Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekend Movie Guide - 10/28

"Puss in Boots" - Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis
A spin-off-prequel of the Shrek films that tells the tale of how the sword fighting titular cat (Banderas) became a legend. I'm personally glad that the Shrek franchise has come to an end as I think it peaked at the first sequel. But of all the characters within that series, I think Puss in Boots is maybe the most entertaining. I don't know what it is but his appearance in Shrek 2 always cracks me up. Is he worth his own series? Probably not but it could be a whole lot worse. Given how many below average to just plain bad kid's movies that 2011 has brought us, I expect this will be a big hit and a welcome respite for parents who've grown weary of Hoodwinked Too and the like.

Value: $7 If I had kids, I think I'd find an excuse to take them to see this movie. Could be a big hit.

"In Time" - Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy
In the future, the common currency has become time; the wealthier you are, the more years of life you're given. When a blue-collar worker (Timberlake) is framed for murder, he decides to upend society in an attempt to bring about class equality. When she saw the trailer for this last week, my wife said, "That's gonna be really good, right?" Well... Here's the thing: I want In Time to be good and I think the trailer is outstanding. But this is the true definition of a concept film and that is a dangerous environment to work within. One misstep and this movie becomes a total failure. On the other hand, get it right and it could become a smash hit.

Value: $6 I'm nervously excited about In Time and hoping for the best.

"The Rum Diary" - Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Giovanni Ribisi
Based on the novel by Hunter S. Thompson, a 1950s reporter (Depp) heads to Puerto Rico to start a calmer life but soon finds himself caught up in a love triangle that puts a real damper on his relaxation. There are two views on The Rum Diaries: there's the group that points to this film as a poetic tribute to Thompson that could be up for awards and there's the group that points to the fact that this film has been in the works for a decade, sat on a shelf for two years after production, and wreaks of, "let's just get this thing done already." I'm in the second group. I think The Rum Diaries is going to struggle to find an audience and will be a big disappointment when it's all said and done.

Value: $4 Thompson fans will probably like this no matter what, as will most Depp fans, but I'm quite wary.

"Anonymous" - Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, David Thewlis (Limited)
During the time of the Essex Rebellion, this period thriller expounds upon the idea that William Shakespeare was not the true author of all his works. I will give Roland Emmerich credit for taking a break from popcorn action films like Independence Day and 2012. At the same time, though, I can't help but think that this subject matter would fare better in the hands of someone who hasn't spent the last 20 years making loads of money off disaster flicks. The fact that Anonymous was just moved from wide distribution to limited release is very concerning, especially given the huge marketing campaign that this film has enjoyed for the last year. I just can't expect this to be good.

Value: $4 The concept itself holds enough intrigue for me to check this out when it hits DVD shelves but I can't imagine this is worth the price of admission. Back to work on Independence Day 2, Roland.

"Like Crazy" - Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones (Limited)
A relationship between a young American (Yelchin) and a British exchange student (Jones) is put to the test when they are separated by visa issues. Like Crazy killed the competition in a number of festivals this year and looks to be a career-maker for everyone involved. It looks a little melancholy for my tastes and I'm still working on whether I like Yelchin or not. Still, the reviews have been very positive, giving me hope that this could be a touching, realistic date movie.

Value: $6 I'm not completely convinced but I'm willing to give it chance.

"Janie Jones" - Abigail Breslin, Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Shue (Limited)
A teenager (Breslin) tracks down her father (Nivola) who's music career is waning. Sounds decent enough but the reviews have been pretty bad. In truth, these types of indie films are a dime a dozen.

Value: $2 No point in rushing out to see this one as I'm sure it'll be available on Showtime within a couple of months.

"13" - Sam Riley, Jason Statham, Michael Shannon (Limited)
A man in desperate need of a paycheck (Riley) takes up with an underground group that bets on the lives (and deaths) of others. This is remake of a French film done by the same director and despite the outstanding cast, it has received next to no attention. I saw a trailer for it yesterday and...yeah, there's a reason it's receiving no attention. Looks awful.

Value: $1 For some reason, these survival games films always pique the interest of the guilty pleasure section of my brain but I think I'll be able to stay away.

"The Double" - Richard Gere, Topher Grace (Limited)
A pair of government agents (Gere, Grace) work to figure out the details of a senator's murder. I must be honest: I kind of forgot Richard Gere is a person until I saw his name attached to this film. Man, how far that guy has fallen. The Double is currently sitting at an 11 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and apparently the trailer gives away the entire film.

Value: $1 Let's all just stay away, shall we?

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