After a couple good weeks at the theaters, its a bit of a minefield awaiting your weekend entertainment. But no one ever said going to the movies was a coward's game; once more into the breach!
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
The Story: Based on the Maurice Sendak book, little Max leaves behind his gloomy family and travels to a land of giant forest creatures.
The Pitch: Spirited Away meets Rushmore
Who It's For: Man/boys who dream of fleeing their dismal existences where they are surrounded by people who don't pay them enough attention, and sailing off to a land where they can spend the whole day riding skateboards and throwing things with cool but sensitive dudes like Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers.
Cause for Hope: The monster suits look pretty neat.
Cause for Concern: This is not a Spike Jonze movie based on a Charlie Kaufman script; after spending years teaching writing to children, Dave Eggers appears to be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and believes that grown-ups should write like six year olds rather than for them.
Defamer Enthusio-Meter: 3
The Story: A young man (Gossip Girl's Penn Badgley) returns from school to find his mother has moved in her new flame (Dylan Walsh), a man whose helpful nature may hide some terrible secrets.
The Pitch: Shadow of a Doubt meets Poison Ivy
Who It's For: People who are too young to remember the dregs of the 80s — 90s sexy thriller era.
Cause for Hope: Well, um...the Executive Producer is friends with Madonna? Does that count?
Cause for Concern: Your great-grandchildren will do the math on how much the money you spent on a night out at The Stepfather would be worth a hundred years hence, with interest, and curse your spirit forevermore.
Bonus Fact: J.S. Cardone, the screenwriter, has one of the most thrilling IMDB pages ever recorded. A secret giant of Hollywood.
Defamer Enthusio-Meter: 2
LAW ABIDING CITIZEN
The Story: When a man (Gerard Butler) sees his daughter's murderer get off easy thanks to The System, he takes justice into his own hands, first killing the murderer and then from behind bars, attacking The System while an ambitious young prosecutor (Jamie Foxx) fights to stop him.
The Pitch: Death Wish meets The Dark Knight meets Silence of the Lambs meets a bunch Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford movies whose names we can't remember.
Who It's For: Those who want to be jolted into forgetting their troubles.
Cause for Hope: Seems at least ambitiously pulpy; director F. Gary Gray made the cult classic Set It Off.
Cause for Concern: How many minutes of screen time will it take just to portray the set-up described above before the actual film starts.
Defamer Enthusio-Meter: 6
NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU
The Story: A series of short film homages to the Big Apple.
The Pitch: Manhattan meets Hotel Chevalier
Who It's For: Manhattanites who love to love themselves
Cause for Hope: Some very great film makers involved including Fatih Akim.
Cause for Concern: There is also a segment by Brett Ratner. And honestly, (and I say this as a frequent visitor from California) isn't every second of every day in Manhattan the time that New Yorkers devote to telling themselves how much they love themselves and their quaint little island. Does there really need to be a special film devoted to that? Isn't that basically, every film made by every New Yorker ever? Isn't that why the world took your filmmaking capital status away from you and gave it to California in the first place?
Defamer Enthusio-Meter: 6
The Story: A satire of 70's blacksploitation fims.
The Pitch: Shaft meets Airplane
Who It's For: Comedy nerds
Cause for Hope: Hilarious trailer; very strong buzz when it debuted at Sundance.
Cause for Concern: One joke premise walks down well-trod lane.
Defamer Enthusio-Meter: 8