Theater Watch: 2007-09-21

by Paul William Tenny

ce-cellphone.jpgThere are three big debuts plus one high-quality expansion this weekend if you're looking to get out of the house and be seriously gouged by greedy theater chains, annoyed by inconsiderate compatriots and their evil cell phones which human beings cannot biologically survive without having turned on at all times. For the record, I've never owned one in my life, and I'm doing just fine. The only two times I've had a car break down, I simply walked to a pay phone. I crashed once, and walked across the road and humbly asked if I could enter another persons home to use their phone. My car, ass-end up in the air, sitting in a ditch, was a pretty good indication that I no foul and devious plots were afoot.

Yeah, so, I'll shutup now and tell you about the flicks opening this weekend, beginning with..
The opening most likely to score the top stop in this weekends blood sport is the third (and perhaps final) film in the Resident Evil trilogy, called Extinction. Milla Jovovich is back, and she's not the only hero in this flick to fight the dead in a post-apocalyptic world entirely of the imagination of Paul W. S. Anderson. The first film bared only casual resemblance to the game, while the second was pretty much made up from scratch. The third..might as well qualify as an original screenplay.

Why people even bother adapting games into films when they are just going to make it all up anyway is beyond me. It'd be a lot cheaper to not have to license the games rights, you won't piss off the built-in fanbase you're screwing with, and you won't feel artificially constrained creatively. I know a little something about the difference between stories that work in games, and stories that work in film, and the differences between the two properties cannot be explained by these necessities.

Still, a lot of people liked the first one, thought the second one was OK, and will probably see the third just because. I don't begrudge them, though I think their money would be better spent on a better film by artists than that. Resident Evil Extinction is opening in 2800+ theaters so you shouldn't have any problem finding a screening, as it is the major opening this weekend.

Of the other 2.5 choices, you've got a romantic comedy in Good Luck Chuck from Lionsgate in 2600+ theaters that stars Jessica Alba and Dane cook (you've seen trailers for this with Alba constantly running into things), Sydney White as another comedy from Universal in 2100+ theaters, and the expansion of David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises.

Promises is expanding this weekend into 1400 theaters and looks to be a fantastic film, probably one of Cronenberg's best. Viggo Mortensen stars and the film has been scored by the always great Howard Shore. This is, essentially, a Russian mob drama, one that has been very well received.

Your best bet this weekend is: Eastern Promises


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