If you head to movie theaters on this, the last weekend of August, be on the lookout for some film critics. Once again, the week’s major releases went unscreened for reviewers, meaning if A. O. Scott wants to see Halloween 2, he’ll have to wait in line just like everyone else. Welcome to the summer death rattle: Four movies hit theaters today, and if you don’t like getting scared, you should probably just stay home. As we do every Friday, here’s a handy guide to the new releases.
What’s the story: We made the mistake of watching the trailer for Rob Zombie’s torture porn sequel/remake last week and we’re still having nightmares. (That we burst into tears after the trailer was complete is neither here nor there.) Suffice it to say, Michael Myers is back and he is going to brutally murder a whole lot of people. Fun times!
Who should see it: Jason Voorhees
The Final Destination
What’s the story: There is something innately hilarious about a horror franchise going by the moniker Final Destination, but, unfortunately, New Line didn’t take our suggestion that the this entry be called “This Time We Really (Really) Mean It!” Despite our utter loathing of the entire horror genre, even we have to admit The Final Destination looks like a fun time: A bunch of fresh-faced teens cheat death at a NASCAR race (!!) and then get killed in increasingly ridiculous ways (we can’t wait to see the car wash drowning!). Did we mention that it all happens in 3-D? Yeah, go buy your tickets now.
Who should see it: Jeff Gordon.
What’s the story: It’s The Wrestler, but with football! Writer Robert D. Siegel (who not coincidentally wrote Darren Aronofsky’s fabulous indie) moves behind the camera as well with Big Fan. Patton Oswalt stars as Paul Aufiero, the titular aficionado—in this case, for the New York Giants—who has to deal with the aftermath of being beaten up by his favorite player. The reviews have been strong, especially highlighting Mr. Oswalt’s sad performance, but we just wish the darn trailer didn’t give away so much of the plot.
Who should see it: Anyone who has ever called into WFAN.
What’s the story: At the beginning of the year, we had Taking Woodstock earmarked as one of the movies to watch in 2009. Turns out that was wrong. Ang Lee’s adaptation of Eliot Tibur’s book finally hits theaters today, and it looks like it’ll go down in the ledger as one of the talented director’s lesser works. That’s too bad because with a great cast—Emile Hirsch, Liev Schreiber, Paul Dano, Imelda Staunton and Demetri Martin as Mr. Tibur—and a somewhat timely subject matter (it was just the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, after all) we were hoping for something along the lines of Dazed and Confused. However, with our other options this weekend—must we redirect you to Halloween 2?—Taking Woodstock might still be our choice du jour.
Who should see it: Michael Lang.
Oh, and, have you heard? Anna Wintour goes all Devil Wears Prada in the documentary The September Issue.