The Feel-Good Weekend of the Year!

Welcome back to Movieline Attractions, your regular guide to everything new, noteworthy and/or left for dead at the movies. This week a pair of horror epics duel for box-office supremacy, Ang Lee ducks back a few decades, and Andy Griffith blows everyone away. Literally. Sort of. It's all after the jump.

WHAT'S NEW: Let's just make this quick today; beyond the idea that the Weinstein Company could have consecutive No. 1 weekends between Inglourious Basterds and Halloween II, there's not a whole lot of overthinking to do about the latter film and its primary competition The Final Destination. Which isn't to say either film is terrible or even bad; neither studio would screen them for reviewers, of course, but Rob Zombie is clearly working on a level above, say, Nispel the Rebootian, and Final Destination got a whole think piece last weekend in the NY Times, so who knows? In any case, they're both being targeted right between the eyes of 18- to 25-year-old males, which is always good for $20-$22 million. I do like Final Destination to come out on top based on the 3-D bump alone, but it's a coin toss. And don't count out Basterds as a dark horse to repeat; a 50-percent drop would put it at $19 million, perhaps just enough to climb back to No. 1 if the tossed-off late-summer horror fare can't sustain word-of-mouth the way Tarantino did last week.

Ang Lee's not-so-terrible Taking Woodstock is on about 1,400 screens; the timing works, the older audience is there, and Focus is on a roll, which might be good for about $5.2 million. And except for Play the Game (aka The Andy Griffith Blowjob Movie), that's about it for anything remotely in wide-release: New York gets exclusives on the Anna Wintour/Vogue documentary The September Issue, the baffling "comedy" Mystery Team, the disturbing Patton Oswalt showcase Big Fan, and acclaimed auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda's family drama Still Walking. Meanwhile, L.A. catches up with World's Greatest Dad, the IRA drama Five Minutes in Heaven, and Germany's Oscar-nominated terror-gang epic The Baader Meinhof Complex.

THE BIG LOSER: The Two-Minute Verdicted trailer for The Open Road may be as close as you ever get to seeing it, which seems like a bit of a waste: Justin Timberlake stars as the son of a baseball legend (Jeff Bridges) who hits the highway with both his girlfriend and his estranged pop. Is the movie that bad? The film's Web site reveals a rather paltry 14-city engagement, including L.A. and Portland... Texas? Well-played, Anchor Bay. Or maybe it's a play on Paramount's cutting-edge, "mid-America" marketing technique, in which case, as you were.


THE UNDERDOG: We Live in Public is another New York exclusive (L.A. opening: Sept. 24) that won this year's Grand Jury Prize for docs at Sundance, was invited as the closing-night selection of the prestigious New Directors/New Films fest, and has evolved into a self-distributed meta-powerhouse about Internet pioneer Josh Harris and his crazy-making experiments in how people share their lives online. It's fascinating, fast-moving, terrifying and tragicomic stuff; I'll have more about it on the site later today, but if ever anything was an underdog, this borderline-DIY enterprise would be it. See it if and when you can.

FOR SHUT-INS: A busy week in new DVD's includes the Julia Roberts/Clive Owen caper Duplicity, the underachieving coming-of-age comedy Adventureland, the soccer allegory Rudo y Cursi, the pulpy, pugilistic Channing Tatum flick Fighting, the Amy Adams/Emily Blunt crime-scene dramedy Sunshine Cleaning, and the first seasons of Lie to Me and the late-'80s yuppie benchmark thirtysomething.


  • MA says:

    Is the middle picture from the sexed-up, dumbed-down reboot of Sunshine Cleaning? Wow, they're remaking 'em before they even hit on DVD.

  • JudgeFudge says:

    I don't even know if the olds will show up for Taking Woodstock. If they really wanted to grab that demographic, they would have cast David Crosby in the Lieve Shrieber role and John Sebastian as the Eugene Levy charachter. Crosby's probably wearing a dress as we speak, and Sebastian would have showed up to the set already tripping on pot brownies.