Comedian Dane Cook has a massive following, from his huge record sales to his zillions of MySpace friends. This weekend we'll see if he can extend the brand loyalty to the cineplex, as his first starring role in Employee of the Month hits theaters. Cook plays the slacker box boy Zach who's the Parker Lewis of the bulk bargain store, SuperMart. However, Zach decides to buckle down and shape up when he discovers the new hot checker, Amy (a bland but pouty Jessica Simpson) only goes for the employee of the month. Dax Shepherd plays his super achiever Nemesis and the cast is rounded out by funny performances from Andy Dick, Harland Williams and Efren Ramirez (Pedro in Napoleon Dynamite). This flick isn't going to end world hunger or stop nuclear proliferation, but it's moderately amusing and worth $10.75 if you're in the mood for a light comedy.
Questions: Do we need another texas chainsaw massacre? Wasn't the first one gory enough? Is the world hungry to know what happened in the beginning? Maybe our readers know something different but the answers to those queries seem to be "no, yes and no." Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning hits theaters this weekend and only the box office will know if its something the people want to see.
The one flick that's out this weekend that Gothamist is positively itching to see but hasn't had time to yet is Martin Scorsese's The Departed. Based on the excellent Hong Kong film, Infernal Affairs about a cop and a gangster who both aren't what they seem, it stars Matt Damon, Leonardo diCaprio and Jack Nicholson. Word on the street is that it's the best work Marty's done in years, and based on the premise and the atmospheric trailer, it's not surprising. A story about double crossing cops, crooked gangsters and loyalties gone sour sounds like prime Marty territory. Maybe calling in sick to be there for the first Friday morning screening will be in order.
Two films featured in the New York Film Festival this year get limited theatrical release this weekend. The next installment in his documentary series about a group of Britains growing up, Michael Apted returns to find out how the group is doing with their late '40s in 49 Up. Even if you've not seen the earlier installments, which Robert Ebert says is on his list of top 10 films of all time, it's a fascinating idea to capture a person's life on film in real time. The director of the Oscar-winning In The Bedroom, Todd Field releases his newest film Little Children starring Patrick Wilson, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Connolly. Like his previous work, Field explores the psychological intricacies of family life in the suburbs as Wilson and Winslet's characters embark on an illicit affair.
Playwright Tony Kushner is a real New York treasure and the new documentary by Freida Lee Mock, Wrestling with Angels, captures the artist creating some of his most recent work. If you've ever wondered what Tony's writing space looks like or wanted to see more footage of his lovely wedding to his longtime partner a few years ago, this doc delivers. It also touches upon the major preoccupations in his work—coming out in the '80s, his childhood in the South and his commitment to his Jewish heritage. The film has already begun screening at Film Forum and there will be a Q&A with Kushner and Mock following the Friday at 6 pm showing. Mock will also be on hand for a solo Q&A on Saturday after the 8 pm screening.
The French fashion designer, agnès b. created a series of films for BAM's Cinematek, J'aime le cinéma américain which continues this weekend. It can be so refreshing to see our country's contribution to movie making through the eyes of someone outside and all the selections provide an interesting commentary on what makes American Film great. This weekend, catch two groundbreaking independent works, David Lynch's Lost Highway on Saturday and John Waters' Pink Flamingos on Sunday. Also, if you decide you're on a Marty Scorsese kick this weekend, Monday's film by John Huston Reflections In A Golden Eye will be proceeded by Scorsese's first short film, The Big Shave, a very idealistic and artistic comment on the Vietnam War.