Friday, August 22, 2008

FILM: New in Theaters - 8/22/08

Alright, so there are sort of slim pickings this weekend--perhaps even a good time to catch up on all that Olympics footage you might've saved on TiVo or to enjoy an end-of-summer event. But if you're desperate, there are a few commercial films that are available.

Jason Statham solidifies his B-list status, starring in Paul W.S. Anderson's (Resident Evil) video game adaptation Death Race. Expect a lot of death and...a race. Okay, it might be a little more complicated than that. There might be something about Statham's race car driving character being framed for the murder of his wife so that he would land in a specific prison to partake in a race that will make a lot of money for bad people. Winner gets set free. I'm thinking he's going to have to do a whole lot more than win in order to get his freedom though.

If you'd rather watch a comedy, Rainn Wilson is breaking out of "The Office" for a quick second to star as a washed-up, overzealous drummer for his nephew's band as they go on the road after they make a huge splash on youtube. There's sure to be a lot of sight gags, including a frequently nude Wilson. Keep an eye out for budding new talent Josh Gad ("Back to You") and Emma Stone (Superbad). Also starring are Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, Bradley Cooper ("Alias"), Jane Krakowski ("30 Rock"), and pop singer Teddy Geiger.

For a little brain dead humor, you can check out House Bunny. An over-the-hill Playboy bunny (Ana Faris from Scary Movie) gets kicked out of Hef's mansion, so she tries to get a "real job." Discovering that being the hen mother to a sorority house is almost as fun as being a sexy pin-up leads her to counsel a few misfits (Emma Stone from Superbad, Kat Dennings from Charlie Bartlett, Rumer Willis, and Katherine McPhee) into feeling a little more comfortable in their own skin. She, of course, learns a lesson of her own while trying to bag a cute geek (Colin Hanks from Orange County): Beauty isn't everything.

If you're looking for a sports drama with a heart of gold, I'd suggest Fred Durst's The Longshots. It's the story of the first female to play in the Pop Warner football tournament in its 56-year history. Ice Cube and Keke Palmer (Akkelah and the Bee) star.

Hamlet 2 is the real treasure this weekend. It's too bad it's a limited release. This comedic indie, starring Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder), is about "a failed actor-turned-worse-high-school-drama-teacher [who] rallies his Tucson, AZ students as he conceives and stages politically incorrect musical sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet." I know. It sounds awesome. Catherine Keener (40-year-old Virgin) and Amy Poehler (Baby Mama) also star.

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