This Week’s Theatrical Releases

1. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2,798 Theaters, 112 Minutes, Rated R): One of the things I like most about Judd Apatow and his Repertory Theater is the loyalty they show each other. Apatow cast many of the same people in all his movies, and when actors he works with become big-ish stars, like James Franco, they come back and do cameos for him.

But he also helps his actors get movies they have written made. He produced Seth Rogen’s Superbad last year, and this week he brings fellow Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared alum Jason Segal’s screenplay for this movie to the silver screen.

Segal stars as a man who has recently gone through a bad break-up. He takes a Hawaiian vacation only to find that his ex is staying at the very same resort with her new boyfriend. Ouch.

This should be funny, if you can stand the extended scene featuring full frontal male nudity. But is it just me, or did we see the whole “clear the table, he’s only a party of one” bit in the Steve Martin film, The Lonely Guy?

2. The Forbidden Kingdom (3,151 Theaters, 113 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Jet Li say during Fearless that he wasn’t going to act in martial arts films anymore. I seem to recall that, but this film seems to be, at least in part, a martial arts film.

Maybe the pull of starring in one with Jackie Chan was too strong to resist. This is the first time the martial arts legends share the screen together. For those of you who are not fans of the genre, think of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger sharing the screen. Or Eddie Murphy and Jim Carrey sharing a comedy flick. Kind of a big deal.

The film centers on an American teenager who is transported back to ancient China. There, he must free the legendary warrior called the Monkey King in order to get back home.

There appears to be a bit of Lord of the Rings-like fantasy involved with all the kicks and chops, so maybe Jet didn’t completely break his promise.

You can read our review of The Forbidden Kingdom here.

3. 88 Minutes (2,168 Theaters, 108 Minutes, Rated R): One of the sure-fire ways to build tension is to put a time stamp on something. The hostages will die in 20 minutes. The building will blow up in an hour. The ship will hit the iceberg in the early morning. Etcetera.

This tactic is used here as Al Pacino’s character, a forensic psychologist, is called an informed that he only has 88 minutes to live. But, nowadays, that just isn’t enough. I guess the producers felt that gimmick was used too many times, because it appears that Pacino is being framed for a series of murders as well, framed by a man he helped sentence to death several years before, no less.

This, in my opinion, is kind of interesting yet kind of hard to believe. But I have faith that Al Pacino can help me stretch my suspension of disbelief enough to get me though this. And if he’s not, then, and forgive me for my crudeness in saying this, there is enough eye candy in the form of Alicia Witt, Leelee Sobieski, and Amy Brenneman the twenty extra minutes of film time.

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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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