July is giving way to August, and I can see the top of the rollercoaster just ahead; it won’t be long before the Toronto film festival completely takes over my life. But before we can get to that, we have to deal with a couple of very crowded weeks of releases — seriously, the 7th and the 14th are just insane with theatrical openings. I don’t know what the distributors are thinking, honestly.
Today, though, it’s positively placid out there, with only four films opening:
“Aliens in the Attic”: A bunch of kids are the world’s only hope when adorable CG aliens stage an invasion in their attic. Apparently one of the “High School Musical” cast is in this, so it will make money. No press screening, so no opening-day reviews. Darn.
“Fifty Dead Men Walking“: Kari Skogland’s IRA thriller is well-constructed, occasionally exciting, and utterly soulless. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work, exactly, but it’s awfully hollow inside.
“Funny People”: Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen team up for Judd Apatow’s latest directorial effort, which is apparently a little more serious than “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up”. (It’s also two and a half hours long.) My hosting duties at Harbourfront prevented me from making the press screening; Rad and Adam were there, and their responses were mixed.
“Shrink“: Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write: Jonas Pate’s twinkly multicharacter story of sad sacks in Los Angeles is watchable and well-assembled, buoyed by strong performances from Kevin Spacey and Robin Williams. Never lose your capacity to be surprised, kids.
And that’s the week in movies. I must now dive into next week’s deadlines — because there are a lot of them, and the clock is ticking.