The third dimension of the Magic Lantern Show (the "show" part) focuses on the public and cultural aspects of "going to the movies." That is what interests me the most about the releases this week. It is certainly more interesting than the individual releases.
Have you noticed how movies are strategically released? Much of the strategy has to do with economics; but the studios are also paying attention to other releases in an attempt to maintain some variety and draw in a wider audience. Movies dialogue with one another in this way and they represent trends in the culture. This is not a recent development. Watch the 1930's Universal production of Frankenstein and you will notice there is hardly a soundtrack. That is because the public had grown weary of musicals and the studio recognized the need for a different genre of movie to draw a wider audience.
Perhaps this explains why most of the films opening this week seem to be lighter fare. The studios and theatres are offering a cleansing of the cinematic palete between the rich meat of Kingdom of Heaven and the blockbuster final course of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Taking my cue from the studios, I offer a re-hash of an entry earlier this week from my other blog, Written Without Ink. But before the feature, a prieview of upcoming entries: If I get the chance this weekend, I am going to see one of last week's other releases, Crash. Next week the choice is plain. There is no film being released opposite Star Wars excpet for a few indie pictures. I wonder why? (The Force is strong with this one!) Now, on to the show:
I have enjoyed two weeks worth of new release movies. First I saw Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Last week I saw Kingdom of Heaven. Good start to the summer. However, there are no releases for this Friday (yes, I know it is Friday the 13th) that really interest me.
The big release this week is Kicking and Screaming, the latest Will Ferrell comedy. This is the one where he is a TV anchorman married to a witch, right? No wait he's a cheerleader raised by elves. Does it really matter?
What about Mindhunters? It is about the FBI. I used to work for the FBI. Seriously, I was a contracted sketch artist. They still didn't let me in on their greatest secret: What does the J in LL Cool J stand for? Perhaps this film will give the answer. Perhaps this film is one big question mark.
Maybe we could all go see Monster-In-Law. It stars Jane Fonda and J-Lo. J-Lo is going to marry Ben Affleck, but Jennifer Garner shows up with her boyfriend from Alias and then J-Lo falls in love with Vaughn from Alias and Jennifer Gardner (J-Gar?) falls in love with Ben and they are forever known as Bennifer. Wait, which Jennifer make Ben a Bennifer? Could it be that Jane Fonda is there to sort all this out? No wonder she is a monster. Maybe we shouldn't go to this one, it's too silly.
Well, unless one of those art films comes to town there's Unleashed. Now here is an enigma of a film. It looks like a Jet Li action movie but it also stars Bob Hoskins and Morgan Freeman. Isn't that like Jimmy Stewart showing up on an episode of Gilligan's Island? Man, Jet's going to have to carry this film.