Friday movie roundup – April 20

Welcome to Friday! I hope it is to your liking. Myself, I am not happy with it, for I have a stuffy nose and other cold-like symptoms, and it makes me headachy and phlegmy. You have some good movies awaiting you, though!

“Hot Fuzz,” from the guys who brought you “Shaun of the Dead,” is a loving spoof to buddy-cop action movies like “Lethal Weapon,” with a by-the-book cop and his slobbish partner investigating a series of odd “accidents” in a sleepy British village. It’s a wonderfully clever and funny movie. Go see it at once, I insist.

In the legal thriller department, there is “Fracture,” in which Anthony Hopkins shoots his wife in the head, confesses to it, hands over the gun — yet is slippery enough to still evade the grasp of the district attorney’s office (represented by Ryan Gosling). Good fun here, with a particularly clever central mystery.

If you need a horror film, there’s “Vacancy,” which has Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson stopping at a creepy old roadside motel and having to fend off dudes who want to murder them. It sounds lousy, I know, but it’s actually quite efficient, non-gimmicky, and tense. It’s barely 80 minutes without the credits and doesn’t have any downtime.

“In the Land of Women” is also opening, but I couldn’t attend a screening so I don’t know what to tell you about it. Look for a review here Monday-ish.

There was some commotion at the “Vacancy” screening last night near the end when a trio of teenage girls were text-messaging. They make an announcement before these things not to use your phone, not even for texting, because the light is bright and it annoys people. They said if you do, you’ll be asked to leave. Well, one of these girls was violating this rule, and her two friends were supporting her, and people around her were trying to get her to stop, and it nearly turned into a melee or a fracas or a brouhaha, because she WOULDN’T STOP.

Afterward, the outraged people were complaining to the poor studio rep who was running the screening but who hadn’t noticed this was going on. Meanwhile, the girls, now in tears, were over complaining to the manager about all these old meanies who were harassing them! Didn’t they UNDERSTAND that she had to text her mom to tell her the movie was almost over and ask her to come pick her up?! Come on, you guys! YOU GUYS! SHE HAD TO TEXT HER MOM!!

It was really funny to watch the girls go through their routine for the unsympathetic manager, because they seemed to honestly believe that somehow THEY were the victims here. Sure, they’d been told not to use their phones during the movie, and sure, the people around them started out asking nicely. (They got less nice about it as the girls refused to comply, apparently.) But come on! Asking a teenage girl not to use her cell phone for 90 minutes — well, you might as well ask the pope to perform your abortion. It’s not gonna happen. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, teenage girls gotta text.

Teenage girls: Seriously, what goes on in their little heads?

Anyway, this week’s “In the Dark” podcast is here, phlegmy voice and all. Enjoy my mucus!