Well, this weekend is pretty dreary. We’re stuck in the netherworld between the prestigious Oscar season and the bombardment of summer, where studios either try to push movies that are sort-of summery, or just get rid of junk that can’t hack it in the more competitive seasons. Awkward.
The biggest new movie is probably the mediocre kids’ flick ‘Rio‘. There’s a great animated movie released this year that starts with “R” and ends with “o,” and it’s not ‘Rio’. It’s ‘Rango‘. (I know, I know, shut up about ‘Rango’ already.) But really, ‘Rio’, for all its bright colors and energetic music, is quite drab. You can read my lengthier thoughts elsewhere on this site, but skipping this movie wouldn’t be the worst idea you make all weekend.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, at least content-wise, is Dimension’s very-R-rated horror comedy ‘Scream 4‘. While certainly not the worst of the franchise, it’s a long way from the series’ peak, with an uneasy mix of graphic violence and occasionally limp laughs. It’s not the worst thing in the multiplex (‘Rio’ certainly doesn’t have Alison Brie’s mighty cleavage), and in all honesty it will probably be a really fun theater experience if you go this weekend, but it should have been much, much better.
And then there’s ‘The Conspirator‘, a courtroom drama about the trial of several of the conspirators involved in the Lincoln assassination. It’s directed by Robert Redford and has an impressive cast that includes James McAvoy, Justin Long, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson, Evan Rachel Wood, and Robin Wright. From what I’ve heard, it is quite literally the most boring movie ever forged. That’s a shame, because it’s such gripping material. Instead of watching ‘The Conspirator’, go to the library or your local Borders (I’m sure it’s going out of business and everything is heavily discounted) and pick up James L. Swanson’s nonfiction book ‘Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer’. It’s beautifully written and has more cliffhangers than an entire season of ’24’. Get on it. You’ll be glad you did!