As we expect for most of the series throughout May, this week's edition of Defamer Attractions comes down to about five words: Iron Man, and everything else. Nevertheless, join our weekly survey of new releases for a guess at just how soundly the superhero will beat the competition down, as well as a look at the dog that never stood a chance, our favorite (OK, the only) Harmony Korine film of the last decade, and a run through the week's must-think-about-seeing DVD releases. As always, our opinions are our own, but they're also right. Blockbuster season makes it easy!
WHAT'S NEW: Having achieved deafening critical and civilian buzz over the last week, the only remaining question about Iron Man is not if it will kill this weekend, but how it will kill. A close read of the historical record suggests the latest Marvel hero is in for at least an $80 million weekend (including last night's late screenings), but we think that's conservative — accounting for neither repeat viewings nor the Robert Downey Jr. Factor making this as much of an adult treat as a teen/fanboy orgy. We'd be surprised if it didn't break $60 million by Sunday and maybe even $90 million when the dust clears Monday.
Also opening (for what it's worth): Made of Yawner — ahem, Honor, starring Patrick... whoever. Indies of note include the Toronto '07 opener Fugitive Pieces, the coming- of- age- via- sweding- Stallone film Son of Rambow, and the Argentinian teen hermaphrodite drama XXY.
THE BIG LOSER: As long as he's wishing critics dead, we might as well get our money's worth: David Mamet's Jiu-jitsu saga Redbelt isn't so bad, but we expect Iron Man to vanquish its testosterrific charms in the weekend's qualifying rounds before moving on to the more saccharine, sinewy Dr. McDreamy and Co. Come to think of it, the Sony conglomerate as a whole will be missing Spider-Man right... about... now.
THE UNDERDOG: We'll be hearing a bit more from the filmmaker later today, but writer-director Harmony Korine's comeback Mister Lonely is a maverick wack-job of the highest order: A Michael Jackson impersonator (Diego Luna) runs off with Marilyn Monroe (Samantha Morton) to a Scottish colony of other celebrity impersonators, while a drunken priest (Werner Herzog) exhorts a troupe of flying nuns a hemisphere away. Infinitely warmer than Korine's previous directing efforts Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy (what isn't?), it's no less hypnotic, funny and confounding.
FOR SHUT-INS: New DVD's this week include The Golden Compass, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, 27 Dresses, the reissued Sarah Jessica Parker/Helen Hunt masterpiece of 1985, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and the nifty microbudget drama from director Todd Rohal, The Guatemalan Handshake.
Are we overestimating Iron Man? Underestimating it? Will anyone but our mothers consider seeing Made of Honor in the next three days, if ever? Stake your claim to bragging rights by placing your bets below.