Weekend Movies: Shakespeare, Jack Sparrow and a Talking Cat Walk into a Bar…

Oddly enough, of the three wide openers this weekend, the movie with the biggest star (Johnny Depp) is getting the smallest release. An animated feline outlaw is opening the widest, while Justin Timberlake’s futuristic sci-fi thriller falls somewhere in between the two.

Knowing that ‘The Rum Diary‘ is based on another Hunter S. Thompson novel, you might think that this is just Johnny Depp doing another version of ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas‘, but set in Puerto Rico and with the LSD swapped out for rum. In reality, ‘The Rum Diary’ is a quite different film. Depp plays an alcoholic aspiring novelist who’s stuck writing for crap publications. When hired by a San Juan daily newspaper in 1960, the party lifestyle in the area distracts him from his job. Things are especially thrown out of whack when he gets caught up with the wrong crowd – especially shady Aaron Eckhart and temptress girlfriend Amber Heard. His ethics and morals are put to the ultimate test in this quirky, oddball comedic drama.

Andrew Niccol, writer of ‘The Truman Show‘ and writer/director of ‘Gattaca‘, returns to the big screen with ‘In Time‘, another politically symbolic sci-fi thriller starring a gorgeous young cast. Set sometime in the distant future, everyone stops aging at 25, which is when a clock on each person’s arm begins counting down. They then each get one year of time on their clocks, and time becomes their currency. From a cup of coffee to a bus ride around town, everything costs time. After a day’s work, you’re not paid in cash, but time. If your clock runs out, you die.

Timberlake plays the lead as a generous good guy from the ghetto who literally lives day-to-day. After coming to the aid of a wealthy out-of-place man with more than a century on his arm, his life is completely turned around when he’s rewarded with more time than he knows what to do with. A wealthy man in the ghetto who gives away too much time can unbalance the scales, hurting the status of the wealthy. Amanda Seyfriend, Cillian Murphy, that annoying squirrely guy from ‘Mad Men’ and Olivia Wilde co-star.

At more than 3,800 locations, the biggest opener of the weekend is the ‘Shrek‘ spin-off ‘Puss in Boots‘. The fan-favorite character returns to big screen in a story of his own. ‘Puss in Boots’ sheds light on the origins of the world’s all-time funniest cat character. The story of this kitty-turned-outlaw begins in an orphanage where a tiny cat makes friends with an odd egg – Humpty Dumpty. As the two grow older, they go their separate ways. But when Jack and Jill show up in their small hometown with some magic beans, they’re forced to reconcile their differences and begin working together again. It’s the same Puss in Boots you fell in love with in ‘Shrek 2’, only in a fairy tale of his own.

Originally set to open wide this weekend, but now scheduled for a platform release instead, is Roland Emmerich’s Shakespearean drama ‘Anonymous‘. Personally, I can’t take this film seriously. How am I supposed to believe a movie from the director of ‘2012‘, ‘10,000 B.C.‘ and ‘Independence Day‘ that tries to prove that William Shakespeare was a fraud? What’s he going to do, blow up the Globe Theater?

Winner of the Grand Jury and Special Jury Prizes at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, ‘Like Crazy‘ is finally receiving a limited release via distributor Paramount Vantage. Staring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones, ‘Like Crazy’ tells the rollercoaster romance story of a couple damned by borders. The two meet in Southern California just before graduating from college. The spark is immediate, but shortly after graduating, the girl has to return to London before her student visa expires. A small visa infraction comes between the two and places them in a bad long-distance relationship. Co-starring Jennifer Lawrence, ‘Like Crazy’ is a purely original and honest take on young romance and making sacrifices for one another.


  1. “How am I supposed to believe a movie from the director of ‘2012‘, ‘10,000 B.C.‘ and ‘Independence Day‘ that tries to prove that William Shakespeare was a fraud?” Watch The Patriot, then watch Annonymous… then you might believe.

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