1. The Three Stooges (Fox, 3,477 Theaters, 92 Minutes, Rated PG): I hate this movie. It is an unfair hatred. I have not seen a frame of the film outside of the trailer. It could be a loving tribute to the classic comedy team. The actors could channel Moe, Larry and Curly to the Nth degree. And it could be laugh out loud, pee your pants funny. It doesn’t matter. Such is the illogical nature of my hatred.
See, I’m a Stooges fan. The afternoons of my youth was spent watching the nuckleheads beat the snot out of each other on my TV. I could see how people could hate them. I didn’t. I loved them. They were perfect just the way they were.
Now, this film doesn’t erase those classic short films out of existence. They are still there and I can watch them anytime I choose. But that’s the reason why this film is unnecessary. I can guarantee you that they will not be able to improve on the original. Yet, for an entire generation, this film might be their first exposure to the Stooges. And, for me, that just ain’t right.
While I would admit that examining how the vaudville syle of comedy would work in the world of today’s raunchy and risque film comedy might be fun, and my opinion might have changed if the original cast (Sean Penn as Larry, Benicio del Toro as Moe and Jim Carrey as Curly) was still involved, becausem heck, who wouldn’t want to see that film. But as it stands now, I’ll rely on my Stooges DVD’s
2. The Cabin In The Woods (Lionsgate, 2,811 Theaters, 95 Minutes, Rated R): Friday the 13th typically is a good day to release a horror film. The superstitious day that creeps so many people out sets the perfect mood for a scary flick. However, the true horror story behind this witty and inventive take on the “teenagers trapped in a remote cabin” genre has to be its trip to the screen.
The film finished shooting in 2009 and was originally supposed to be released in February of 2010. The film was delayed a year to convert it in to 3D. Before that process could be completed, its studio, MGM, underwent major financial difficulties and eventually sold the film to Lionsgate. The film was originally targeted to Halloween 2011, but instead it’s coming out this week.
Typically, when a film is bumped back two years, that’s the sign of a bad film, regardless of the extenuating circumstances. However, this film acts as a deconstruction, almost to the level of parody, of horror conventions and was co-written by Joss Whedon. Don’t let its long and winding road to theaters scare you off.
3. Lockout (FilmDistrict, 2,308 Theaters, 95 Minutes, Rated PG-13): You can call it Die Hard in Outer Space, or Escape From New York in a less realistic future, but whatever you call it, this film appears to be a familiar, yet innovative take on the one man against an army rescue mission genre.
Guy Pearce stars as a man falsely convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. He is offered absolution if he rescues the President’s daughter from a prison orbiting the Earth after the inmates take over the facility.
Again, the plot isn’t anything new. But Pearce is a greatly underrated actor and I’m digging the hard-boilded action in a sci-fi setting