If you trek to the theaters this weekend, we hope you’re prepared to encounter hordes of killer robots (and teenage boys). Four movies hit the multiplex today, but all anyone will really care about come Monday morning is Transformers. As we do every Friday, here’s a handy guide to the new releases.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
What’s the story: Noted oversharer Shia LaBeouf is once again tasked to helping the Autobots save the world from the evil Decepticons in Michael Bay’s latest experiment in sensory overload. Considering Revenge of the Fallen opened on Wednesday and has grossed over $60 million at the box office, the chances are good that you’ve already experienced this sequel. For those of you that haven’t, Transformers 2 promises to be bigger than the first film in every sense of the word … except with regards to über-hottie Megan Fox’s wardrobe, which appears to have been shrunk by half.
Who should see it: The giant killer robots from Terminator Salvation.
My Sister’s Keeper
What’s the story: Counterprogramming alert! While all the boys are buying tickets to see Transformers 2, Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook, John’s son) is hoping the girls will check out his weepy adaptation of Jodi Picoult’s best-selling tearjerker. Cameron Diaz stars as a mother who, via in vitro fertilization, genetically engineers one daughter for the purposes of keeping her other, leukemia-stricken daughter, alive. This causes problems when, years later, the younger sister (played by the precocious Abigail Breslin) decides she wants medical emancipation from her parents so that she isn’t forced to give up a kidney to her older sister. Eek! Don’t fret though: Things aren’t as cut and dry as they initially appear. You’d be wise to bring lots of tissues.
Who should see it: Nicholas Sparks.
What’s the story: Old friends Stephen Frears and Christopher Hampton (the Oscar-winning Dangerous Liaisons, the forgettable Mary Reilly) get together once again to adapt another bit of classic literature: Colette’s novel of Belle Epoque romance, Cheri. The 51-year-old Michelle Pfeiffer (holy cow!) stars as courtesan who has a May-December fling with the titular hero, here played by young British actor Rupert Friend (Pride and Prejudice). With such a pedigree, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Cheri would be more suited amongst the highfalutin awards bait of the fall, but maybe Miramax is just hoping to get a jump on the season. Don’t be surprised if Ms. Pfeiffer gets some serious Best Actress consideration in what looks to be a comeback role.
Who should see it: David E. Kelley.
The Hurt Locker
What’s the story: The Hurt Locker has been knocking around for such a long time that stars Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie were nominated for Independent Spirit Awards … last year! Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraq-war-film-that-isn’t-your-typical-Iraq-war-film (i.e., no preaching) originally premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September of 2008 to the kind of apoplectic praise that one would associate with a possible Best Picture contender. The latest batch of reviews are no different, especially singling out Mr. Renner (late of ABC’s The Unusuals) as one of the summer’s biggest breakout contenders. Consider The Hurt Locker meathead action for the art house crowd.
Who should see it: James Cameron.