Katrina Bowden
Two hillbilly best friends (Tudyk, Labine) have their vacation ruined when they are attacked by a group of college kids who assume they must be Deliverance-like deviants. A buddy comedy with chainsaws! Don't be fooled by how stupid this movie sounds: it is supposedly much smarter, similar to the wittiness of Zombieland. You can never go wrong with Alan Tudyk, too.

Value: $3 Tucker and Dale will look really good on my Netflix Instant Queue.


  1. Interested in Dream House, only because I am hopeful (but doubtful) that it will be different than the all-telling original trailer was.

    Also can't wait to see Take Shelter, but it won't play in my area for a while I'm afraid.

    Saw 50/50. Loved it. will be seeing it again.

  2. I'm shocked by how bad Dream House has been reviewed. I didn't expect it to be a huge success but wow, it's getting BURIED. Glad you liked 50/50. I think I'll be seeing it again as well.


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