Weekend Preview June 22nd

The biggest movie news of the weekend is the smallest opener: Michael Moore's new and incendiary documentary, Sicko -- originally scheduled to debut next Friday -- starts playing in one theater today (and there will be sneak previews in many major cities tomorrow night). This rushing of the film to theaters is either a desperate attempt by money-grubbing Hollywood to undo whatever box-office damage was done to the film by its leak to the Internet recently, or merely partly of the insidious plan by the notorious left-wing mainstream media to maximize the latest propaganda attack, all preparatory to forcing us into a new workers' paradise and compulsory worship of Fidel Castro. It sounds crazy, I know, but where is that one theater? Why, it's the AMC Lincoln Square on New York's Upper West Side, the neighborhood infamous for being even more liberal that Sodom on the Hudson already is on the whole. Clearly, a Communist takeover of America is in the works.

The movie is devastating, but the "debate" over it is already making me sick. I wonder whether health insurance would cover that ...

Hey, come to think of it, the biggest film of the weekend made me sick, too: Evan Almighty -- opening at more than 3,600 venues -- is a disgusting waste of the $175 million (or more!) it reported cost to produce. Not only is it not funny in the least, it looks really cheap to boot. So where the heck did all that money go? Not on the script, not on the FX ... so where?

Way mightier is A Mighty Heart, the story of American journalist Daniel Pearl's kidnapping and murder in Pakistan in 2002. Director Michael Winterbottom and star Angelina Jolie have given us a movie that's as much about the larger context of the strange new world we're living in, post 9/11, as it is about one woman's fight to bring her husband home. It's not fun, but it is fascinating.

And then there's 1408, which stars the irresistible John Cusack in what is pretty much a big episode of The Twilight Zone. What more do ya need?

Indie alternatives this weekend: Ben Kingsley as an alcoholic hitman in the very sly and snide You Kill Me; Parker Posey as a neurotic New Yorker (as if there were any other kind! oh, ha ...) in Broken English, which I haven't seen yet; and killer farm animals in Black Sheep, which is a great sendup of horror flicks, and a good example of one in itself.


MaryAnn Johanson (email me)

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