Defamer Attractions returns today with another round of movie scanning for your Memorial Day weekend. We already know you're planning at least two excursions to view Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (once out of drunken impulse, and once to make sure that really was the ending you saw before blacking out), but Indy alone does not a holiday make! At least one of the poor bastards sharing this opening weekend is bound to tank the worst, and yet another is a fine bit of foreign-language counterprogramming worth your consideration. And of course we've got a few new DVD choices for the agoraphobic, hungover and/or the cheapskates among us. As always, our opinions and projections are A) our own and B) impeccably fail-safe. Where should we start?
WHAT'S NEW: There's a holiday-ready, cruise-control part of us that feels like skipping this part of Defamer Attractions, but again, Indiana Jones 4 is not the only new release demanding attention. That said, with $26 million already in the bank on Thursday, and with the Indiana Jones PlunderWatch Projection Ticker speeding toward $9.5 trillion, we should probably just get it out of the way. It's easily going to win the weekend, but can it displace four-day weekend champ Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ($139.7 million) and five-day king Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith ($172 million) as the all-time biggest box-office bow? We doubt it; there's too much cultural competition to overcome the 19-year generation gap. Nevertheless, we're still calling Indy to break $110 million by Sunday and $140 million by Monday, thus promising a fifth installment set in 1967 and pitting our hero and his greaser sidekick/offspring against their toughest adversaries yet: Filthy, filthy hippies.
Also opening: John Cusack's Iraq satire/career nadir War, Inc.; the here-and-gone Jonathan Rhys Meyers drama The Children of Huang Shi; and the acclaimed Vice Magazine-produced doc Heavy Metal in Baghdad.
THE BIG LOSER: Despite early reads positioning Postal in the same critical class as What Happens in Vegas, Speed Racer and Sex and the City, it won't likely be enough to boost Uwe Boll's latest clusterfuck to anything approaching respectable at the box office. Granted, he's on four screens as opposed to, say, Indy 4's 4,200, but if Postal's per-screen average breaks $8,000, we'll volunteer to be the guy eating his own puke in Boll's next film. What? Stoic has already been shot? Whatever. The point is: It will not happen.
THE UNDERDOG: Fatih Akin's 2005 culture-clash stunner Head On captured audiences about as abruptly and unforgettably as its title suggested, and his follow-up, The Edge of Heaven, revisits his volatile Turkish/German roots with no less intensity. Which, considering its scope, is a bit of a marvel: A elderly Turkish man invites a compatriot prostitute into the home he shares with his son in Bremen. It ends... poorly, with the son traveling to Istanbul to find the woman's 20-something daughter. She's embroiled in political actions there, expatriates herself to Germany seeking asylum, falls in love with another young woman, and then — horror of horrors! — is expelled back to prison in Turkey. The interwoven searches and tragedies that follow in Heaven make Babel look like an afterschool special — not for their violence or viciousness (though they have that, too), but for their stoicism and, ultimately, their unalloyed compassion. And in any case, we'd never reject anything featuring both lesbians and Turkish prison.
FOR SHUT-INS: New DVD's this week include National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, the latest terrible George Romero zombie entry Diary of the Dead, the Richard Gere/Claire Danes folly The Flock, and the long, long-awaited complete first season of The Bill Engvall Show.
So are we low-balling Indy's weekend plunder? Are we too generous? And is anybody actually planning to see Postal? Share your own plans, place your own bets and go ahead — tell your boss we said you could take Monday off!