movies this week: dry weekend

Memorial Day weekend? For me, it is Cynical About Movies weekend. You have been warned.
Remember when cool movies used to open on Memorial Day weekend? Not this year, buster. I guess everyone’s assuming that we’ll all go see the Star Wars movie again so there’s no point in releasing anything except kids’ movies and maybe a few arthouse flicks. Oh, and a remake with Adam Sandler. I guess that’s supposed to be the blockbuster of the week.
It isn’t even a good weekend for movie events in Austin. There are a few movies I’d like to see during the week, but I am surprised at the rather lackluster programming for Memorial Day weekend. Perhaps theater programmers are assuming we’ll all be outdoors having picnics or something.
Last weekend, my boyfriend and I tried to see a movie, but couldn’t find anything we might like that we hadn’t already seen. This weekend looks just as bad. And what will future weekends hold?
I am looking ahead at the summer movie release schedule and am unimpressed. In fact, I’m a little disgusted.
It’s not that bad, I remind myself. Let’s not forget about Howl’s Moving Castle, The Aristocrats, a Terry Gilliam movie or two on the horizon, Jim Jarmusch, and a kids’ film from Robert Rodriguez. Maybe Charlie and the Chocolate Factory won’t suck. Maybe Richard Linklater will do something entertaining with The Bad News Bears.
But it is too easy to see a long arid summer full of Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff and movies made from TV shows and comic books and movies that never needed to be remade and sequels to dumb Rob Schneider movies and Ron Howard schmaltz. These are the movies that are supposed to pull the U.S. box office out of its three-month slump? I wonder.
Every cloud has its little silver lining, though, right? The lineup of summer movies makes me glad of one thing: that I’m not a newspaper movie critic who will have to sit through each and every one of those lovely summertime gems and write something unique and intelligent about them, without turning into Oscar the Grouch Critic. Thank heaven for that. I know you’re thankful, too.
(Yeah, right. Like I wouldn’t take a newspaper critic job in a New York minute, even if I did have to watch the Herbie movie and the TV adaptations. Get real. I would love to be paid money to write about film, even in that way.)

New movies in Austin this week:
3-Iron—Korean drama about a guy who breaks into houses for odd purposes. This could be interesting, actually.
Eating Out—This is what Dobie replaced Major Dundee with before I got to see it? Grmf. Lil bitty indie comedy about a guy who pretends to be gay, but then meets a nice girl and hilarity ensues.
The Longest Yard—I’m just not up for the usual “why did someone need to remake this movie?” rant. Whatever. I wouldn’t mind renting the original movie, though, which was directed by Robert Aldrich.
Madagascar—It’s a harmless computer-animated movie for kids about wacky zoo animals, which means it’ll make $100 million easily even if it’s total crap. It’s a Dreamworks movie, which means it will be stuffed with sly pop culture references and mild potty jokes. But wait, it features the voices of David Schwimmer and Ben Stiller! Obviously destined to be a classic.
Notable events/revivals in Austin:
The Paramount’s Summer Film Classics schedule is online here. Check it out.
Also, Alamo Downtown has posted its schedule for July. I am excited about the Buster Keaton double-feature with live music accompaniment on July 7.
ABBA: The Movie—Playing at Alamo Downtown at midnight Sat. 5/28. Just for you, sweetie: a 1977 film about the Swedish band directed by, weirdly enough, Lasse Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog, Chocolat).
All About Eve—Playing at the Paramount on Wed.-Thurs. 5/31 and 6/1. You can see it as a double-feature with Sunset Blvd.—I’ve seen these movies before as a double-feature, and it’s a great double bill. Go on Wednesday when Sunset Blvd. plays first so you get the somewhat more light-hearted All About Eve after it.
Casablanca—Playing at the Paramount Sat. 5/28. It isn’t really summer in Austin unless the Paramount shows Casablanca, right?
Dazed and Confused—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Wed-Thurs. 6/1-2 and Sunday 6/5. I really ought to see this in a theater.
E.T.—Playing at Alamo South on Sat-Sun. 5/28-29 as part of their new Summer Kids Camp series. The theater will show a kids’ movie at noon every weekend this summer. Nice idea. I hope they pick other good films.
The Jerk—Playing at Alamo Downtown Wed.-Thurs. 6/1-2 and Sunday 6/5. I have never seen this movie in a theater. Again, something I ought to do (but will probably forget).
Lipstick and Dynamite—Playing at Alamo Downtown on Tues. 3/31. Documentary about female wrestlers. This sounds fascinating. I’m hoping to go.
Nanook of the North—Playing at Alamo South on Thurs. 6/2. This 1922 documentary will be accompanied by live music from Tina Marsh.
Sunset Blvd.—Playing at the Paramount on Wed.-Thurs. 5/31 and 6/1. You can see it as a double-feature with All About Eve. I love this movie. Absolutely worth seeing in a theater.
Treasure of the Sierra Madre—Playing at the Paramount Sat. 5/28 on a double-feature with Casablanca. I saw this movie last year and found it disappointing, but most people seem to love it. (I’m not sure why … anyone?) New print.
At home, we have My Little Chickadee and The Long Goodbye to watch on DVD, but not as a double-feature.
I still need to write reviews for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Slums of Beverly Hills, The Bad News Bears, But I’m a Cheerleader, Spy Kids 2, The Celluloid Closet, The Iron Giant, Raging Bull, and Maria Full of Grace. Maybe that’s what I should be doing this weekend.