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Opening in Orlando: Colossal, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and more

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OPENING THIS WEEK:

Colossal Sometimes a movie falls prey to a bit of redundancy in the characterization department. Take for example Colossal, in which Anne Hathaway's character is established as an alcoholic unemployed writer. Yeah, you know what? I think any one of those three pretty much tells the same story. But I'm willing to forgive this film any of its potential excesses, just because its premise is so gosh-darn wacky: As she attempts to put her life back together, Hathaway's heroine discovers that she may unwittingly control the movements of a giant, Godzilla-like monster that keeps attacking South Korea. Give yourself 10 points if you're perceiving some sort of metaphor here – especially when an enormous robot shows up that may be tied to another challenge in her personal path forward. Which means that what we've got going on is apparently a kind of weird-ass cross between Rachel Getting Married and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. In short, the kind of project that's so breezily unconventional you can't believe it made it out of a pitch meeting. And there's something about that that just appeals to me as an alcoholic. I mean an unemployed person. I mean a writer. (R)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 The entire movie-going world wants to know if the second Guardians picture could possibly equal the game-changing original. They want to know if it's as funny. As exciting. As suggestive of a George Lucas who still functions as a human being. Personally, I have a slightly more specific criterion for predicting if a Marvel movie will set the world on fire: How closely does it align with the recorded works of Monster Magnet? I'm convinced Deadpool was such a breakout hit because it featured the character Negasonic Teenage Warhead, who was introduced in the comics as a tribute to the song of the same name on the Magnet's 1995 masterpiece Dopes to Infinity. By that standard, prospects are strong for Guardians, which includes the screen debut of Ego, the Living Planet – a Marvel Comics mainstay who inspired an instrumental on the very same album. As an extra insurance policy, Ego is played by Kurt Russell, thus satisfying one of my other litmus tests for a flick's potential: How much does it have in common with Escape From New York? I'm looking for this latest outing to usher in a richly successful new era in event movies, one that should last a good long time. Because let's face it, there are 10 more songs on Dopes to Infinity that are just waiting to be mined for references. King of Mars, anyone? (PG-13)

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