April 20, 2007, - 10:48 am

Weekend Box Office: Engaging “Fracture” Thriller, Horror Film, Anti-Reagan Trash, Dumb Chick Flick

By Debbie Schlussel
This week, one of the year’s best movies opens, along with some junkers, including anti-Reagan trash:
* “Fracture“–This and “Disturbia” are my two favorite thrillers, this year. So far, both are in my 2007 Top Ten.
Anthony Hopkins returns to the screen as a higher-class, more civilized Hannibal Lecter in this thriller about about a wealthy aeronautical engineer who murders his wife and appears to have committed the perfect murder. The first cop on the scene is–by design–the cop who’s been sleeping with Hopkins’ wife.

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Ryan Gosling is excellent as the cocky prosecutor who wants to leave public service to go to a wealthy law firm. But he takes this one last case–an “open and shut” murder with a weapon, perpetrator, and confession.
But it’s not so open and shut, after all. No spoilers, but–other than the ending, which is on very shaky legal ground–this is a great flick. Thrilling, edge-of-your-seat stuff coupled with humor and brilliant acting. Go see this. You’ll thank me. (And see last week’s “Disturbia,” too.)
(Full disclosure: I like Anthony Hopkins, not only because he’s a brilliant actor, but he told Howard Stern that I’m his favorite on that show and complimented me, saying he thinks I’m very smart Thanks, Sir Anthony.)
* “The Tripper“–Fortunately, I didn’t see this much-hyped anti-Reagan, anti-War mass murder movie, but here’s the summary from IMDB:

A Ronald Reagan-obsessed serial killer targets a bunch of hippies who are heading to a weekend-long concert.

Yup, it’s a slasher flick, which writer/director Mr. Courtney Cox a/k/a David Arquette describes as:

a group of hippies who‚Ķ get all whacked out on drugs, and then they get attacked by a killer who is obsessed with Ronald Reagan and dresses up like him. He has a killer dog named Nancy. Like the Gipper, he hates hippies but worse, ‘cuz he turns violent on them.”

Fortunately, very few movies are showing this absurdity.

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* “Vacancy“–I was going to skip screening this horror thriller because I’d read it was very sadistic and hard to watch. Not the case at all. It was, in fact, far less scary than I thought.
Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale are a married couple going through a divorce and lots of snitty arguments. They’ve also just lost a son. They are on a road trip back from her parents anniversary party, when they have car trouble. The mechanic nearby “fixes” their car so that they are stuck to spend the night in a seedy motel in the middle of nowhere. They find snuff films in the room. Soon they realize that the snuff films were shot in the room, and they realize they are the next targets–the “stars” of the films are innocent motel guests, who’ve been murdered.
This is not a great movie. The acting is very thin for those other than the two big-name leads. But that’s not why people go to these movies. They go to be scared and see people maimed and attacked. And that’s why I have mixed feelings on this one. The scenes from the snuff films are vicious. Movies like these give sick people bad ideas.
Like I said, this one was not as bad as I’d read. But it was not great, either. Definitely chilling and creepy. But very predictable and apparently low-budget.
The fun I had watching this was partially derived from the factthat I screened it with a largely Black audience, who talked backto the screen. You know–the typical, “Don’t go in there” stuff. Yes, White people are the dummies, who always stay at the weird motel or go into the strange house, in these movies. Hmmm . . . where are the anti-Imus brigades and Media Matters on that? Nowhere to be seen.
An okay thriller and not too sadistic, bloody, or gory.
* “In the Land of Women“–Don’t let Adam Brody as the star of this fool you. This is a dumb, depressing, boring, long chick flick, full of weeping and crying, with zero point to make. Brody is a porn movie writer who is just dumped by his movie-star girlfriend. He returns to the Detroit area to live with his grandmother, stricken by dementia. He befriends the troubled women of the troubled family across the street. The mom is Meg Ryan, who clearly has few good roles available to her these days, so she took this depressing one.
Proof that if your daddy is a famous director, you get to make movies–however crappy—too. 26-year-old Jon Kasdan, son of famed director Lawrence Kasdan, wrote and directed this silly waste of time. Why are all the worst movies set in Michigan?

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4 Responses

Thought you’d be in full swing with this Cho-wannabe in Houson that i’m watching on Fox “news” now. i thought Bimbo U psychologist[?] Bethany Marshall was Captain Janks at first, until Fox cut to her on camera…didn’t know Scores was in the psychiatric business.
Here’s another “winner” from Norther California:
http://www.theolympian.com/101/story/85431.html
Must be the Hitler 118th birtday thing???

EminemsRevenge on April 20, 2007 at 5:45 pm

For some reason, I really like Ryan Gosling. I can’t stand most of the other young actors, but I like him.

Sue Bob on April 20, 2007 at 11:23 pm

I think it is great that you do these movie reviews. I rarely go the movies let alone watch TV. Just too much smut, hate, violence, and of course the sex is sometimes an over kill.
I do want to see “Premonition” with Sandra Bullock however – when it comes out in DVD. I also hate making Hollyweird rich off what they charge just to see a movie, and if you are disappointed too bad.

Layla on April 22, 2007 at 2:20 am

Earlier in his career Hopkins made a film about fatherhood and divorce that in some ways is unpolitically correct.
The Good Father raises the question of the toll that divorce, feminism, and lesbianism can take on a man who heartily cares about marriage and children:
http://tinyurl.com/ynrhnh
Amazon blurb: “Bill is a man who’s very bitter about his divorce and losing custody of his son. So, when one of his friends is being sued for divorce by hiw wife so that she can enter a lesbian relationship, Bill decides to help his friend gain custody of his son…in any way that they can devise, including using a sleazeball lawyer. But while Bill feels that Feminism has robbed him of his family, he begins to be appalled at what he and Roger have done.”

Jeremiah on April 23, 2007 at 1:25 pm

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