Weekend Movies: The Fish and the (Un)Dead

The only new films that I’d care to see this week aren’t playing anywhere near me… for now. I’m certain that the majority of you are limited to the same wide releases that I am. They’re not awful options, but nor do they inspire me to leave my home.

Believe it or not, the widest new release is Disney/Pixar’s 3D conversion of ‘Finding Nemo‘. Each time that Disney drops one of these 3D re-releases on us, I predict failure yet the film ends up scoring big. If any title can carry on that tradition, ‘Nemo’ will be it. If we were just a week away from the Blu-ray release, I’d expect an opening similar to ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ in IMAX last week – good but not great. However, considering that the ‘Nemo’ Blu-ray won’t hit shelves until December, Disney has some room to rake in serious cash this weekend.

Opening on just 50 screens less than ‘Nemo’ is ‘Resident Evil: Retribution‘, the fifth flick in the Milla Jovovich vs. zombies franchise. Mr. Jovovich, Paul W.S. Anderson, has again returned to write and direct this installment. As we are all aware by now, the undead still roam the Earth. Once again, we’re introduced to another crazy twist to drag out this series. Alice and almost every character that we have ever seen in the franchise are back to battle the Umbrella corporation.

The other Paul Anderson – you know, Paul Thomas Anderson, the one who actually makes quality films – has a new movie playing on four screens. ‘The Master‘ has sparked controversy for allegedly being an unofficial biography of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Joaquin Phoenix, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams star. If you’re as excited about this as I am, hold tight because the Weinstein Company will expand its release over the next few weeks.

Landing on 197 screens across North America is ‘Arbitrage‘, yet another Wall Street thriller. Word from this year’s Sundance Film Festival claimed that it was nothing more than another ‘Margin Call‘, which played there the year before. From the writer of ‘The Informers‘, I’m not racing out to see this one. As much as I like Richard Gene, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth and Brit Marling, I’m just not that excited.

From what I understand, director Simon West was sill wrapping up production on ‘Stolen‘ when he raced off to make ‘The Expendables 2’. Finally coming to 141 screens, the movie stars Nic Cage, Malin Akerman, Danny Huston and Josh Lucas. From David Guggenheim, writer of ‘Safe House‘, all I expect is mindless fun from this father-searching-for-his-kidnapped-daughter thriller.

Finally, the last of the limited openers that I’d love to see is ‘Liberal Arts‘. Unlike ‘Arbitrage’, the word around Sundance for this one was pretty positive. Although I despised Josh Radnor’s first Sundance flick, ‘happythankyoumoreplease‘, I’m willing to give him a second chance here (which is more like a third chance, because I find him to be the most boring aspect of ‘How I Met Your Mother‘). ‘Liberal Arts’ co-stars Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney and Zac Efron.


    • I don’t like to read full reviews of movies before seeing them, so I only read the lede – but I’m even more excited to see it now than I was before. Great introductory paragraph! I’ll definitely read the rest after I see the film.

  1. JM

    ‘The Master’ is the first 70mm film since Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Hamlet’ in 1996.

    But if I could get Barbara Eden to grant me one wish, it would be that Paul Thomas Anderson had used the full power of 70mm to shoot ‘Boogie Nights.’

  2. William Henley

    I just got out of Stolen. It was a fun movie. Its not normally the type of movie I like, but it was fun. Sadly, for a movie that seems to have just opened, there were only 5 people other than myself in the theater – and this was a new megaplex theater on a Friday night prime-time showing.

    You know, I honestly cannot figure out why this movie is rated R. There is no nudity, very very mild language, some alcohol use, and the violence is pretty tame, hardly any blood or gore. Seemed like a PG or PG-13 at the worst rating to me.

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