Movies in Theaters on May 13, 2011
Summer 2011 is officially off to a roaring start with the (mostly) thunderous debut of last weekend's Thor. This weekend looks to be a mixed bag, with Paul Bettany kicking ass for the Lord, Joseph Gordon-Levitt working his indie magic, Kristen Wiig taking the girls out for drunken debauchery (and probably touching revelations) and Will Ferrell going the "serious comedy" route.
This kind of looks like Underworld meets Constantine meets Jonah Hex meets Blade Runner meets, I dunno, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, too, maybe, why not? -- in other words, a big, sprawling, confused and expensive mess. Poor Paul Bettany -- no one can do "tortured by religion" quite like him, having played a self-flogging cuckoo bird in The Da Vinci Code and now a man of the cloth looking to reign holy hell upon the creatures of the night that kidnapped his niece. This derivative silliness based on a comic book no one really cares about will probably prove to be dead on arrival... which is a bit of a shame, considering the impressive (and rather strange) supporting cast: Christopher Plummer, Maggie Q, Lily Collins, Karl Urban and Brad Dourif.
Yeah, it basically looks like The Hangover with chicks, but The Hangover is funny, and the cast of this movie -- led by the tireless Kristen Wiig -- looks to be pretty funny, so really, what's the problem? We're just surprised it took someone this long to come up with a female variation on all the man-child raunch fests of the past few years... and here's hoping that Bridesmaids dares to go even further with the decadence, debauchery and dirty deeds done dirt cheap (here's hoping that the AC/DC song that's played so proudly over the trailer is indeed proclaiming what's to come). And what's up with Rose Byrne? She's the female equivalent of John C. Reilly (though about a hundred times better looking), realizing that "serious" movies are nice and all but comedies pay the bills a bit better.
We love us that Joseph Gordon-Levitt fella, whether he's bringing some extra class to a big-budget Hollywood movie like Inception or gracing small indie films like this one. Hesher finds the Mysterious Skin and Brick star as an anarchist metal-head who somehow ends up helping the 13-year-old son cope with the recent death of his mother. We guarantee this will be ten times more entertaining and engaging than Priest -- and with less than one-tenth the budget, at that (yeah, yeah, a cheap shot, but still). Natalie Portman's in this, too, simply because Natalie's in every other movie that comes out lately.
This isn't new territory for Will Ferrell, as some would claim -- he's done weirdo dark comedy/drama before, to varying levels of "weird" (Stranger Than Fiction) and "dark" (Winter Passing). And he delivered fine performances in both of those movies -- they were enough off the beaten Ferrell path to take notice of his potential range but enough in his comfort zone to ensure he didn't have to work too hard (a la Jim Carrey in both The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Everything Must Go looks to be a similar case of "Let's give this a shot," as Ferrell plays a man who loses his job and gets kicked out by his wife all in the same morning, which prompts him to set up camp on his front lawn with all of his possessions. Ferrell is usually welcome company, no matter the scerario, and Everything Must Go looks to be a quiet, melancholy and, yes, funny little flick.