Friday movie roundup – Sept. 10

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It’s time for the post-summer doldrums, with only one new wide release this weekend, and one aimed at a specific demographic. Everyone else can just stay home.

“Resident Evil: Afterlife” — one of Hollywood’s Shameful Secrets® in that it was not screened for critics prior to opening — is the fourth film in the series and easily better than parts two and three. (I think it’s better than the first one, too, but I’ve been told that I’m wrong about this.) It was filmed in legit 3D and looks pretty spiffy. A lot of what happens is silly, but at least you can see it.

I finally wrote my review of “The American.”

I spent last weekend in Telluride, Colo., attending the utterly charming Telluride Film Festival. I reviewed “Never Let Me Go” for Film.com. For Cinematical, I reviewed “Black Swan,” “Tabloid,” and “The First Movie,” and wrote a piece describing a first-timer’s impressions of Telluride.

This week’s edition of “Eric’s Bad Movies” at Film.com was about “Wing Commander,” a video-game-based turd from 1999. I wrote about my experience with this movie in my end-of-2009 inventory:

It was also during this time [when I was suffering from a major depressive episode] that I tried to do some work by watching “Wing Commander,” starring Freddie Prinze Jr., for Eric’s Bad Movies. I learned that I can’t do Eric’s Bad Movies in this frame of mind. “Wing Commander” is terrible, no question. But watching it, I couldn’t think of anything funny to say about it. All I could think about was how much I hated watching it. And if you’re going to watch a bad movie without being able to make fun of it, well, what’s the point? Rather than distract me from my depression, it added to it. I still want to do “Wing Commander” for Eric’s Bad Movies, but it will be a while before I can muster the strength to watch it again. In the meantime, you’ve won this round, Mr. Prinze Jr.

Eager to prove my victory over Mr. Prinze Jr., I watched “Wing Commander” again last week and this time succeeded in writing an “Eric’s Bad Movies” column about it. It’s not the best “Eric’s Bad Movies” I’ve ever written, but at least I did it. I WIN.

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Listen to “Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider,” a weekly Internet radio show featuring Jeff Bayer and Eric D. Snider, at PDX.fm. It’s live at 11 a.m. (Pacific) every Friday, then downloadable as a podcast. Ignore the iTunes “explicit” tag; we always keep it PG.

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