It’s all a part of the lattice of web/cinematic coincidence

I’ve just had one of those moments where one’s ‘net surfing all ties in together in way similar to that described below by the great Tracey Walter in 1984’s “Repo Man.”

So, today, I’m trying to decide what to write for this post, and I happen across Roger Ebert’s tweet noting that today is the 103rd birthday of John Wayne. Now, I’m tempted to start looking for a good YouTube clip to run as one my “movie moments” posts, but this is hardly the first time I’ve noted the birthday of the Duke, and it’s not like it’s a birthday ending with a zero. Still, I look at some clips, but nothing really seems to work.

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“The Bounty Hunter” to ride shotgun for “Alice”?

Karl Rove and Ken Starr in That seems to be the trend in Hollywood conventional wisdom this busy March weekend, at least as reflected by my only source for such matters right now, the thoughts of jolly Carl DiOrio and Greg Kilday of The Hollywood Reporter. It certainly seems fairly impossible to argue that “Alice in Wonderland” won’t continue to enjoy its ride at the top of the box office for another week, with the aid of all those extra-pricey 3-D tickets. If it makes less than $30 million or so, I’m thinking it would be a rude shock for Disney.

As for the #2 spot, the appeal of Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler seems to be working, as per the mysteries of “tracking,” for “The Bounty Hunter.” The film aroused some serious vitriol, however, from our own David Medsker, who has lost all patience with Ms. Aniston. It’s not doing much better with critics as a whole. Scott Tobias of the A.V. Club opines that:

Based on the onscreen evidence, not a single person in front of or behind the camera cared a whit about how The Bounty Hunter turned out…Some movies are passion projects; The Bounty Hunter is an inertia project.

That’s actually mild compared to the zinger Tobias ends his review with. As you might guess, it’s Rotten Tomatoes rating as of this writing is pretty bad, a very lowly 8%.

Jenifer Aniston, Gerard Butler, and the back of bald guy's head star in

Still, audience members may be lured by the film’s effective advertising. Its effective advertising promises a lively ride as a sort of two-fisted spin on “It Happened One Night,” though the PG-13 “Bounty Hunter” is apparently more of an attempt at a light-hearted actioner than the action-packed rom-com you’d expect from the marketing.

DiOrio and Kilday are guesstimating $20-23 million for Sony. Sounds doable to me, though the second weekend might have a huge drop if the film is as much of a creative misfire as it sounds.

Next up is Fox’s PG-rated “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” based on a popular series of young adult “novels in cartoon.” (My pet peeve: why can’t we just call them comics?) I have to say that I hope the movie is much better than the trailer, which I found completely unfunny — just a collection of pale sub-“Wonder Years” jokes. The reviews seem to promise something at least a little better, with “Kid” dividing critics somewhat, though no one seems all that excited in either direction.

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Red Band Mania! Violence, great acting, and, er, surgical violence!

There are any number of interesting movie stories circulating about right now, but time constraints just won’t permit me to tell them today…and tomorrow is weekend preview, so some might just have to wait. Instead, however, we’ve got two interesting and violent red-band preview.

The first excites me quite a bit as it features the great Michael Caine and is the beneficiary of some very good buzz. Caine is an actor I’ve always kind of loved, but after being assigned to look at some of his lesser known films and doing some research writing up his bio, the admiration I’ve always had kind of turned into awe. I could go and on about that, and kind of did in the bio. Anyhow, “Harry Brown” appears to be an intelligent spin on the vigilante film, and that’s probably enough of an intro. Check it out, courtesy of Rope of Silicon.

And, not to be confused with the 1984 cult classic, “Repo Man” we have “Repo Men,” cowritten by Eric Garcia, who also wrote its basis, the science fiction novel, The Repossession Mambo, and wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where that could be the movie’s title. And, like I alluded to in the name of this post, this one is red-banded for its fairly matter of fact portrayal of organ removal as perpetrated by Jude Law and Forest Whitaker. As a gore phobe, and organ removal I suppose is the definition of gore, I’m still trying to figure out why this doesn’t bother me more.

  

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