1. Rango (Paramount, 3,700 Theaters, 107 Minutes, Rated PG): So, who out there thought a Gore Verbinski/Johnny Depp reunion would involve the latter playing a lizard living in the animal version of the Old West? Anyone?
Well, that is what is happening this week. And, sorry, if you fantasy was seeing Johnny Depp wearing a chameleon costume, you’re out of luck. He simply provides the voice for this computer animated flick.
It tells the story of a chameleon who finds himself in a lawless town in need of order. Despite all odds, he has to be the one to provide it.
There is a pretty good voice cast joining Depp, so it could be a step above the usual non-Pixar animated fare.
2. The Adjustment Bureau (Universal, 2,840 Theaters, 99 Minutes, Rated PG-13): So, the premise of this film lends itself to be the kind of mindwarp film that you’d expect from a Terry Gilliam or David Lynch, however the trailer, and perhaps this is because Matt Damon is in it, comes of as a Bourne Identity like chase thriller. Which really doesn’t seem to fit.
Adapted from a story by Philip K. Dick (who has to, by now, rival Ian Fleming and William Shakespeare as the most adapted author around), it feature Matt Damon as politician who falls in love with a ballet dancer played by Emily Blunt. Damon’s character soon finds out that there is a shadowy organization that controls the world and that has other plans for him, plans that don’t involve Blunt’s character.
Yes, it’s a head-twister and a half. But not really an action film. If the powers that be try to make it into one, it just won’t work. Maybe this is why the film, which was supposed to come out late last year, has been delayed until now.
3. Take Me Home Tonight (Relativity, 2,003 Theaters, 114 Minutes, Rated R): Is there really any reason to be nostalgic for the 1980’s? I came of age during that decade and, really, it wasn’t all that great. But that decade–and all of its pop culture icons–are being strip-mined for all of its nostalgic value. Maybe I’m so negative because I know in ten years they’ll be doing the same thing to the 1990s and we’ll have a bunch of romantic comedies around flannel wearing slackers.
Anyway, this film is follows the typical ’80s format–a nebbishy guy and he dorky friend hit a local house party so the nebbishy guy can finally make a connection with the hottest girl in his class. And, keeping with ’80s tradition, we have two actors in their 30’s playing these characters.
Of course, the characters themselves break from tradition by being in their 20’s and not the teens as would be the typical age group of these kinds of protagonists. the ads had a chuckle or two, so it your 80s nostalgia wasn’t sated with Hot Tub Time Machine, well, here you go.
They say the classics never go out of style. But when modernizing it brings in drug addicts and goth girl sorceresses, then it might have gone too far.
It does have Neil Patrick Harris and Mary-Kate Olsen in it, which has to satisfy someone’s twisted fantasy. And also Alex Pettyfer, most recently of I Am Number Four , whose apparent marketing strategy is to throw as many films up on screens in the shortest time possible to see if any stick.