In terms of teeming, star-laden casts, ain’t nothin’ short of Altman (God rest him), Guest, or Woody Allen that’ll compare to the gluttony that is the Charlotte’s Web above-the-line gang: Julia Roberts, Robert Redford, Oprah Winfrey, Kathy Bates, Steve Buscemi, Reba McEntire, Ellen Burstyn, Elle and Dakota Fanning, John Cleese, Beau Bridges, Jennifer Garner, Andre Benjamin, Cedric the Entertainer, Thomas Haden Church, Leslie Mann, and, playing Wilbur, some 10-year-old kid who’s already got 20 actor credits and one writer-director credit on Imdb.com. Got that? Ten. Writer-director. OK, just making sure. Read an interview on page 24 with Dakota Fanning, who apparently could contend mightily against Jaden Smith (of the West-Philadelphia-born-and-raised Smiths) for the Cutest Kid Who’s Eighty-Thousand Times Richer Than You’ll Ever Possibly Be Able to Conceive crown.
So … if you’d like to see the biggest geek-off of all time (which I say with great love and fellowship), hop on to Imdb.com and log in to peruse the Eragon message boards (or just pop “Eragon” and “plagiarism” into your nearest search engine), wherein you’ll find a heated debate over similarities between major and minor plot points of Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and this dragon-rider-themed new release, based on a book series by 23-year-old Christopher Paolini. Considering I’m not the biggest fantasyhead in general and didn’t even finish out the LOTR films, I may well skip the seemingly FXy Eragon — about a boy who discovers a dragon’s egg and must protect his homeland from evil King Galbatorix (who, I understand, is not a Transformer). Still … Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich and Robert Carlysle? Arggh. So very wicked with their bait, they are.
Finally, the Bijou premieres Boynton Beach Club, from Desperately Seeking Susan directress Susan Seidelman, who co-wrote BBC’s script based on the experiences of her mother, Florence. Mother and daughter co-produced the film, which stars Dyan (Bob & Ted & Carol & Alice) Cannon, Brenda (Midnight Cowboy) Vaccaro, Joseph (Blame it on Rio) Bologna, Michael (Flashdance) Nouri, and Sally “Hot Lips Houlihan” Kellerman, and deals with finding love at any age. Sort of like Cocoon, minus the aliens.
Happy cute kids week. Get ’em while they’re hot.
— 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.