Opening Weekend: Wussies & Warrior Women

Things aren’t looking so hot for guys this weekend. Saoirse Ronan takes on the CIA in Hanna. AnnaSophia Robb overcomes the tragedy of losing an arm in a shark attack and returns to the water in Soul Surfer. Meanwhile, Danny McBride (Your Highness) and Russell Brand (Arthur) each play callow man-children forced into action by their parent’s ultimatums, one of whom get’s their ass kicked by Natalie Portman. Apparently, women mature more quickly than men.

Best bet for the weekend seems to be Hanna. There’s been a lot of buzz around this movie, billed as an action fairy tale, think The Bourne Identity meets Little Red Riding Hood. Hanna is a change of pace for director Joe Wright. His previous work includes Pride & Prejudice (2005) and Atonement (2007). If nothing else, I’m interested to see how he transfers his experience with the spectacle of grand period pieces to Hanna‘s action and adventure. I foresee some gorgeous, grandiose ballet-like action scenes. And the cast isn’t half-bad either: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, and Cate Blanchett. Hanna is on the top of my to-see list.

Then there's Soul Surfer, based on the incredible true story of Bethany Hamilton. And before I come off as a heartless bastard, let me say this: I do think that Bethany Hamilton's story is incredible, I'm not just quoting the trailer. I think her story of becoming a champion surfer after losing an arm in a shark attack is amazing. I would love to see a feature-length documentary about her. That being said, Soul Surfer looks like a big piece of sugar-coated shit, a cloying, plasticine melodrama, the cinematic equivalent of a Katy Perry song. All the more fitting, Katy Perry's "Fireworks" plays during the trailer. And as with Katy Perry, I don't have a problem with Soul Surfer, but I'm no fan either. I'll be passing on Soul Surfer.

Speaking of Katy Perry, her husband's new movie, Arthur, is out today as well. In this remake of the Dudley Moore classic, Russell Brand stars as the eponymous Arthur, the billionaire man-child with a heart of gold. Now, you're probably asking yourself one of two questions:

1) "Why did they remake Arthur?"


2) "What's Arthur . . . and who's Dudley Moore?"

Guess who this movie is for. So, as much as I love Dudley Moore and the original Arthur, I'm guessing a large majority of that omnipotent 18 - 25 demographic, none of whom were even alive when the original was released, have no knowledge of either Dudley Moore or the original Arthur. And it worked the first time, so why not give it another go?

I like Russell Brand and Jennifer Garner. I love Helen Mirren and Greta Gerwig. I'll see Arthur. I'm not gonna waste time fighting remakes, cause they're gonna happen anyway. I just hope for good remakes, more Dawn of the Dead (2004) quality remakes, less Day of the Dead (2008).

And our second man-child this weekend, Danny McBride plays Thaddeus in Your Highness. A medieval comedy a la Robin Hood: Men in Tights, from the director of Pineapple Express, starring Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, and Justin Theroux . . . yeah, that's good enough for me.

So, my picks for this weekend are Hanna and Your Highness. I wouldn't be opposed to seeing Arthur at some point. And I don't ever need to see Soul Surfer. Side note: if I were in New York, I'd be seeing Meek's Cutoff right now . . . but I'll talk about that more next week when it comes out here in L.A.

What about you, what are you interested in seeing this weekend?

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