Weekend Movie Guide: Harold & Kumar back, stoned
This time with more drugs, bigger laughs, bigger nudity! | Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema
I think it will be hard for Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay to replicate the success of the originalHarold & Kumar adventure. Sure, Guantanamo Bay will almost certainly make more money, but I can't imagine it capturing the innocent magic that was White Castle. Think about it--the Neil Patrick Harris joke can really only work once and how do you find a better nude standee than Malin Akerman? Everything about Guantanamo seems bigger, more absurd and ultimately less funny. Still, I'll be there. Probably a little buzzed, too.
I know it's almost sexist heresy to say so, but I don't find Tina Fey to be particularly funny. She's a good writer and I certainly like 30 Rock, but that's mostly for the wackiness of Tracy Morgan and the brilliance of Alec Baldwin. As a performer, though, Fey just leaves me cold (Amy Poehler leaves me even colder--too much manic, clench-teethed...effort). As such, I can't imagine the torture of sitting through Baby Mama. It's really just a re-tread of The Odd Couple and that's an awfully tired premise out of which to try to wring anything fresh.
Boy, actors have tough lives don't they? | Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
Oh Lord, Deception looks awful. Here's the plot outline from IMDB: "An accountant is introduced to a mysterious sex club known as The List by his lawyer friend. But in this new world, he soon becomes the prime suspect in a woman's disappearance and a multi-million dollar heist." Doesn't this sound like a late-night Cinemax movie? And what on earth are two fine actors like Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor (and one great actor like Michelle Williams) doing in dreck like this? Paycheck movie! Paycheck movie! Paycheck movie!
I said it when The Grand came out and I'll say it again now that Deal is hitting theaters: if you make a movie about poker I'll almost certainly--lemming-like--pay to see it. Even if it sucks. Which it looks like Deal probably does. They've loaded the cast with real pros (Phil Laak, Antonio Esfandiari) so at least there will be some measure of authenticity. But a Burt Reynolds/Shannon Elizabeth/Jennifer Tilly combo really makes me nervous.
Want to know the name of a very fine actor who you've probably never heard of: Ben Shenkman. He's part of the top-notch cast that Helen Hunt has assembled for her directorial debut, Then She Found Me. It's a passion project for Hunt (she also stars and produces) and concerns a schoolteacher whose life is upended when--in quick succession--her husband leaves, her adoptive mother dies and her real, crazy one suddenly shows up.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of documentary films is that they can re-introduce fascinating stories that history--for whatever reason--has seemingly forgotten. In Dare Not Walk Alone, director Jeremy Dean unearths one of the great, untold tales of the Civil Rights era. It relates the events of the 1964 protests in Saint Augustine, Florida and how many things have changed (and what important ones haven't) over the past forty years.
Tickets & Showtimes
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
Then She Found Me
Dare Not Walk Alone