This week, Britain and South Korea kick our ass.
A Lot Like Love
I know what you're thinking. "It's about time someone put Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet in a movie together. A romcom with their combined talent would solve all of the world's problems." Well, at least they tried. Disk includes bloopers, deleted scenes, and commentary from the director and producer, which will hopefully explain how this When Harry Met Sally wannabe failed to achieve world peace. We were counting on you, Ashton!
This project had a lot going for it. Queen Latifah: eminently talented, Oscar-nominated for Chicago. Alicia Silverstone: A good comedic actress back from the dead after Excess Baggage and Miss Match. Alfre Woodard: Undderrated and underutilized in Hollywood. Mena Suvari: Trying to break out of movies with "American" in the title. Djimon Hounsou: A special part of any film. Kevin Bacon: Increasing his linkability. And Keisha Knight Pulliam? That's Rudy, yo!
Plus you're building off a franchise (Barbershop) that actually produced a decent sequel by most accounts. What could possibly go wrong? I mean, maybe if you got the director of, I don't know, Honey and matched him with a writer from, oh, let's say Glitter. What? You actually did that? Were you trying to create some sort of FrankenCrap? Were you high? You were? Oh, that explains it, then.
Director's commentary may or may not include a compare/contrast with Honey.
The Ring Two: Unrated Edition
The first one of these scared the crap out of me when I saw it in the theater. Really, I was waiting for some creepy kid to come crawling out of my TV when I got home that night. And I have a pretty big TV, so she could fit. Actually, she'd be like super-sized creepy little girl. Anyway, I was very disappointed to hear that this one, directed by the helmer of the original Japanese version and penned by the same screenwriter as the American remake and starring the survivors from the first flick plus the prototype freaky gamine, Sissy Spacek, wasn't up to snuff. I don't know what extra footage the unrated edition holds, but no edition appears to have any extras whatsoever.
Lest you think this week is just one long parade of suck, two imports are here to save the day. The first, a British flick directed by Matthew Vaughn, the producer of the entire Guy Ritchie oeuvre, including Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch (we'll forget that he also produced Swept Away), is a balls-to-the-wall gritty urban crime drama (yeah, he's not straying far genre-wise here) with outstanding performances by Daniel Craig, Colm Meany, Michael Gambon, and George Harris. Great screenplay from J.J. Connolly, based on his novel. Vaughn creates a more sombre tone than Ritchie's romps, but it suits the material well. You can read my full review here.