(Click the links below for Cleveland area movie tickets.)
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) presents this remake of a nearly forgotten cult 1973 TV movie of the same name. Given the sublime genre pictures del Toro has been a part of, that’s probably not a surer bet for an exhilarating night at the movies than this tale about a young girl (Bailee Madison) who is sent to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes) where she discovers a horde of shadowy creatures that that dark designs for her and her family. The presence of Holms does invoke an involuntary sneer, the appeal of director Troy Nixey’s dread filled frames and Guy Pearce’s solid track record with this kind of material have won me over.
Fun Fact: Nixey’s acclaimed and del Toro impressing short film can be seen here.
Our Idiot Brother: Paul Rudd stars as an affable and dimwitted weed fiend who tries to reconnect with his family after getting released from prison. While the Paul Rudd as a goofy stoner plot sounds appealing, the rest of the film with its Indiewood cast (Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer and Elizabeth Banks) and quirky plotting (Rudd’s character enriches and disrupts the lives of his siblings) makes it sound like a lightweight take on Kenneth Lonegran’s You Can Count on Me. You can tell from the trailer Rudd’s character will learn the value of adult responsibility in a manner not dissimilar from that of a Judd Apatow hero and you know his oddball family will be stronger after being exposed to a little bit of chaos. That means that any joy derived from the Brother will be from those brief instances where the actors manage to transcend the material long enough for you to forget you’re sitting through ninety minutes of well-worn clichés dressed in a fuzzy oversized sweater. Also starring Steve Coogan, Kathryn Hahn and Rashida Jones.
Fun Fact: The film is director Jeese Peretz’s first film since 2007’s awful The Ex.
Colombiana: The latest production French action auteur Luc Besson (The Professional), Colombiana follows Cataleya (Zoe Saldana), a professional assassin who spends her downtime hunting the vicious drug runners that slaughtered her family when she was 10 years old. The film is actually directed by Transporter 3 helmer Olivier Megaton, a French action oriented whose work to date has failed to live up to his awesome surname. The hope here is that writer/producer Besson will bring his particular brand of violent excess to the proceedings as he did with the excellent From Paris with Love and Taken. Besson has this wonderfully absurd and emotional distant sensibility that elevates his ostensibly vacuous productions to a level of post-Tarantino genre cascading that’s unlike any else in modern cinema. The only dim spot for the film is the fact Besson was unable to persuade his old leading man Jean Reno to portray Cataleya Bill. Also starring Callum Blue, Michael Vartan and Cliff Curtis.
Fun Fact: Another great thing about a Besson production, he keeps his budgets reasonable. For the price of one Green Lantern, Besson made Colombiana, From Paris with Love, Taken, and all three Transporter movies.
Mario blogs regularly at A Polemic Killer Room.