Weekend Movies: Animals, Aliens & Misfits

One of my Big Three most anticipated movies of the summer opens this weekend – and, no, it’s not the ‘Madagascar’ three-quel.

Eight days have passed since I saw a screening of ‘Prometheus‘, and I’ve been dying for it to open. Not only do I want to see it again (this time in IMAX 3D), but I can’t wait to talk about it with people.

This tight-lipped ‘Alien‘ prequel follows a format similar to Ridley Scott’s earlier film, but with a fresh story and new set of characters. Spoilers have been leaked, but going in blind is the best way to enjoy this thrilling space odyssey. It’s not the secrets that I look forward to discussing with other fans, but the un-spelled-out twists that are hidden within. With a final screenplay written by Damon Lindelof, you can expect a lot of between-the-lines content to inspire debate.

Even though the studio asked director Ridley Scott to shoot for a PG-13 MPAA rating, ‘Prometheus’ still received an R, which it rightfully deserves for violence. That rating is exactly why I believe this week’s worthless DreamWorks Animation release will probably kill it at the box office. Just when nobody was asking for it, here comes ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted‘, a movie about zoo animals still trying to get back to their NYC enclosures. This time, while being chased by Monte Carlo’s animal control service throughout Europe, these boring animals join a circus. No joke. What ensues isn’t the slightest bit entertaining, which is why I’m depressed to know that it’s going to rake in a lot more cash than ‘Prometheus’.

One of Mark Duplass’ three movies from Sundance 2012 receives a limited opening this weekend. ‘Safety Not Guaranteed‘ is like an R-rated version of ‘Napoleon Dynamite’, but one that warrants many more laughs. Aubrey Plaza stars as an odd intern at a major newspaper who gets assigned to research an article about a strange classified ad that asks for a bodyguard on a mission through time. The applicants must bring their own weapons and, of course, safety is not guaranteed. Duplass plays the equally strange character who placed the ad. Hilarious dry humor ensues, as well as a surprising little heart. (Read Aaron’s review from Sundance for more details.)

Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener, Elizabeth Olsen, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chace Crawford, Katharine McPhee and Rosanna Arquette star in ‘Peace, Love & Misunderstanding‘, a comedy with a plot not all that far off from the upcoming Blu-ray release ‘Wanderlust‘. Instead of a married couple in this one, a high-strung mother and her two kids head to a hippie relative’s farm for a good time. After reading reviews from attendees at the Toronto and Newport film festivals, this sounds like audiences will be even less amused by it than ‘Wanderlust’ (which I actually really enjoyed).

Second-string (if not third-string) actors compose the cast of ‘Bel Ami‘, the tale of a French soldier’s rise to Parisian power via wit and the seduction of old wealthy women. I can hardly stand to watch a movie that stars Robert Pattinson, much less one where he’s banging older ladies Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas. Christina Ricci also co-stars.

Considering the cast at hand, I’m interested in the limited opener ‘Lola Versus‘. Rising indie actress Greta Gerwig is joined by Joel Kinnaman (an interesting specimen from ‘The Killing‘), Hamish Linklater, Bill Pullman and Debra Winger in this R-rated comedy about a recently-dumped girl who copes with being single on her 30th birthday by going on adventures with a tight group of friends. I’ve heard that it’s decent, but predictable. I still want to see it for myself.

1 comment

  1. EM

    I’m in for Prometheus, either this weekend or next week. I’m intrigued by Safety Not Guaranteed and will look for it later on (it’s not yet playing around here).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.