Weekend Movies: Whole Lotta Stuff

A trio of biggish movies open this weekend, some of them better than others. If you aren’t jonesing for some mainstream multiplex fare, some oddball art house pics and some smaller films also expand wider. Oh, and there’s a PG-13 ‘King’s Speech’ for some reason.

The biggest, or at least the most interesting, movie opening this weekend is Duncan Jones’ sci-fi romp ‘Source Code‘. It’s a heady time travel tale (think ‘Groundhog Day‘ meets ‘Déjà Vu‘) that also serves as a fairly affecting love story. The movie is about a soldier (Jake Gyllenhaal) who’s recruited for a secret government mission that involves him being able to relive the last eight minutes of a person’s life. In this case, the person is a commuter who was detonated as part of a terrorist plot. If this sounds convoluted, well, that’s because it is. But it’s also a whole hell of a lot of fun. As far as weekend entertainments go, you could do a lot worse than this bad boy.

Hop‘ is also opening. I more or less hated this movie. You can read my vitriolic thoughts elsewhere on this site.

Speaking of things I hated, there’s James Wan’s limp haunted house thriller ‘Insidious‘. It’s being sold as a more hardcore ‘Paranormal Activity‘, except that ‘Insidious’ lacks any wit or sense of dread. ‘Insidious’ is all about loud noises and shrill sound effects.

If you want something to fall in love with, try Cary Fukunaga’s haunting adaptation of ‘Jane Eyre‘. Starring Mia Wasikowska and my man crush Michael Fassbender, this sweeping, gothic melodrama is one of 2011’s very best movies. Go see it with someone you love. Now.

Win-Win‘, the Paul Giamatti wrestling dramedy written and directed by Tom McCarthy (who made ‘The Visitor‘ and ‘The Station Agent’), also expands this weekend. I still haven’t seen it, so I can’t attest to its merits or weaknesses, but I really love a lot of the principles. So, I’ll go out on a limb and assume that the story of a wrestling coach who adopts a troubled young man is probably touching and sweet.

If your taste’s a little bit weirder, go track down ‘Rubber‘, a French film about a tire with the power to telekinetically murder things. It’s a bit more complicated than that, with several layers of “reality” (including an audience watching the events of ‘Rubber’ unfold) thrown in, and a kickin’ electro-throb soundtrack. Plus, it’s gorgeously shot. A friend of mine said, “I can’t decide if it’s the smartest movie I’ve ever seen or the stupidest,” and I’d have to agree. It’s fascinating and brilliant and a total must-see.

Oh, and since the Weinsteins love money, they’re re-releasing recent Oscar winner ‘The King’s Speech‘ with several of the “fucks” cut out. The movie is now rated PG-13, so you can take your small cousins to see it. Because little kids are always riveted by royals with speech impediments. Man, my dislike of this movie is curdling into something even nastier. It’s enough to make me want to curse. A lot.

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