Plenty, but PLENTY of entertainment options for you this weekend. Nor are they strictly at your local cineplex. A few films are opening, and if they don’t spark your interest, your TV selections will be myriad and there’s a DVD out that’s nothing but pure, unadulterated fun. (A little caper with big stars that was made for at-home watching with a pizza or spaghetti. More on that in a minute.)
Here goes. First of all, having lost the late, great Elizabeth Taylor this week, any number of TV stations are devoting great huge blocks of programming to celebrate the Dame many are calling The Last Great Movie Star. Which means we can all re -watch Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Who’s Afraid…, Giant, Cleopatra, Nat’l Velvet, A Place In The Sun and probably all of her others over the next week – a lot.
Now, if you opt to head outdoors in search of popcorn, you might want to check out Sucker Punch, which is the latest film from director Zach Snyder. He’s the guy what brought us the movies 300 and Watchmen, and is clearly someone who’s welcome at any and all sci-fi conventions and/or general gatherings of males aged 10-45. This time he’s back with a film about a young girl who gets sent to an asylum by her wicked stepfather. Oh, and um, she has but five days to escape before she must undergo a lobotomy. According to the trailer (which is probably as close as I’ll ever get to this movie) she bands together with other asylum inmates and they plot an escape. Sucker Punch stars Emily Browning, Carla Gugino, Abbie Cornish, Vanessa Hudgens and lots of other extremely attractive people who may discover that making this movie was lots more fun than actually sitting through it – if the reviews are to be believed. But Zach Snyder sure knows his way around a special effects film, and the campiness part may give it legs down the road; it may also be review-proof and become cultishly popular as a rental.
Also in theaters, a movie from Julian Schnabel starring Slumdog Millionaire’s Freida Pinto called Miral. This one’s about an orphaned Palestinian girl trapped in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Now, even though the subject matter seems grim, Schnabel did make Basquiat and The Diving Bell and The Butterfly and introduced American audiences to Javier Bardem in Before Night Falls so he’s got huge filmmaker cred and this one is getting good reviews.
But: if you just want to see a delightful, occasionally silly, absolutely gorgeous movie about appealing ne’er-do-wells chasing other ne’er-do-wells through Europe, particularly through Venice, rent (or Demand, or Netflix, or however you acquire) The Tourist. It stars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie and Paul Bettany and it’s one of those movies that came under fire for all sorts of reasons – and was even soundly criticized for its Golden Globe nods. Still, it’s one of those flicks that may well remind you of why we go see movies in the first place. Plus, after you forget where you are for two hours of Depping and Jolie-zing, you’ve got all those Liz Taylor flicks to check out, which might just be more fun than a trip to the cinema this weekend anyway.
3) Sucker Punch
4) The Tourist