New Releases: September 19

1. My Best Friend’s Girl (2,604 Theaters, 101 Minutes, Rated R): If you are trying to ask the question: is this movie a sign Dane Cook is moving up towards respectability, or a sign that Kate Hudson moving downwards toward total hackdom, you have to look at all the variables. I’ll start with the fact that the movie also stars Jason Biggs. Well, the discussion is over. Former Oscar nominee Hudson? Welcome to hackdom!

You might argue that the presence of fellow Oscar nominee Alec Baldwin might be a mitigating factor. No. That does not make up for the fact that if you star in a movie where Jason Biggs has a role larger than a cameo then you are becoming a hack.

The film is about a guy who hires himself out as a “bad date”. Men hire him to date their exes, he disgusts them with his boorish behavior, and the women then realize how good they had it. Complications ensue when his best friend hires him and he finds himself falling for his target.

2. Lakeview Terrace (2,464 Theaters, 110 Minutes, Rated PG-13): If movies were math equations, then this film would be Unlawful Entry minus Fatal Attraction plus Jungle Fever.  

Samuel L. Jackson plays a police officer who gets upset when an interracial couple moves in next door. He tries to make their lives a living hell to get them to move. Since he has the law on his side, the couple has a hard time fighting back.

Making Samuel Jackson the bigot is a unique spin on things, but it doesn’t change the fact that this film isn’t really all that original. And since the trailers play down the racist aspect, even the novelty of that is lost.

However, this film is another sign of the prevalence of comic book movies as all three leads have starred or will star in one. Samuel L. Jackson is in The Spirit (and you can probably count Unbreakable as a comic movie too), Patrick Wilson is in Watchmen, and Kerry Washington appeared in both Fantastic Four films.

3. Igor (2,339 Theaters, 87 Minutes, Rated PG): This film was one of the most prevalent at the San Diego Comic-Con. The studio was doing a the promotional version of a full-court press—booth babes wearing lab coats, a collectible pin set, and the trailer running on a constant loop. Like I wasn’t going to see it before.

John Cusack is a favorite actor of my wife and she also like computer animated films. Two plus two equals we are going.

The film also shows that you can take one concept, change the focus around a bit, and come up with a new concept. This is about as close as Hollywood comes to originality, but when it works, it works quite well.

In this one, an assistant to a mad scientist has a dream of entering a science fair himself. It’s an uphill battle because the other scientists don’t take him seriously. Does he have the strength to follow his dreams?  

4. Ghost Town (1,505 Theaters, 102 Minutes, Rated PG-13): If you’ve ever seen him in the BBC version of The Office or HBO’s Extras, then you know that Ricky Gervais is the master of uncomfortable comedy. He puts himself in awkward situations and we laugh and squirm as he deals with them.

This film seems like it might be full of those very same situations. Gervais plays a dentist who dies for a few minutes during a colonoscopy. When he comes out of it, he gains the ability to see dead people. Problem is, they all want him to wrap the loose ends from before they died.

Greg Kinnear plays a ghost who makes a deal with Gervais. Stop his (Tea Leoni) wife from marrying the wrong guy and he’ll get rid of all the rest of the ghosts. Problem is, Gervais has already met his wife and she hates him.

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About William Gatevackes 1931 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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