Weekend Forecast: 6/22/07

Steve Carrell and Morgan Freeman in Evan Almighty. 
You got paid how much to star in this piece of crap?

In wide release:

  • Evan Almighty. Steve Carell as a modern day Noah in the Jim Carrey-less follow up to Bruce Almighty. I’m sorry, but this has $200 million Direct-to-DVD sequel written all over it. Maybe I’m just missing the boat (no pun intended…well O.K., maybe a little) because I live in Los Angeles, the Sodom of the West Coast. Maybe ‘faith friendly’ audiences will come out for this thing en masse. Maybe it doesn’t actually suck. Maybe one day I’ll marry Scarlett Johansson and we’ll buy a leprechaun named Burt who craps gold. Maybe. Trailer
  • 1408. I like Stephen King, but having his name on a movie doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. I think Sleepwalkers may have been the final straw. On the other hand, I like John Cusack. So do you. Admit it. Even though his track record has been sketchy lately, you still like him. It’s Lane Myer for chrissakes! How can you not? Anyway, in this one he’s a writer known for debunking the paranormal. He stays in room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel and I’m guessing all manner of ghosts and whatnot go all The Shining on him. Seriously though, if Sam Jackson told me not to stay in a certain hotel room, that would be all the info I needed. End of movie. I wouldn’t need to wait around for the creepy twin girls and the elevator full of blood. All I’m saying. Trailer

  • A Mighty Heart. This is the one about Mariane Pearl whose journalist husband Daniel was abducted and got his head chopped off by Pakistani militants. When I first heard about it, I was thinking it would be some kind of Sally Field Not Without My Daughter type Oscar bait at best or a Lifetime Movie of the Week at worst, but now I have to admit I’m a bit curious. I’m not sure why though because usually I’d rather have my head chopped off by Pakistani militants than watch this kind of thing. Trailer

In limited release:

  • You Kill Me. Dark comedy with Ben Kingsley as an alcoholic hit man forced into rehab. Hate the poster, like the movie. Review/Trailer
  • Black Sheep. Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb. Mary had a little lamb and it went batshit crazy and ate her face off. Horror comedy about sheep gone wild in New Zealand. The whole idea makes me laugh, but maybe I need to get out more. Trailer
  • Broken English. Romantic comedy from Zoe Cassavetes (daughter of John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands) with Parker Posey as a still-single 35 year-old. She falls for a Jean-Paul-Belmondo-in-Breathless looking dude and runs off to Paris to find him. You had me at “Parker Posey”. Trailer
  • 12:08 East of Bucharest. I had this one incorrectly listed for last week so here it is again. Romania is another country making a lot of noise in the world of cinema these days with a Palm D’Or at this year’s Cannes and all. This one won the Camera D’Or last year. It’s a comedy looking back at the Romanian revolution of 1989. Nothing says funny like the overthrow of a dictator, right? Trailer

13 thoughts on “Weekend Forecast: 6/22/07

  1. Got no interest in those first three. I’m honestly shocked that 1408 is getting good reviews because the trailer/premise/crew has “TNT TV movie” written all over it, but what do I know?

  2. I’m with you Joel, 1408 (a fine Stephen King story) looked overproduced and too literal, like most modern ghost stories on film. But the reviews have me curious, especially considering that most critics have a general disdain for horror films. I’ll probably see it soon.

  3. The TV version is embarrassing. I have issues with Kubrick’s Shining too, but at least that is a real movie from a real filmmaker. I don’t get King’s allegiance to all of these TV hacks that butcher his work on a regular basis.

    There is are two great Stephen King movies: Carrie, The Dead Zone.

    There is one overrated pretty good Stephen King movie: The Shawshank Redemption.

    There are two underrated pretty good Stephen King movies: Cujo, Christine.

    The rest you can keep.

  4. It’s funny to call Shawshank overrated since it pretty much stiffed when it came out, but I know you mean the reputation that has grown up around it since. Do you think it’s overrated as a Stephen King movie, or do you think it’s overrated as a movie in general? I’m a sucker for exactly that kind of movie so I have a hard time looking at it objectively.

  5. As a SK movie I have no issues with Shawshank, its actually better than the material its working from. I really like that movie, but I am not really into the big, good for you, life affirming, all beats and payoffs in place kind of movie. They are, in general, a little pompous and boring, the loathsome Forrest Gump being the King Shit in this regard as far as I’m concerned.

    Shawshank Redemption is one of the best of this kind of movie, and its a mark of Darabont’s control of the material that it works so well. I’m just not a Frank Capra kinda guy, though I think the Rob Reiner movie The American President is wonderful and the closest anyone other than Capra got to that type of movie (its actually better than most Capra I’ve seen. But that’s another topic too.)

  6. You’ve probably guessed I’m more of a Capra guy. The strange thing is I’m also one of the biggest cynics I know and if anyone tries that sentimental crap on me and it isn’t any good, I really really hate it. But if they’re good and the manage to sneak past my defenses, certain movies really get me and reveal me to be the softy I really am.

    Interesting you mention Reiner since he also did Stand By Me which I think works as a movie, but I don’t remember how well it captures King’s original story.

  7. Yeah, actually, I’m an idiot. Because Rob Reiner did not one but two very good King adaptations, Stand By Me and Misery. I think Stand By Me is, again, better than the source material (King didn’t really perfect coming of age non-horror until his wonderful novel disguised as a set of novellas, Hearts in Atlantis) and Misery is good but inferior to the source material, but the book is so intensely set in the Caan character’s mind that it would be difficult to do the book justice as a mainstream thriller.

    I wish they had tried, but I understand their choice, and Rob Reiner did that particular direction proud. It also has a brilliant Kathy Bates performance (funny how many great women’s roles King movies have actually provided.)

  8. Wow, I totally forgot about Misery. You know, what ever happened to Rob Reiner. The guy made a bunch of classic movies throughout the 80’s…I mean you could stake a whole reputation just on Spinal Tap alone, but then there are the two King movies and Princess Bride. I’m not over the moon about A Few Good Men, but it definitely had its cultural moment. I can’t f’ing stand When Harry Met Sally, but it also had its cultural moment and my reasons for hating it are purely irrational and indefensible.

    Anyway, then he did North and seems to have never recovered. I had hopes for Rumor Has It, but I stayed away and heard it wasn’t that great.

  9. I actually never saw North, though it accomplished at least something by provoking Ebert to write that infamous review. I forget how many times he uses the word “hate”, but it has to be near his personal record. I feel that The American President is the last good Rob Reiner movie that I’ve seen, though the part of The Sum of Us seemed to be harmless enough. I’ve only seen portions of Rumor Has It also, but from what I’ve seen the thing seems to be about absolutely nothing, and doesn’t seem embarassing so much as totally boring.

    I don’t care for When Harry Met Sally, primarily because it seems to crib so much from Annie Hall, but it was crossed with a good natured pointlessness that would serve Friends so well, so it was more successful than a much better film. I find Billy Crystal a little tough to take too.

    I think Reiner’s as good as his material, he will never elevate, but he usually doesn’t drop it either, though I think The Princess Bride could’ve used a more robust, inventive director.

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