This Week’s Theatrical Releases

Better late than never!

1. Semi-Pro (3,121 Theaters, 90 Minutes, Rated R): Ah, Will Ferrell and sports comedies. What is this? His third? After Blades of Glory, and Talladega Nights. Fourth if you count Kicking and Screaming. Do you think he wishes he was involved in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story?

The Will Ferrell comedy is an acquired taste. Some people like the silliness, some people are irritated. Myself, I kind of like them. His constantly playing an idiot might be tiresome for some, but he does play them well.

But how many times can he go back to the well? This film seems like there is not a lot of effort in being funny. Thing are supposed to be taken for granted as being funny. Hey! It’s Will Ferrell with an Afro! Funny! He’s back in the 70s, like he was in Anchorman: The Ron Burgundy Story! Funny! He’s playing for an ABA basketball team! Funny! His character’s name is Jackie Moon! Funny! The team is from Michigan, yet called the Tropics! Funny!

Ferrell’s Moon is trying to save the Tropics from obscurity due to the NBA merger with the ABA. If his team of losers can actually win for once, they could be one of the four teams to be brought in the NBA.

Another interesting note, Woody Harrelson returns to silly comedy (after Kingpin), and basketball movies (after White Men Can’t Jump) after a long absence. He’s in the Oscar winning No Country For Old Men one day and in this one the next. Pretty diverse career he has there.

2. Penelope (1,196 Theaters, 102 Minutes, Rated PG): Christina Ricci with a pig-nose is still cute. Let me get that out of the way first.

That being said, this quasi-modern day fairy tale was on the shelf for two years. This is never a good sign. The first few months of the year are always the clearinghouse for movies of this type. So, if you saw the trailer and thought that it was charming and cute, it might be. Just be aware that studios don’t hold on to movies for no reason.

However, one good thing to come out of this is that co-star James McAvoy’s star has risen in the last two years. More people know him now than then, due mainly for his showcase role in Atonement.

Ricci plays an heiress who is cursed with the aforementioned pig nose. The curse can only be removed when she finds a man who will love her truly. McAvoy is the leading prospect.

If you are wondering why Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon has a supporting role in this film (because, well, this isn’t the kind of movie an Oscar winner would normally have a supporting role in), it’s because that she the producer of the film. I’m sure there is some “trying to garner more attention for the film” reason involved.

3. The Other Boleyn Girl (1,166 Theaters, 115 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Ah, the dilemma of the horndog man. Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman are the fancy of many of the men. Websites are devoted to their pictures. Men all over the world have crushes on them. And here they are, both in the same movie. This should be bliss.

However, while we can’t be certain, this film might just be a chick flick. Worse, a historical chick flick. There is nothing the fratboy mentality hates more than a chick flick. See the dilemma? Seeing two of the hottest young actresses in Hollywood in the same film (with, judging by the trailer, a hint of sex), but it’s a movie where they whine about “loving” the same man. So, what are they to do?

Maybe go to the movie and hope for a beheading? This movie is taken from true-life story of Henry the VIII. Of course, this is a dramatized version of the actual events, but if it follows real life, having her sister sleep with the King might be something that Natalie Portman will lose her head over.

Now, the predictions.

This is what I predict for last week:

  1. Vantage Point
  2. Charlie Bartlett
  3. Witless Protection
  4. Jumper
  5. Be Kind, Rewind

And this was how it was:

  1. Vantage Point
  2. The Spiderwick Chronicles
  3. Jumper
  4. Step up 2 the Streets
  5. Fool’s Gold

I went 1 for 5, making me 50 for 140 over 28 weeks with an average of 35%.
This is what I predict for this week:

  1. Semi-Pro
  2. Vantage Point
  3. Jumper
  4. The Spiderwick Chronicles
  5. Fool’s Gold
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About William Gatevackes 1934 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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