Rango vs. Damon vs. 1988 vs. Beauty & the Beast

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Who can’t wait to catch Rango? It’s in theaters today. I haven’t the faintest idea why it looks so immensely appealing, it just does. Nor am I typically a fan of anything animated or animated-esque. I don’t even care for absurd or fantastical movies that feature real people. Still, in much the same way that Chicken Run embodied everything that a non-live action film should, Rango looks tremendous. For one thing, it stars Johnny Depp. Who doesn’t love Johnny Depp? I know, I know, he’s a virtual unknown when it comes to the Peoples Choice Awards. But I think he’s going somewhere. It’s also got some of the niftiest animation around – and  it’s that super high-tech warm animation like Toy Story 3 (as opposed to the creepy animation like the Charles Schwab ads or the Mars Needs Moms trailer they keep showing. Did anyone really like The Polar Express? Exactly.)  Someone pointed out today that no matter how amazing animation gets – it still has yet to create people that don’t look deliberately comical, silly, or unnerving. Animated creatures on the other hand, just look more inviting. Not sure if that’s true, but I thought it was an interesting point.  Another film in theaters today that’s garnering lots of attention is The Adjustment Bureau, which is based on a story by a guy named Philip K. Dick (they’ve based other movies on his stories, among them Blade Runner and Total Recall). It’s a thriller and a romance starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt that asks the question: do we really control our destiny or are there unseen forces —  and people  — that do? Those unseen forces crop up in the form of guys like Mad Men’s John Slattery and Terence Stamp. All of whom are clad in snappy suits and ties so the whole thing plays with time, space, and wardrobe. With lots of chase scenes as our hero breathlessly tries to outwit his planned path. If you like movies that feature cleanshaven men in raincoats delivering cryptic lines about ominous things atop skyscrapers, this is your weekend flick. I will of course be there like a shot. After I see Rango. Now, for something completely different, we have Take Me Home Tonight, a new comedy that takes place in 1988. This one stars Topher Grace as a slacker college type in hot pursuit of a girl. Did we mention it’s set in 1988? That might be all you need to know.

And finally for the Tweens & Twilight set, there is Beastly, a contemporary twist on Beauty and the Beast. Here we have hot young Britpack member Alex Pettyfer (who just starred in I Am Number Four) as a hot young American heartthrob who –gasp – becomes disfigured and must still get the girl. At the risk of offering up what may sound like a spoiler,  it seems safe to say (given both the trailer and the targeted audience) that he um, gets the girl.

So that’s a look at some of the bigger movies opening today, alongside some of those Oscar winners which are now enjoying rereleases and extended engagements. As always, let us know what you see and what you thought. Have a great weekend.

Today’s poll:

Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of this weekend’s films  you’re most excited about:

1)   The Adjustment Bureau

2)   Rango

3)   Take Me Home Tonight

4)   Beastly

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