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Tonight In Theaters - King of Kong, Superbad and More!
The way I see it, documentaries succeed in one of two ways. The first: deal with a terrifying, real subject matter ("One Day in September", "Jesus Camp"). Express it in a matter-of-fact way that both frightens and informs the viewer. The second: Find a genre/subject that is so outlandish ("American Movie", "Spellbound") that all you need to do is turn on the camera and capture the unintentional hilarity. The hitch is, you need to have AMAZING characters who don't realize how funny they really are. A few weeks ago we had the former with "The Ghosts of City Soleil", this weekend we get the latter with...
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters - If the title isn't enough to make you want to see this film, I don't know what to tell you. Think UFC, but with more joysticks and less physical violence. But make no mistake, this means the world to these two men, both trying to earn the highest score on Donkey Kong. One is video gaming legend Billy Mitchell (you know, the dude with the beard and awesome "I refuse to let go of 1983" haircut, pictured above) the other is Steve Wiebe, a high school teacher out to prove that you can do anything if you put your mind to it...even if that thing seems ridiculous to anyone over the age of 12.
Death at a Funeral - Frank Oz (yes, Yoda/Bert/Grover/Cookie Monster/Miss Piggy/Fozzie Bear/Animal/Sam the Eagle/Swedish Chef and any other muppet character you hold dear) directs this film about a man (the extremely talented Peter Dinklage) exposing a terrible secret about the deceased at a funeral. THAT is dark comedy. Also, Firefly/Serenity's Alan Tudyk stars. If you're a Whedon-geek like me that's reason enough to see it.
The Invasion - The problems on this film have been well documented. From switching directors to caught-on-film car accidents (not the intentional kind) with Nicole Kidman, it was a rough shoot. The Wachowskis ("The Matrix") and James McTeigue ("V for Vendetta") were brought on after the studio said Oliver Hirschbiegel's cut didn't pass muster. Oh yeah, and its an update of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".
The Last Legion - Its never a good sign when a studio dumps what was supposed to be an epic telling of the Excalibur tale in mid-August. Add to that little or no advertising (I've only seen ads in the last week) and you can tell the studio is praying to just earn their money back. Colin Firth and "the world's most beautiful woman" Aishwarya Rai star. It sounds a LOT like Clive Owen's "King Arthur" from a few years ago.
Superbad - If you haven't heard of this you've been living under a rock, the ads are everywhere. Teen comedy about the pursuit of sex by way of the pursuit of a keg by way of the pursuit of a fake ID. Everyone I know who has seen the film has loved it, I already have my ticket for tonight purchased. Michael Cera is a blossoming comic genius (as evident by his website). Mark my words, he could be the best straight-man of our generation.