Overcompensating heavily for the end of summer, this weekend's cornucopia of opening movies deludes itself that it has something for everyone.
Aping popular comedy, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star offers a trailer travesty that could easily pass for a Funny Or Die parody of the most desperate plot for the most vulgar film you could think of. Meanwhile, John Landis digs up the Burke and Hare graverobber story and parades Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis in front of his traditional rotating backdrop of celebrity cameos.
With Laugh at My Pain, Kevin Hart gives those who saw his live show a chance to laugh all over again (and judging by the hyperbole, that would appear to be the entire population of America). On the indy front, Inside Out is seemingly the tale of how a lovable agoraphobe enters the real world by falling in love, but quite how the conceit extends beyond the teaser's duration is a stumper.
Subtitled comedy gets trailed in Bollywood's Mere Brother Ki Duhlan, about a chap whose Duhlan is all he could wish for and more, while Love in Space's ad appears to suggest a hyper-real rom-com and benefits greatly from the Bow Wow Wow soundtrack factor.
In the seasonally popular realm of back-to-school teens, we are offered Beware the Gonzo, in which emo wimps fight bullies via the printed word rather than the electronic (rad). Over in jolly England, directorial duo Francesca Gregorini and Tatiana Von Furstenberg offer a surely-not-autobiographical portrait of overprivileged transatlantic gals skipping class and horsing around with carney boys in Tanner Hall.
For teenagers not going to the movies with their girlfriends, there are Shaolin and Warrior (as opposed to Shaolin Warrior). While the former hints at Chinese epic but then merrily admits it's really just about bald monks beating the crap out of armed soldiers, the latter draws on the popular UFC tropes of oiled-up, glistening men bashing into each other in slow motion. Targeting the same approximate audience is low-budget creature feature Creature, a feature about a creature apparently made on a low budget.
For undemanding people who like cinemas because they are pleasantly climate-controlled places to take a nap, Main Street and One Fall should serve their needs well, judging by the trailers. Both invoke the concepts "feel good" and "straight to DVD." Marginally more demanding is Contagion, which appears to celebrate the gruesome deaths by viral infection of a celebrity cast of a wattage normally only found in John Landis movies. It's like a Final Destination movie but with actors.
By coincidence, Contagion opens the same day as the genuinely moving (the trailer, at least) We Were Here, which tells the story of the early days of AIDS in the U.S. No less moving is the teaser for Where Soldiers Come From, another tragedy about America's youth. And filling out the documentary package are two other films: The Black Power Mixtape, a collection of instantly compelling pieces of footage, including scenes with Angela Davis, assembled from the early days of the civil-rights movement by Swedish journalists; and The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, whose fatally mysterious teaser was apparently edited by an avatar of David Lynch.