That's a Wrap


Know this: If you watch The Pursuit of Happyness, you will cry until your ass falls off. Period. (Goes double for grammarians.) (Yes, that means grammarians’ asses will fall off twice.) That’s the bad news, if you happen to be one of those folks who fears the soul-cleansing effects of a good, hard (public) blubbering. (Not me: I’ll gush and wail and snort and wipe loudly and happily until the credits roll, and then I’ll get up, wipe my delicate, dew-drop tears, and totally whip your ass at football and armwrestling and lumberjacking and unclean-whiskey-drinking and motorcycle-throwing and machine-gun marksmanship and chainsaw-jousting and extreme face-punching and Aussie-rules football and whatever else you wanna have a go at, sucka. ’Cause that’s just how I do.) The good news: If you notice someone next to you who isn’t crying, you can slip out of the theater to use the top-secret “red phone” and alert the proper authorities that the invasion has begun, and then, once back, if you can convince the guy to slip off his faceshield to nab a snapshot of his heartless alien-robot innards, you’ll probably get rich or something. By the way, POH may be Will Smith’s best performance yet, and his kid ain’t too far behind. Plus: Live-action work for Dan “D’oh!” Castellaneta! (Woo-hoo!)

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 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 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.

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