When it comes to X-Men Origins: Wolvervine, things keep going from bad to worse. The first potential summer blockbuster of 2009 isn’t coming out for another month, but it’s already had enough bad buzz to last until long after the special edition DVD gets released. There were reshoots; the terrible first trailer; and, this week, a workprint of the film illegally wound up online. Whether or not this ends up effecting 20th Century Fox’s bottom line remains to be seen, but chances are, Wolverine is going to make Watchmen look like a rousing success. If you’re not up for using BitTorrent, three films hit actual movie theaters this weekend and, as usual, there is something for everyone. As we do every Friday, here’s a handy guide to the new releases.
Fast and Furious
What’s the story: Whenever someone tries to tell you that Hollywood isn’t running out of ideas, direct their attention to Fast and Furious. The fourth film in the drag racing franchise reunites the stars from the first (Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster) and basically trots out the same plot as before. In fact, the only difference we can see between Fast and Furious and The Fast and the Furious is two instances of the word “the”.
Who should see it: Rick Wagoner. (We hear he has some time on his hands.)
What’s the story: Don’t let the marketing campaign fool you. From what we’ve read, Adventureland hews more closely to the tone and feeling of Rushmore than it does to Superbad. Though, truth be told, if Greg Mottola’s follow-up to the latter film is as good as either, we’re in for a treat. Set in 1987, Adventureland stars Jesse Eisenberg as a recent college graduate who takes a summer job at an amusement park just outside of Pittsburgh and comes of age thanks to the help of Twilight’s Kristen Stewart. Cue some wistful David Bowie songs! Mr. Mottola, a Long Island native, apparently based the film on his very own misadventures as an employee at Adventureland in Farmingdale. That’s cool, of course; but we always preferred Splish Splash.
Who should see it: Hoops McCann (John Cusack’s character in One Crazy Summer).
What’s the story: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s follow-up to Half Nelson premiered at Sundance back in 2008 and finally sees the light of day this weekend, just in time for the start of the baseball season. The film chronicles the rise of a young pitcher from the Dominican Republic, nicknamed Sugar, who one day hopes to reach the majors. We’re kinda in love with the trailer and something tells us that Sugar will be just as mannered and assured as Half Nelson. Since you can’t afford a ticket to see the Yankees or Mets at their swanky new stadiums, this might be the closest you get to a baseball game all year.
Who should see it: Pedro Martinez.