I'm not sure what's opening locally this week but the good news is that The Three Stooges movie that drops on Friday is written and directed by the Farrelly Brothers.
The Farrellys, as pointed out last week, are pretty much the founding fathers of contemporary cinematic comedy thanks to Dumb and Dumber and especially 1998's There's Something About Mary — the movie that somehow okayed semen as a bankable source of laughs and opened the floodgates for American Pie, Old School and Judd Apatow's camp.
The Farrellys don't receive the critical love they deserve but they almost always deliver something decent for people who "get" their style of humour. Me, Myself and Irene, Stuck on You and Kingpin are classics and even Hall Pass had something to offer. The Farrellys always elicit laughs, especially if you take your glaucoma medicine.
I also like that Jane Lynch (Role Models) stars in The Three Stooges, and it's nice to see someone slapsticking into the physical-comedy void left by Jackass, but to me this picture looks like a nightmare. I haven't seen the entire film (no pre-screenings is usually a bad sign) but the clanking, old-timey sound effects in the trailer make me want to ram a used chopstick through both my eardrums. I understand "Old Hollywood" is hip again since The Artist won that Oscar but from the trailer, The Three Stooges seems like a film only Helen Keller would enjoy
Also opening is The Cabin in the Woods. Director Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) and writer/producer Joss Whedon (Toy Story) throw a pretty far-out premise (and then some) on top of the classic "friends go to deserted cabin, shit hits fan" horror archetype, topped with a bit of a Hunger Games-esque antagonism. Luckily there's a lot more blood and enough horror in-jokes to satisfy the devoted but this one is also weird, video-gamey and kinda "Torture Porn 2.0." Nice to see someone trying something new though, so lets just say the less you know about The Cabin in the Woods when you walk in the theatre, the better.
On a local note, fans of The Cabin in the Woods should go online and check out B-Grade HorrorFest alumni Gigi Guerrero's latest endeavour, Choose Your Victim. It's an audience interactive, horror-based web series in which the viewers will decide who dies next (and maybe how?). We saw a taste of interactive cinema at last October's B-Grade HorrorFest when Stu Andrews used audience twitter posts to drive his choose-your-own-adventure, drug trip gone wrong film, Mystery Line, and now it seems Gigi is stepping it up and ushering in a new cinematic form. Choose Your Victim is also currently self-financing via donation site Indiegogo.com — another growing trend for independent filmmakers that helps offset the sequel-only mindset of the big studios.
Back in the theatres, the premise of the third flick opening this week is even more far-fetched than Cabin in the Woods. In Lockout, the daughter of the President of the United States decides to visit the world's most dangerous lunatic asylum, which also happens to be located in outer space, when a riot breaks out. She is instantly taken prisoner and it's up to falsely convicted ex-government shit-disturber Guy Pearce to go save her.
Lockout is utter B-Movie, testosterone-laced cheese but with mad Frenchman Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, The Big Blue) producing and Guy Pearce going no-holds-barred it works for me. Channeling the spirit of old gems like Escape from New York, Lockout is good escapist fun.