Thursday, October 13, 2011

Weekend Movie Guide

I know this is for the original but it's awesome.
"The Thing" - Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen
The discovery of an alien space craft in the middle of the Antarctic wasteland throws a Norweign research facility into a frenzy of excitement. But what's inside the ship soon brings an end to all excitement. Somehow, with all of the trailers and news blurbs I've seen concerning The Thing, I never realized that it was a prequel to John Carpenter's 1982 original and assumed it was a remake. A prequel somehow makes it even more interesting to me and I have to tell you, despite my general disposition against horror films, I've been pretty pumped about The Thing, possibly because the original is outstanding. I also think Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a potential superstar in the making and of course, Edgerton is a favorite. I'm very disappointed, then, to see that the early reviews for this film have been negative. Really thought we could be looking at something special.

Value: $5 I was prepared to give this a $7-$9 rating but Rotten Tomatoes has swayed me. Hoping it turns out better than it looks right now. Also, if you haven't seen the original, I recommend checking it out. And bear in mind, I hate most horror films so that's very high praise.

"Footloose" - Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid
A newcomer (Wormald) turns a small town upside down with his dancing and rock 'n roll. The original Footloose is considered a classic by people who think bad movies are great. I'm kidding. I hate the original Footloose and you would have to inflict bodily harm to get me to see this remake, but I get the appeal for youngsters and fans of Kevin Bacon looking to relive the glory days. At the same time, though, I'm SHOCKED at the number of decent to good reviews this thing has gotten so far. There are almost no real actors in the cast, dancing appears to take up at least three-fourths of the runtime, and even the covers of the original soundtrack sound terrible. And yet some well-respected critics are RAVING about it. So I won't argue. You win again, Rotten Tomatoes.

Value: $5 I cannot and will not recommend a movie that stars Dancing with the Stars' Julianne Hough but if this is your thing, then I say to each his own.

"The Big Year" - Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, Jack Black
Three rival bird watchers compete to track down the rarest and most elusive birds in North America. looks terrible to everyone else, right? Before I saw a trailer I assumed this was going to be a quirk-fest. That would be the best use of the subject matter and the great cast. But once I saw the trailer I threw up and then immediately set it aside as the kind of family film that will make more than one father wish he'd taken his kids to Real Steel instead.

Value: $2 Martin alone should make Year slightly better than worst film of the year, this looks bad.

"Texas Killing Fields" - Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chloe Grace Moretz (Limited)
Based on a true story, Texas Killing Fields follows a pair of detectives (Worthing, JDM) investigating a string of gruesome murders in their small Texas town. I'm slightly intrigued by TKF, mostly because the cast is outstanding. Plus, I think it would be a fun blog to rank and discect the 17 different films that Jessica Chastain was in this year (17 is only a slight exaggeration). Alas, the buzz is bad and the limited release will probably keep me away until I forget about this film altogether.

Value: $1 Exactly the type of film that goes on my Netflix Instant queue and never gets watched.

"Trespass" - Nicholas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Cam Giganet (Limited)
A husband (Cage) and wife (Kidman) fight for life after being kidnapped. Are you guys excited about Cage and Kidman working together? No? Hmm... What if I told you Joel Schumacher, the guy responsible for both Batman and Robin and Phone Booth, was directing? Oh, this is not 1991, you say? Hmm... What if I also added that Cam Giganet, my vote for worst actor of the year for his work in Priest is probably going to struggle to play the villain? No? Welp, I got nothing.

Value: $1 The only reason to watch Trespass is to laugh at how far Nic Cage has fallen and do some prep work for the Razzies.

"Father of Invention" - Kevin Spacey, Heather Graham, Johnny Knoxville (Limited)
A former infomercial guru (Spacey) tries to get back on top after a prison stint. Confession: I'd never even heard of Father of Invention until today. So there's that. At one time, just the presence of Spacey alone would pique my interest. But honestly, he's best served for supporting roles at this point and I think Hollywood knows it. Meh.

Value: $2 Could make for decent in home viewings but nothing here should have you running to the theater.

"Fireflies in the Garden" - Julia Roberts, Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson
A tragic accident leads to a new start for a family that has struggled to stay together for years. Right now you're saying, "I've never heard of this film." And you're not alone in that. Fireflies was finished way back in 2008 but due to a litany of production and studio issues, it is just now getting a US release, albeit a limited one. Despite the NUMEROUS warning signs, I'm interested in this film for two reasons: 1.) The cast is INCREDIBLE and 2.) I want to see if Roberts and Reynolds can pull off the mother-son relationship despite being only 9 years apart.

Value: $3 Have to believe this cast can get something done, even if it isn't great. And if it is a disaster, there's a definite "train wreck" value to this thing.

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