Just a handful of movies opening this weekend, with the Angelina Jolie thriller “Salt” looking set to dominate … unless “Inception” succeeds in drawing audiences back for another look, of course. (Word of mouth could also pull in a few million bucks’ worth of business from those who sat out the first weekend.)
Anyway, here’s what’s on today’s megaplex menu:
“Gasland“: Feel like experiencing profound environmental dread, with a couple of laughs mixed in? Josh Fox’ antic, appropriately outraged documentary about the toxic downside of hydraulic fracking — a hit at Hot Docs, and screened at the Toronto Underground Cinema last month — gets a proper theatrical berth at the Royal.
“House“: I see an awful lot of movies, and let me say with no exaggeration that Nobuhiko Obayashi’s haunted-house picture is one of the most unique, crazy-assed things I’ve ever experienced. I’m very happy that Janus Films is giving it a chance to infect big-screen crowds with its particular madness before the Halloween DVD/BD release slips it into people’s homes, Ringu-style. Banana! Banana!
“Ramona and Beezus“: Beverly Cleary’s young-adult books are gently updated for present-day audiences in this surprisingly sweet and engaging film, which weaves a couple of genuinely moving subplots which Joey King’s Ramona must negotiate between knocking stuff over. And if you don’t have kids, you can still enjoy the tender love story between Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Duhamel. Where the hell did that come from?
“Salt”: Angelina Jolie does the “No Way Out” thing as a CIA agent who goes on the run — to clear her name? To protect a secret? — after she’s fingered as a Russian plant. No reviews yet, but seeing Philip Noyce’s name in the director’s box gets my hopes up.
Seriously, that’s it. Two studio pictures, two rep premieres, and nothin’ else. Which is just as well, since the arrival of Mystery Dog took up all my spare time this week anyway. He’s still here, by the way, so if you know anyone who’s missing a really sweet-natured beagle mix, please pass along their contact information.