REPUBLIBOT WEEKEND MOVIE PREVIEW: Movies Opening 3-19-10

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So, why is it that Day Light Savings time is in place for more of the year than Standard time? Wouldn’t it make sense at some point to just call Savings time Standard time since it is now the defacto Standard time anyway?

Now the boiler plate: I’ve not seen these movies, nor have I done any research. I trust in the ever faithful power of pop culture osmosis to inform these increasingly insightful opinions about films opening this weekend. All of the film information presented here, including the plot summary, have been pulled from the Opening This Week page of IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/nowplaying/). This week we are previewing The Bounty Hunter, Diary of A Wimpy Kid, and Repo Men, amongst others.

Let’s get this thing over with – after the jump...

The Bounty Hunter

Director: Andy Tennant

Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler

Studio: Columbia Pictures

The Plot: A bounty hunter (Butler) learns that his next target is his ex-wife (Aniston), a reporter working on a murder cover-up. Soon after their reunion, the always-at-odds duo find themselves on a run-for-their-lives adventure with a bunch of New Jersey heavies in pursuit.

The Republibot Take:  I hate to say this, but I kinda like Jennifer Aniston. I mean not to the point of going out of my way to actually pay to see one of her movies, don't get me wrong. But she was endearing and funny in Friends, you know, on the rare times I actually saw it. However, I don't think she has been able to translate her small screen appeal very well to the big screen. In big budget comedies for the big screen, there is generally less room for nuance. Based on the generic nature of the stories, people need to be able to assign a role to you quickly. Aniston’s personality sits somewhere in the middle. I’m not saying she is a character rich in subtleties, but she really doesn’t fit in to the big budget mold.

She was perfect for Office Space though, attractive, sardonic, relatively interesting fit for the male lead. But that just doesn’t translate over to a Jim Carrey movie, or a Ben Stiller movie.

Anyway… Sci-Fi Quotient (in a scale in which 5 Rocket Ships is the original War of the Worlds, 5 Glasses of Wine is Howard’s End, and 0 of either is The Bridges of Madison County) is 1.5 Glasses of Wine.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Director: Thor Freudenthal

Stars: Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Rachael Harris

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

The Plot: Greg Heffley (Gordon) uses the journal his mother forces him to keep to plot his middle-school survival.

The Republibot Take: I have a soft spot for kids’ films. Well, a soft spot for well done kids’ films. I am not sure if this one qualifies, but I think I saw a clip from it somewhere that was kinda funny – the scene seemed to be like something from Freaks & Geeks, except when Freaks & Geeks were still in grade school. Plus it has Rachael Harris in it. I have a serious crush on Harris. She comes across as smart (probably the glasses, yeah, I know), funny (which she definitely is), sexy (see the comments about the glasses and funny), attractive (definitely is, but in a non-classic Hollywood way), and just a ton of fun.

I wonder if I just started randomly referencing her in this weekly preview thing whatever-it-is that I am writing, if it would start coming up in her or her agents Google alerts and elicit a response from them? Something like, “Thank you for commenting so nicely about Rachael Harris. Unfortunately she is happily married. Please refrain from mentioning her again without direct written permission from our lawyers.”

A man can dream can’t he?

Sci-Fi Quotient is a solid 1.25 Rockets.

The Runaways [limited]

Director: Floria Sigismondi

Stars: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon

Studio: Apparition

The Plot: A chronicle of the groundbreaking Los Angeles band The Runaways, who formed in 1975 and were led by teenagers Joan Jett (Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Fanning).

The Republibot Take: All I know about the band The Runaways is that it had Joan Jett in it before she was awesomely ripped and sang I Love Rock & Roll repeatedly on MTV. Oh, I think it had Lita Ford too, didn’t it? I only know Lita Ford because a friend of mine from when I lived in Florida wrote some songs for her that she recorded. And I was jealous.

No idea of what to expect from this movie, I won’t see it in the theater, but I will definitely check it out at some point – most likely on mid-premium cable like Starz or Encore.

Sci-Fi Quotient is .5 Glasses of Wine.

Repo Men

Director: Miguel Sapochnik

Stars: Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga

Studio: Universal Pictures

The Plot: Set in a world where artificial organs are readily available for purchase, a man (Law) who makes his living repossessing organs from those who fail to make their payments first finds himself outfitted with a new heart, then forced to go on the run when he falls on hard financial times.

The Republibot Take: I had another friend in Florida (well, he is still my friend, I just don’t talk to him as much as I should because I am a recluse) that wrote a pretty awesome script back in the late 80s or early 90s about a duo of organ donor collection agents. Now I’m not saying they ripped his idea off, but I am saying I wish my buddy’s move would have gotten made rather than this one.

Having said that, I will probably see this over the weekend cause it looks like a ton of inappropriate fun.

I am also kinda alarmed to think I could possibly start looking forward to Jude Law films – I was having such a good run of disliking anything he was remotely related to, but after Sherlock Holmes where he was, God forbid, well cast I am not sure what to think anymore.

Sci-Fi Quotient is a very promising 3.5 Rockets.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [limited]

Director: Niels Arden Oplev

Stars: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Ewa Fröling

Studio: Music Box Films

The Plot: A journalist (Nyqvist) and a computer hacker (Rapace) are hired to investigate disappearance of young Harriet Vanger (Fröling). Their search connects to a series of decades-old murders, though it also begins to reveal the Vanger family's dark and secretive history.

The Republibot Take: All I wanna know is if there are really any dragons in it. If not, then I am done.

Sci-Fi Quotient: with real dragons = 2.5 Rockets, without real dragons and only tattooed dragons = 2.25 Glasses of Wine.

IMAX: Hubble 3D [limited]

Director: Toni Myers

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Scott D. Altman, K. Megan McArthur

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Plot: An IMAX 3D camera chronicles the effort of 7 astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Republibot Take: And this is what NASA has been working towards for 40 years.

Sci-Fi Quotient is a 2.25 Rockets (visuals will be cool because it will be real, but there will be no outer space dog fights, or laser guns, or chest bursting aliens, but there will be narrating Leonardo DiCaprio).

City Island [LA/NY]

Director: Raymond De Felitta

Stars: Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Steven Strait

Studio: Anchor Bay Films

The Plot: The Rizzos, a family who doesn't share their habits, aspirations, and careers with one another, find their delicate web of lies disturbed by the arrival of a young ex-con (Strait) brought home by Vince (Garcia), the patriarch of the family, who is a corrections officer in real life, and a hopeful actor in private.

The Republibot Take: What? I think I have read and reread that story synopsis like almost two times and my brain just drifts away. It’s like the synopsis has a spell on it that makes it impossible to focus on it. Those are all words that I know and have read many times before, but in this particular configuration it almost looks like a foreign language.

Sci-Fi Quotient is a pretty solid hey NCAA tournament is on, New Mexico is up on Montana 55 to 52 right now, unless this is a repeat from earlier today.

(Ok, that trailer was actually kinda funny, so I might see that)

See, almost painless.

Check back next week when we thoughtlessly discuss How To Train Your Dragon, and Hot Tub Time Machine, amongst others.

Until then – see you in the comments.

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