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Media : That's a wrap

The low-down on this week’s premieres

Another summer, another nominal comedy/inadvertent horror movie from Shawn, Marlon and Keenen Ivory. Plus, the most anticipated indie of the season, and another deal where Owen Wilson tries to cute his way into your pants for an hour and a half.

With A Scanner Darkly, Richard Linklater’s scrupulous `see review/interview, page 23` adaptation of the 1977 Philip K. Dick novel about drug abuse and paranoia in a futuristic dystopia (1994 Orange County, then), Keanu Reeves further cements his claim as the industry-issue go-to actor for directors seeking to fill that itchy “wanly bemused dude in the midst of an utterly incomprehensible (frequently cyberpunk-ish) situation” niche. This one’s been a long time coming, with other (separate) would-be incarnations (to which were attached the likes of Terry Gilliam and Charlie Kaufman) falling away over the years — here’s hoping it’s worth the nail-gnawing. (Our reviewer seems to think it is, but even if you don’t particularly care, take a gander at the review anyway, just for the repeated phrase “Dick fans.”)

Fresh off the unnatural, hellish imagery of White Chicks comes the equally freakish and unsettling-looking Little Man, wherein Marlon Wayans (remember when he was in a Darren Aronofsky flick?), via the creepiest-ass CGI since The Polar Express, plays a pint-sized ex-con/ersatz baby who wheedles his way into the lives of a nice-guy/wannabe-daddy (Shawn Wayans) and his wife (Ray’s Kerry Washington). Let’s see ... Scary Movie, White Chicks, Little Man. Hmm. Next up for the Wayans: a remake of The English Patient, called Hurt Guy. No, that’s a lie. But they are reportedly readying Homey the Clown for the big screen, which will hopefully feature more laughs than laffs, or at least not give me persistent nightmares.

Re: Owen Wilson, you either want to just eat him all up with a man-size spoon, or kick him visciously and repeatedly in the softies until he relents with that goofy, stoner-cred grin of his. (Or I guess there’s probably some room in the middle there, too.) Me, I like the guy. Sue me. I buy the “lovable eccentric” bit — but I don’t expect I’ll like You, Me and Dupree. They’ve apparently hung the whole thing on Wilson’s shoulders, as Matt Dillon and Kate Hudson (though the former was particularly excellent in There’s Something About Mary) are historically short of hilarious; ergo, all Owen, all the time. Let that determine your decision.

Lastly: You’ve no idea how righteously pissed I am that the possibly fantastic Wordplay (review, 25) got bumped this week — that crap happens all the time around here.

Well, don’t want to end negatively, so ... um ... I love you.

Have a good week — and stay away from that bird flu.

- Brian Villalobos

Local premiere dates for limited-release films are tentative and can change at the last minute. Please check your local theater listings to confirm showtimes.


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