The Friday before the Oscars means that everyone’s busy writing thumbsuckers about the awards — myself included — and no one’s paying attention to the weekend’s new movies. Which is just as well, I guess, because this is not the best of weeks.
“The Astronaut Farmer“: Texas dreamer Billy Bob Thornton builds a rocket in his barn, and people think he’s crazy. Art-house directors Mark and Michael Polish update Frank Capra for the present day, and people think they’re crazy, too. But Thornton’s pretty good.
“Days of Glory“: The original French title, “Indigenes”, is much more appropriate for Rachid Bouchareb’s dour tale of North Africans who fought for their colonial motherland in World War II, only to be treated as second-class citizens … but the English title sounds more like something that could win Best Foreign-Language Film, doesn’t it?
“Iraq in Fragments“: James Longley took his DV cameras to Iraq in 2004, and shot some incredible footage. Then he sort of mucked it all up by being an impressionist instead of a documentarian. But as a portrait of an occupied nation trying to figure out where it’s headed, it’s occasionally fascinating.
“The Number 23“: In which Jim Carrey is driven insane by math, and possibly also by Joel Schumacher’s inability to compensate for a crappy screenplay. (Hey, he made “The Lost Boys” fun.) I am not expecting to see a critical re-evaluation of Schumacher any time soon, though one could argue that this is his “Vertigo”. If one were very, very high.
“Reno 911! Miami” wasn’t screened in time for opening-day reviews, so I’ll be catching it later this afternoon. I’m quite fond of the show — despite loathing everything else Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant have created since they started writing movies — so here’s hoping the movie works, too.
Oh, and “Wild Hogs” is sneaking on Saturday night. Just punch yourself in the face instead. It has the same effect, it doesn’t take 99 minutes, and you save twelve bucks plus parking.