1. Cowboys & Aliens (Universal, 3,750 Theaters, 118 Minutes, Rated PG-13): To call this film a comic book movie would be inaccurate. Scott Rosenberg sold this premise to Hollywood nine years before it was ever made into a comic book. It went through production hell over that time, allowing Rosenberg to publish a comic based on the premise in 2006. So it is only a comic book movie by that slimmest of coincidences.
Not helping matters is the fact that the film bears only a passing resemblance to the comic book. Outside of both taking place in the Old West, involving an alien invasion of Earth, and a shapeshifting alien on the good guys’ side, the two are as different as night and day. The comic was a pretty straight forward, us-vs.-them, genre story, with nary a mention of an amnesiatic cowboy with a space weapon attached to his wrist.
But does have Indiana Jones teaming up with James Bond. So it’s got that going for it, which is nice.
2. The Smurfs (Sony/Columbia, 3,395 Theaters, 86 Minutes, Rated PG): I have to say, this film looks like it smurfing sucks. It only has a smurfing 10% fresh over at Rotten Smurfing Tomatoes, and I imagine that will only get lower as more reviews come in. Way smurfing lower.
The cast is a mixed bag. Some of it, like Neil Patrick Harris, smurfing rock. Others, like Katy Perry as the voice of Smurfette, are dubious at best (Really, what the smurf is she doing supplying a voice?). And Tim Gunn? Acting? I thought I’d be smurfed with a smurf in my smurf, while smurfing a smurfed smurf before I saw that happen. Smurf me.
So, the plot, what there is of it, involves the Smurfs being let loose on real world New York City. The beat the heck out of NPH while being chased by Gargamel (Hank Azaria), who doesn’t want them to boil them down for gold anymore, but to “enhance his magical powers.”
Steve Carrell plays a man whose life becomes unravelled when his wife asks for a divorce. Entering the single’s scene after years away, he’s helped by a studly Lothario played byRyan Gosling.
The film is chock full of good actors, including many Oscar nominees and one winner (Marissa Tomei). This film should be a pretty good alternative if you want to get away from all the flash and the noise.