Metroid: Other M for the Wii (Tue.)
Samus Aran returns after the successful Metroid Prime trilogy with a direct sequel to the Super Nintendo classic Super Metroid. The Tuesday release is a hybrid of 2D and 3D gaming disciplines that relies more on character development and cinematics than any Metroid game in the series, which can be attributed to developer Team Ninja (Ninja Gaiden II), the creative team behind this new Nintendo Wii chapter. Unfortunately, early reviews for Metroid: Other M have suggested that the increased backstory sexualizes Samus and dials down her legendary badassery.
George Clooney in The American (Wed.)
Music video legend Anton Corbijn returns with his second feature-length film after his impressive and tragic tale of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis, Control. Corbijn ditches the black-and-white palette of his 2007 debut for a colorful trip to Italy with titular assassin George Clooney in this adaptation of the Martin Booth novel A Very Private Gentleman. Clooney plays Jack, the sharp-dressed loner assassin who takes some much-deserved time off from killing and falls for the sultry Clara (Violante Placido). Can he escape his deadly past or will love save him? Find out when The American opens Wednesday.
Robert Rodriguez takes a funny “fake” trailer from his co-created Grindhouse and fattens it up to feature-length size. Danny Trejo reprises his role as the campily violent titular Mexican and is joined by up-and-comers Robert De Niro, Jeff Fahey, Steven Seagal, and Nash Bridges co-stars Don Johnson and Cheech Marin in another cheaply made, hyper-stylized violent orgy à la Rodriguez. Lest you think Machete (out Friday) is a machismo all-male fest, the ladies get in on the action too, with Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriquez, and a straight-out-of-rehab Lindsay Lohan kicking some ass.
Get a taste of the carnage on the film’s official website.
Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1 (Fri.)
The two-part Mesrine saga, starring Vincent Cassell (Ocean’s Twelve) as infamous real-life French gangster Jacques Mesrine, has finally hit the States. The first part, Mesrine: Killer Instinct 68, opened last week in limited release, while the second installment, Mesrine: Public Enemy #1, arrives in theatres this Friday. The nearly four-hour saga is being described as the French Scarface as the films follow Mesrine’s sordid life in violent crime -- which includes robberies, murder, and kidnappings. The conclusion of Public Enemy #1 relies less on violent action and instead focuses on Mesrine’s manipulation of the media and police while building towards an inevitable finale. Director Jean-François Richet (who directed the Assault on Precinct 13 remake) and the charismatic Cassel won César Awards for the films.
Learn a little more about the Mesrine films at the U.S. website.
Familial, the solo debut for Radiohead's Philip Selway (Tue.)
Thom Yorke may be taking forever to put out his second solo album, but Radiohead drummer Phil Selway is stepping up in the interim. Familial is Selway’s first solo album, and the Tuesday release eschews the rocky electro-fizz of his main band and instead goes for a more acoustic, singer-songwriter feel. A few of the collaborators who were on Neil Finn’s 7 Worlds Collide The Sun Came Out project with Selway return, including fellow singer-songwriter Lisa Germano (Lullaby for Liquid Pig).
A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop (Fri.)
Now here’s something you don’t see everyday: a foreign remake of the Coen brothers’ 1985 debut feature Blood Simple. Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) directs the film (originally titled A Simple Noodle Story), which transforms the setting from small Texas town to the desert of northwest China. The film premiered at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival and was warmly received there, but subsequent reaction has been mixed, citing wild tonal fluctuations as a sticking point. (Be prepared: there's a a hip hop dance routine set to an original rap song.) You can see if the director masters the Coens’ style or simply produces another unnecessary remake when A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop opens in limited release on Friday.
View stills and a synopsis at the film’s U.S. website.
Closing the book on last week
|Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source: Boxofficemojo.com)|
|The Last Exorcism 63||$21.3 million; 1st week at #1|
|#1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)|
|Eminem: Recovery 62||7th week at #1 (including 2-week gap)|
|Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)|
|NFL Preseason: Vikings/49ers (NBC)||10.8 million viewers; week of 8/16-8/22|