Are You Sitting Comfortably? Then Let’s Begin

Magical, sure, but terrible with tweezersIt’s turned out to be one of those weeks where nearly everything coming out falls directly on my head. How swell. Fortunately, there’s a surprisingly wide range of stuff opening today, and most of it is even worthwhile!

George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead“: He may be running on fumes these days, but people will still give him money to kill zombies, so here we are with a sixth chapter in the “Dead” series, featuring Kenneth Welsh in what may be the single worst performance in any Romero film ever. (And Romero worked with Richard France three times.)

The Infidel“: Omid Djalili plays an assimilated London Muslim who’s shocked to discover he was born Jewish in Josh Appignanesi’s cross-cultural farce, which doesn’t exactly break new ground comedically but does hit its marks reasonably well.

Lebanon“: Is Samuel Maoz’ subjective look at an Israeli tank crew on the first day of the Lebanon war an experimental war movie, or an experiential one? I’m not quite sure, but I know it makes for great cinema, and isn’t that all that matters?

Lottery Ticket“: Ice Cube continues to reinvent our notions of “wholesome family comedy” with this frenzied effort about a teenager (Bow Wow, no longer Li’l) who wins a massive jackpot but can’t collect it until the end of a long weekend. A very long weekend, as it turns out.

Nanny McPhee Returns“: Emma Thompson brings her magical governess back for another round of CG-enhanced kid-friendly fun. It’s not great cinema, but it works well enough while you’re watching it; my review should be up on the NOW site later today.

“Piranha 3D”: No advance screenings for Alexandre Aja’s souped-up remake of the Joe Dante classic. This either means it’s terrible, or the studio doesn’t know what to do with it. Given that the cast includes intriguingly ironic leading man Adam Scott and hardened aquatic survivor Richard Dreyfuss, I’m hoping for the latter.

The Switch“: Look, you can spin almost any subject matter for comedy — think of “The Producers”, or “There’s Something About Mary”, or “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”. But you have to know what you’re doing, and this movie — starring Jason Bateman as (literally) a jerkoff who sabotages his best friend’s pregnancy by substituting his own sperm for her chosen donor’s — decidedly does not.

There, that’s everything. Well, almost; there’s a four-hour Japanese movie called “Love Exposure” playing at the Japanese Cultural Centre tomorrow night, about which I am writing for today’s NOW Daily column. I’ll post a link as soon as it goes up (UPDATE: Linked!), but if you want the short version? I’ve never seen anything like it, and it is spectacularly crazy. So that’s good, right?