This Week’s Theatrical Releases

1. Horton Hears a Who! (3,954 Theaters, 88 Minutes, Rated G): I don’t know about you, but the switch from live-action to computer animation is a bit jarring.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m an obsessive Dr. Seuss fan. I don’t run any Seussical websites, or post on any Seuss intensive message boards. As a matter of fact, I haven’t seen any of the previous movies, or, the unholiest of sacrileges, read a Dr. Seuss book in my life. It’s just that they have had a trend of dressing up comedians in fur suits that is broken with this one.

Of course, this story deals with an elephant trying to keep a society only he can hear safe from harm, so it really doesn’t lend itself to live action.

The cast is a veritable who’s who of today’s comedy. Jim Carrey returns to the good doctor (having previously played the Grinch). He is joined by the man that many media pundits said was going to replace Carrey as America’s top movie comedian, Steve Carrell (of course, that was before Evan Almighty‘s disappointing numbers). And in supporting roles, they are joined by Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Isla Fisher, Dan Fogler, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, and, to top it all off, comedy legend Carol Burnett. Imagine if that cast was in a live action movie?

2. Never Back Down (2,729 Theaters, 110 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Okay, let’s play, “Guess the Movie!” Ready? Let’s begin!

Okay, a young man with abandonment issues moves to a new school in a location known for warm weather. He, of course, has a hard time fitting in, and the only friend he makes is a girl who might be a potential love interest. Unfortunately, he has run afoul of a bully, one with some training in martial arts. After a party, the new kid is beat up and humiliated by the bully.

This brings him into contact with a mysterious man with an accent, who agrees to teach the new kid the bully’s style of martial arts. Through his unique and rigorous training process, the sensei helps the boy work through his issues and helps him become a man. The movie ends in a tournament where the new kid faces off against the bully. Guess what happens?

Okay, show of hands. Who thinks this refers to The Karate Kid? Okay, put your hands down. Who thinks this refers to this movie? Good.

Well, you’re both right. So now you’re faced with a dilemma. Do you go out and spend $10 on this movie? Or go to you local video store and rent the superior The Karate Kid? You decide.

3. DOOMSDAY (1,936 Theaters, 105 Minutes, Rated R): Hey! All you aspiring actors out there! Do you want a quick and easy way to fulfill your dreams? Of course you do!

How, Bill, can I go about this? Well, first of all, rent 300. Study Gerard Butler’s performance, especially when he says “This—is—-SPARTA!!!” Try to imitate it the best you can. Then, change the words around as much as you can, while keeping the same tonal quality. “I—-won’t pay a lot—FOR THIS MUFFLER!!!!!” “I—-would like—-MORE PANCAKES!!!”

If you can master this trick, you will be a lock for any number of movies that are trying to capture 300’s audience. I mean, Beowulf employed this tactic. And when I first heard the trailer for this flick, I had to ask my wife, who was actually watching it, if Gerard Butler was actually in the movie. The way the bad guy talks sounds just like him.

But what is this movie about? Think Escape From New York meets Outbreak meets a zombie-less (I think) 28 Days Later meets Underworld with a little zombie-less Resident Evil mixed in. So, in other words, nothing you haven’t seen before. But it is in the hands of Neil Marshall, who has garnered some acclaim for his genre work on Dog Soldiers and The Descent. So maybe he can bring something new to the concepts listed above.

Now, the predictions. This is what I called for last week:

  1. Semi-Pro
  2. College Road Trip
  3. 10,000 B.C.
  4. Vantage Point
  5. The Spiderwick Chronicles

And this is how it actually turned out:

  1. 10,000 B.C.
  2. College Road Trip
  3. Vantage Point
  4. The Bank Job
  5. Semi-Pro

I totally dismissed the appeal of 10,000 B.C.. And even though I made that mistake, I still ended up going 1 for 5. This makes me a total of 53 for 150 over 30 weeks with an average of 35%.

This is what I predict for this week

  1. Horton Hears a Who!
  2. 10,000 B.C.
  3. College Road Trip
  4. Vantage Point
  5. Semi-Pro
About William Gatevackes 1966 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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