As we drag nearer and nearer to Helloween, the cinema darkens, becomes more horrific and chilling. Scenes of absolute atrocity are projected in front of our twitching eyes, and – wait a minute, is that a robot with machine guns in his ass?
Astro Boy – Yes! Yes, it is a robot with machine guns in his ass. Osamu Tezuka’s most-loved creation comes to the United States in glorious 3rd-rate CGI, but will the guy who directed the utterly forgettable Flushed Away be able to capture the unique blend of whimsy and terror that makes little Astro such a winner? Plus Dr. Tenma is being voiced by Nicolas Cage, which could either be amazing or horrific. Genndy (Samurai Jack) Tartakovsky was originally planned to direct this, which would have been a lot better.
Saw VI – I just don’t get it. These movies just keep going and going and going and it’s like nothing is happening in them at all – some boring actors get killed and some weird tapes get played and the film stock is all cruddy and hey! Blood! But I guess they make like zillions of dollars and cost basically nothing, so more power to them. This latest installment promises more gore and answers to questions you didn’t even know you asked. The next two are supposed to be in 3-D. The next two after that will smell like formaldehyde and rusty medical equipment with special odor-dispensing tubes installed in seats. The one after that will actually kill you.
Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant – Most unintentionally funny title of the week. This is the first Twilight cashin ripoff of the holiday season, and the source material it’s based on might actually be more hilarious than Stephanie Moore’s Mormon abstinence fest. Cirque Du Freak is the first novel in the trilogy called The Saga of Darren Shan, by… Darren Shan. Yeah, dude wrote his own saga. Dude named DARREN wrote his own saga. And the vampire is named “Larten Crepsley.” Was the manuscript written on the inside of a Pee-Chee folder? What even is this? On the flipside, Salma Hayek is in this and she has tits on her that make just about anything watchable.
Amelia – The best part of that Night at the Museum thing was Amy Adams‘ ass as Amelia Earhart’s ass. Try saying that five times fast. So this movie has Hilary Swank‘s ass as Amelia Earhart’s ass and the rest of Hilary Swank as the rest of Amelia Earhart. I’m not sold.
Ong Bak 2: The Beginning – Tony Jaa is my pick for best action hero of the last decade – the limber Thai ass-kicker brings a visceral oomph to his fights that’s missing from the overly CGI and wireworked brawls that dominate the screen. In this prequel to the flick that made him famous, we journey to ancient Thailand to watch a bunch of jerks get their faces kicked and/or elbowed in. I mean, I’m sure there’s a story in there somewhere but who do I look like, Anthony Lane? Just hurt people and let me watch.