1. Marmaduke (Fox, 3,213 Theaters, 87 Minutes, Rated PG): Okay, I am not what you call a fan of the Marmaduke comic strip. The only enjoyment I get from it is reading Josh over at Comics Curmudgeon compare the dog to a flesh-eating, demon beast.
But I have read the strip and I can say in no uncertain terms that Marmaduke does not talk. DOES NOT TALK!!!
I know that with the success of Garfield and Alvin and the Chipmunks, the market for talking cartoon animals is through the roof. But why go and adapt a comic strip, no matter how lame it is, to the big screen if you are going to change the basic elements of it to make it fit. This film didn’t need to be based on Marmaduke. It could have been a truly original concept about a really big talking dog. Because whatever good will and audience the film will get will be shot once Owen Wilson’s voice comes out of the dog’s mouth.
Besides that, it looks completely awful.
2. Killers (Lionsgate, 2,859 Theaters, 100 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Katherine Heigl seems to be channeling her inner Goldie Hawn for this flick, being part ditz/part savvy. This is not a bad thing and makes me more responsive to this film that any of her previous efforts.
Another selling point is Ashton Kutcher, who has dial back the pompous assness he usually bring with him to any film he does.
The plot involves a woman who is swept off her feet by the man of her dreams, only to find out that he is a spy and has a hit out on him. Instead of going on their honeymoon, they go on the run.
I think this has the potential to be a slice above the normal romantic/action comedy. But , then again, with the track record of the people involved, that isn’t a given.
3. Get Him To The Greek (Universal, 2,696 Theaters, 109 Minutes, Rated R): This film is the ipso facto sequel to 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Why ipso facto? Because this film has made a few major changes.
Russell Brand’s Aldous Snow was in both movies, but in the former, he was a spacey, self-centered, narcassistic twit, and in this one, he is a drug-addled, flighty, childlike twit. There might not seem to be that much difference between the two, but it is telling when you see it in action.
At least Brand is playing the same character. In the first movie, Hill played a creepy, obsessive fan by the name of Matthew the Waiter. In this film, he is still a fan of Snow’s, but is a record executive by the name of Aaron Green.
I don’t know why they felt the need to change the characters around so much. There was potential for a caper film with the characters from the first movie staying just the way they are. Well, anyway.
Look for a possible cameo by FBOL head honco Rich Drees during one of the concert scenes. If you see someone who looks like an emaciated Bruce Campbell, that is probably him.
4. Splice (Warner Brothers, 2,450 Theaters, 104 Minutes, Rated R): The “Scientists thumbing their nose s at science only to have sciene thumb it back at them hard” scenario has been a horror convention for as long as there has been horror. So powerful is the plot that is still alive today.
Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley play scientist forbidden from practicing their brand of science–cloning people. The pair decide to scoff at the law and combine human and animal DNA to create a new lifeform. Said lifeform grows up into a mythological-like creature who has major issues with its parents. Chaos and destruction ensues.
This film seems to have all the elements that makes this kind of story a winner. Unfortunately, it’s coming out on a very busy weekend. And how could anything in this film ever match the horror that is Marmaduke?