1. Nim’s Island (3,513 Theaters, 96 Minutes, Rated PG): I don’t know if it’s the same in your area, but, of all the films coming out this week, this one is hardly advertised in my area. The Leatherheads ad is on all the time. The Ruins, unfortunately, is also on a lot. I have yet to see an ad for this one. I was shocked when I saw the theater counts for this one. It has almost 1,000 more than the nearest competitor. You’d think they’d want to fill those seats.
It is strange to see Jodie Foster in this type of movie. After all, when you think of her career, it’s darker stuff, like The Accused, Silence of the Lambs, and even Taxi Driver. But we must remember that she started out as a youngster making films like the original Freaky Friday and Tom Sawyer. So, this is a homecoming for her to the family friendly film fare.
And judging on the trailer, this film might be one to break the recent spate of disappointing kid book to film adaptations. Foster plays an agoraphobic writer who is called upon by one of her greatest fans (Abigail Breslin) to help find the fan’s missing father on a magical island. It seems the quality of acting will make it more fun than other recent kid lit flicks.
2. The Ruins (2,812 Theaters, 91 Minutes, Rated R): I’m not a big fan of horror films, but at least most times I can make it through the trailer. Whenever it comes on, I have to turn away from the screen. The scene with the snakes/worms/vines underneath the woman’s skin really gets to me. I mean, I come close to being physically ill. I’m sure the makers of the movie might think that is great, but I don’t. Sorry, folks, no money from me.
The film is adapted from a best selling novel. It details a bunch of young tourists vacationing in Cancun. They come across a German tourist whose brother went into the remote reaches of the area and has not come back out. The tourists decide to follow the German into the wilds to try and find his brother. Fatalities ensue.
I don’t know about you, but if a stranger in a foreign country comes up to me and says that his brother is missing, and asks me to go into the middle of nowhere to look for him, I’m going to say no. I would tell him to go to his country’s consulate. Maybe they could help him. But that’s just me. I’m smarter than the typical horror film character.
3. Leatherheads (2,777 Theaters, 114 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Let me just say, hiring Harry Kalas to do the voice over for the TV ads was a stroke of genius. He is one of the legendary voices in professional sports announcing, and hearing him speak on the ad sets the mood perfectly.
This is a screwball romantic comedy set in the early days of professional football. George Clooney plays a coach/player whose football team, and the entire league in general, is in danger of going out of business. He brings in a golden boy college star (John Krasinski) in to put some butts in the seats. But he proves to be more trouble than he’s worth as competes with Clooney’s character for the heart of an ambitious reporter (Renee Zelleweger).
You don’t often find screwball comedies around anymore. But leave it to George Clooney to try his hand at it, perhaps reviving the genre. This is the third film he has directed and each one has been set progressively further back in the past, starting with the ‘60s and ‘70s with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the ‘50s with Good Night and Good Luck, and the ‘20s for this one. If he keeps going at this rate, he will be doing a remake of Quest for Fire in about ten years.