It’s Friday. Before we get to movies, let’s discuss some TV news. Seems Dick Wolf, the creative powerhouse behind the Law & Order franchise, has announced that he’s totally revamping Law & Order: LA. The shocking part? Skeet Ulrich (who plays an Assistant DA) is leaving the show. Also departing are actors Megan Boone and Regina Hall. Are you surprised? The show hasn’t got the greatest ratings but it’s kinda rare to see such er, drastic measures taken to spruce things up. Meanwhile Alfred Molina, who’s already on the show, will actually be taking over for Ulrich in the leading man department. The whole thing seems pretty weird.
Meanwhile, let’s look at movies opening in theaters this weekend because two of them will probably be quite popular: The Green Hornet and The Dilemma. (I should also point out that there are not one but two green superhero movies afoot – Hornet and Lantern — and this fact has been delighting males between the ages of 18 to 45, while confusing the rest of us to no end.)
The first movie – The Green Hornet — gives Seth Rogen his first true action hero role as a newspaperman who becomes a crime fighter, flanked by his trusty martial arts sidekick, Cato (played by Jay Chou). Especially cool here are the vintage-y suits and cars, and over-the-top special effects. The Green Hornet also boasts the addition of Christoph Waltz, who picked up an Oscar for Inglourious Basterds last year, as well as Cameron Diaz. This one looks fun – if campy – and I’m thinking they’re targeting this towards guys in their 30s and 40s who remember the original, plus teens whom they’re hoping to hook as well. Seth Rogen does have that Judd Apatow thing working and can appeal to quite a broad segment, and the funny stuff may win even more people over (like me) who normally wouldn’t go in for anything based on a comic book or graphic novel, even if it is all the rage these days.
The other big movie in theaters today is The Dilemma. This is the one that got its makers into all sorts of hot water because Vince Vaughn called something “gay” in the original trailer and managed to offend lots of people. (P to the S, call me cynical but I wonder if just maaaaaaybe the folks behind the trailer were actually going for that kind of publicity. Perhaps it was an accident, but I’m not so sure about that.) The Dilemma stars Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, and if you just watch the movie’s trailer you can probably figure everything out (a guy’s undecided about revealing the infidelity of his best friend’s wife). Not that it looks like a bad movie, it just feels like something we’ve seen before. Although it’ll be nice to see Winona Ryder given something juicy to play (I think) and it’s always fun to behold Channing Tatum’s aw shucks thing.
So I’ll probably catch both, although I think Green Hornet will be more lucrative at the cineplex. One reason is this: when kids like a movie they return to it two and three times, sometimes immediately. Adults, no matter how fabulous they think a movie is, are far less likely to go back the next day. When’s the last time you went to see a movie twice in a weekend just for fun? For that reason alone, Green Hornet may prevail. But we’ll see. In the meantime, have a great long weekend and let us know what you see and what you think.
1) The Dark Knight
2) Iron Man 2
3) Spider-Man 3