Lucky Bastard (Vineyard Haven)
Okay, if you've seen grindhouse style movies, you are not going to be a stranger to this one; Lucky Bastard is the story of Dave, who signs up for a website that invites you to "have sex with the porn stars". Uh, right.
Anyway, as with all things too good to be true, Dave ends up as a target for a totally bizarre process. Predictable, yes, but ultimately, amusingly fun to watch. The entire film is done in "found footage" style so those of you who liked Cloverfield, Blair Witch, other similar films will want to see this one.
Theater Experience Bonus: None.
If you're really aching to go to a theater and you've seen everything else on our list, this is worth a watch. Otherwise, you can just wait till the DVD comes out -it is at least worth a rental.
Earth's Final Hours (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Yep, another movie based on an apocalyptic scenario; this time, we're going to be dealing with… uh… something about the Earth's poles, the magnetic sphere, and maybe something from the sun. Anyway, it all boils down to this: unless our protagonist and his band of science-y allies are able to build and deploy their MacGuffin, the Earth will stop rotating.
As un-climactic as that sounds, the film paints a pretty exciting view of who our lives will be turned into an apocalyptic mess when the earth stops spinning. Also, the characters may be a little pedantic, but the acting is actually well done (you'll start rooting for them soon enough). It is still a far cry from something like Armaggedon, so try to keep your expectations leveled.
Theater Experience Bonus: a bit of special effects.
What's an end of the world scenario without a few over-exaggerated explosions and scenes of destruction?
The Company You Keep (Sony Pictures Classics)
As much as we loathe Shia (who doesn't), we have to admit, this kid is getting to star alongside some of Hollywood's biggest. After being cast as Indiana's successor, Shia gets some serious screentime with Robert Redford.
Redford stars as Jim Grant, a single father, lawyer, and also, a former radical and fugitive. Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf) is a journalist who manages to uncover Grant's true identity. When Shepard's efforts to land the story of a lifetime becomes the catalyst for Grant to go back on the run -not just from the upstart reporter, but also from old enemies. Shepard will eventually (predictably) come to a conflict on whether to keep pursuing the truth as he learns more about Grant, but it still makes for an excellent narrative. The script is cleverly written and the cinematography is classic action-suspense.
Theater Experience Bonus: Robert Redford
Great film actors have less than two whole hours on a big screen to make an impression, but they always do.
Trance (Fox Searchlight)
James McAvoy impressed many hardcore comic fans with his portrayal of a young Charles Xavier in the first X-Men movie. Now he's back, but not in a superhero flick, this one is a heist film that delves into the dark recesses of the human mind.
A well planned heist to steal a valuable Goya painting goes smoothly -except for one major setback: Simon, the inside man who hid the stolen item for safety has taken a blow to the head. His memories of where the painting has been stashed have been forgotten. While this premise could easily fit into a clever comedy, it isn't. Things take a turn for the bizarre when the gang decides to employ the services of a hynoptherapist in the hopes of getting Simon's memories back. The story then moves from your typical heist movie into something a little more surreal as we join Simon and the therapist (played by the lovely Rosario Dawson), as they venture into the subconscious.
Theater Experience Bonus: not Inception, but close enough.
The surrealism of delving into lost memories can be quite the eye candy as this film shows.
Evil Dead (Ghost House Pictures)
When Evil Dead was first released many years ago, it brought us two important things: the amazing wonder that is Bruce Campbell, and a b-movie that was so bad it was funny. Well, Sam Raimi is back, and this movie delivers everything that Evil Dead was supposed to be: harcore, graphic, and still insanely fun to watch.
Gone are the badly shot angles and mediocre acting that earned the original film some serious infamy. This new Evil Dead brings frights, gore, and a healthy respect for NEVER DEALING WITH POSSIBLY SUPERNATURAL STUFF WHEN YOU ARE IN A CABIN IN THE WOODS. That said, our victims are predictably going to do the things most teenagers are already well aware that they shouldn't do after seeing a couple or so slasher flicks. Be warned, this is not for the faint of heart, also, no Bruce Campbell stuff (don't worry, they plan to do an Army of Darkness trilogy so we'll be seeing Ash onscreen soon enough).
Theater Experience Bonus: gratuitous amounts of gore.
Obviously not for kids, then again, the title is already "Evil Dead" so that's not surprising.
And that wraps up our selections for this month. Oh, we didn't bring up Jurassic Park 3D, because, well, you should already know what that is. If you have never seen this film, its definitely worth a watch. If you have seen it before, the 3D effects hardly make it worth viewing for a second time. Now, for those who are looking for something a little less action-y and something more cerebral, then 6 Souls (released by Radius TWS, stars Julianne Moore) is certainly something worth delving into. It has a bit of religious context but the script is well written and the acting is incredibly good.
Stay tuned this week as we dish out the latest details about X-Men Days of Future Past, and all the last minute news about the third Iron Man movie.