1. Final Destination 5 (Warner Brothers/New Line, 3,155 Theaters, 92 Minutes, Rated R): I’ve never been a fan of horror films per se, although I have watched many of them. But of all of them that I have seen or haven’t seen, the ones that make me the most uncomfortable are the Final Destination franchise.
The premise is this: a group of young people survive a disaster that was meant to kill them, usually due to one of the kids getting a preminition that death is imminent. Since Death doesn’t like to be cheated, it sets about to kill these survivors in the most gruesomely inventive ways possible.
The premise is imaginative. But one of my biggest problems with the franchise is that the kids are always tipped off that death is after them but put themselves in situations where they can be killed in the most unique way possible. If I knew the living embodiment of death was after me, I’d cancel that acupuncture appointment and reschedule that laser eye surgery. But that’s just me.
2. 30 Minutes Or Less (Sony/Columbia, 2,888 Theaters, 83 Minutes, Rated R): It’s a premise that I have seen before. Criminals want to rob a bank but not get caught. They find a patsy and threaten to take away something–or someone–close to the patsy if they don’t do as the criminals say. Drama ensues.
That premise is in employ here, although used for comedic purposes. The bad guys (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson, playing against type) kidnap a pizza person (Jesse Eisenberg), strap a bomb to him, and say that they’ll blow him up in a matter of hours if he doesn’t rob a bank for them.
This premise has potential…to be a good episode of a half hour sitcom. I have no idea how they can stretch the premise out to almost an hour and a half. And, judging on the ads, most of that time is spent with the bomb strapped on Eisenberg. When the character is able to run errands while wearing the device, it takes away a bit of the suspense.
3. Glee: The 3D Concert Movie (Fox, 2,040 Theaters, 100 Minutes, Rated PG): I have watched Glee and liked it, although not quite as much as many of my friends. There is something about the show that keeps it from being appointment viewing for me, and if I had to put my finger on it, it would be because I find the show to be the most Pre-fab TV series since The Monkees.
The series was born with a fully formed marketing plan at its inception. Before the first episode aired, there was a “making of” on the Fox Movie Channel. Also on that network were interviews with the creators explaining their process. Then, when the show actually came on, the tie-in CD’s started coming as soon as they had enough songs to fill them. And as soon as shooting stopped on a season, the entire cast (as must have certainly been specified as a requirement in their original contract) went on the road with a travelling concert tour.
To top the rampant commercialism, we now get a film of that concert tour. Better yet, it’s in 3-D! Because they can charge a little extra for 3-D!
I don’t know why anybody would pay to see something they get for free, but they did. And now they are being asked to pay to see something they have already paid to see. And they probably will.