Saturday, September 26, 2009

Is this, indeed, the single worst movie weekend of the year?

You know, I finally got around to watching the series premiere of ABC's "Flash Forward" last night, and it was excellent. It certainly was annoying how fast everyone seemed to figure out what had happened to them, but it has several potentially interesting stories going forward along with the big mystery.

"Dollhouse," also, was much improved over last year, and with Salisbury, Md., native and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" vet Alexis Denisof most likely the big bad this year, I'm definitely gonna keep watching. Here today, however, its not about TV, but about just how wretchedly bad this weekend's slate of movies is out here in wide release land.

In my actual paying job, I lay out the Friday entertainment section each week for The Telegraph, and I usually look for the movie reviews on Tuesday afternoon. That early in the week usually means Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel, since he works faster than anyone else we have access to, and that's just fine with me, because he's really good.

This week, however, I waited until midday Wednesday, and still, none of the three movies opening this week - "Fame," "Pandorum" or "Surrogates" - had been reviewed. Never a good sign, and only the second time this year we had to go with no reviews (the other one is listed below.)

So, does that make this the single worst movie of the year? Well, it's gotta be close, at least in the category of offering movies I have any interest in seeing. From what I've now heard, "Fame" - even if you, like me, generally like musicals - is nothing but bland, "Surrogates" gives away all its mystery in the opening act and, as for "Pandorum," I've still heard nothing at all about that one.

It all got me to thinking, and though this is quite far from a scientific study, here are my nominees for the six worst movie weekends so far this year, in only chronological order, but I'll crown a winner at the end.

Jan. 9:
"Bride Wars"
"Not Easily Broken"
"The Unborn"

"Bride Wars" just looked like a thoroughly hateful little piece of junk, and I take my Tyler Perry straight up, not cloned, so it was easy to just say no to this weekend.

Jan. 23:
"Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans"

Having barely managed to sit through the latest "Mummy" installment I just couldn't take any Brendan Fraser family fare, and I just have no idea what a Lycan is, so couldn't see jumping into the "Underworld" realm at this point.

Feb. 27:
"Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience"
"Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li"

This was the only other weekend of the year when nothing got reviewed in advance, and I can see why. I've made it this far in life without seeing any movies based on video games, and I think I can keep that streak going just fine, thank you.

March 13:
"The Last House on the Left"
"Miss March"
"Race to Witch Mountain"

I haven't been able to smell what the Rock's been cooking on the big screen for - well - just about ever.

July 24:
"The Ugly Truth"

I know I'm just not the audience for "G-Force," which made a ton of money with the kiddies, but I just can't stand to even look at Katherine Heigl at this point, even though she is a stunningly beautiful woman. I did, however, enjoy seeing all the histrionics about making an orphan the villain in a silly little "horror" movie.

And finally, this weekend.

And the winner is: Feb. 27, with Street Fighter and the Jonas Brothers, though this weekend was certainly in the running.

Take heart, however, because good things are surely on the way. Next week we get both Drew Barrymore's "Whip It," starring young Ellen Page, and Ricky Gervais' "The Invention of Lying." (By the way, I hear tell that Gervais made the big "lie" for his flick the existence of God, so it should be fun to see just how that goes down.) And two weeks after that, the big one for me, Spike Jonze's "Where the Wild Things Are," which I think I'll actually drive to Atlanta to watch in glorious Imax.

And this weekend? I still can't decide if I'll take a chance on "Jennifer's Body" or not, but I do know that at some point, I'll be watching Spike Lee's "Passing Strange," which is available on my cable box on demand. A good Spike Lee movie? It's been a while, so I'm really looking forward to this one. Please feel free to let me know if any of the movies I've dismissed without seeing them above are actually any good, and have a great weekend. Peace out.

P.S.: I really don't have much of a taste for apocalyptic movies, but I used to really love the Hughes Brothers, so wish them nothing but success with "The Book of Eli," their upcoming return to the big screen after a very long time off. Here's the second trailer for the flick, which stars Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis, and is set to come out in January.


Chalupa said...

A Serious Man is released Oct 2. That should be something to look forward to

jeremy said...

Yeah Keith! You keep forgetting the Coens!

Reel Fanatic said...

You're both certainly right for calling me out .. My only possible pathetic excuses are that I write this so early in the morning, plus that I really don't think I'm gonna get the new Coens flick out in my little burb ... I certainly hope I'm wrong, though!