You know it’s a pretty dire week when the thing I’m most looking forward to is Fast & Furious 6. (And you can imagine how much it pains me to type those words.) There’s not even a single new art title to brighten the weekend (no, last Friday’s ActionFest offering, Java Heat, going to a full run doesn’t count) — merely three mainstream movies I find it hard to get jazzed about. These are the conditions that prevail.
It is, I think, safe to conclude that the art films have it this week. We have two of those (it was three, but the third got wisely moved to next week) and two mainstream titles. The art titles are very choice indeed. The others — one I’m skeptical of, the other I’m confident will be just plain ghastly.
Regardless of how you feel about it, last week’s Oz gave the box office a much needed jab in the lassitude. While this week does have one really choice—and really specialized—title, that won’t have any bearing on national figures, it looks likely that Oz will top the box office again. But we’ll see.
Much like last week, this one is not exactly bubbling over with titles. In fact, we once again find ourselves faced with two movies. Unlike last week, there’s no sense here of movies being brought in just to put something new up on those screens. Indeed, these are movies people — not necessarily the same people — have been waiting to see.
Usually by this time of the year I’ve started giving some thought to what’s likely to qualify for a “Best of” list come the year’s end, but the truth is that so far the pickings have been what you’d call lean. We’ve had one sure thing and a couple of maybes — and leave us face it, that’s not so hot for a year that’s racing toward being half over. With that in mind, I’m pleased to announce that one more strong candidate opens this Friday. There are also three other titles that are not strong candidates.
A documentary! Animation! Science Fiction! Heart-warming comedy! No, they’re not all in one movie (but, boy, there’s an idea for you). They are, however, all coming our way this week. They do say that variety is the spice of life. Now we shall see if it’s the spice of moviegoing.
It’s a two and two week — two mainstream titles and two art titles (there’s a flood of art titles just now), and all in all, it looks like the art titles are the better deal, though it’s just possible that one of the mainstreamers will be a pleasant surprise. The other one? Far less likely. In fact, it’s so less likely that no one booked the lesser one after all. However, something else is!
Only three movies come our way this week. Two of them look … well, pretty grim — or so it seems to me. The third is something else altogether — and something that does much to make up for the other two. Some may disagree.
A singularly slack week is upon us — at least in terms of quantity. We’re only looking at one mainstream release and one art title. Of course, most the world is likely to be resting up after the headlong rush to shell out big bucks to see The Avengers last week. But the week’s two new offerings have something to be said for them.
Probably only a mere handful of us care that anything other than The Avengers is opening this week — and those of us who care about those other things probably are pretty ambivalent about The Avengers. It evens out. But the fact remains that there indeed are other things, and some of them are mighty tasty.
This is a week of riches where the art titles are concerned. It’s not all that unusual that we get three art movies in one week. It is unusual when we get three of them I’d classify as being in the “must-see” realm. And it’s even more unusual when it happens in April. For that matter, there are also four other movies of the mainstream variety headed our way. Offhand, they seem likely to be shy of the “must-see” realm.
Now that ActionFest is over (not that I got to deal with much of it — something easily explained when you see the volume of reviewing in this week’s paper), things can get back to normal. Judging by the week’s mainstream releases that may not be such a good thing. Thank Clapton for “art house” titles.
OK, look: It’s ActionFest weekend— what more do you really need to know prior to Monday? There are more movies than you can shake a stick at (if you care for that sort of thing) without having to even consider the rather grim prospect of such things as The Three Stooges. And I’ll be taking a sneak peak at that tomorrow. But for now, let’s go ahead and consider the week on the whole.
It’s not exactly what you might call a happening week — unless, of course, you have a burning desire to see Titanic with a coating of 3D. Otherwise, it’s down to two art titles and one mainstream milking of an elderly cash cow. It could be worse. No, it has been worse.
There may be nothing as keenly anticipated this week as The Hunger Games, but there’s hardly a shortage of titles. There are five new ones, in fact — and here’s a week where the art titles edge out the mainstream ones, at least in number. Just exactly how that will play out at the box office is, of course, another matter.
If it was measured in sheer quantity, the indie and art titles would win this coming weekend hands down—at least locally. There are three of them—and something else harder to quantify—up against one mainstream film. By rights, it ought to be a blood bath. And it will be, but with that solo juggernaut that is The Hunger Games the easy victor.
Is there some little something you’ve been putting off doing that didn’t involve going to the movies? Some project? It could be anything from organizing your DVDs to starting to slog your way through War and Peace. You know that stack of DVDs you’ve been meaning to get at? Well, this may be the weekend to undertake any of those things. To say that the pickings are lean is probably an understatement. What we have are a whopping two titles—one of which is probably not worthy of the word “title,” let alone “movie.” The other … well, that remains to be seen.
The fact that the American public forked over $70 million this past weekend to see Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, and another $21 million to watch Project X is fairly compelling evidence that the reason Hollywood continues to traffic in the mediocre is that the public actually likes it. At the very least, the public keeps on encouraging them to deliver the not-so-good goods. Just bear that in mind when you complain about how bad movies are. And we get four new ones to choose from this week—three of the mainstream variety, and one that’s at least sort of art house.
It’s kind of a light week from where I sit (and I’m not sorry), since we get four movies this week and I’ve seen two of them already. We’ve got two mainstream releases and two art titles overall, though, so it may not be so light from your perspective. And with a couple of last week’s titles being given the bum’s rush, you might want to consider some mid-week trips to the movies, too.
So this week we have no less than six new movies opening. That sounds like an embarassment of riches, doesn’t it? Well, at least two of them qualify as riches. Some of the others have all the earmarks of more likely just being embarassments—an impression not helped by the fact that not a single one of them has been screened for critics. It’s going to be pretty much what we call in technical parlance, a crap shoot.
I look at this week’s three offerings—two mainstream, one art house—and the first thing that immediately occurs to me is that it has to be better than last week. Since I’d already seen the Oscar shorts, last weekend was a complete washout for me. How bad was it with those out of the mix? Well, this week is one of the few editions that carries no Weekly Pick. That’s grim. That’s February grim.