By Sarah Sluis
Of the three major films releasing this weekend, sci-fi thriller Knowing has made the biggest bet, opening on 3,332 screens, the widest release. Its ubiquity could push it to the top spot, but the Nic Cage film will
have tough competition from Duplicity (2,575 screens) and I Love You, Man (2,711 screens). On I Love You, Man's side: strong reviews and interest among young males, who are known for seeing movies on opening weekend. The Julia Roberts-Clive Owen spy romance, to its credit, has a taut, screwball feel to it, and slick dialogue--but it's trailing I Love You, Man by 12% on Rotten Tomatoes, 78% to 66%. It's worth pointing out that Knowing received just 25% on the review aggregating site, indicating that it might not be able to push through to the number one spot. I can attest that I Love You, Man is surprisingly good, and a "bromance" that nonetheless appeals to the female demographic, so I hope rising stars Paul Rudd and Jason Segal can gave it a number one finish, and that Duplicity can pick up audiences next weekend, which will be dominated by the release of family flick Monsters vs. Aliens.
This week is a crowded one for specialty films, so choose wisely from the ones FJI has reviewed. The Great Buck Howard (47 screens) stars John Malkovich as a has-been magician, and while our reviewer Shirley Sealy found the film so-so, "for true-blue Malkovich fans, it may be unmissable."
Up-and-coming director Cary Fukunaga (read an interview with him here) makes his feature debut with
Sin Nombre (6 screens), the tale of Honduran immigrants hitching rides on freight trains to try to sneak across the U.S./Mexico border. Our Executive Editor Kevin Lally praised the director for "[maintaining] a deft balance of justifiably melodramatic plot elements and low-key realism; the horrific moments here never feel false or overemphatic." Violent and poignant, the film provides a counterpoint to the tales of recession woe plaguing the nation. It really could be much, much worse. Fukunaga signed a three-picture deal with Focus and Universal, so be sure to see the film so you can be on top of the next big thing.
Catch a documentary "as seductive and glamorous as high fashion itself" featuring the legendary fashion designer in Valentino: The Last Emperor (NY). Looking for a "quirky little comedy of existential angst?" Go see Bob Funk (NY). "Preppie angst" more your style? Go see The New Twenty (NY). "Dying-to-be-meaningful?" Go see We Pedal Uphill. Not angsty, but a slacker-loser? Have a laugh and see Skills Like This. And with a movie for every mood, we'll regroup with you next Monday.