It’s early in 2013, but this certainly will end up the most depressing weekend for new movies all this year. In multiplexes there is Snitch (53), starring Dwayne Johnson. Reading the plot summary, it’s a bit more gritty and socially conscious than most of his films, and who would have figured him in a movie with Susan Sarandon? But has Johnson made any good movies? The Rundown wasn’t bad, but anything else?
Not screened for critics is Dark Skies (46), presumably a standard alien invasion movie. I will probably rent this some day, because it stars Keri Russell, who is just dreamy.
The major art house release is two films, Rubberneck (56) and Red Flag (65) by Alex Karpovsky, who is not a Russian but an American. In the Times review of the two films, Lena Dunham is mentioned in the first sentence, so be either encouraged or forewarned, depending.
The discerning moviegoer in New York will be at Film Forum, which is doing a massive retrospective of films from 1933. It was the last year pre-Code, and somehow they got 66 films from that year, most in 35 millimeter. Some of the films that have already screened are Duck Soup, Dinner at Eight, 42nd Street and Sons of the Desert. This weekend is a Katharine Hepburn double feature: Little Women and Morning Glory (her first Oscar-winning role). On Sunday is Cavalcade (written by Noel Coward, and the Oscar-winning Best Picture) and The Private Life of Henry VIII (Charles Laughton won the Best Actor). Coming up is She Done Him Wrong, The Invisible Man, The Island of Lost Souls, and King Kong, playing on March 3rd, the 80th anniversary of its release at Radio City Music Hall. Oh, for a time machine to go back to that day! Instead we get Snitch.