This Week’s Theatrical Releases.

1. The Brave One (2,755 Theaters, Rated R): The Director? Neil Jordan (Mona Lisa, Crying Game, Interview with a Vampire). The Lead Actress? Two-time Academy Award Winner Jodie Foster (The Accused, Silence of the Lambs). Supporting Actor? Oscar Nominee Terrence Howard. The Plot? A warmed over version of Death Wish.

Is it just me, or do these creators deserve a better movie?

Okay. I’ll grant you that the whole “person looking for revenge” story is a powerful one. But it has been used umpteen times before. Will The Brave One bring anything new to the table? Or has the topic been examined enough?

Yes, I know that it is Jodie Foster, looking and acting like a female Bernie Goetz. And I’m sure she’ll act the heck out of it. But it’s been done before. Does it really matter if she’s a better actor than Charles Bronson when he did essentially the same role as she more than thirty years ago.

Hollywood gets a lot of flack for lack of originality. This case, I think it’s deserved.

2. Dragon Wars (2,269 Theaters, Rated PG-13): I first saw ads for this a few weeks ago, and I wondered why I hadn’t heard of it before. Something this big budget with this much CGI usually gets some press in the entertainment magazines or advance buzz on the internet.

One of the reasons why you might not have heard anything is because Dragon Wars (or, as it’s alternately called, D-War) is a Korean movie, one of the most expensive Korean films ever made.

The plot basically involves dragons fighting in the skies of Los Angeles. There is some wacky mumbo jumbo about one of the dragons trying to get into Heaven, which adds a bizarre spin to the plot, but this movie should appeal to anybody who likes to see giant beasts trying to kill one another while destroying everything the come in contact with.

To be honest, I might go to see this if they promised me that Godzilla would show up somewhere in the movie. I mean, if it wasn’t for him, this movie probably would have never made it over here.

3. Mr. Woodcock (2,231 Theaters, Rated PG-13): Finally, in what could quite possibly the most derivirative weekend of movies ever, we come to this one. Even the poster is unoriginal, apeing the poster for 1998’s BASEketball.

The most obvious comparision you could make for this movie would be last year’s School for Scoundrels. It also starred Billy Bob Thornton as a teacher whose adversarial relationship with a student kicks up when the teacher begins a romance with someone close to the student. Billy Bob better be careful, or else he might start getting typecast.

The modern dumb comedy has become so incestuous that they have even become quasi-cookie cutter. Take a “high concept” plot, take actor from dumb comedy A, add costar from dumb comedy B, add in an Oscar Winning actress for “What is she doing in this type of movie” shock value, shake and serve.

This is what we essentially have here. This movie essentially follows that formula. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a success.

Now to the predictions. This is what I predicted for last week:

  1. 3:10 to Yuma
  2. Halloween
  3. Shoot ‘Em Up
  4. Superbad
  5. Balls of Fury

And this is how it turned out:

  1. 3:10 to Yuma
  2. Halloween
  3. Superbad
  4. Shoot ‘Em Up
  5. The Bourne Ultimatum

I flipped 3 and 4, and that Balls of Fury had more lasting power than it did. I am now 16 for 30 in 6 weeks, and have an accuracy percentage of 53%.

This is what a call for this week.

  1. The Brave One
  2. 3:10 to Yuma
  3. Halloween
  4. Superbad
  5. Mr. Woodcock

What do you think?

Bill

About William Gatevackes 1967 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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