This weekend’s box office crop seems to be defined by adorable leading me – Matthew McConaughey, Bradley Cooper, and a little green alien with the voice of Seth Rogen. What this means, exactly, besides typifying my lack of sleep here at SXSW, is beyond me. At the very least, the ladies in American audiences this weekend will have their pick of cinematic date – terrestrial or extraterrestrial.
‘Paul‘ is probably the biggest movie to open this weekend, if the surge of advertisements in print and on television is any indication. (New York subway stations are plastered with the posters.) It’s the tale of a couple of British yahoos (played, with much aplomb, I’d imagine, by the dynamic duo of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg) who stumble across a wayward alien (voiced and performed, to some degree, by Seth Rogen) while taking a cross-country road trip.
Despite roughly 19,000 press screenings in the New York area (not to mention a showing here at SXSW), I have still not seen the movie, although I really, truly want to. Even though it supposedly lacks the bite and wit of the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright collaborations (‘Superbad‘ director Greg Mottola helmed this one), it looks funny and crass enough, and the cast is pretty unstoppable. (Sigourney Weaver and Bill Hader, amongst others, make appearances.)
Another biggie this weekend is ‘Limitless‘ from director Neil Burger (who made ‘The Illusionist‘ – the Ed Norton movie, not the animated film). It stars Bradley Cooper (who my mom calls “Ratface”) as a man who unlocks his hidden potential thanks to a potentially dangerous miracle drug. The movie currently has a higher Metacritic rating than ‘Paul’. I’ve heard that, despite an excessive amount of stylistic tics, it’s pretty engaging. I’m curious to see it.
Last and certainly least is Matthew McConaughey in ‘The Lincoln Lawyer‘, a zero-budget adaptation of the Michael Connolly best seller. I had very little hope for this one, but somewhere along the way, the buzz started to turn in the film’s favor. Now people are saying, “Hey, that wasn’t terrible.” At this point, post-‘Surfer, Dude‘, ol’ Matthew should take “Hey, that wasn’t terrible” and, in the words of Charlie Sheen, love it violently.