Weekend Forecast: It's Resident Evil: Afterlife's World, Joaquin Phoenix is Just Living It

Unless you live in a major market and want to sample Joaquin Phoenix's coprophilic hip-hop narcissist fantasia (no, that's not a recommendation), it might be worth just forgoing this weekend at the movies. Don't take my word for it, though; see the sad pickings after the jump, with one (negotiable) exception.

NATIONAL FORECAST

Resident Evil: Afterlife: What can I tell you? Milla Jovovich vs. virus franchise, video-game adaptation, only wide release this week, Universal isn't screening it ahead of today's opening, guns, blood and obviously 3-D. Congratulations, Paul W.S. Anderson, here's your crown for the week. FORECAST: $27.5 million. (Movieline's full review forthcoming today.)

THE PRIME DESTINATION

The Romantics: I know I'm in the minority with this one, but it's a noble minority. Writer/director Galt Niederhoffer adapted this ensemble wedding/generational crisis dramedy from her own novel, featuring Katie Holmes, Malin Åkerman, Adam Brody, Rebecca Lawrence and Jeremy Strong visiting the wedding of their college pals Josh Duhamel and Anna Paquin -- the latter of whom stole her groom-to-be from ex-bestie Holmes. There's no denying the English-lit pretensions and canniness of some of the dialogue, but the general looseness of the group and their admirable acquittal of Niederhoffer's white-people-disappearing-up-their-own-ass indulgences is worth a lot more than the conventional wisdom lets on. Paquin and Holmes in particular yield surprise after surprise, culminating in a climax rooted in a lot more than just a starpower square-off. Give it a try. (See Movieline's full review here.)

REGIONAL OUTLOOK

· The Afterlight (NYC): Indie drama about a dissolving couple whose retreat to a rural upstate New York community only pulls them farther apart. And Rip Torn shows up, for what it's worth.

· Ahead of Time (NYC): Documentary recounting the adventurous life and times of 99-year-old journalist and photographer Ruth Gruber.

· Biker Fox: Documentary about Tulsa's most delectably nutso auto parts salesman, health freak and all-around angry dude.

· Bran Nue Dae (limited): Adaptation of the hit Aboriginal musical from Australia, loaded with heart yet utterly bereft of tune and/or visual imagination.

· Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (NYC): If you like documentaries about famous, troubled Canadian piano prodigies, then this is the movie for you.

· Heartbreaker (limited): Winning French romcom import features Romain Duris as a relationship-buster who meets his match in Vanessa Paradis. (See Movieline's full review here.)

· Hideaway (NYC): Prolific writer/director Francois Ozon trails a pregnant woman through her lover's drug overdose and subsequent relationship with his gay brother.

· I'm Still Here (limited): You know it, you... well, decide on Joaquin Phoenix's "lost year" for yourself, I guess. (See Movieline's full review here.)

· Legendary (limited): WWE presents™ John Cena in the story of an Oklahoma family brought together by the power and glory of -- what else? -- wrasslin'. What's Patricia Clarkson doing here?

· Lovely, Still (limited): Ellen Burstyn and Martin Landau have a December-December relationship -- literally, like during Christmastime.

· Race to Nowhere (NYC, LA): Documentary about the overextension of American children by homework, extracurricular activities, college preparation and God knows what else we all were just fine growing up with before people made documentaries bitching about it.

· Sequestro (NYC): Another documentary, this one four years in the making and following a very busy anti-kidnapping squad in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

· The Virginity Hit (limited): Sony's raunchy teen-sex farce lands in select college towns before platforming to wide release next week.

· Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him?) (NYC): Intimate documentary about the iconoclastic singer-songwriter's rise, fall, passions, pursuits and following, which includes Brian Wilson and Yoko Ono.



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