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Thursday, January 27, 2011

In Theaters This Weekend

Anthony Hopkins as Father Lucas in The Rite (2011)
Upon his escape from Shawshank

This weekend seems to bring us quite the haul in terms of what to go see. There's our annual exorcism thriller, The Rite, with Anthony Hopkins doing what he does best - intimidating*. There's The Mechanic starring Jason Statham and Ben Foster, and then there are three smaller releases, most likely in larger cities.

Javier Bardem, who recently recieved a Best Actor nomination at this year's Oscars, stars in Alejandro Gonzales Innaritu's Biutiful. A smaller comedy called From Prada to Nada, and Gregg Araki's Kaboom, all in limited release.

More on these films, and their trailers, after the cut -- 

Last weekend, Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman slept their way to the top to obtain the no1 spot at the box office, taking in over $23 mil on its opening span. The only thing that cements is that Black Swan is no longer in the top5 box office stats. For no other reason than that, I hate No Strings Attached. (review coming soon). 

But, this weekend, I imagine that The Rite, directed by Mikael Hafstrom of 1408 fame, will take the top spot for a couple of weeks. It has to go against The Roommate and a smaller film called Sanctum, though. I have faith (?) that Hopkins' scarefest can do it. But, for now, let's take a closer look at our releases.

The Rite. PG-13.

*In an interview with The San Francisco Examiner, Anthony Hopkins stated two things that drew him to the movie: that he wouldn't be remaking The Exorcist, and the chance to stretch his legs with another "intimidating character". Here, though, based on the trailer, it's almost like he's the only reason to see the film. After the brilliant The Last Exorcism last year, my faith in the genre has been renewed a little bit, and I trust the director to deliver a classy horror film. We'll see what happens. The trailer basically tells us everything we need to know.

The Mechanic. R.

It seems almost right that Jason Statham should unleash another action film this year. Not only because those are the only types of films he does, but because of the success of last year's The Expendables. Tag in Donald Sutherland and the always intense and wonderful Ben Foster, and you've one hell of a cast. Statham doesn't get enough credit as an actor, really. His first Transporter film boasts a genuinely excellent and steely performance, and his work in Snatch is undeniably good, if not overshadowed. And with those two actors around him, he can only continue to grow. I'm definitely looking forward to this.

Biutiful. R.

Director Innaritu has brought us such astonishing films like Amores Perros, 21 Grams, and Babel (though the only thing astonishing, truly, about Babel are Rinko Kikuchi's and Brad Pitt's performances). Now, he brings us Biutiful, a film about a man who suffers from his spiritual connection with the dead. I'm reminded of Clint Eastwood's Hereafter from last year, but I certainly hope this has more of a punch to it. From the looks of it, it certainly does. Especially with the inclusion of Alexander Desplat's score for Lust, Caution. Perfect touch. Bardem won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival early last year for his role, and landed a surprise Best Actor nomination recently for the Oscars.

Also, in limited release

From Prada to Nada - Alexa Vega, of Arrested Development fame, and Camilla Belle, of... Disney channel movie fame, star in this "wrong side of the tracks" comedy about two rich girls who suddenly become poor and are forced to slum in East LA. What would probably fall flat on its face due to offensive stereotypes and misgivings will probably be saved by a touching performance from the always graceful Carmen Maura, and a slick comedic performance from Vega.

Kaboom - Gregg Araki brings us the hipster answer to "indie filmmaking". And I couldn't be less thrilled than I already am with the results. A striking Juno Temple might save the cast from themselves, but the film looks to be a salute to both, and only, sex and people in their 20's. Except that that doesn't make much of a film, especially considering John Cameron Mitchell already did that (successfully) in 2006 with Shortbus. Regardless, the plot, from what I can gather from the trailer, is that some guy is a bisexual manwhore, and he wants to sleep with his roommate, as well as some hot British girl. And... then a plot device something mysterious happens. Sigh.

Honestly, I'm seeing The Rite as soon as possible. I'm ridiculously eager to see Anthony Hopkins either give a brilliant performance, or eat his scenery and spit it at the rest of the cast. Biutiful is a given - that's a must see, whenever it comes my way. I will drop whatever it is I'm doing. And, The Mechanic will be a lot of fun. I have three things to look out for this week?

You? What will you be seeing?