The most talked about movie of the weekend won’t actually be coming out for another four months. Between the teaser trailer and the special free IMAX screenings happening tonight, James Cameron’s Avatar has captured everyone’s imagination this week. This is the future, people! Still, if giant blue aliens and computer graphics don’t float your boat, three actual movies hit theaters today. As we do every Friday, here’s a handy guide to the new releases.
What’s the story: Nearly 15 years in the making—at one point it was rumored that Quentin Tarantino wanted Bruce Willis, Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzengger and Adam Sandler, among others, to appear—Inglourious Basterds (the title is purposely spelled incorrectly) finally hits theaters today, positioned as a summer oasis for film geeks everywhere. Brad Pitt stars, leading “The Basterds” (played by a battalion of not-what-you’d-expect actors, from The Office’s B.J. Novak to Freaks and Geeks star Samm Levine and schlock horror director Eli Roth) on a Grand Guignol trek through World War II, killing Nazi’s with extreme prejudice. The reviews have been fairly great—our own Rex Reed calls it “one whale of a rigorous entertainment”—but we’re kinda surprised everyone is treating Inglourious Basterds like Mr. Tarantino’s cinematic rebirth. Don’t call it a comeback, people, he’s been here for years!
Who should see it: Jules and Vince.
What’s the story: From Mr. Tarantino’s Grindhouse partner, here comes Shorts. Robert Rodriguez directs this tall tale about a group of kids who find a magical, wish-granting space rock. Truth be told, we never even heard of this movie before today, and watching the trailer makes us wonder if the famously lo-fi director actually let his children direct this time around. Even for the young ones, this thing looks odorous.
Who should see it: The kids from Spy Kids.
What’s the story: Rory Gilmore sighting! Alexis Bledel stars as a recent college graduate (hence the title) who is forced to move home with her parents while she looks for a job and a boyfriend. If you’re sitting there thinking that movie about college graduation coming out when college students are headed back to school is a bad idea, you’re not alone. Still, we sorta love the idea of Michael Keaton and Jane Lynch playing Ms. Bledel’s onscreen parents. Hey, it’s August; we’ll take little victories when we can get them.
Who should see it: Lorelai.
And! Expect skateboarding and energy drinks in X-Games 3D: The Movie; Robin Williams stars as The World’s Greatest Dad; and Liam Neeson gets serious in the IRA drama Five Minutes of Heaven.