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THE WEEKEND MARQUEE: Big Business for ‘2012’, Critics Declare It A Disaster Area


The biggest new movie opening this weekend is Roland Emmerich‘s 2012. In fact, it’s so big that John Cusack, who plays an academic researcher leading a group to counteract events predicted in the Mayan calender, told MTV News that, to get any bigger:

You gotta go intergalactic.

The plot seems like a shameless mash-up of The Da Vinci Code with Emmerich’s past successes like Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow. There is a difference though, in this case, every single landmark explodes instead of just the White House or the Polar Ice Caps.

So what if its merely a retread of  Emerich’s other mega-budgeted disaster movies. In an economy that’s seen better days, Emmerich is probably smart enough to go with what works.  Those two films alone grossed a combine total over $660M. 2012 has a good chance to reach those heights, seeing as it’s set to open in 3,404 theaters and the other two major new releases is a quirky take-off on Good Morning Vietnam and Wes Anderson‘s first animated movie.

Rolling StonesPeter Travers pretty much sums up the general critical consensus when he says,

Beware 2012, which works the dubious miracle of almost matching Transformers 2 for sheer, cynical, mind-numbing, time-wasting, money-draining, soul-sucking stupidity.

boat_that_rocked_ver8Pirate Radio is an ensemble comedy set in 1967 and tells the true story of a band of DJ’s who set out to transmit music that was an alternative to the government sponsored jazz stations of the time. According to Variety, James Schamus, the producer of Pirate Radio said:

I don’t think the American culture has honestly absorbed the potential of what was happening in the 1960s. Late capitalism shut it down as a stylistic detour, and there’s very little understanding or acceptance of how deep were the structural changes — everything from male-female relations to gay liberation to what happened last November at the ballot box. These are things we all owe to the ’60s.

Entertainment Weekly‘s Lisa Schwarzbaum says:

Pirate Radio is, in the end, about as rock-revolutionary as a tea break. But the choppy production floats on a great soundtrack (the real pirates are the Rolling Stones) and is buoyed by an inviting cast, including Kenneth Branagh as a British-government priss hell-bent on shutting down the infernal radio station. It’s only rock & roll, but he doesn’t like it.

fantastic_mr_foxWes Anderson‘s Fantastic Mr. Fox opens in limited release (four theaters total). Does Andersons lyrical style translate to an animated adaptation of a Roald Dahl story? Apparently so, as most critics are singing the movie’s praises.

New York Magazine‘s David Edelstein writes,

“The additions are okay; but it’s the look that keeps you buoyed up, your eyes roaming the frames, laughing in surprise at the visual jokes and flourishes and textures. It’s a dandy’s movie, but that adds to the fun.”

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