For movie lovers like my husband and me, this spring has been a long dry off-season. Most of the films released were junk, punctuated by a few good prospects, the majority of which we never got a chance to see because they were screened only in a few art houses.
|Rodent of Unusual Size|
Ever since the surge of Oscar-worthy movies ended, the Cineplex has been like a scene from The Princess Bride. On the one hand were the Rodents of Unusual Size (big production budgets, big casts of over-the-hill A-list stars, and big marketing campaigns but weak scripts with small brains.) On the other hand was the Fire Swamp of limited distribution into which the well-reviewed smaller movies disappeared, leaving only the reviewer’s pop and a of flare of light to mark their passage. As Westley said, “No problem.” But no fun,either.
Nine movies are opening this week--one for each member of a baseball team--and at least one of them, 42, should be available for movie lovers and baseball fans alike to watch. As we are both, we’re looking forward to this bio-pic about Jackie Robinson, as much as we look forward to Opening Day. 42 also has Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, which is enough reason for me to buy a ticket. 42 is a big enough and important enough movie that it has to run in the Cineplex, so we may actually get to the theater this weekend.
What about the rest of the field? Well, that’s a tossup. Remember, the Fire Swamp also contained the Lightning Sand into which a traveler could disappear. So, keeping these hazards in mind, here’s my scouting report:
- Scary Movie 5 – Rodent of Unusual Size. This is so predictable I didn’t even watch the trailer.
- To the Wonder – Directed by Terrence Malick, who made the impenetrable Tree of Life. Despite an excellent cast, this has Fire Swamp written all over it.
- Antiviral – A cast of unknowns directed by Brandon Cronenberg, who also wrote the screenplay. Really? This one should hit the Cineplex but it will take a strong stomach to watch. I guess Lightning Sand.
- It’s a Disaster – Another cast of (mostly) unknowns directed by someone you’ve never heard of. It’s a comedy about the end of the world set during brunch in one claustrophobic house. Looks like Lightning Sand to me.
- The Angell’s Share -- This British comedy is directed by Ken Loach, who is typically focused more on art than actually making money. The trailer looks funny but it all depends on distribution. Could be either Fire Swamp or Lightning Sand.
- Disconnect – This drama about online shenanigans and identity theft will probably make it to the Cineplex and has definite possibilities. The trailer looked good to me. Watch the reviews.
- Into the White – A WWII action/adventure movie with a twist, this will probably get to the Cineplex and could actually be good. Look for Ron Weasley in a starring role. Watch the reviews.
- Not Today – The Hangover meets Not Without My Daughter in India. I sure hope this movie is available somewhere because I really want to see it. It looks like a movie everyone should see. Watch for locations and times.
So there you have this week’s starting lineup. I hope to see at least three of these movies and I’ll keep you posted when I do. As the late Earl Weaver once said about baseball, “The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three-run homers.” Wouldn’t it be great to have a three-run homer at the movies after our long dry off-season?