Friday movie roundup – April 18

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“Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” one of the biggest hits at this year’s South By Southwest Film Festival, opens today in wide release. It should be another victory for the Judd Apatow team, and it really is very funny. There’s a part where the guy is working on a musical about Dracula, and he favors us with a number, and — oh man. When that scene played at SXSW, my friend sitting next to me laughed so I hard I thought he was going to wet my pants.

Over at Film.com, my review this week is of “The Forbidden Kingdom,” a goofy but mostly likable martial-arts fantasy epic. If nothing else, it has Jet Li and Jackie Chan fighting each other, which has never happened before (or at least not in a movie).

Al Pacino’s “88 Minutes” is pretty bad, and it’s not even in real time. I like things that are in real time, like “24.” Not that being in real time would have saved “88 Minutes,” but at least then it would have had a hook.

“Expelled,” a documentary about the bias against Intelligent Design proponents by those mean old evolution-believers, opens on about 1,000 screens today — enough to be considered wide release — without benefit of screening. In fact, when they have shown it to preview audiences (mostly church groups and such), they’ve required viewers to sign nondisclosure agreements. The film was made by an independent studio, but they’re already following Hollywood studio tactics: Spend lots of money on advertising and promotions in order to boost your opening box office — but whatever you do, don’t let anyone actually see the movie in time to spread negative word of mouth.

Finally, in limited release are “Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?” (good) and “Chapter 27” (bad).

Oh, more finally: links to the surveys! This one is for all visitors to EricDSnider.com (that means you!); this one is for “In the Dark” subscribers; and this one is for “In the Dark” podcast listeners, whether they subscribe via iTunes or just listen to it here on the site every Friday. One more week and then you won’t have to see me mention them anymore.

Sign up for the “In the Dark” e-zine here.
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