April 13, 2012 Leave a comment
While there’s some noteworthy films opening or expanding this week, all the buzz is about a film that won’t be out for another three weeks that technically no one is supposed to be buzzing about yet. The Avengers had its premiere earlier this week, and judging by the deliberately vague tweets that having been popping up since then, Marvel’s got a hit on its hands. I’ll admit to a little bit of fatigue when it came to this film, seemingly endlessly teased at the end of every Marvel film for the last few years, but the most recent trailers have helped to dispel that. Combined with the positive word of mouth, May 4th can’t get here fast enough. But there’s enough to scratch the movie itch this week while we wait.
The only scratching likely to be prompted by The Three Stooges, however, is of your head as you ponder how this film ever got made. It’s not a bio-pic, it’s not some kind of witty deconstruction of what made the Stooges so popular, it’s just a Three Stooges movie made with different guys playing the Stooges. I don’t get it. I’ve never been a big Stooge fan, so maybe there’s an appeal here that’s simply lost on me, but if you’re jonesing for this particular brand of humor, I can’t imagine spending ten bucks on this when you can easily find the real thing for a lot cheaper. But hey, this one’s in color, so I guess it’s a way to get your Stooge fill without dealing with black and white.
It feels like it’s been a while since we’ve had a “Die Hard on a ______” movie, but the genre comes roaring back by shooting it up into space and calling it Lockout. Guy Pearce seems a little too stoic to slip into Bruce Willis’ lack of shoes, but then again, I doubt anyone is going to this for the caliber of acting. It’s produced co-written by Luc Besson, so we’re coming on board for a lot of slick, well-shot action set pieces. If it doesn’t deliver on that front, it could be Olivier up there and it wouldn’t matter. It doesn’t seem to be aiming very high, but then again, no one’s really asking much. It’s going to have to try really hard not to live up to those expectations.
Writer-director Joss Whedon has his big moment next month, but writer-producer Joss Whedon has plenty to be excited about this week with The Cabin in the Woods. While some mainstream critics have been left baffled by it — Rex Reed was apparently so confused by it, there’s speculation he actually fell asleep and missed most of it — the online community has been fairly universal in its praise for this blend of science fiction and horror. I’m generally sort of meh when it comes to horror films, at least the more recent ones; the direction the genre has gone lately just doesn’t do anything for me. This, however, looks like it hearkens back to the more fun horror films I remember, where the audience is as much co-conspirator as it is victim, and it’s not about bludgeoning you with as many bleak images as possible. And with Whedon providing the words, you know the script won’t be boring.
But the slam-dunk for me this week is a film rolling out to only about six hundred screens, but that I’ve been waiting for ever since it blew people away at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, The Raid: Redemption. Actually, it was just The Raid back then, but it seems there’s already an obscure Western from the 1950s with that title, so they tacked “Redemption” on the end even though there’s apparently not a lot of redeeming in this. What there is a lot of, however, is tremendous ass-kicking; it’s essentially a bunch of cops fighting their way floor by floor up a building to get to the bad guys at the top, and it’s supposed to be absolutely glorious in its mayhem. It’s been playing in New York and Los Angeles for a few weeks already, so I’m pretty psyched Orlando nabbed runner-up to the cool kids status on this one.
Today also marks the beginning of the Florida Film Festival, which bounces around between the Enzian Theater and the Regal Cinemas at the Winter Park Village. I’ve already got tickets to the midnight screenings of Bobcat Goldthwait’s angry shout of a film God Bless America and Don Coscarelli’s horror comedy John Dies at the End, and there are about a dozen other films I’d love to see, time and budget permitting. Plus there’s what looks to be a really fun screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail outside on the lawn next to the Enzian. This event usually gets raves every year, and it’s about time I took advantage of the opportunity to see some hidden gems while I’m waiting for Hulk to smash.