1. Up (Disney, 3,766 Theaters, 96 Minutes, Rated PG): One of the most amazing things about Pixar, at least in the past few years, is that they can take concepts that don’t seem that they would be all that good on paper and make financial and critical successes out of them.
I mean, a film where a stock car given human qualities is treated like an athlete is placed in a Doc Hollywood like plot doesn’t sound great, but Cars was a great success. A rat who want to be a cook sounds somewhat gross, but Ratatouille was charming and sweet. And a film with small amounts of dialogue with a scurvy robot as the lead might not seem like it would work, but Wall*E was awesome on all levels.
This time, they are dealing with a curmudgeon who ties balloons to his house in a ploy to visit South America, but complications ensue when he discovers a stowaway on board. It seems like there would be no way they could make a good movie out of this concept. But I’m sure that it will be one of the best films of the summer.
2. Drag Me To Hell (Universal, 2,508 Theaters, 99 Minutes, Rated PG-13): I kinda view Sam Raimi returning to horror the same way I would view Tom Hanks returning to a weekly TV sitcom. Yes, it would rock, but how can it not be viewed as a step backwards?
Raimi, of course, got his start on the Evil Dead films. But from that start has become a director at home with dramas that get Oscar Buzz (A Simple Plan) and your big-budget blockbuster (Spider-Man). Surely he is such a master of horror that this film will be chock full of scares even with a PG-13 rating, but a relatively low-budget horror film at this stage of his career seems out of place.
The film is about a young woman named Christine who is held back getting a promotion at a bank because she’s too nice. She tries to fix this perception by evicting an old lady from her home. Too bad the old lady is a witch who places a curse on her. If the curse isn’t broken in three days, she will be, well, dragged to hell.