| “Hello, I’m Ghost Rider. Sometimes after a tough day at the office, my head feels like it’s on fire. That’s when I reach for Extra Strength Tylenol.” Courtesy photo.
I would not be original in proposing a movie-house embargo on romantic comedies starring Hugh Grant (in smug-bastard mode), but I would like to second that emotion, because God help me, I need a little variety. (What happened to the days of Edward “where the coffee beans come from” Ferrars of Sense and Sensibility?)
You know what I’m getting at: Music and Lyrics (strikingly similar to Two Weeks Notice, I’m told) opens on Valentine’s Day. Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore: Will they? Won’t they? It’s the nagging question of our time. Alas, I’ve done my rom-com slumming for the winter. It was called The Holiday, and it was mortifying.
Big Red also brings Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls, an inverted Cinderella story (Cinderello story, if you will) about love between a working-class single father (Idris Elba) and a prosperous attorney (Gabrielle Union; always exciting to see if she’ll Bring It On again).
On to the weekend openings. Bridge to Terabithia stars the eternal kookster Zooey Deschanel and Robert Patrick (you know, T-1000). Oh, fuck me, Julia Stiles is directing a short film. Nevermind. Where? Yes, ahem: It seems the studio that brought you The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the Weta Workshop (those wily New Zealanders behind The Lord of the Rings effects `and very soon, Black Sheep, watch the trailer now`) have joined forces to transfer Bridge to the screen.
I would have preferred a Ghostwriter movie to a Ghost Rider movie, but whatever, no one asked me. Rider, based on the Marvel comic of the same name, is about a motorcyclist who sells his soul to Satan for love (or something).
Breach is a cinematic account of newbie FBI agent Eric O’Neill’s attempt to out fellow G-man Robert Hanssen for allegedly selling secrets to the Soviet Union. Breach is screenwriter Billy Ray’s sophomore directorial effort (the first was Shattered Glass, also based on a true story), and he is, once again, lucky enough to have a nice little ensemble of exceptional actors involved, including Laura Linney and Chris Cooper. (The jury’s still out on Ryan Phillippe.)
Also opening this weekend, the Edie Sedgwick biopic Factory Girl. Is Hayden Christensen's character supposed to be Bob Dylan? How does Guy Pearce's Warhol measure up to David Bowie's or Jared Harris's? See for yourself (or, play it safe and read the review in next week's Current.)
This just in: The Santikos Embassy theater will be showing Oscar-nominated short films starting this Friday, February 16. Yes, now you, too, can be one of the few, the brave who knows what the hell you’re rooting for in the short-film category on Oscar night. The animated film segment of the screenings will include The Danish Poet, The Little Match Girl, Maestro, No Time for Nuts, as well as several other short-listed animated films. The live-action short program will consist of Binta and the Great Idea, Eramos Pocos, Helmer & Son, The Saviour and West Bank Story.
Go on, now, you elegant moviegoer. Get ye a cinematic treat.
— Ashley Lindstrom
Local premiere dates for limited-release films are tentative and can change at the last minute. Please check your local theater listings to confirm showtimes.