First up of course is “Joe.” I saw it on Saturday. Shhhhh! You know how there’s been some negative buzz following it around, along with a dash of controversy? Forget the hype, forget the controversy. Sommers deserved the gig, and he did a great job. The trailers and clips have totally undersold this movie. “Joe” fans of old: buy your tickets now. Remember– knowing is half the battle.
For those who prefer feeling good to getting pumped, there’s always “Julie & Julia.” Writer/director Nora Ephron based the film on not one, but two books: “My Life in France,” Julia Childs’ autobiography, and Julie Powell’s memoir “Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen.” I intend to avoid this one, but I’ll also be the first to admit that I’m not the target audience. The buzz has been good, and everyone I know who’s seen it has praised Streep’s performance as the great chef Childs.
The other wide opening for the week is “Pitch Black” director David Twohy’s latest thriller, “A Perfect Getaway.” Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich star as hiking honeymooners who end up in a bit of trouble when their Hawaiian adventure turns into a deadly game. Someone is out there in the jungle killing people, and everyone is a possible suspect. Including the hikers Zahn and Jovovich meet on the trail. Especially them.
The limited release offerings are nothing to fear either. “Paper Heart” is my pick for the week, as I hear that the cut is a bit different from what screened at Sundance this year. It’s a sweet little half-doc/half-fiction feature following LA comedienne Charlyne Yi as she searches near and far for the meaning of love.
There’s also “Cold Souls,” a quirky Sundance favorite starring Paul Giamatti. Fans of Charlie Kaufman/Spike Jonze/Michel Gondry ought to appreciate this; Giamatti, struggling with his title role in Anton Chekhov’s play “Uncle Vanya,” pays a company to put his soul into cold storage. A mix-up lands the treasure in Russia, and hilarity ensues.
Rounding out the choices is 2009 Slamdance contender “I Sell the Dead.” First time feature writer/director Glenn McQuaid tells the story of an 18th century grave robber (Dominic Monaghan) who confesses to a priest (Ron Perlman) shortly before he is sent off to the guillotine. I’m a fan of Monaghan and Perlman both, so “I Sell” may inspire a double-feature weekend for me.
But I want to hear what you’re seeing. There’s a range of options out there, catering to a pretty disparate set of tastes. Which will you pick? As always, we want to hear what you think. Record your impressions of your weekend screening(s) and upload the video to us at Your MTV. Make sure to tag the video “Box Office Poll — [MOVIE TITLE].”