Want to know how bad the economy is here in the United States? Hollywood is outsourcing their big movie premieres. It’s true! For instance, did you realize that Quantum of Solace, the sure-to-be blockbuster which is on pace to score the highest opening weekend in the history of the James Bond franchise, has already grossed upwards of $190 million dollars internationally? Sigh. America can’t even get first run releases anymore. Just add that to the list of things Barack Obama is going to make better. Here’s a handy guide to the weekend’s new movies.
Quantum of Solace
What’s the story: Bond is back! In Quantum of Solace, 007 (the smoldering Daniel Craig) is caught in an international web of intrigue while trying to avenge the death of his love, Vesper (played in Casino Royale by the gorgeous Eva Green). This is the first James Bond picture that is an outright sequel, and thus far the reviews, en masse, have been strikingly negative. Our own Rex Reed calls Quantum of Solace one of the "most pointless, chaotic and forgettable" films of the entire Bond series, and he’s hardly alone in that sentiment. What gives fellas? It can’t be that bad. Must we remind everyone about Pierce Brosnan’s Bond?
Who should see it: Jason Bourne.
A Christmas Tale (Un conte de Noel)
What’s the story: Mathieu Amalric’s other movie opening this weekend (he plays the villain in Quantum of Solace) is a French import about an extremely dysfunctional family coming together for the holidays. Needless to say, things don’t go according to plan. Think: The Family Stone but with lots of depression and no snappy musical sing-along. Catherine Deneuve stars as the matriarch of the family, who has leukemia. In a weak year for lead actresses (this is a sad annual refrain), don’t be surprised if Ms. Deneuve sneaks into the Oscar conversation.
Who should see it: You, before you go home for Thanksgiving.
What’s the story: A young Indian orphan ends up perilously close to winning 20 million rupees on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, but is then accused of cheating, setting the entire flashback story in motion. Slumdog Millionaire has been the belle of the ball since it premiered to rave reviews at the Telluride Film Festival over the summer. We’re always leery of movies being touted as the next big thing, but we can’t deny the fact that Danny Boyle’s latest sounds like, dare we say it, the "feel good movie of the year!" The reviews have been uniformly over-the-moon; Slumdog Millionaire opened in New York on Wednesday and will begin rolling out all over the country in the next few months. See it now, so you can look cool when all your friends are talking about wanting to see it come January.
Who should see it: Regis Philbin.