I know, I drag one of these Hostess ads out with each new Marvel movie. Can’t help it.

Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy summer.

On a brighter note, check out what else is Now Playing. There’s still some great stuff out there.

  • Thor (** 1/2). This summer is lousy with superhero flicks and if they’re all like Thor, then may the gods help us. You know the drill: Thor wants to be king but he’s an arrogant, impatient asshole so dad Odin banishes him to earth, powerless, where he must learn a little humility before he can once again wield the mighty hammer Mjolnir. There he falls in love with human Jane Foster while, back at Asgard, Thor’s stepbrother Loki is up to mischief between the Asgardians and the Frost Giants. The fates of Asgard and Earth hang in the balance! Got all that? Great. So, besides being incredibly dull, Asgard looks like some kind of fruity new age space disco. I kept waiting for a unicorn or the band Styx to pop up on risers with an epic synthesizer solo and some lasers. Chunks of the Earth stuff are occasionally entertaining – the business between Thor and his disbelieving human rescuers is charming – but it keeps coming to a screeching halt with all of this boring S.H.I.E.L.D. business because, don’t forget, Thor is just more nerd foreplay for the upcoming Avengers movie. By the way, who the hell casts Idris Elba in an action movie and then has him just standing there for 90% of the story wearing some dorky gold armor looking like a stooge? The same person who’d cast Rene Russo and then give her absolutely nothing to do, I suppose. Oh and don’t even get me started on the shitty CGI. Wait, there was one good part: Tom Hiddleston as Loki. I was actually rooting for him to kick Thor’s ass. I could maybe get behind Loki: The Movie. Barring that, someone needs to rescue summer movies from the tyranny of nerdkind, pronto. Who’s going to make summer fun again? Chris Hemsworth is Thor. Natalie Portman is Jane. Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard and Anthony Hopkins co-star. (Wide)
  • Hobo with a Shotgun (no stars). Movies like this are review proof, which is good because I stopped paying attention to this phony exploitation picture half way through and can’t really write an honest review of it. I even tried watching it twice – once with alcohol. Suffice it to say, I hated it but I’ll allow that maybe the second half was so amazing that I’m just not giving the movie a fair chance. Ok, not really. Based on a prize-winning fake trailer inspired by the trailers sandwiched between Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse features, Hobo with a Shotgun is a greasy, lurid revenge picture that might have come out of Troma in its Toxic Avenger heyday. It’s one of those movies that dares you to dislike it for being poorly made and identifies you as a humorless twat if you don’t enjoy the ride. Besides ample shlocky violence and headache-inducingly stupid dialogue like “She’s so hot, I want to cut off my dick and rub it on her tits,” the main drawing card here is the great Rutger Hauer. As you’ve learned to expect from the man, he leans into his role as a vengeance dealing hobo with a gusto that occasionally threatens to elevate this soggy turd out of the toilet bowl. Unfortunately, it’s never for long and then we’re right back in the shit. Look, I can get behind the idea of a Troma-style revenge picture with Rutger Hauer defending a hooker with a heart of gold from a town populated by a bunch of psychotic morons, but the execution in this case is just an ugly, punishing waste of time. The beauty of real exploitation pictures is that they’re not made ironically. If there is irony, it’s supplied by the audience. Not so with Hobo. With a wink and a smirk, Jason Eisner appears to have set out to make a shitty movie and he’s succeeded in every way. Judging by the mostly admiring reviews from critics high and low however, I’m pretty much alone in being unable to get into the spirit with which Hobo with a Shotgun was intended. Your results, as always, may vary. (Limited theatrical and VOD)

  • Daydream Nation (** 1/2) Kat Dennings is an angsty teen grieving the death of her mother. Worse still, she’s been uprooted from the big city to a boring small town. Surrounded by a bunch of dopey guys who don’t know Atom Egoyan from Adam Ant, she falls for hot teacher Josh Lucas who quickly caves in to her underage charms. Just for kicks, there’s a serial killer menacing the town. It’s nicely photographed and features a pleasant indie soundtrack, but Dennings’ character is kind of unbearable. Plus she’s made smart in that way teens are smart when their lines have been written by a 20 or 30-something. The Twilight crowd might find Daydream Nation appealing, but not me. (Review) (NY, LA)
  • The Beaver. Tongues wagged and eyebrows raised at news Mel Gibson would be playing a man who works through his emotional problems by way of a hand held beaver puppet. Judging by the trailer and the reviews, the final result is a lot less crazy and a lot more touchy feely than anyone expected. If the hoots of derisive laughter that have greeted the trailer every time I’ve seen it with an audience are typical however, this one isn’t going to attract many people beyond the curious and/or hard core Gibson fans. Jodie Foster directs and co-stars. Also with Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence. (Limited. Expands 5/20)
  • The People vs. George Lucas. The only things I can think of more boring right now than George Lucas are nerds crying about Lucas raping their childhoods. A doc about both sides of the Lucas good/evil question might open an interesting window on popular culture, but… eh.  (NY. LA 5/13)
  • Something Borrowed. An attempt to shake up the formula of the usual terrible Kate Hudson rom-com by making her the bitch. Ginnifer Goodwin takes the good girl part as a woman who had a crush on a law school friend, never acted upon it and now faces having the guy marry her bitch of a best friend (Hudson). Likable John Krasinski plays Goodwin’s confidante. Care to put money on whether he harbors a secret crush on Goodwin? (Wide)
  • Jumping the Broom. A timeworn setup involving two families from opposite sides of tracks thrown together for a wedding. Angela Bassett, Paula Patton, Mike Epps, Loretta Devine and Meagan Good star. (Wide)
  • There Be Dragons. Wes Bentley travels to Spain to research Josemaria Escriva, founder of Catholic organization Opus Dei, made infamous in the Dan Brown slog The Da Vinci Code. There he discovers that his father grew up with Escriva, except pops isn’t talking. Mystery! Drama! Somehow Olga Kurylenko fits into all this. Sex!   (Limited)
  • An Invisible Sign. This movie asks you to believe that Jessica Alba is a shy loner. As a kid, the joy of mathematics helped her through difficult times. As a 20-something, she now teaches math to kids and realizes it can help them with their problems too. I’m sure the movie is well-intended and I tried my best to make it sound un-terrible. I tried,  but I failed. Chris Messina (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) co-stars. (Limited)
  • Forks Over Knives. What if most degenerative diseases could be controlled or cured by not eating animal products or processed foods? I don’t know, but you’ll have to let me know how that works out. Now if you’ll excuse me, I smell bacon. (Limited)
  • I’m Not Jesus Mommy. Well, I guess you really can’t help me turning this water into wine then, can you? Horror flick about a woman who turns to human cloning to solve her little “can’t have children” problem. All is swell until weird shit starts happening around the kid and she finds out that her son was cloned with DNA taken from the Shroud of Turin. I shit you not. (Limited)
  • Last Night. Marital drama about a couple (Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington) who are each confronted with someone to whom they are attracted while spending the night apart. Will one of them give into temptation? Eva Mendes and Guillaume Canet play the objects of desire. (Limited)
  • Octubre. Trying to summarize this thing gave me a goddamn headache and the official synopsis not only name drops Jarmusch, Kaurismaki and Bresson, it’s probably longer than the movie itself. It could well be a wonderful movie, but art house stuff like this is Weekend Forecast murder when I haven’t seen it. (Limited)
  • Passion Play. How do you go wrong with Mickey Rourke, Bill Murray, Rhys Ifans and Kelly Lynch and cinematography by Christopher Doyle? Well you start by adding cinematic buzz kill Megan Fox. After that, I don’t know, but Mitch Glazer appears to have erred terribly if the 0% Tomato Rating is to be trusted (surely we can count on Armond White to mess up the perfect score?) Rourke is a broken down jazz musician on the run from gangster Bill Murray. Fox plays a carnival performer, “The Bird Woman,” who actually has wings. Ifans is her carny boss. Actually this sounds too terrible to miss.  (Limited)
  • The Silent House. The conceit of this Uruguayan haunted house flick (besides the fact that it’s Uruguayan) is that it was filmed in one continuous 78 minute shot. Debuted at Cannes in 2010. Elizabeth Olsen stars. (Limited)
  • The Vintner’s Luck. Niki (Whale Rider) Caro’s latest starring Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider), Dardennes Brothers favorite Jeremie Renier and Vera Farmiga got clobbered by the trade critics at Toronto in 2009, but here it’s finally getting a stateside release. Truth be told I’m not 100% sure if this one is even opening today or not. It was originally scheduled, but there’s no mention of screenings on Moviefone. Just in case, here’s the official blurb: “The passionate tale of Sobran Jodeau, an ambitious young peasant winemaker and the three loves of his life – his beautiful wife Celeste, the proudly intellectual baroness Aurora de Valday and Xas, an angel who strikes up an unlikely but enduring friendship. Under his guidance Sobran is forced to fathom the nature of love and belief and in the process grapples with the sensual, the sacred and the profane – in pursuit of the perfect vintage.” (Limited)
  • Caterpillar. Based on a banned short story by Edogawa Rampo, soft core pinku eiga director Koji Wakamatsu’s Caterpillar won the Golden Bear at Berlin in 2010. In the months and years following the Second Sino-Japanese War, a wife feels duty bound to continue tending to the sexual needs of her war hero husband who has returned from combat horribly scarred and missing his limbs.  (NY)
  • The Colors of the Mountain. I’m including this one because my friend Chuck gave it a positive review at Slant. Here’s the official blurbage from Film Movement: “Young Manuel lives with his hard-working farmer parents in the remote, mountainous region of the Colombian countryside. While the adults in their lives try to avoid both the armed military and the guerrilla rebels fighting each other in the area, Manuel and his friend Julian are obsessed with playing soccer any chance they get. Shortly after his birthday, the new ball Manuel received as a gift gets kicked off to a minefield, and he, Julian and their albino friend Poca Luz will do everything in their power to recover their prized belonging, an essential part of their everyday lives and dreams.” (NY)
  • Harvest. This Weekend Forecast was exhausting so I’m going to have to cut to the official blurb one more time: “Gathered one summer in a beautiful shoreline town, three generations are drawn together by their patriarch, played by Oscar Nominee Robert Loggia. With endearing moments of humor and uplifting spirit, Harvest is a portrait of a family awkwardly yet delicately hanging on to what was, what now is, and to one another. A superb ensemble cast, including Tony Winner Victoria Clark, Arye Gross, newcomer Jack Carpenter and also featuring Oscar Nominee Barbara Barrie tugs on heartstrings and reminds us of a love that can weather all storms in this poignant yet amusing story. Harvest brings to mind how we all come of age, in our own stumbling yet loving ways, often again and again.” And there you have it. (NY)

 

2 Responses to “Weekend Forecast: Thor’s a thnore”

  1. I’m out at Mom’s this weekend to celebrate Mother’s Day of course. We’re planning on seeing The Conspirator, which is playing in our favorite art house theater in the next town over.

  2. The Conspirator is better than any of the new openings, that’s for sure.

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