Opening Weekend: Win, Lose or Law

This weekend two-thirds of the team behind Shaun of the Dead & Hot Fuzz have a close encounter of the third kind with a like-minded slacker from the stars. Bradley Cooper shows us both the benefits and side-effects of taking a drug to unlock all your minds potential (I’m pretty sure side effects include: permanent 5 o’clock shadow, perfect hair, and Spike Lee Joints). Also, Matthew McConaughey and Laurence Mason star in a re-imagining of Driving Miss Daisy . . . Driving Mr. McConaughey . . . at least that’s what I gathered from the trailer. McConaughey hangs out in the back of a vintage Lincoln . . . and he’s a lawyer . . . and no, he’s not lobbying to legalize marijuana, but I am pretty sure they do make a stop at the Piggly Wiggly. And Paul Giamatti shows us that Charlie Sheen isn’t the only one who’s winning, duh.

So, if you’re unfamiliar with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, all I can say is that I’m truly sorry for you. The brilliantly hilarious duo has had me in stitches since their big screen debut in Shaun of the Dead. And though their latest big screen pairing is without long-time collaborator/director Edgar Wright, I’m sure it will be just as funny. Pegg and Frost play two sci-fi geeks who meet an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogan). The three become friends and embark on an adventure to get Paul back to the mothership. Jason Bateman and Bill Hader play the federal agents (of the The X-Files variety I’m hoping) tasked with capturing Paul. Directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad) and featuring a cast of kooky favorites, including Kristin Wiig, Jane Lynch and Jeffrey Tambor, Paul seems like fun.

Next, we have Limitless. Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a writer suffering from severe writer’s block. When an old friend introduces him to a new wonder-drug, NZT, that unlocks the potential of the human mind, Morra takes the world by storm. Nothing seems beyond his grasp, language, technology, art, and most importantly to Morra, money. With his new-found abilities, Morra is a stock-whiz. Of course, power and money lead to trouble when you start dealing with moguls like Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro). It all seems like a pretty clear case of: knowledge is power – power corrupts – absolute power corrupts absolutely. As much as I like Bradley Cooper, nothing about Limitless really interests me. And I already saw Senseless, with Marlon Wayans, so I get the point.

Moving on. As you might have guessed, The Lincoln Lawyer probably has nothing to do with Driving Miss Daisy. Matthew McConaughey plays Mickey Halley, a criminal defense attorney who works out of the back of his Lincoln Continental with his driver, Earl (Laurence Mason). It’s a legal thriller, and like most legal thrillers, it deals with a lawyer in over their heads who slowly begins to realize that things are not what they seem. With a cast including Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, and John Leguizamo, my interest is mildly piqued, but not enough to see it in theaters. It looks ok. And I have no real reservations about seeing The Lincoln Lawyer. I’m just in no hurry to. I think I’ll wait to rent it. Anyone who is planning on seeing it? Let me know.

Last, but not least, there’s Win Win. Directed by Thomas McCarthy, who has yet to make a movie I didn’t like (The Station Agent, The Visitor), Win Win is another story of hope, renewal and discovery. McCarthy has a knack for genuine feel-good pictures that feel personal without being saccharine. Paul Giamatti plays Mike Flaherty, an attorney struggling to keep is life in order whose life is further complicated when the grandson of his elderly client shows up out of the blue, looking for a place to stay. Each on their own, Thomas McCarthy and Paul Giamatti are reason enough for me to see a film.

So, if you ask me, the movies to see this weekend are Paul and Win Win. Those are the two I’m planning on. What’s piqued your interest lately? And if you do see these, or anything else, let me know what you thought.

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One response to “Opening Weekend: Win, Lose or Law

  1. If I wasn’t about to have a baby, it would be Win Win and Paul for sure.

    Who knows, maybe I will see one of them, I’ve managed crazier feats while maintaining my responsibilities.

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