I know it’s Halloween weekend and you’ve got costume parties to attend and sexy pirates to manhandle, but just in case you decide you need a break from all that teeth-rotting candy corn and ineffective fright tactics, you can always escape to the movies! Chances are, they’re probably going to be empty anyway except for the die-hard “Saw” fans. So now’s the perfect time to see “Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields” because it’s totally not Halloween-themed and if no one else is there, you can totally throw a little party and talk to the screen. There are other movies coming out too, but I care slightly less about those, so if you want to know more, keep reading!
The Movie: “Saw 3D”
The Trailer: A group of survivors from Jigsaw’s strange torture get together with a self-help guru and fellow survivor, Bobby Dagen. More people are tortured.
The Hitch: In case the rest of the “Saw” franchise wasn’t brutal enough for you, now you can see it all in 3D! Hooray? And because 3D wasn’t intense enough, this is also the first theatrical feature to use SI-3D technology so that you can now imagine what it would be like to be tortured yourself. And I guess if you’re going to another “Saw” movie, you’re into that anyway. I’m sure it’s a good movie, but it feels like watching a snuff film and it worries me that people can’t look away.
The Movie: “Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields”
The Trailer: Documentary filmmakers follow Magnetic Fields’ Stephen Merritt to explore his specific lyrical genius. Sarah Silverman is apparently a fan and goes on camera to say that Stephen is like “a poet inside a mean outer shell to protect it.” The story also looks at Merrit’s collaboration with his friend and bandmate Claudia Gonson.
The Hitch: It’s about time someone gave Magnetic Fields some attention. They’ve been putting out records for 20 years and as they mention in the trailer, not enough people know about them! If you’ve never listened to 69 Love Songs, then there is so much for you to learn! And though you can detect dark humor in Merritt’s lyrics, I didn’t know much about him and it never occurred to me that he was such a dark guy, so I’m glad to have the chance now!
The Movie: “Monsters”
The Trailer: NASA released a probe into the atmosphere, planning to look for alien life. It crashed over Central America instead. But then a new form of life appeared and Mexico had to be quarantined. The American and Mexican military are still trying to contain “the creatures” but something goes wrong when a US journalist tries to help a tourist get back to the US border, through the infected zone.
The Hitch: I imagine this is a commentary about illegal aliens and border control. Hopefully, this one is more clever than the dozens of other thinly veiled metaphoric disasters. I hope all the aliens flock to Arizona, where they think they’ll be safe and then the people there are all “where are your papers?” and then the “creatures” eat them like they just got off the Master Cleanse.
The Movie: “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”
The Trailer: Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) is in critical condition after taking a bullet to the head. When/if she recovers, she has to head back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. She will also have to turn in those who made her life miserable and dealt her abuse. She rehashes the story of her abuse to the courtroom and tries to deal with “the Section,” a top secret government agency which has something to do with her criminal father.
The Hitch: I don’t know why there’s such a rush to get out Stieg Larsson’s trilogy, but I am already two parts behind and this is the last chapter. Apparently, nothing new is learned about “the Section,” but Lisbeth gets serious about making those who’ve failed her pay for their transgressions. And Lisbeth looks pretty hardcore while doing just that.
The Movie: “The Magician”
The Trailer: Melbourne-based hit-man Ray Shoesmith hires his next-door neighbor to make a documentary about his life, which is to be played in the event of his early death. Ray is a charismatic killer who has opinions about everything and wanders around Melbourne talking and threatening/committing acts of violence.
The Hitch: The movie is a fictional narrative, shot like a documentary which might be confusing to some viewers who would naturally believe that Ray is a real person. This isn’t really a judgment … just an observation because I thought it was real from the trailer. I would think that it wouldn’t be that hard to find an actual murderer. This is just lazy film-making. Just kidding, but it would make for an interesting film if you could keep the guy from turning you into mincemeat.
The Movie: “Nice Guy Johnny”
The Trailer: Johnny Rizzo is a straight-laced young man, set to marry his fiancée Claire. He’s promised her to give up his dream job as a local sports talk radio host for something more lucrative by the time he turns 25. He goes to New York for a job interview set up by Claire’s father and while he’s in town, he visits his Uncle Terry in the Hamptons. Uncle Terry is determined to give his nephew one last fling before he’s married off. Johnny’s not interested. But then he meets Brooke.
The Hitch: I was about to say that 25-year-olds have no business getting married but then I remembered that’s probably when I thought I would get hitched when I was a little girl. But I guess this movie isn’t about marriage anyway; it’s about realizing sometimes the most logical route isn’t always the one you should take. Blah, blah, blah. At least the uncle seems fun!