Another thing about Halloween? It means your movie selections get a little compromised this time of year because no studio wants to go up against the big scary stuff that’s eclipsing everything else at the cineplex.
Which is why we have to wait for movies like Ides of March, J. Edgar, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close to hit theaters down the road (and heck, let’s add Breaking Dawn just so no one feels left out). Know what I think is going to be crazy popular? Real Steel. The whole Hugh Jackman, robots, and sanctioned combat feels like a recipe that’ll mint fans and box office success.
Meanwhile, right now we have said scary movies, arthhouse fare and inane goofball comedies to pass the time. This weekend has a few smaller movies (which is why it couldn’t hurt to download Tony Bennett, watch a few seasons of Breaking Bad for serious viewing, and then relax with newbie guilty pleasures Revenge and Hart of Dixie).
Dream House stars Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, and Naomi Watts. Plotwise, it’s got a most unusual setup for a creepy thriller: a young, good-looking couple move into a gorgeous new home, only to discover that something terrible took place there years beforehand. Something deadly. Honest.What might be fun is that viewers can try and spot the chemistry between Craig and Weisz, who connected and subsequently got married making this movie together. Expect creepy supernatural stuff and things trapped in the walls.
Next up, we have something called 50-50, which is about a young man dealing with cancer (the title refers to his chances for survival). Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars here which means that more people will take kindly to it and critics will be trapped. There’s also Seth Rogen present, for laughs. Anna Kendrick from Twilight and Up In The Air plays the therapist and may well continue the very impressive trajectory that got her an Oscar nod. The odd thing with this movie (which I’ll absolutely see) is that they advertised it as a comedy first, with buddy-movie commercials that gently satirized standard illness pics. Then it seemed that perhaps that wasn’t the way to go, at which point ads began to appear using words like “powerful” and “heartbreaking” so it would appear they’ve opted to go for a more serious and indie feel.
Then we have the goofball comedy whose trailer makes it look diverting if totally forgettable. Anna Faris stars in What’s Your Number?, about a young lady who decides to call upon all of her exes to see if The One was actually under her nose the whole time. This one rides on Faris’ shoulders, which is certainly a tall order – on the other hand actors like Zachary Quinto, Chris Evans, and Joel McHale might make things a lot more fun to sit through. Parks and Rec’s Chris Pratt, who did a wonderful job in Moneyball and who also happens to be Mr. Anna Faris appears here as well.
Finally there’s another art film in limited release called Margaret which was written and directed by a guy named Kenneth Lonergan, which you might want to see if you can. For two reasons: 1) Lonergan’s a wonderful writer (Analyze This, Gangs of New York) who also makes lovely, quiet indies (You Can Count On Me) and he’s put together 2) an incredible cast. Which includes Anna Paquin, Mark Ruffalo, Matthew Broderick, and Matt Damon. The film’s about a woman who witnesses a bus crash and even though it may sound like a downer, it’ll probably be an intriguing little movie with superb performances.
That’s what’s out there in theaters this weekend. Let us know what you saw and as always, what you thought. Next week we’ll talk about Hollywood’s highest paid actresses (and some of the names might shock you).
2) Dream House
4) What’s Your Number?