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Thursday, September 29, 2011

In Theaters This Weekend

"You know how I know you have cancer?"

This isn't the biggest weekend for releases we could possibly hope for, and our "number one of the bunch" is fairly obvious, yeah? There's 50/50 starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, the story of how a young man's life is changed for the better with his cancer diagnosis. We have Dream House starring Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, and Naomi Watts - a haunted house tale that might prove to be in the same vein as 2003's Cold Creek Manor (but, I really hope not). Then there's the weekly, obligatory romantic-comedy What's Your Number? in which which a girl does funny stuff to get a guy. It has Anna Farris in it. Finally, being released is a smaller film called Courageous - expect it to stay a smaller film, too. It's a "God Drama", in the same way that Fireproof and The Grace Card were, about four police officers who have to raise their new children in a God-honoring way. Is there box office potential in there? Well, father forgive me, for I am about to tell the truth - hell no. 

What better way to get to know our releases than to look at them individually? 

50/50. R.

What might be the best thing about a film like this is that it allows a certain kind of candor to come forth from the actors. Movies like this rely heavily on the honesty with which the material is displayed. So, being that it's pretty much a true story (taken from the screenwriter's own life experiences and then molded into a comedy for Seth Rogen), there's only so much dishonesty there can be displayed. We'll have to, as the audience, sift through what's real and what happened versus what isn't and what didn't, but it's safe to say that the story we'll see will be involving enough that we won't really give a damn. Here's hoping, anyway. Oh, and an early Oscar contender for Original Screenplay? Perhaps. This has an extremely Apatowian feel to it, and his screenplays generally get thrown into the mix come awards season.

What's Your Number? R. 

And what might be the saddest thing about a film like this is that even though this is destined for critical failure, and poised for box office slaughtering, at least thirty more of these movies will be made before the year's end. And the closer we get to the holiday season, at least half of those will be holiday themed, which guarantees they'll make a profit. I Don't Know How She Does It has blissfully faded into white noise, but Sarah Jessica Parker isn't as popular outside of the HBO crowd as Anna Farris is. Farris is like that funny girl in high school we all wanted to date and be friends with. And, granted, I do believe she's one of the funniest women in Hollywood. But her appeal carries her movies moreso than the movies she's in carry her.

Dream House. PG-13. 

Maybe less Cold Creek Manor than The Others, maybe more The Abandoned than we realize (but that's more than all right by me!) Maybe a little bit What Lies Beneath, too. Which, again, certainly cool in my books. Still, though - this trailer tells us everything we need to know going in, and most things we shouldn't know until maybe then end of the movie. And maybe you've realized that the key word to this paragraph and description is "maybe". And maybe that's because this whole project is one giant "maybe". Maybe it will suck, maybe it will be brilliant, maybe it will take the number one spot in the box office away from 50/50 or The Lion King. Maybe no one will see it. Maybe I will. Yeah, I will. There's no maybe there. I think it looks great. Another showcase for Daniel Craig, and another reason to stare at Rachel Weisz for two hours.

Courageous. PG-13. 

See, this is what sucks about these movies - and yes, I am a Christian. So, I'm more than allowed to say what I'm about to say. They keep getting better and better, but the producers are assuming one of two things first, they seem to be assuming that just because these movies are about God and holy values, that people will go see them. Or second, they think that if they shove this stuff down enough throats people will eventually go see them because they feel they have to. Like church. If you guilt them, they will come. That's the suckiest thing about projects like this. The films themselves are hardly ever bad. Even in the case of Fireproof (which is one of the most unintentionally funny movies of that year) it had some good moments. So did The Grace Card. This movie actually looks damn decent. But, too God-heavy for the common movie goer. That doesn't live in the south. Go figure.

What are you seeing this weekend? Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments section. Sound off! Enjoy your weekend!