I'm thinking of pre-empting this whole thing for more Balloon Boy coverage, because at any moment that lovable kid could toss a giant paper airplane into the air and then duck into a kitchen cupboard, thus provoking rampant cable news speculation that he may be headed into either hostile foreign airspace or Utah, depending on his particular coefficient of drag.
But this is the biggest movie weekend in a while and I don't want anyone to miss out on my snap-judging. So I'll adhere to my fake-journalistic responsibility, though I may need to make a few late-breaking asides to check in on Balloon Boy.
Law Abiding Citizen (rated R, directed by F. Gary Gray, written by Kurt Wimmer)
Well... sheesh. I mean, I understand that Hollywood is entering a new era of "socially responsible" filmmaking, trying to keep impressionable youths from being exposed to onscreen evils like smoking, racism, and casual nudity -- but this may be taking it too far. "Law Abiding Citizen"? It sounds like a filmstrip that they'd show in a Wisconsin elementary school in 1952. "Meet Jimmy Johnson. He looks both ways before crossing, he signals when making a left turn, and he doesn't urinate in public without a permit." Seriously, they should have just called it "Guy Who Pays For All The Music He Downloads," because-- BALLOON BOY ALERT! We're being told that Falcon has just taken a nap on the couch. While the couch is not airborne at the moment, our scientific panel has concluded that, given sufficient upward propulsion and helium reserves, it very well could reach the upper atmosphere within a matter of hours. --and who doesn't like a good rumination on the merits of good citizenship?
The Stepfather (rated PG-13, directed by Nelson McCormick, screenplay by J.S. Cardone, based on an earlier screenplay by Donald Westlake, Carolyn Starin, and Brian Garfield)
The hands on the poster above are demonstrating a very particular kind of knot -- the "double Dahmer," as I believe it's known in some circles. Though slightly more labor-intensive than the more traditional single Windsor, it pairs quite well with both three-button suits and strangulation. So, if you're a high-ranking Wall Street executive dressing to impress for an important meeting (the kind where you might need to kill someone) (but I repeat myself), you really ought to consider this often-overlooked method. Sure, it lacks the pizazz of the triple Gacy, but subtlety is the name of the game in the post-recession era. OK, now that that's out of the way, let's see how Balloon Boy is doing. OH NO! This time he's either rummaging through the closet, or strapped to a nuclear warhead bound for the moon. Let us know how the water tastes there, Balloon Boy! I hear Evian and Fiji are already competing for the bottling contract.
Where the Wild Things Are (rated PG, directed by Spike Jonze, screenplay by Spike Jonze & Dave Eggers, based on the book by Maurice Sendak)
Naturally, as a member of either late-Gen X or early-Gen Y (I've never been able to figure out which), I was a huge fan of this book as a child. Proudly taking its place on my toddler-height bookshelf alongside dog-eared copies of The Lorax and Atlas Shrugged, it taught me of the wonders of imagination, the horrors of being denied dinner, and the surprising dearth of wolf costumes in the real world. Will it survive being co-opted into a high-budget work of mass entertainment, however offbeat and fueled-by-hipster-genius that work may be? Well, why don't we ask Balloon Boy to weigh in here. Perhaps he can provide the kind of guileless, spiritually pure insight of which a sarcastic burnout like me is no longer capable. I'll just ask the iguana in the checkered scarf who heads up my IT department if we can link him in through Skype or iChat or something. In the meantime -- wait. What's that? Oh. My. God. Balloon Boy just found his way into the prop department at Paramount and climbed into the Iron Man suit. And the thing really works! He's breaking mach-3 over the Atlantic right now. Watch out for supervillains, Balloon Boy! They always seem to possess intimate knowledge of your every weakness, and they can't be defeated until you've realized an important life lesson about using your powers for good.