Nanny McPhee, Mesrine, Joan Rivers and seven other new films open
It plays in tandem with HOUSE the hallucinatory film from Japan about school girls lost in a ghost house. The film was a hit when it first played here in April.
VAMPIRES SUCK: This is my first exposure to the movie parodies that keep coming from Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. With titles like Disaster Movie, Date Movie and Epic Movie, they generally get bad reviews but make a few bucks because they’re cheap to make. Since the studio doesn’t show them to critics but opened this one earlier than usual, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Maybe, I should have. This is a parody of the Twilight series that duplicates the mood and the look of those films almost exactly and misses in the humor department. Many of the jokes aren’t even Mad magazine level. More like Cracked magazine. Is that still around?
The gags are easy and obvious. Edward Cullen becomes Edward Sullen. Bella Swan becomes Becca Crane. Often they’re just a simple reversal from the original film. Werewolves do a gay song and dance number in one scene. In another Becca gets sexually aggressive proclaiming “Yeah, I like it rough.” Two speeches equate vampires with Canadians. A movie-industry comment, perhaps? Among the actors, newcomer Jenn Proske does a credible job as Becca, imitating Kristin Stewart’s open-mouth soulfulness almost exactly. The film plays like a high school production.(Oakridge, Tinseltown and suburban theatres) 1 out of 5
Other films not screened for media ...
LOTTERY TICKET: Ice Cube brings us another morality tale from the hood. He appears in a secondary role on screen but runs the show as executive producer. A music video director is at the helm and the formerly youngest rapper, Bow Wow, stars.
He plays a kid who loses his job and immediately bounces back by winning a $370 million lottery. Everybody in the neighborhood with a greedy streak wants to get hold of it and a noisy, raucous chase is on, extending right through the Fourth of July long weekend. I haven’t seen much good written about this one.
(Tinseltown and three suburban theatres)
PIRANHA 3D: This one was supposed to arrive in April. Now it's come without a preview screening for critics. So, who knows what to expect. These fish aren’t your usual piranhas. They’re prehistoric, released from the bowels of the earth by an earthquake. That means Alexandre Aja, a shock and gore specialist has free reign to throw all matter of stuff at you, in 3D, of course. It’s a remake of an entertaining and low-budget 1978 film which was itself a knock-off of Jaws. How weird is it then that Richard Dreyfuss appears in here? Also Elisabeth Shue as a local sheriff and a lot of nubile young women swimming in Arizona’s Lake Victoria on the July 4th holiday.
(Rio on Broadway, Scotiabank and many suburban theatres)
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THE SWITCH: This is the third artificial insemination comedy in five months. Must be a trend. Jennifer Aniston is involved this time, thinking she was impregnated with Patrick Wilson’s “stuff” when it was really with Jason Bateman’s. He switched samples when he got drunk at the insemination party. (Huh?) Apparently he steals the show playing an amiable neurotic. By the way, the selling line “from the people who brought you Juno and Little Miss Sunshine” stretches the truth more than a little. The reference is to the money people, not the creative ones. Better to say this. “From the directors of Blades of Glory and the misfire TV series, Cavemen.”
(5the Avenue Cinemas, Tinseltown and several suburban theatres)
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED: A British thriller with a hot new star (Gemma Arterton, a recent Bond girl) and a promising director (J Blakeson) but a creepy plot. Two men kidnap a rich man's daughter and hold her for ransom. For much of the film she's tied naked to a bed. Mind games ensue bringing on tense moments and many twists. Sounds promising, and it has gotten quite a few good reviews, while Phillips and Scott in one of the last ever At The Movies trashed it. They called it uncomfortable and pointless.