Last week Hollywood overloaded theaters with nearly half a dozen great new turkey-day releases. They have nothing left for this weekend. It’s a sad group of castoffs and leftovers which drag into cinemas this Friday. The movie industry is taking a breath before the last holiday push of the year starts in earnest. Till it does, you’re better off catching up on whatever you missed seeing over Thanksgiving.
Here's our usual look at what's opening and worth watching this Friday in theaters around the country:
Limited Releases(Opening in fewer than 500 theaters.)
With everyone still savoring over last week’s platter of Hollywood treats, it’s a dire week for Limited Releases. The only ones worth mentioning is MGM’s Two Weeks and ThinkFilm’s 10 Items Or Less. In 10 Items Morgan Freeman plays an actor who meets a quirky grocery store clerk played by the beautiful Paz Vega. Two Weeks is a comedy about four adult siblings who reunite at the home of their dying mother. Neither movie is getting great reviews, but 10 Items has Morgan Freeman and Two Weeks has Sally Fields. If you’re a fan of either, look for their films in a handful of theaters.
With so few worthy wide releases this weekend, Hollywood is taking this as an opportunity to advertise the movies they’ll be releasing later this month. Blood Diamond, the new African adventure movie from Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, and Djimon Honsou will play for a single showing in 705 theaters across the country on Saturday. The new rom-com The Holiday with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black and Jude Law gets a similar 800 theater sneak peek at the same time. Keep an eye out for them.
The Nativity Story (Opens in 3,183 theaters.)
Check the “Still In Theaters And Worth Your Time” list at the bottom of this page for the best places to spend your money this weekend, but if you’re dead set on seeing something brand new then Nativity Story is really your only choice. As you’ve probably guessed from the title it’s a religious movie, but one from a decent director with a decent enough cast. It’s not the second coming of The Passion, but it looks better than all the other religious garbage the newly devout studio system has been shoving down the Bible-thumping community’s throat. Besides, it’s nearly Christmas. If there’s ever a time to watch this kind of junk, this is it.
Turistas (Opens in 1,570 theaters.)
After a terrifying bus accident maroons a diverse group of young adventure travelers in a remote Brazilian beach town, they slowly discover that the white sand beaches and lush jungles are concealing a darker, unsettling secret. The natives want their organs! The only thing worse than Turistas is the reviews it’s getting. Kudos to Fox Atomic for having the balls to screen it for the press even though it’s a piece of shit, but seeing it for free hasn’t softened the nation’s critics.
Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj (Opens in 1,979 theaters.)
The sequel to 2002’s National Lampoon's Van Wilder does not have Ryan Reynolds in it. Not at all. Instead, he’s replaced by his assistant in the first film, Taj. Taj heads out on his own and ends up at England's prestigious Camden University to further his studies. Along the way, he adopts a group of misfits and shows the uptight student body how not to get laughs. This isn’t just a bad movie, it may be the worst movie of the year. Don’t see it, but if you do see it feel free to tear up the theater on your way out. Break some seatbacks, dump Coke on the floor. They deserve it.
STILL IN THEATERS AND WORTH YOUR TIME: Happy Feet, Casino Royale, Deja Vu, Borat, Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny, Stranger than Fiction, Bobby, The Fountain, The Queen