Obsessed: If you asked me, point blank, right now, which of this weekend’s movies I actually feel the most willing to sit down and watch, it would probably be this one. Sad indicator of late-April doldrums or sad indicator of my Beyonce fandom? You be the judge. Ms. Knowles actually gave her first real-deal performance in Cadillac Records, but I’m guessing this isn’t exactly a spiritual sister to that one. A dolled-up cousin to The Single White Female That Rocks the Attraction, though? Yes, it does appear to be that. I can’t explain why the idea of seeing this awful-looking movie is vaguely acceptable to me, except that I like the idea of Beyonce and Ali Larter fighting through cheesy thriller escalation (and even that, I suspect, is more of a two-minute sequence that’s being made to look like half the movie). Plus, someone will finally punish Idiris Elba for being so mean to everyone on The Office!
Fighting: Exploitation for the ladies, exploitation for the gents, and who’s to say which is which. Is (comically named) Fighting — which will presumably feature one (comically named) Channing Tatum shirtless for long stretches — one for the gals, or is it a testosterone-pumped guy movie with fists instead of cars? Actually, the same can be asked of Obsessed, which is either a fantasy catfight or a thriller about using your womanly instincts to defend your man. It’s a great weekend for terrible dates.
The Soloist: Poor The Soloist. Once thought to be a legit Oscar contender, what with solid middlebrow technician Joe Wright helming awards darling (remember?!) Jamie Foxx and newly resurgent Robert Downey Jr. in a touching true story and all, the movie got hustled out of November and into April, which means someone at some level of power didn’t think it had the goods. In other words, DreamWorks thought they had a better shot at getting Downey’s nomination via Tropic Thunder — and they appear to have been correct, delighting me to no end. April has gained some respectability as a new-release month over the past few years, but there’s no mistaking that this former prestige project is now jostling for pre-summer box-office scraps with the likes of Obsessed and Fighting. And: may actually lose. I’d feel even more sympathy if I hadn’t seen the trailer for this movie, no joke, somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-five times over the past year. The benefit of the doubt that I’d be willing to grant Downey and Wright has been killed and then overkilled by that epic-length preview — which I swear repeats the same emotional sum-up monologue from Downey at least once, if not eight times.
Earth: Snooze, another biopic!
The Informers: Once more to the Bret Easton Ellis well; from the sound of the Sundance screenings, this will be more Rules of Attraction than American Psycho, and I don’t mean to make that sound like an endorsement because apparently some people out there really like the movie version of Rules of Attraction — in which case this frayed-strands-of-heedlessly-shallow-idiots will be just the quasi-self-aware ticket.
The Mutant Chronicles: I am truly and unduly confused by any property that uses the word “mutant” but has no relation to the X-Men, especially when paired with an extremely X-Men-ish word like “chronicles.”
The last weekend of April is somewhat less of a dumping ground for indie distributors; some use it to try to get a jump-start on the alternative-to-summer programming. To that end, check out the L’s reviews of Tyson, Tireless Mountain, and Il Divo.