Weekend Forecast: 8/10/07

Michelle Pfeiffer in Stardust

This week’s wide releases:

  • Stardust. Fantasy adventure from Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake), adapted from Neil Gaiman’s novella set in the land of Faerie (published with and without illustrations by Charles Vess) about a young man who ventures into the magical realm hoping to return with a fallen star he’s promised his beloved. Starring Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeifer, Robert De Niro, Sienna Miller, Ricky Gervais, Rupert Everett and Peter O’Toole. As a fan of Gaiman’s Sandman I should be looking forward to this, especially with this good looking cast…but I don’t know. I’m having a hard time imagining Gaiman’s intricate and layered mythology translating well to the big screen. Could be good, could be a mess but might still be the best of a lame crop this weekend.
  • Rush Hour 3. I’d managed to live a happy, Brett Ratner free life until that smarmy chump stepped in to destroy the X-Men franchise. Maybe it’s not fair to sum up a guy’s entire career by one movie, but too bad. I’m guessing I won’t be missing out on much.

  • Daddy Day Camp (Opened Wednesday). Did Cuba Gooding, Jr. strike some kind of deal with the devil that requires him to make nothing but horrible movies in exchange for the Oscar he won for Jerry Maguire? Came out a couple days early to give you a chance to restore your faith in movies before the weekend I guess.
  • Skinwalkers. The synopsis of this movie sounds like it’s from the back of a videogame. Something about a half-werewolf boy and an ancient prophecy about a red moon. No thanks.

And in limited release:

  • 2 Days in Paris. Julie Delpy directs herself and Adam Goldberg in this Romantocomedrama about a couple seeking to rekindle their relationship with a vacation in Europe. Sometimes when I think of Julie Delpy, I wonder what the other 91 minutes of Killing Zoe where like…you know, all the parts where she had her shirt on. Then I get bored and move on.
  • Rocket Science. I have the feeling that many of the journalists who went to Sundance this year were simply looking for the next Little Miss Sunshine and it sounds like they came up with this thing: yet another quirky, inspirational coming-of-age indie drama about weirdoes. This kid stutters. If there’s a scene where he’s locked in a room with the twerp from Thumbsucker and only one of them is allowed to leave alive, sign me up. Otherwise forget it. And don’t come bothering me next year with an inspirational coming-of-age indie drama about a bed wetter. I’ll have none of it. Yeah, yeah. Growing up is rough. I know. I was there. I’ve moved on.
  • Descent. Rosario Dawson out for revenge after getting raped. Clearly the feel-good joy ride of the summer. Oh, and it’s NC-17.

9 thoughts on “Weekend Forecast: 8/10/07

  1. I have some hope for Stardust, because of Matthew Vaughn, who directed the superb Brit-gangster film Layer Cake,(and was supposed to do X3, directed by you know who, who has you know what coming this weekend…it all comes full circle).

    I thought the first two Rush Hours were fine for what they were. Ratner didn’t get annoying until he began seeking great director status for having made, well, that’s what gets me, he hasn’t made anything good, and the two films he’s done that require a prescence behind the camera to work (Red Dragon, X3) are among his lamest films.

    Rescue Dawn is finally in my area this weekend, and I dig me some Herzog, so that and Stardust may be a double feature.

  2. I steered clear of Layer Cake simply because it felt like another Lock Stock, but I’ve promised at least one person I’d check it out….maybe that was you over on HE…I dunno.

    Anyway, I like Gaiman alot though I haven’t read Stardust. I’m hoping for the best but trying to keep my expectations low. It’s either Stardust or catch up on some of the stuff I’ve been missing.

  3. Do you ever see a movie and you’re kind of vaguely positive to slightly indifferent and then you get home and start thinking about it and the more you think about it, the less you like it and pretty soon you actually start hating it and you’re kind of mad? Then the movie stays in the pit of your stomach like an annoying, formless blob of hate that you return to from time to time as an example of all that’s wrong with the world even if after awhile you don’t remember exactly what it is you hated so much in the first place? That’s what has happened to me with X-Men 3. Someone says Ratner and my knee jerks and I’m overcome with a spasm of X-Men 3 hatred.

    I have to admit though, at the time I didn’t really hold Ratner responsible. He’s a more fun and visible target after the fact however, so I’m keeping him.

    As for the movie itself…Well, I didn’t read X-Men alot growing up so I’m not one of those people who are pissed off by what they did or didn’t do with the mythology or whatever. What bugged me was that the first two were pretty great and #3 was the cinematic equivalent of jogging in place. There was action, but it was all pretty senseless. Characters came and went as though they were being namechecked just to please the fans. I don’t even remember the story.

    The effects where cheesy, from the creepy looking de-aged Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen looking for all the world like animatronic statues from Disney’s Hall of Presidents to the Golden Gate Bridge as Floatation Device which was not only a stupid idea, it was poorly executed. Nice effects work there, Sid and Marty Krofft.

    And don’t get me started on the post-credits surprise business.

    Oh and thanks for calling me out and forcing me to defend an opinion. What are you some kinda internet facist? Don’t you know it’s ok to make random assertions and if you state them strongly enough, you’re not required to support them?


    Oh also, thanks for stopping by.

  4. Heh, I don’t know where to begin trying to tell you what’s wrong with X3 or for those less tolerant of Hollywood’s enthusiasm for clever abbreviations, X-men 3.

    Basically, the movie was a pale imitation of the previous two incarnations. It stumbled and fell repeatedly when it should have been a homerun.

    It’s not all Ratner’s fault. The script was a fucking awful mishmashed hackjob and the production was a madcap rush to a pre-determined release date, which is the exact reason Mr Vaughn left in the first place.

    If you like X3, great, good for you. Enjoy. For the rest of us, it was a huge disappointment to an otherwise great trilogy of films.

  5. (sigh)

    OK, as for the rest of the week’s releases, Matt Zoller Seitz appears to be the only critic that liked Descent. It just doesn’t sound like a good time and since I already threw away $6 on Day Night Day Night this year, I’ll probably ere on the side of caution and skip it for now. I think Rosario Dawson is great, but I’m just not up for the movie.

    Stardust is on the radar screen but I remain hesitantly skeptical.

    I’m glad Rush Hour 3 has been released so that I don’t have to sit through the inane, insulting, and completely uninteresting trailer ever again. Please god, let them stop at 3 of these.

    Rocket Science feels like something I will be annoyed by. The half-life on the Napolean Dynamite craze has ended and I’m tired of directors aping the “quirky” vibe. Love Wes Anderson but we only need one of him, thank you. Anything more and it starts to feel real derivative. This coming from a guy that liked Thumbsucker so take all that as you will.

  6. It’s a sad state of affairs when you’re even tired of seeing the trailer for a movie.

    And yeah, I don’t know about Descent. Could be good, but you can just never tell if people are giving it a free pass because of the ‘important’ subject matter.

    And if a guy who didn’t dislike Thumbsucker still doesn’t want to see Rocket Science…then that movie is screwed.

  7. I like Neil Gaiman’s books ( I read only two of them) but I never thought it could be made into a movie. There’s so much details in his books, I think it’s best left a a graphic novel. I will watch it to see how it is made and plus since matthew Vaughn is making it.
    Rush Hour 3 : I saw it and some of the scenes were very funny, otherwise hmmmmmm….since it was a bret Ratner movie, all I could think of was X3. I think I’ll have to agree with you, X3 bad movie IMO ..and I hate Brett Ratner, cos The Beast character was so bad in the movie and he happens to be one my fav characters in X-men.

  8. I hated the Beast in X3. He looked about as convincing as Cookie Monster on Sesame Street. That’s not really Ratner’s fault I suppose. In this case having Bryan Singer and Vaughn leave the project and FOX rushing to get it done hurt it more than Ratner. Still, I’m skipping Rush Hour.

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