Friday, August 28, 2009

Today's New in Theaters- 8/28/09

Halloween II: ASTONISHINGLY, the week's biggest new release was not screened in advance for critics. (I know, right?) As a Myers afficionado since my teenage years, I was on the fence about Rob Zombie's first "re-imagining" of the Halloween franchise; it had some genuine scares and a strong visual sense, but his tin ear for dialogue and obsession with hillbilly hee-hawing pretty much sunk the first half (to say nothing of his misguided notion to "explain" a villain whose entire persona was that he was evil, pure and simple). The second half, his compressed remake of the Carpenter original, was stronger and more interesting, but the studio-influenced tacked-on ending went on forever. At any rate, I'll wait to hear if this one ends up being any better.

Taking Woodstock: You know who's a moron? Whoever set the release date for Ang Lee's seriocomic behind-the-scenes look at the famed music festival. The fest's 40th anniversary was two weekends ago, so some genius clearly looked at the August calendar and said, "No, no, if we released it that weekend, we'd get all kinds of free, extra publicity when all of the news shows are doing anniversary stories and the music channels are doing retrospectives. Let's wait until two weeks later, when everybody's over it." Anyway, I'm antsy to see it (I'll see anything Ang Lee does); Ebert likes it, while DVD Talk's Jamie S. Rich is underwhelmed.

The Final Destination: I hope you're sitting down for this news-- they didn't screen the latest Final Destination movie for critics either! Will the shocks never end? At any rate, they've pulled a reverse here-- instead of doing like Fast & Furious, which flogged the dead horse of a never-entertaining series by taking the "the"s out of the title of its fourth go-around, this fourth film adds a "the" in! See, they flipped it up on us! Hollywood creativity at its finest!!

Big Fan: There's no bigger fan of Patton Oswalt's stand-up than me; I've seen the guy live many times over and consider him to be perhaps our finest working comic. But I've read enough of his online writings to know that he's a big-time film buff and serious about acting (and filmmaking), so I'm looking forward to his collaboration with The Wrestler screenwriter Robert Siegel (making his directorial debut). Brian Orndorf gives it high marks, as does Variety's Todd McCarthy.

I'm in the midst of a move, so as much as it pains me, Big Fan and Taking Woodstock will have to wait; they're joining Cold Souls, It Might Get Loud, and World's Greatest Dad on my mental queue. Oy.

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