We knew it was coming. Over a month ago Fandango announced that pre-sale tickets broke all of the records previously set by one of the Twilight movies (I am not trying to be that person who is too cool to know about Twilight, I just don’t happen to know any of the names of the Twilight movies after the first movie, which I assume is called Twilight). Well, it is finally here. The first movie of the year that puts fear into all other studios, that makes them move their movies away. The first movie of the year that has big time blockbuster potential. Of course, I am talking about Brake starring Stephen Dorff as a Secret Service Agent being held captive in the trunk of his car.
Opening March 23rd:
I AM VERY, VERY HUNGRY AND I WOULD LIKE TO PLAY SOME GAMES!
Interest Level: 4
Odds of this being the movie that makes Stephen Dorff the star he believes he already is: 0%
If you are having trouble placing him, Stephen Dorff was the “Colin Ferrel” of 1997-98. He was a bit of an indie darling having appeared in I Shot Andy Warhol (very good movie) and Reckless (so-so movie) with Mia Farrow, who was dipping his toes into the main stream with Blood and Wine (also starring Jennifer Lopez, Michael Cain and Jack Nicholson), City of Industry (a Tarrntino-esque gritty crime movie with Harvey Keitel, Timothy Hutton and Famke Jensen) and Blade (Wesley Snipes’ vampire movie). Other than Blade you probably didn’t remember any of those movies and my guess is you were trying to picture which Blade I was talking about (was that the one with Justin Timberlake’s girlfriend and the Green Lantern guy or was it the one with the crazy bald vampires?). If one is to believe rumors, Stephen Dorff wasn’t the most congenial fellow to work with and when these movies did less than break out his career as a leading man quickly fizzled. Now he will make the occasional weird indie crime thing or horror movie (he was the star of one of the least scary horror movies of all time, Feardotcom) and the occasional supporting role in semi-big hollywood movies (he was in Immortals for instance). And of course this gem.
These are the kind of movies I can never quite figure out how they get made or why. Certainly it has no realistic aspirations for box office success. It hasn’t played the festival circuit. It’s not going to do huge DVD sales. It will be late night fodder for cinemax, but that can’t be a big money maker. I think, and it is just a guess, that these movies are a kind of resume for all the people involved. Young writer or director can show it off, actors can say they are still working, everyone wins except, again I imagine, the people who payed for the party.
The Raid: Redemption
Interest Level: 8
Similar, in that they are both action movies, and yet in many ways completely opposite from Brake comes The Raid: Redemption. Some are comparing this film to early John Woo movies that came out of Hong Kong (like Hard Boiled or The Killers, both of which were Level VIII awesome) as a foreign film that is bringing a whole new perspective to the action genre. It has been all the talk coming out of festival after festival and all the reviews are simply gaga over this Indonesian action flick.
A SWAT team gets trapped in a tenement building that is controlled by a ruthless crime lord and quite literally all hell breaks loose. The fight scenes are supposed to be insane, the plot tight and the pacing intense. If action is your bag, this is the movie to see.
The Deep Blue Sea
Interest Level: 4
Does that mean I no longer love Rachel Weisz: NO!
The wife of a British judge, Lady Collier, is caught in a self-destructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot.
Based on a play written by Terence Rattigan in 1952 (roughly the same time the play and movie are set) that famously had one major problem, everyone hates the heroine, Lady Collyer. Now Rachel Weisz is, without a doubt, one of the most likable screen actresses going, but by all accounts Lady Collier is simply no friend, no heroine, nobody you would really want to spend 98 minutes with. No doubt this will be well done and well acted and feel quite genuine throughout and if you love this kind of period drama (forbidden love, what is proper versus your own passions, etc.) than I’m sure you will see this as worth your efforts.
Interest Level: 0
Does this mean I am closed minded concerning the issues surrounding abortion: NO
I am not against this story. In fact, if I believed a filmmaker could tell this story without it being a part of a larger point concerning reproductive rights I might even find it worth my time. For me, and just for me, these Christian-themed films don’t work. Having said that, if you liked Courageous or other faith based movies this may well be in your wheel house. Apparently there is nothing in it that could even be construed as confrontational unless you are so left leaning that you have developed some kind of right-wing paranoia.
Interest Level: 0
Does this make me a cold hearted and cynical person: MAYBE
So I have no interest in the “girl on a journey of discovery” movie or the “dancer losing her legs and then competing in a wheel chair dancing competition” movie, what kind of a monster am I? Do I have no soul?
The Trouble with Bliss
Interest Level: 4
Wait a minute, aren’t you the heartless SOB that didn’t like any of the feel good movies, shouldn’t this be right up your alley: APPARENTLY NOT
This is one of those movies that got a little buzz coming out of the festival circuit, but not so much buzz that it got a quick distribution deal or any real push from a studio. It is one of those movies made by a character actor who also writes and directs, who gets some reasonably recognizable faces to make his movie on the cheap. Some of those can turn out OK, usually they are ultimately flawed and often they are just boring. The rub with this is that a 35 year old guy has an affair with an 18 year old who happens to be his ex-classmates daughter and all of the fallout in the end propels his stagnant life in a better direction. So, to sum up, if your life isn’t going anywhere when you are in your mid 30’s don’t become more mature, instead start dating young girls and see if the insanity that follows kickstarts things for you.
Oh, I almost forgot there is one other little movie opening this week …
The Hunger Games
Interest Level: 8
Does that make me a teenage girl: I HOPE NOT
What needs to be said, really? Is there anything left we don’t know? Earlier reviews are strong both from fans of the books and from those who haven’t read them. Everyone seems to agree that this is the series that shows you can have a love triangle without any of the participants being pathetic, dour or have a propensity to take their shirt off at any and all possible moments and eventually falling in love with a newborn infant. Everyone seems to agree that this is the much more likely Harry Potter replacement as it, like Potter, will appeal to a broad audience, one that also includes boys and men. Could everyone be wrong? Sure, it happens (just look at Eragon), but it doesn’t seem likely.
So go, be hungry and play many, many games.
So, the week is finally here and those of us over a certain age and of a certain gender can finally see what all the fuss is about. On a side note, unless you like the huge crowds and long lines this may not be the weekend to go see The Hunger Games. Wait a week or see it on a week night if you are looking for a little more easy going movie experience … or see if you can find The Raid: Redemption because that looks awesome!
But, what do I know. I haven’t seen any of these movies and I’m fat.