New movies opening today:
Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant - 2 1/2 stars
This didn't totally suck (ha!), but it wasn't very good either. These two high school students go to a freak show circus (bearded lady, snake boy, ect.) and they meet a vampire there. The vampire is played by John C. Reilly. The vampire has a big, colorful spider. This is convenient. One of the boys is into spiders, the other is into vampires. The spider-loving kid steals the vampire's spider, which ends up biting his friend. The kid goes back to the vampire to apologize and ask for the antidote. The vampire says ok, I'll give you the antidote if you will become half vampire and be my assistant.
Reilly is a good vampire, but there are also bad vampires. Before the movie ends, there will be a fight between the good guys and bad guys. This movie is based on books aimed at 12-year old boys, and that's the audience for this. It's ripping off a bunch of other fantasy stories. In some parts, it seems like it's trying to make fun of vampire movies. Other times, it takes itself way too seriously. They leave the ending wide open for another movie, and if they never make part 2, I will not be disappointed.
A Serious Man - 2 1/2 stars
I had high hopes for this. I love most everything the Coen Brothers have done. Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, those are my favorites. This is better than Intolerable Cruelty, but not by much.
You will recognize a lot of the Coen Brothers' sense of humor. It made me chuckle, but not laugh out loud. Which is ok. Sometimes I prefer the low-key humor. I dug the movie for the first half hour or so. But at some point, I felt like there was no narrative. There is no point to the story. And they didn't use Richard Kind very well. He was given almost nothing to do.
I have heard people say this is one of the Coen Brothers' best movies. I have also heard people say that The Big Lebowski is not funny, so what do they know?
Amelia - 1 1/2 stars
Now this was a missed opportunity. I don't know much about Amelia Earhart except that she was a pilot and disappeared while trying to fly around the world. They could have made a really interesting movie about her life story. Instead they focus on her marriage and, well, that's about it. We get a couple of her historic flights in the movie, but we don't learn much. I would have much rather sat through a documentary about her.
Oh, and this was not a good performance by Hilary Swank. I didn't like the way she said her dialogue and she smiled way too much. There were far too many shots of her and Richard Gere with these big cheesy grins on their faces. Ugh.
Astro Boy - didn't see
Adventures of Power - didn't see