1. RED (Summit Entertainment, 3,255 Theaters, 11 Minutes, Rated PG-13): 2010 has not been kind to comic book films. You had one hit (Iron Man), one moderate success (Kick-Ass), one that barely broke even (The Losers) and two rather big flops (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World & Jonah Hex). It is not hard to see why people are looking to the performance of this movie as to whether or not comic book films have a bright future.
Of course, this film might be helped by the fact that it doesn’t resemble a comic book at all. Oh, it does come from a comic book–one written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Cully Hamner, but it’s plot could come directly from Hollywood.
A group of retired CIA agents are targeted for death. They band together to find out who is behind the plot, blowing up a great deal of stuff in the process.
It has an all-star cast–Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren have Oscars, John Malkovich has been nominated twice, and you can make a strong case that Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker should have been nominated in the past. And the film has that “old people kicking ass” quality to it that is somewhat appealing. Who knows? This could be where the comic book movie bounces back.
I have never been a fan of Jackass. I quickly turned the channel when it was on TV, never saw either of the prior two movies, and pretty much avoided all the spin-offs and films starring the cast.
It’s not that I dislike watching people getting hit in the crotch. Hey, I still watch America’s Funniest Home Videos. But I thought these guys were just too smarmy and creepy for me to enjoy what they are doing. I don’t like people who laugh at their own jokes, especially when those jokes involve people sitting in a porta-potty being launched into the air via a slingshot.
But for those of you who like this sort of stuff, here it is in 3-D, another craze I can’t stand. Now I can ignore both of them at the same time.
As a new feature of these New Releases posts, from now until the end of the year, we will be running Oscar Watch 2010. Every week, we’ll run down the contenders for the Oscars so you could be ahead of the game before awards season rolls around.
I think it’s safe to say that Jackass 3-D will not be a Oscar contender in any category outside of the technical ones. So, if seeing potential Oscar nominees is your big thing, you can feel fairly secure if you miss this one.
Usually, action films don’t score a lot of acting nods at the Oscars. This year could be different. There are a lot of old Oscar favorites in the cast, and Malkovich and Mirren have showy roles that could garner a nod if the Academy is feeling generous. It is a longshot, but it is a possibility.