By Katie Walsh | katiewalshwrites.com March 4, 2011 at 4:04AM
It's Friday, and we've finally shaken off the contact high we got from James Franco at the Oscars. We had to snag some uppers from Anne Hathaway just to get through the week (somehow the footage of her rehearsing the Jessie Spano "I'm so Excited" scene has yet to hit the web). Has everyone recovered from that annual weird-fest? It's like they try and make it more bizarre every year. But it's our tradition, and we have to keep watching. Thank you all for reading the liveblog, and commenting. We woke up to anxiety dreams that after the regular Oscars, there was another, completely different Oscars to liveblog. Not that we don't love it, we just get sleepy is all (wine is advised for extra viewing pleasure). But it's a new week, so let's hop right back on that horse, shall we?!
There's literally something for everyone this weekend: animated wacky fun for the kids and kids at heart, sci-fi romance for the grown ups, hard-R 80s comedy for the not-quite-grown-ups, and tween supernatural LUV for the Justin Bieber fans. "Rango," the story of a chameleon in the Wild West with the voice of Johnny Depp hits theaters; "The Adjustment Bureau" finally FINALLY gets a real release date; "Take Me Home Tonight" finds a multiplex home after waiting on the shelf for a hot minute; and Alex Pettyfer plays ugly in "Beastly." And for the art cineastes, Achipatong Weerasethakul's highly anticipated "Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives" hits in limited release. There's surely something you want to see!
We're so relieved "The Adjustment Bureau" wasn't cursed by the Debut Filmmaker Curse, or the Moved Release Dates Curse, two very strong and powerful Hollywood jinxes. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt attempt to find love despite certain universal forces keeping them apart. John Slattery and Anthony Mackie look handsome in fedoras. Our review says the sci-fi romance and directorial debut from writer George Nolfi is "a wholly entertaining and emotional engaging tale that doesn’t let the mind overwhelm the heart." Don't forget to check out the Matt Damon retrospective we ran yesterday! Rotten Tomatoes: 70% Metacritic: 58
"Rango" swaggers into theaters with a decidedly off-the-wall vibe and the matching voice talent of one Mr. Johnny Depp playing a chameleon struck by an identity crisis, supported by the voices of Abigail Breslin, Isla Fisher, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy and Ray Winstone, directed by Gore Verbinski. Our review says the film is "a sprawling, whirligig animated contraption that is oversized in every way – thematically, narratively, visually. But never does the movie feel overstuffed or manic, with long, ambient chunks of deep contemplation. In short: it’s the weirdest, most gorgeously realized animated film in recent memory." RT: 84% MC: 75
Sometimes you want fine dining, and sometimes you want fast food, like a satisfying, know-it's-bad-for-you cheesy 80s-set hard R comedy with cute boys and silly girls and even sillier boys. Here's hoping "Take Me Home Tonight" is the In-N-Out of cinematic fast food. Topher Grace wouldn't lead us astray, would he?! Also Anna Faris and "Parks and Rec" resident teddy bear Chris Pratt met on the set and now they are married AWWWWW (Must. Kill. Her). Unfortunately, our review said the movie, "misfires entirely too much, and it's about as unsure of its own strengths, goals, and intentions as its main characters are, making the entire thing a terrible drag." Darn it. RT: 35% MC: 42
Oh, "Beastly," what can be said about "Beastly"? You could not pay me enough to see this (well... everyone's got a price, but it would have to be REALLY A LOT). So Alex Pettyfer is a pretty asshole (kind of like real life, maybe, sorta?) and then some magic spell gives him gross tribal tattoo-looking scars all over his face. And Vanessa Hudgens from "High School Musical" and the upcoming "Sucker Punch" loves him anyway and he learns to be nice? I think? Retch, retch. Wake me up when "The Hunger Games" finally casts Katniss. Such a shame Neil Patrick Harris is in this. Gotta pay for those babies! RT: 18% MC: 46
Much has already been said about Achipatong Weeasethakul's "Uncle Boonmee Something Something" (typing his name makes me lose my short term memory) including that a catfish and a princess have sex. This dude's supposed to be a really good filmmaker and a lot of smart people like his movies, so go see this if you read The Playlist. Our review from Cannes says the film is "is another indescribable entry by one of cinema’s most unique voices," and that, "the picture unfolds exquisitely but requires and demands an audience willing to meet it halfway." Stretch your cinematic brains, people! This is the fine dining we were talking about before. RT: 88% MC: 90
OR you can go see "I Saw the Devil" a super violent Korean film about.... wait for it.... bet you can't guess.... REVENGE! Duh! No, but violent Korean revenge thrillers are probably my favorite microgenre, Netflix even said it. This is the newest installment from "The Good the Bad and the Weird" filmmaker Ji-Woon Kim, and is definitely worth checking out just because Korean cinema is fucking badass. Our review says it takes the kind of filmmaker Kim is "to really critique the genre and give it some depth with [a] hearty punch to the face." RT: 73% MC: 66
Also out in limited, "Happythankyoumoreplease" the debut writing/directing/starring film of Josh Radnor of "How I Met Your Mother," about a very, very underrepresented group in cinema, 20-somethings in New York City! Finally their stories of romantic strife, confusion and struggling to find their way are being told. Our review runs tomorrow, but says, "Radnor was able to stay on message, as he had wanted to create a whimsical happy go lucky flick, but let’s hope that the next time around he fights for more character and plot development instead of settling for a story and a film that is just “just kind of.”" Meh. RT: 37% MC: 48%
Also in theaters: B-horror flicks "Bereavement" RT: 57% and "Forget Me Not;" Chilean comedy "Old Cats" (sold on the title alone, wish this was a documentary!); and "Trick of the Witch" about "a group of fashion models fighting an evil witchcraft curse while stranded at a deserted mansion during a photo shoot." I only wish I had made that up, because then I would be an amazing genius. Also, "Spooner," with Matthew Lillard as a used car salesman. What happened to the "Scream" money, Matthew!?!
As for docs: "Sons of Perdition," about the cute towheaded Mormon boys who are cast out of polygamist families. :( Wanna come live with me?!