‘Dark Shadows’, ‘The Avengers’, And More: Double Feature Friday!

One week later, and people are still talking about “The Avengers.” If you’re headed back to the theater to see it again or are just checking it out for the first time, we have the recommendation for your pre-viewing, plus pairings for the rest of the week’s releases.

Check out this week’s Double Feature Friday!

“Dark Shadows” & “Cronos”
In his latest collaboration with Tim Burton, Johnny Depp plays a good-intentioned, reluctant vampire. If that breed of blood-sucker is up your alley, check out Guillermo del Toro’s “Cronos” before heading to the theater. The film tells the story of Jesús Gris, an elderly antique shop owner, who comes into possession of a device that turns the user into a blood-thirsty immortal. Del Toro fills “Cronos” with his signature, wonderful weirdness, and the movie marks his first collaboration with Ron Perlman, oddly the only American in the cast. “Cronos” is fun, exceedingly creepy, and definitely worth a look.

“Girl In Progress” & “Under the Same Moon”
Patricia Riggen, the director of “Girl In Progress,” made a moderate splash on the indie scene with 2007’s “La misma luna,” the tale of a young Mexican boy, who travels on his own to the U.S. to find his mother. It’s a weepy, heart-warming story that works because its charm forces us to overlook some obvious shortcomings. The story often takes an overly sentimental route, but by the time the movie reaches its conclusion, we defy you not to reach for a box of tissues.

“God Bless America” & “Six Month Leave” from Mad Men
Bobcat Goldthwait’s systematic annihilation of pop culture stars Joel Murray as a terminally ill man bent on murdering every last American idol and Kardashian. In another life, Murray created those cultural icons as Freddy Rumsen, senior copywriter at Sterling Cooper. Rumsen’s defining moment came during season 2 of the AMC drama, when he drunkenly wet his pants and promptly passed out before an important meeting. It’s a classic.

“The Avengers” & “Serenity” from Firefly
Because you’re probably going to see “The Avengers” again this weekend, it only feels appropriate that we have another recommendation for you. This time, go back into the Joss Whedon oeuvre and watch one of the greatest pilots ever assembled and then idiotically aired halfway into the first season. “Serenity” is a text book example of how to introduce an expansive world and cast without making the audience feel in over its head. Whedon establishes the sparkling ensemble and the space opera-western mash-up efficiently, while having fun throughout.

What are you watching this weekend? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!

If one movie is never enough for you and you’re looking for a flick to get you in the mood for this week’s new release, Double Feature Friday is here to help. Every week we break down the new releases and pair them with older movies that you should catch before heading out to the theater. Or just skip the new movie and check out the classic we recommend.