Extract: Could it be that a Mike Judge movie isn’t getting a total screwjob from its studio? After Fox mismarketed Office Space in ’99 and gave Idiocracy only a cursory regional release in ’06, Miramax has Extract going out on several thousand screens this weekend. I wonder if the Weinsteins are pissed that they didn’t stick at Miramax long enough to recut, shelve, and regionally release a Mike Judge picture. New Miramax is still releasing Extract on Labor Day weekend (the site of Idiocracy‘s ’06 dump!) which would look like a warning sign for most movies. For Judge, though, this qualified as a professional triumph as soon as the word “releasing” entered into the picture; “and not in January, either” is presumably gravy. Anyway, the movie looks kinda funny, even as the trailers keep it vague: Jason Bateman plays the manager of an extract factory, Kristen Wiig plays his sweatpants-clad wife, Ben Affleck is his stoner goof of a friend, stuff happens or whatever. I assume it has one of those Mike Judge plots that’s a lot of well-observed set-up and kind of wandering follow-through, and as such I’m looking forward to it.
Gamer: We may not be graced with a Jason Statham smashorama this Labor Day, as the holiday traditionally dictates, but we do have the new movie from the creators of Crank and Crank: High Voltage. In Neveldine/Taylor’s first non-Crank directing venture, they pump up their videogame fixation with a futuristic role-playing game where you can control actual people (and yet this is called neither Surrogates nor Avatar; do you think the three movies drew straws on those titles?). Gerard Butler is the guy getting played and must, I’m sure, go rogue at some point and kill different people than the ones he’s programmed to kill. For a Neveldine/Taylor picture, Gamer looks unusually subdued, more Death Race remake than, you know, movie where lead character gains strength from being tasered and does battle with a severed head. Did the boys calm down, or is Lionsgate mindful of Crank: High Voltage not so much catching on with society’s sense of decency or whatever? I’ll go and find out, but if Gamer starred Statham instead of ol’ potato-face, I’d be approximately one thousand times more excited to do so.
All About Steve: I imagine Fox could score some incidental cash off this long-delayed Sandra Bullock movie, which just lucked itself into becoming her follow-up to massive hit The Proposal. I can’t see this movie because I never saw The Proposal, and in the battle of smarmy second-tier actors someone is desperate to turn into a quasi-bankable leading man and/or Green Lantern, Ryan Reynolds wins over Bradley Cooper every time. Also, have you seen the trailer? This movie looks insanely bad, even for Bullock.
Carriers: The Paramount Vantage firesale continues; I guess in addition to be a defunct arthouse arm of a big studio, they’re also a defunct genre arm of that same big studio. I’ve heard of this movie but I’ve never seen a trailer for it or anything, so I’m going to go ahead and faux-liveblog my reactions as I watch it for the first time:
00:05: Hey, that’s Baby Captain Kirk! Not the child actor, the one who was in Just My Luck.
00:06: And that looks like Rachel McAdams! But almost assuredly is not!
00:11: Some people in a car are blocking another car. Is this one of those hillbilly ambush movies? Wait, a little girl has a surgical mask; I guess it’s some kind of plague movie. I wonder if it’s a zombie plague.
00:21: Oh, OK, it’s Piper Perabo. No zombies so far.
00:24: Paramount Vantage logo! Hey, aren’t they a defunct arthouse arm of a big studio?
00:33: This definitely looks like a regular horror plague, not a zombie horror plague. Lil’ Kirk is laying out some rules about assuming people are infected and disinfecting everything you touch. He sounds a little like Tobey Maguire.
00:59: A few shots of rustling bodies and zombie-looking eyes that are probably intended to imply that this might maybe be a zombie movie. Lots of arguing about what to do with infected people.
01: 45: OK, 28 Days Later without the zombies, got it! Happy Labor Day, everybody!