Attractions: All's Fair in Love and War
Welcome back to Movieline Attractions, your regular guide to everything new, noteworthy and/or squeal-inducing at the movies. This week it's (mostly) all about the leading men, with A-list heavyweights holding down a packed mulitplex while the art house gives it up for a few ladies. Read on and let's sort out where the parties should land.
WHAT'S NEW: Matt Damon and his Bourne franchise director Paul Greengrass reunite today for Green Zone, their bracing retelling of the search for WMD's in Iraq and how the case for war there was built. But, like, as an action film! With Jason Bourne! It's not exactly news that Iraq isn't the stuff of box-office glory, but flailing Universal spent $100 million on this anyway and won't likely see that number back for a while; it'll probably do $18 million and settle into a distant second-place behind Alice In Wonderland's big Week Two ($55 million? $60 million? That one just blows my mind.) And behind that look for Remember Me, which most forecasters aren't giving much of a chance beyond about $11 million. I'm not so sure about that; Robert Pattinson has his audience, and on 2,200 screens I think he can probably coax $14 million to $15 million out of it. The biggest problem is that She's Out of My League is opening next door to it, complicating date night for myriad couples who can't decide if they'd rather see a gorgeous megastar brood at his lady or Jay Baruchel get staggeringly lucky with Alice Eve. League will get the short end of that stick, alas, drawing maybe $10 million by the time the dust settles Monday morning.
Also opening: Zoe Kazan's overrated epileptic-darling indie The Exploding Girl; director Tze Chun's fine feature debut Children of Invention; the screenwriting-life documentary Tales From the Script; the hit-or-miss Asian family comedy White on Rice; the Jon Hamm/Josh Lucas kidnapping thriller Stolen (NYC only, L.A. forthcoming); and finally in L.A., the riveting documentary The Art of the Steal.
THE BIG LOSER: Remember Our Family Wedding, the multi-ethnic nuptials comedy with the patronizing trailer, miserable reviews and virtually zero push by Fox Searchlight? Of course you don't. Forest Whitaker deserves better, but until then, expect a $5 million opening and a quick dispatch to DVD.
THE UNDERDOG: I haven't yet seen Mother, the latest film by The Host director Bong Joon-ho, but everybody keeps telling me about it -- including Seth, whose interview with Bong reveals some of what makes the man's clever genre studies of motherhood and families under duress so interesting. By all accounts Kim Hye-ja gives a staggering performance as the title character, who goes full-throttle to exonerate a not-so-bright son who confesses to a murder he didn't commit. Here's hoping Oprah Winfrey can reduce Kim to a puddle of happy underdog tears in the Best Actress race at next year's Oscars, though probably not. Still: See it.
FOR SHUT-INS: Speaking of Oprah, her executive-produced awards-season hit Precious arrives this week on DVD. Other new video releases include the on-the-nose Oscar 0-fer Up in the Air, the supernatural thriller The Fourth Kind, the blink-and-you-missed-it animated comedy Planet 51, Michael Moore's flop Capitalism: A Love Story, Troy Duffy's sleeper sequel The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, and finally the complete first season of the fantastically cheesy '80s detective show Matt Houston. Seriously, I'm going to watch all 1,171 minutes this weekend. You?