Unfortunately for you, the film-going public, the biggest movie this weekend is Angelina Jolie’s shockingly derivative action thriller ‘Salt.’ (It’s like the ‘Bourne‘ movies in high heels. Until she takes off her high heels.) That’s pretty much it, unless you’re a ten-year-old girl with a library card. Then there’s ‘Ramona and Beezus.’
It’s been a good long while since I’ve been a ten-year-old girl with a library card. Honestly, I had no clue what ‘Ramona and Beezus‘ was until I saw a television commercial a week or so ago, and even then I was pretty confused. Well, the movie appears to be middling, so me not seeing it or not knowing what it is doesn’t make me feel all that bad.
Some of you may have been asking, “When-oh-when will my small town be getting either the luscious Italian melodrama ‘I Am Love’ or the golly-gee-great family comedy ‘The Kids Are All Right’?” Well, let me answer your question: THIS WEEKEND! Yes, this weekend, the studios behind both of these wonderful films are expanding their campaigns for your heart. So, please, forget about all those big, lousy Hollywood movies and take a walk on the indie side.
Speaking of indie, there are a host of small movies coming out that I haven’t seen, mostly due to my laziness and indifference. There are some teeny-tiny films like a new, well-received Basquiat documentary. But the one that’s getting the most ink is Todd Solondz’s pseudo-sequel to his masterpiece ‘Happiness.’ It’s called ‘Life During Wartime.’ This movie has been making the festival rounds for what seems like eons. (It was at the New York Film Festival last fall… where I missed it.) Now it’s finally seeing limited release from IFC. With a typically bizarro cast that includes Paul Reubens, Paris Hilton and Charlotte Rampling, it has been getting pretty mixed reviews. Then again, this is a Todd Solondz movie. He’s not the kind of director that screams “universal acclaim!”
For my money, the weekend’s best movie is coming not to a theater but to your XBox or cable box. I’ll do a full write-up closer to the movie’s theatrical release in August, but Neil Marshall’s ‘Centurion‘ is a whole lot of gloopy, bloody fun. Based in part on the historical account of a Roman legion that went into the Scotland woods and came under attack by a vicious sect of locals called the Picts, the movie stars future Magneto Michael Fassbender as a Roman soldier who lived through the ordeal. If you see the name Neil Marshall and think that the director of spooky-ooky flicks ‘The Descent‘ and ‘Dog Soldiers‘ will be bringing some supernatural shenanigans to the table, well, you’d be wrong. There are no ghosts in the Scottish highlands. But there are plenty of other Marshall trademarks – namely decapitations and a whole lot of blood. Just watch. You’ll love. It kicks ass. Hard.
My recommendation, if you don’t want to download ‘Centurion’ and can’t get to ‘The Kids Are All Right’ or ‘I Am Love,’ is to re-watch ‘Inception.’ You won’t be sorry.