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Off The Couch And Into The Theater: April 2009

Did I really only see I Love You, Man this month? Well I did catch an entry in the amazing yearly Film Noir Series at the local Heights Theater (a hilariously campy b-movie called Phantom Lady in which the killer looked at his hands and gave monologues about the evil they were capable of), but really I stayed away from the theater this March, with plans to see both the potentially amazing Gomorrah and the potentially amazingly terrible Knowing both falling through. Luckily I Love You, Man was definitely worth my five bucks (AMC weekday price yo!) otherwise I'd be a little weary about going through another bloated month's worth of theatrical releases (with 'Will I See It?' percentages in parentheses, of course). So here they are, and just like last month, the only glimpses of hope are an Apatow gang venture and a couple indies...

April 3rd: Yes, Adventureland (74%) was supposed to come out last week, but I guess the Weinsteins realized they didn't have much of a chance going up against Space Jam Without Basketball, otherwise known as Monsters Vs. Aliens. Smarty film execs and their delays. They'll just have to go up against Fast & Furious (3%) instead. Idiots. I'm sure the reteaming of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel, who have since gone on to become international unforgettable superstars that are totally not interchangeable with Hayden Christensen and The Rock, will smash the competition. Wait, I'm not sure if I'm being sarcastic or not. Alien Trespass (39%), that kinda barfy kitchfest throwback 50s sci-fi movie but with the gloss and self-awareness of modern day movies, also comes out in the indie theaters this weekend, but only catches my eye because it looks like less of a waste of time than rewatching MST3K eps. Not. Wow I'm full of the psych-outs tonight. Okay, but for realzies, I'm looking forward to trying with all my might to see the one-week-only run of 12 (80%), which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film and is a Russian take on the play/film 12 Angry Men, one of my totes faves. It doesn't look revolutionary and yes it's a remake, but it looks dramatic and engaging and that's saying more than most of the month's other releases.

April 10th: The French romantic-comedy Shall We Kiss? (26%) storms the indieplex with its tale of how even an adulterous kiss (no funny business) can leads to hilarious consequences. I've heard worse loglines for movies in less interesting languages, but still it sounds flat and quirkily unimaginative. And yet it sounds marginally more interesting than the other lovey dovey offering in artsville, The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh (14%), where Nick Nolte tries to rope his just-graduated son into the family business, but he's stolen away by the manic pixie drema girl Sienna Miller. Yawnaroo. Finally we get something interesting at our haven for mainstream alternatives with Serbis (73%), a Filipino movie (hey they make moving pictures there! neat!) about a poverty-stricken family that makes ends meet by running a porno theater. Now that's what I call a concept! Indie auteurs take note, you can be both boring and interesting. You don't have to be derivative to give off that aura of (sm)art. What's definitely neither boring nor interesting, however, is Hannah Montana: The Movie (4%), which rocks and rolls its way (I had to) into wide release right on the heels of those other lovely girls who play family friendly pop rock. Oh wait, they're boys? I don't see how I won't be seeing Observe And Report (99%), despite Seth Rogen's lack of discernible on-screen talent, he always manages to pull the giggles out of me because of his movies' scripts and direction. I hear this one's dark, and I like me the macabre and the maniacally funny combined. And don't forget Dragonball: Evolution (5%), in which I still don't understand what the difference is between this, Avatar, and The Last Airbender.

April 17th: I'm a moron for doing this, but Sugar (95%) may just be the best movie of the year based on the trailer alone. I wasn't a huge fan of the writer/director's team breakthrough hit, Half Nelson, but its tenderness for its characters and stately ragged aesthetic will totally work for the more emotionally raw story of a Colombian teen drafted by a U.S. baseball team. Can't wait. As far as the stale spy thriller State Of Play (48%) goes, well I would hope you would know my relationship with Russell Crowe by now. If you don't, it's pretty simple to explain: dude sucks. Top 5 least likeable actors of all time, easily. And yet, it's a spy thriller so if it was on TV, I'd totally watch it. Kinda similar to Crank: High Voltage (49%), which looks positively ridiculous, but I hear that's kind of the point. But once again, Jason Statham? No thank you. Especially not after having to sit through Shoot Em Up last year. Zac Efron on the other hand? Nope, wow turns out there's a lot of actors I can't stand, though I heard he was tolerable as a young Orson Welles in some movie that premiered at SXSW. Ultimately though, I'm not going to see the reverse 30 Going On 30 flick 17 Again (13%) it's safe to say. Lastly, the arthouse brings us Paris 36 (35%) which is a classic backstage musical where a group of people have to put on a show to save their theater. Hey, that's the Muppet movie plot that Jason Segel's writing - I'll wait for that.

April 24th: They won't call it a remake of Fatal Attraction but I'm sure it was pitched as the "urban" version of that movie - Obsessed (59%) is release in this final weekend of April, and despite Beyonce's inclusion, methinks it will be doomed at the box office. Though Idris Elba/Stringer Bell will get me in the theater for a larf. The Earth Day extravaganza, appropriately titled Earth (40%), gets a score higher than you might think solely because it uses that Sigur Ros in its commercial. Ooh the fishes and bears are sad but hopeful! I'll go see that maybe wait I'll stay home and watch Meerkat Manor instead! Fighting (24%) seems the same as last year's Never Back Down, venturing into the world of underground street fighting, this time with a director who actually did something before that was respectable. I never saw A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, but it's been in my Nerdflix queue forever. The Soloist (63%) is sure to be either mind-blowingly bad (and thus, awesome) or middlingly terrible with a few moments of "Why am I tearing up? Oh my! No!" that will just ruin the whole experience. Regardless, Jamie Foxx will either prove to actually be relevant again or go back into the trenches of his pseudo-R&B career. And I am ecstatic to end our monthly preview with the amazingly named Mutant Chronicles (83%) that stars Thomas Jane and Ron Perlman and sounds so spectacular that I am simply going to copy and paste from iMDB:

In the year 2707, a soldier (Jane) leads a campaign to save the Earth -- which has been rendered unrecognizable from a war between the four corporations who control the planet -- from the mutant menace which has been unleashed from its prison by an explosion.

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  1. Blogger qualler | 6:31 AM |  

    OMG I soooo need to see Sugar. Heartwarming indie movie with awesome-looking cinematography that parallel's the lives of many of my totes fave baseball players like Francisco Liriano??? Count me in. I know a certain blogger on here, too, who is genuinely excited about Fast & Furious (*cough*SEAN*cough*). I might want to see it just to get angry at Ana-Lucia, aka Michelle Rodriguez. And I'm definitely excited about Observe & Report, especially now being excited about the works of Jody Hill after Eastbound & Down, despite this movie's lack of Danny McBride (seriously, whatta guy.)

  2. Blogger Sean | 9:54 AM |  

    "I live my life a quarter-mile at a time."

    why does it take them 3 minutes of screen-time to race a quarter-mile?


  3. Blogger nicole | 10:15 AM |  

    The Soloist looks like exactly what I need to get me back into the theater: homelessness, altruism, a touch of mental illness, and a beautiful score! Plus, when men cry, it shows me they can feel;) And RDJ=hot.

  4. Blogger chris | 2:36 PM |  

    Haha I got this educational DVD in the mail at school of Jason Reitman explaining how to analyze a film, using clips from modern day blockbusters (dear God why?) as examples.

    So there's a clip for The Fast & The Furious (back when they could afford articles) of them racing a quarter-mile for like 3 minutes, then cut to Jason Reitman obviously displeased: "The director is apparently extending the length of an actual car race to keep us entertained and build suspense. Whether it was successful or not is up to you, the viewer!"

  5. Blogger Adam | 10:59 PM |  

    I am equally excited for Sugar. It's been a while since a good baseball movie. Plus this film touches on the idea of importing baseball players from south of the border as if they were commodities (hence, he is from the Dominican where much of our sugar comes from, and even more of our professional baseball players)

  6. Anonymous LQ | 11:05 PM |  

    4 Fast 4 Furious! Maybe if that's what they called this one, I might see it.

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