Fair warning: This column is now three weeks old, and that means it's time to alienate some people.
Screw Indiana Jones.
Seriously. Snap out of it, folks. Take a good look at that trailer. Explain to us how it could be any more funereally paced, technically stilted or downright weird. Pretend it isn't obvious that Spielberg had to spend umpteen hours feeding stills from Regarding Henry into iMovie just to make it look as if his decrepit leading man was engaged in the simple act of walking forward.
Yet grown Americans have decided en masse that the shambling return of wheezy old Indy is the greatest thing since Cialis. There was our hero on the cover of last week's Entertainment Weekly, hoisting his machete in salute to seven pages of slobberingly nostalgic ass-kiss heralded by the eminently debatable legend "Why He's Still Hot." We hope somebody out there grasped the slight irony that the accompanying photo just happened to be decades old. You want an honest caption? How about "He's a Barely Reanimated Corpse, Sure. But for a While There, He Was at Least Keeping Calista Flockhart Distracted"?
And it's only going to get worse in the weeks ahead. Keep checking this space for sanity enemas as a foolhardy world prostrates itself before the juggernaut of Indiana Jones and the Search for a Proper Conditioner. In the meantime, here's what your AARP card is buying you these days:
Opening Friday, March 21:
Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns With every passing day, our mental list of substantive differences between Tyler Perry and Oprah winnows further into nothingness. They're both big and black, they both command vast armies of fanatical followers, and they are both (obviously) rich as Croesus. (Oh, and they're about equally masculine. Snap!) The only real distinction at this juncture is that Perry isn't telling anybody how to vote. But even that may change if the ticket-buying public awards him yet another vote of confidence for Meet the Browns, in which a Chicago-based single mom travels to Georgia to meet her dead pappy's "fun-loving, crass" relatives. Since no screenings are being held for critics, we suspect the "crass" part will outweigh the "fun." (PG-13)
Shutter Creepy atmosphere? Check. Unexplained phenomena involving innocuous household appliance? Check. Ominous figure with jet-black, seaweedy hair? Check. With memories of One Missed Call still haunting your dreams, you're probably anticipating yet another lousy, clichéd ghost story from yet another Japanese director. Wrong! Masayuki Ochiai is Thai. Now don't you feel stupid? (PG-13)
Drillbit Taylor Hey, religious hardliners! Here comes a new Owen Wilson movie to make you rethink your stand on suicide! (PG-13)
Available Tuesday, March 25:
Bonnie and Clyde: Ultimate Collector's Edition Arthur Penn's revolutionary 1967 lovers-on-the-lam drama gets a lavish tribute, with a remastered presentation, deleted scenes, documentaries, trailers, extensive printed materials and even Warren Beatty's wardrobe test. For the coup de grâce, federal agents arrive at your door as soon as you're done watching and engulf you in a hail of bullets. (Warner Home Video)
Lost Highway There's still no sign of a reversal in David Lynch's policy of not recording commentary tracks for his DVDs, so don't expect one with the latest release of his 1997 fever dream, which was called impenetrable by every working critic who's never seen a film that was shot outside of America. There is, however, said to be a "10-part multi-angle interview." Will Lynch prove evasive from any and every vantage point? Probably, but we eagerly await the debut of the Earlobe Cam just the same. (Universal Home Entertainment)
Walk the Line Collector's Edition
A lot of people dismissed the Oscar-winning Johnny Cash salute as a textbook biopic — as if that were a bad thing. Personally, we couldn't get enough of the flick, which is why we were elated to learn that a new version was coming, with an additional 17 minutes of footage and extended musical segments. The only element of the re-release we question is the timing: After experiencing the uproarious Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, how can we go back to watching the real deal and be expected to keep a straight face? Every time the young Johnny opens his mouth, we're going to expect him to bust out in a chorus of "Ah cut mah brother in hay-uff." (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Wristcutters: A Love Story And since no installment of this column can seem to go by without a mention of Mark Boone Jr., be advised that he appears in this unconventional 2007 indie, in which a trio of lost souls traverse an afterworld maintained specifically for those who have taken their own lives. One big drawback: The place is filled with reminders of their chosen modes of suicide. The upside? Owen Wilson isn't there. Yet. (What, too soon?) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
Wristcutters: A Love Story And since no installment of this column can seem to go by without a mention of Mark Boone Jr., be advised that he appears in this unconventional 2007 indie, in which a trio of lost souls traverse an afterworld maintained specifically for those who have taken their own lives. One big drawback: The place is filled with reminders of their chosen modes of suicide. The upside? Owen Wilson isn't there. Yet. (What, too soon?) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)email@example.com