It's another big week at the cinema, especially for me who heralds the opening of a Oliver Stone movie as an event. And, given the subject matter and the leaning my politics (which I won't get into here) W. is tops on my list -- and indeed I saw it yesterday and am in the midst of reviewing it for WIXPIX II. Some people think that releasing this movie while the man is still in office is wrong, but I think that it works to the movie's advantage, and really sells the theme of the film. The theater at the Grove was packed yesterday for an early afternoon matinee, and the comments afterward were what you'd expect from a "Blue State" and upwardly mobile area stronghold like West L.A. I'd love to see this now with a Republican, regular "joe" crowd and see what the reaction is there. Needless to say, I loved the film and as always, Stone is on his game (well...ALEXANDER was abysmal so maybe not ALWAYS on his game). This may be one of those films that gets better over time, which I found was the case with NIXON in that the more I viewed it, the higher my opinion of it went. Given the economic crisis at the moment, I have been thinking of revisiting Stone's WALL STREET.
Art Linson's book adaptation WHAT JUST HAPPENED? starring Robert De Niro and directed by Barry Levinson also makes an appearance in limited release this week. I wonder if this does well could film adaptations of Lynda Obst's HELLO, HE LIED or Julia Phillip's YOU'LL NEVER EAT LUNCH IN THIS TOWN AGAIN be too far behind?
Also out this week -- MAX PAYNE with Mark Wahlberg based on a video game, SEX DRIVE a SUPERBAD wannabe (with an amusing trailer), MORNING LIGHT, a Disney documentary and THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES with Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah.
So the question becomes, will the Chihuahua still rule the box office this weekend? If by chance the film is dethroned, Disney need not worry because next week sees the release of HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3, and with how popular the first 2 were on cable and in DVD sales, it is likely the Tween market will be out in full force to put it at #1. Also next week, Clint Eastwood's well reviewed and much anticipated THE CHANGELING.
As always, titles and dates are subject to change.
Max Payne (Dir: John Moore; 20th Century Fox)
Morning Light [Limited release] (Dir: Paul Crowder, Mark Monroe; Walt Disney)
The Secret Life of Bees (Dir: Gina Prince-Bythewood; Fox Searchlight)
Sex Drive (Dir: Sean Anders; Summit Distribution)
W. (Dir: Oliver Stone; 20th Century Fox)
What Just Happened? [Limited release] (Dir: Barry Levinson; Magnolia Pictures)