Friday, April 1, 2011

The Weekend Report: Foolish "Hop"-timism

No elaborate or amateur pranks for you guys today, because I am only capable of the latter and too self-conscious to do something so depraved. What I can tell you for sure, and this is sadly not a joke, is that Hop will almost certainly make it out at the top of the box office. I'm sure it would be an easier sell if it had the added bonus of 3D, but it's already got a needy and optimistic target audience locked in. Children are clueless and predictable, and I loathe the idea that I may one day have to be hauled into this kind of film with them one day. The idiocy here exceeds the relatively modest standards of Alvin and the Chipmunks, so I'll be checking in for more intellectual fare.

Source Code is the second big-ticket feature this weekend, and for once I'm relatively confident that I'll have a great time with this film. It's got a more than talent cast that features not only Jake Gyllenhaal, a man who has had some less than inspiring features over the past year, but also Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright. Everything about screams as an intelligent sci-fi action piece, more low-key and less grand-scale than Inception, but enticing nonetheless. This is the film I'd like to see come out on top this weekend, but I doubt that audiences will be smart enough to take the gamble on original material like this.

The rest is a festival of uncertainty and detectable crap, both on the limited and wide release scale. Insidious has received mixed reviews, mostly from people who roll their eyes at its typical horror plotline. The King's Speech*, a somewhat great and inspiring feature over the past few months, is getting an less than encouraged PG-13 release in order to ensnare "family audiences". I guess winning the Oscar and earning over $100 million doesn't get you out of censorship in this day and age. On the limited market, Super arrived to mixed reviews, which could mean that it's a love it or hate it affair, but one can't be sure. I can offer a mild suggestion towards In a Better World, this year's Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, but I'm somewhat held back in this case.

*A good film, but if you haven't seen it yet, wait for the R-rated version to reach DVD. The PG-13 version is a poor decision.

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