Weekend Movies: Comment – Like – Share

Take heart, moviegoers! There are two good movies – like really, really good movies (in fact, if I want to be grandiose, two of the best movies of the year) – coming to the multiplex near you! When was the last time I said there was ONE good movie out, let alone TWO? But, you have to take the good with the bad, and there’s also some really awful stuff hitting the screens this weekend too. Read on to find out which ones you should rush out to see (I’m fairly certain I’ve already given one of those away) and which ones you should avoid at all costs.

As I’ve already stated, David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network‘ is probably the best American film I’ve seen so far this year. It has it all: whip-crack dialogue, gorgeous camerawork, and performances to die for. Not to mention the fact that it’s based on an unbelievable true story that absolutely captures the American zeitgeist as it exists today. I’m sure I’ll be talking about it more soon (I cannot wait to see it again), but for now I’ll just say: Get your asses to the theater! Even if you remain unconvinced that you want to spend $10 and your Saturday night at “the Facebook movie,” just trust me, it rules.

Also opening is Matt Reeves’ remake of ‘Let the Right One In,’ simply titled ‘Let Me In‘ (which was the name of the American translation of the novel on which both films are based, but also ditches a much-appreciated Morrissey reference). When Josh saw it at Toronto, he called it his favorite film of the festival. I agree that it’s a really excellent movie, easily one of the year’s best. It’s faithful in ways that will please the hardcore fans of the brilliant original, and deviates in equally intriguing ways. I heartily recommend it. Even if you’re sick of the current vampire craze, this is a story with a lot of scares and a lot of heart. (At my screening, there were critics – CRITICS, I TELL YOU! – who were letting out audible “Awww”s.) It should not be missed.

On the totally horrible side of fright flicks, you get Adam Green’s belabored ‘Hatchet II.‘ Even if you thought the original film was mildly amusing (which is all it was, let’s be honest here), you will see the sequel for what it is: a drawn-out, mythology-strewn mess that has little regard for things like pacing, character, plot, or mood. Not helping matters is the fact that it was shot digitally, which makes the murky swamp look murkier (and cheaper and more ill-defined). Before the movie, a super-energetic publicist came out and said, “This will be the widest release for an unrated movie since ‘Caligula’!” Now, two things to consider: one, ‘Caligula‘ wasn’t a huge release, and the only reason it was unrated was because of the hardcore porn footage that was spliced in after-the-fact by sleazeball co-producer Bob Guccione. And two: ‘Hatchet II’ will only be available on 65 screens, largely because the producers somehow conned nationwide chain AMC to carry the movie. Oh, and a note on that whole “Unrated” thing: this movie is as tame as a kitten on YouTube. There’s very little objectionable here. ‘Piranha 3D‘ was way more outrageous, and way better. This just sucks and is boring and I hated it.

Speaking of things that are probably horrible (but I haven’t yet seen), ‘Case 39‘ is a supernatural thriller starring Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper that was shot roughly five million years ago. It was released overseas, but has been sitting on the shelf stateside ever sense. Funny story: ‘Pandorum,’ the iffy sci-fi thriller starring Dennis Quaid that came out last year, was marketed and hyped as the first English-language film by talented German director Christian Alvart. But here’s the thing – he had already directed ‘Case 39’! It just hadn’t come out yet. The movie seems to have somewhat striking images from the relatively scarce television commercials and trailers I’ve seen, but it’s hard to shake bad buzz that hums this loudly. If ‘Pandorum’ is any indication, maybe Alvart should have stuck to making movies in Germany (like his wonderful debut ‘Antibodies’). Hopefully, it’ll get creamed by ‘Let Me In.’

Also in limited release is the finance documentary ‘Freakanomics,’ based on the insanely popular nonfiction book. I missed all my screenings, but the movie is available to watch on iTunes, so I still might see it this weekend. How cool is it that the best movies of the week are not playing in the art house, but rather the multiplex? Totally cool!


  1. BostonMA

    so Drew, is ‘The Social Network’ actually a better movie than Inception in your opinion? because i remember you stating that you were “gaga” for Nolan’s latest masterpiece but now you’re acting like Fincher’s latest is thus far the best movie of the year by far.

    so what is the actual deal here?

  2. I am actually pretty excited about “Let Me In”, because I loved the Sweedish version. However, I think, at least to me, what made “Let The Right One In” great is BECAUSE it was Sweedish, took place in the dreary Artic Winter, and the fact that I got to sit two hours immersed in the story from another cultural perspective. I guess the story could work as an American movie. I’ll probably rent this when it comes out on Blu-Ray, as I hate going to the theater alone, and all my friends don’t like scary movies.

    In any case, I am pretty excited about it, I am just afraid that I will try comparing it too much to the Sweedish version to really enjoy it.

  3. Wow talk about hate for the horror films here, I saw Case39 a while back and it was pretty good, Jodelle Ferland is always a blessing to watch, that little girl has done some really creepy roles and she was the best part of the film by far but I would say that I enjoyed Pandorum more so take that for what its worth

    Hatchet II I’m driving over an hour to go see, and I’m going to have a blast with it, the first was a total blast (not just amusing, you obviously arent a big horror/slasher/gore fan) and I cant wait to have a great time with the 2nd one and all the gore and creative deaths, I still cant figure out how people think there is going to be more to these movies and then get pissed off when there isnt, I’m going to see this for exactly what it is, a cheesy slasher flick with tons of gore, some nudity and awesome ways to kill more people 🙂

  4. Oh and I have to say that I have no desire to go pay for The Social Network, while I like Fincher (Fight Club and Se7en are amazing) I’m not a fan of his more straight up drama work, when I first saw the preview for this I just really didnt care, not saying its bad but its not one that will get my cash this fall, my money is going to Hatchet II and SAW 3D, plus Buried if I can swing that one, but thats just who I am, I love my horror and I support it 🙂

  5. Drew Taylor

    Boston! I’m here! I’m sorry! I’m scatterbrained and probably hopped up on one or more dangerous prescription drug. (Ask Josh. He’s my pusher.)

    Yes, I would say that “The Social Network” is the best movie of the year, and also my favorite. There are a few X-factors going into Oscar season, which I hopefully will be documenting in some form for the site, and I’ll knock off a few by the time I’m done with the New York Film Festival (and make a stop at the Hamptons Film Festival).

    I will report back dutifully, of course. But for me, “The Social Network,” both in terms of pure artistry and also in that zeitgeist-capturing magic that so many films neglect, is the movie of the year. It’s just amazing.

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