Weekend Forecast: 9/7/07

10 to Yuma (2007)
Outlaw Russell Crowe and the men determined to see he gets on the 3:10 to Yuma

Good riddance to August. Good riddance to summer. Good riddance to sequels. Let the real movie season begin.

In Wide release this week:

  • 3:10 to Yuma. James Mangold (Walk the Line) directs this remake of the 1957 Delmer Daves’ western about a rancher (Christian Bale) escorting an outlaw (Russell Crowe) to prison. Sounds simple enough, but not everything is exactly as it seems in this psychological western originally based on an Elmore Leonard short story.
  • Shoot ‘Em Up. Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti in an out of control action thriller with copious amounts of gunplay. There is absolutely nothing in director Michael Davis’ filmography to suggest this should be anything other than ass and I’ve already been burned once this year by a so called over-the-top action thriller (Smokin’ Aces)…and yet there is something about the combination platter of Owen, Giamatti and non-stop high velocity projectile mayhem that’s probably going to sucker me into seeing this thing.

  • The Brothers Solomon. Retard comedy with Will Arnett (Arrested Development) and Will Forte (SNL) as two moronic brothers who seek a woman to help them provide their dying father with a grandchild. Mr. Show’s Bob Odenkirk directs. Yeah, I don’t know. I like the idea of R rated comedies and all, but is this going to be one of those movies that’s only funny if you’re super high?

And in limited release:

  • The Hunting Party (NY, LA. Opens wide 9/14). A disgraced TV news reporter (Richard Gere) teams up with his old cameraman (Terrence Howard) and a rookie journalist (Jessie Eisenberg) five years after the war in Bosnia to track down a notorious war criminal. This action-thriller is Directed by Richard Shepard (The Matador).
  • Hatchet. Horny college kids on vacation during Mardi Gras + a haunted swamp tour + a legendary hatchet wielding psycho = Hatchet. The male segment of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel audience who missed Mercedes McNab airbrushed to within an inch of utter lifelessness in Playboy and who are incapable of even the most rudimentary Google search will be gratified to learn that Ms. McNab goes topless and makes out with a hot brunette.
  • The Bubble. Israeli feature film about three young roommates sharing an apartment in a trendy Tel Aviv neighborhood when one of them falls in love with a Palestinian.
  • Fierce People (NY 9/7, LA 9/14). A teenager’s plans to travel to South America with his estranged father to study a native tribe known as the “Fierce People” are waylaid by the legal problems of the teen’s drug addicted mother (Diane Lane). When mom and son go to stay with one of  her wealthy clients (Donald Sutherland), the young man decides on an anthropological study of the rich instead. Hey, d’you think the title refers to the rich people and not the native South Americans? Yeah? Maybe? I’m getting a massive Running With Scissors vibe off this thing and it just made me throw up in my mouth a little.
  • In the Shadow of the Moon. Documentary about the nine Apollo moon missions launched between 1968 and 1972. Filmmaker David Sington interviews each surviving crew member.
  • Milarepa: Magician, Murderer, Saint (NY 9/7, LA 9/14). I tried to write a blurb regarding this Bhutanese movie about an 11th century Buddhist monk in a way that would be appealing to people who aren’t generally drawn to Bhutanese movies about 11th century Buddhist monks, but I came up shooting blanks. I feel like such a failure…
  • I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With (NY 9/7, LA 9/14). Jeff Garlin of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame adapts his own one man stage show about a depressed, overweight and out of work actor who lives with his mother. When he meets sexually aggressive ice cream lady Sarah Silverman, things start looking up….or do they? One man stage shows generally give me an angry rash on my ass. Having them adapted into a feature length film is like having the angry rash filmed in 35mm and then projected onto a large reflective screen in front of a couple hundred people. Ladies and gentlemen, please enjoy my angry ass rash.
  • Czech Dream. Documentary where two filmmakers launch a massive ad campaign upon the citizens of Prague announcing a gigantic bargain superstore that sells everything. The citizens rejoice…except the superstore doesn’t actually exist. Prague: You’ve been Punk’d!
  • Exiled (NY 8/31, LA 9/7) I mentioned this one in last week’s forecast, but it’s being release in LA now so I’m mention it again.
    Ladies and gentlemen: Exiled.
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10 thoughts on “Weekend Forecast: 9/7/07

  1. Yeah, amazing what happens in the movie theaters when all the ankle-biters are back safely in school. Wow, Summer ends and the movies just start rolling out.

    3:10 to Yuma is a must-see for me. I love that Westerns appear to be a making a comeback, or at least the arty, non-traditional Westerns of the late 60’s and 70’s.

    Shoot ‘Em Up: I have a feeling this will just end up being too over-the-top for me, but who knows? I love old-school John Woo with all its faults and Clive Owen may just be the only man alive actually capable of channeling the 80’s/90’s bad-assity of Chow Yun Fat in his heyday. Or I’m out $6 and 90 minutes of my life, but whatever.

    Hatchet: The fanboys have been all atwitter over this return to slasher films of yesteryear. If it’s half as good as the hype, then this is the Halloween movie that eluded Rob Zombie.

    In the Shadow of Opie Cunningham’s Nostalgia: Sorry, I had to mock “Presented by Ron Howard” there…I’m really excited to see this one but the movie schedule is so crowded already I will likely just wait for DVD. The trailer looked great. This is a likely contender for Best Documentary even though more pertinent, more contemporary documentaries are already out there this year.

    I’ve also heard good murmuring about The Bubble and I’m instantly curious about the Jeff Garland thing.

    Brothers Solomon: I remain very, very skeptical. It just sounds like a script that David Spade and Rob Schneider passed on.

  2. I don’t even really like Russell Crowe that much, but I liked him a lot in Yuma. I’m a horrible and useless judge of demographics, but I’m going to go against the grain and suggest this movie might even be entertaining to more than just a male audience.

    Shoot ‘Em Up. Normally I’d probably shrug and wait for the DVD with this kind of thing (like I should’ve done with Smokin’ Aces), but damnit if Owen and Giamatti don’t make me stop notice. I’ll have no one to blame but myself if I get burned, but this is what I’m most likely to see this weekend.

    Hatchet. A) I’m no longer convinced the old-school slasher drama can or should come back. B) I’m sensing a strong comedy element here and that’s a big red flag to me. It tells me they don’t have the balls to really scare me and they have to say “See look! We’re just kidding!”.

    What, no takers on the 11th century Buddhist monk? No one?

    I kind of want to see the moon thing too but I sort of wish Opie would keep his nose out of it. I’m willing to forgive and forget The Grinch after all these years and the only people to blame for Da Vinci Code are the people who paid cash money for the book in the first place, but there’s a certain segment of Hollywood that seems to wallow in having cornered a certain segment of Americana. Sometimes I think Ron Howard, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg should get together, drape themselves in the American flag, eat some apple pie and have a big circle jerk. But please please don’t film it.

  3. It’s a sad thing because in a perfect world we’d still be watching Arnett and Superbad’s Michael Cera once a week on the televsion in the late lamented Arrested Development and we wouldn’t have to be eagerly awaiting every sketchy looking comedy that comes down the pike.

    Solomon is truly one of those movies that could go both ways: crazy funny or simply annoying.

    Jeez, the crybabies are already coming out of the woodwork over 3:10 to Yuma. It’s getting increasingly common that certain reviewers can have certain negative reactions to certain movies and it’s almost a guarantee that I’m going to like it…and the opposite applies in equal measure. Oh well, I’d best get to reviewing…

  4. Guys, come on, Solomon is gonna suck. But don’t worry, I have faith that Arnett will eventually find something a little more worthy of his talents.

    Looking forward to Yuma, and Shoot Em Up, the combined prescences of Giamatti, Owen, Bale, and Crowe would be enought to ensure my ticket purchase, but the things seem to be getting good reviews as well. Hachet I’ll see on DVD, which is fine, since that’ll be the only possible way I could see it anyway.

    What I’m really looking forward to in the next few weeks though, what I really want to see happen, is Eastern Promises. Bring that bad boy on.

  5. Based on the trailer, the only thing that gives me pause about Eastern Promises is Viggo’s Russian accent. Hopefully it’ll be fine, and even if it’s not, I’m still looking forward to EP…I’m just saying.

  6. Eastern Promises looks to be as subversive as History of Violence, which has me excited for the movie. Definitely looking forward to it. Cronenberg always seems to find a way of getting away with a lot in a studio film.

  7. Call me perverse, but in a way I’m hoping Cronenberg throws audiences who lined up for History of Violence a big ol’ curve ball. Not something as unapproachable as Crash exactly (Damn you Haggis, I can’t even talk about Cronenberg’s filmography without visions of YOU cropping up you f’ing douche) but something to make your averge non-critical type go “Huh? Wah??”

    But mostly I just hope it’s awesome.

  8. I wouldn’t mind that as long as it’s not something like eXistenZ, a film I enjoyed for what it was in the theater but one I’ve never had much interest in returning to. I kind of think of Cronenberg as a modern day Hitchcock or Kubrick in that he makes movies within the studio system yet he has never strayed too far from his own personal interests and style. Even when he made The Dead Zone and The Fly (probably his most mainstream films really), he kept them weighted in his distinct atmosphere and very non-mainstream interests.

    Not many directors in Hollywood can or have pulled off a career like his. While I don’t think he necessarily has the artistic or technical brilliance of a Hitchcock or Kubrick, there’s no denying that Cronenberg always does it his way.

    Thank god. There aren’t enough directors like him, to be quite honest. I can name a few contemporaries that fit the bill, but not many.

  9. See, say whatever you want about this or that film, I love Cronenberg if for no other reason than he is a unique creative voice. I grow increasingly skeptical of the auteur theory, but there’s your auteur right there, Frenchy.

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