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Weekend Movies: A Summer Blockbuster Arrives Early

Big and expensive blockbusters opening in March scare me. You never know if you’re going to get something awesome like ‘300‘ or a wretched waste of time like ‘Watchmen‘. (Yes, it’s by coincidence that both are Zack Snyder movies.) This weekend, Disney’s $250 million popcorn flick is about to be put to the test. Oh, and Eddie Murphy has another stupid comedy out too.

That’s right, to according to Box Office Mojo, the production budget of ‘John Carter‘ was $250 million. Mind you, that does not include the high costs of marketing or distribution. Formerly known as ‘John Carter of Mars’ (and still known as ‘John Carter of Mars’ according to the title card at the close of the film), this is the cowboys and aliens movie that ‘Cowboys & Aliens‘ failed to be. A gold mining cowboy who left the Civil War for the Wild West stumbles across a teleportation device that whisks him away to Mars, where his muscle mass and bone density seemingly give him superpowers in the lower gravity environment. There, he puts his new talents to work to end another civil war (of sorts) and, of course, to get the girl. This marks the first live-action film from Pixar great Andrew Stanton. ‘John Carter’ is not perfect, but it’s a lot of fun.

Elizabeth Olsen, kid sister of the Olsen Twins, hits big screens nationwide this weekend with ‘Silent House‘, her second Sundance 2011 release after ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene‘. This horror movie banks off appearing to be a single-take film, but it really isn’t. Cuts are seamlessly hidden by that great thing called “movie magic.” Since it wasn’t screened for press (likely due to insufficient funds), if you see it this weekend, please let us know how it is in the Comments section below. As a horror fan, I’m interested.

When I saw that ‘A Thousand Words‘ was opening this weekend, I had to head over to IMDb to see what it even was. I hadn’t heard or seen a thing about the movie. In this alleged comedy, Eddie Murphy plays a character who lies to a magical guru. As punishment, he can only say 1,000 more words during his lifetime. If he goes over a thousand, he’ll die. How about this for a premise – if Eddie Murphy makes one more insultingly stupid movie like this, then his career dies? I’d pay to see that.

Actress Jessica Westfeldt (long-time girlfriend of Jon Hamm) has makes her directorial debut with ‘Friends with Kids‘. This R-rated romantic comedy plays to both male and female adults, telling the story of two best friends (Adam Scott and Westfeldt) who watch their other friends’ relationships ruined by having children. In order to avoid this problem in their own future relationships, they decide to have a kid together, splitting the responsibilities right down the middle so that each can still have other romantic relationships on the side. What follows is hilarious, comical, heartfelt and never sugar-coated or contrived. It’s a romantic comedy that guys will enjoy just as much as girls.

Considering the stars in it, I’m surprised that I’d never heard of ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen‘ before now. The film stars Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, but for some reason CBS films is only opening it on 18 screens. Perhaps that has to do with the bad-sounding fly fishing plot. You’d expect a romantic comedy starring those two good-looking actors to open wide.

IFC is giving ‘The Decoy Bride‘ a small release this week. A Hollywood starlet is set to get married in Scotland. Paparazzi are sure to flood the remote location, so a decoy bride is hired to throw them off. Let me guess – the bride is a mega-bitch and the groom falls for the decoy bride? While the story sounds weak, the rom-com stars Kelly Macdonald, Alice Eve and David Tennant. For that, I’m interested.

3 comments

  1. JM

    Does Elizabeth Olsen need to be brilliant in everything?

    Is that fair to the other actors?

    Her use of cleavage, alone, elevates ‘Silent House’ to the level of art.

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