Hello darlings. Please be patient with me today. I have decided to take “Green Lantern” as a personal affront to my being a grown ass woman with a need for grown ass movies. I just can’t anymore with this childishness! Adolescent boys are ruling the world, and it’s never more apparent than when examining the steaming piles of CGI comic book hash we get served up every summer. And you know, I’ll take an “X-Men: First Class” or a “Captain America.” At least these enhanced beings are located in a world that is rooted in some kind of reality with real stories and real problems (Nazis!). Even just reading our review of “Green Lantern” confused me with the made-up planets and the imagining stuff and the glowing rings and Peter Sarsgaard‘s giant head. No. Just no. Do not want. And don’t expect me to want it either! We can’t have nice movies if we don’t hope for and expect entertainments that are better than this. All of you are on notice.
AND, on a similar note I will say this about studios pulling out of Comic-Con: that convention used to represent a niche market, outsider genre/geek culture that was courted and pandered to by Hollywood as a specific audience. Well, geek culture is now officially mainstream culture. Comic-Con has been bigger than Cannes in the box office world. The entire year is Comic-Con! In recent years, the biggest, most profit-generating movies have been the comic book adaptations, the sci-fi, the ’80s toy revivals. Hollywood no longer needs to trek it to San Diego to play a splash reel to win over the fan boys. The fan boys are driving the damn bus! Who knows, maybe 2011 will be the tipping point for comic book movies, with the glut of Marvel and DC and whoever else characters we have on screen this year, and the inevitable failures of some to capture audience’s imaginations. In conclusion, I hope “Green Lantern” makes no money. Also in theaters, “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” “The Art of Getting By” and FINALLY A MOVIE FOR GROWN UP ADULTS, “Page One: Inside the New York Times.”
Ok, clearly you all know my thoughts on “Green Lantern.” Ryan Reynolds, you are on my shit list for this one. Let’s see what intrepid reviewer Gabe Toro had to say! He gave it a D+ (declared “too kind” by colleague Drew Taylor) and says, “maybe they should have hired the ring to direct.” You just got served, Martin Campbell. Rotten Tomatoes: 21% Metacritic: 40
Speaking of movies for children, Jim Carrey stars in “Mr. Popper’s Penguins.” Yay. Quick, everyone name the part of the trailer that bothers them the most! Mine is when he is tap dancing with the penguins to “Ice Ice Baby” and says “shuffle ball change” when they are NOT SHUFFLE BALL CHANGING. It’s that kind of lack of attention to detail that makes a great movie about animated penguins living in a house. Our review says, “lazy, calculated, overlong and most importantly, lacking even a bit of genuine fun.” Oh dear. RT: 45% MC: 51
Thankfully, we also have a ton of great documentaries opening this weekend, so please, do the right thing and go see one.
“Page One: Inside the New York Times” features the inner workings of the paper of record and the great, great, GREAT David Carr. After (or before) you see this movie, go read his harrowing crack addiction memoir “Night of the Gun.” It is an incredible book that is wild, sad, funny and will make you want to hang out with David Carr every day. So go watch ‘Page One’ and hang out with him onscreen! Do it! Our SXSW review says the film “is still an enjoyable documentary, especially if you want to cheer whenever print media has some small triumph, but it’s neither the comprehensive peek behind the curtains that it wants to be, nor the probing, personal story that it could have become.” RT: 78% MC: 71
Another doc from this year’s SXSW opens this weekend, “Buck,” about real-life horse whisperer Buck Brannaman. Our reviewer at the fest said the film was “one of the most touching and genuinely affecting films we saw during SXSW.” High praise! RT: 89% MC: 76
Another doc to check out is the Irish dancing film “Jig.” Our reviewer wanted a little more from the movie that’s just “dance, dance, dance, movie over.” RT: 64% MC: 53
“Battle for Brooklyn” chronicles the drama surrounding Bruce Ratner‘s shady development plans for a stadium/arena/palace in Brooklyn, and the residents who protested via the activist group Develop Don’t Destroy. Our review says the directing team’s “approach isn’t altogether artful, but it is honest, showcasing the struggle of people attempting to maintain their principles as their living situation is deemed ‘blighted’.” RT: 63% MC: 74
Some other selections to check out this weekend:
– Gerard Depardieu plays the village idiot whose mind is opened by his friendship with the elderly Marguerite in “My Afternoons with Marguerite” RT: 85%
– Hardcore Danish prison drama “R” RT: 88%
– Disaster response doc “Rescue”
– Chinese film “The High Life”