It's a terrible weekend for movie fans, as the only two new wide releases are a Jonas Brothers concert movie and a film based on the Street Fighter video games. So basically, if you're not a 13-year-old girl or an 18-year-old guy (or whoever the target audience is for a Street Fighter movie), you're hosed -- unless you venture to the art houses and independent theaters, where you'll find some diversity. The Indie Spotlight has the lowdown on what's opening in limited release today. Let us begin!
- Crossing Over (pictured), a multi-story drama about immigration from The Cooler writer/director Wayne Kramer, stars Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, and Ashley Judd, among many others. The critics are comparing it to Crash and Babel, and not in a good way. It's opening on about a dozen screens in New York and L.A., and will expand in the coming weeks.
- An American Affair sounds like an odd mix: It's about a 13-year-old boy's relationship with a 30-year-old woman (Gretchen Mol), set against the backdrop of the JFK years, complete with conspiracy theories. The score at Rotten Tomatoes so far is 7 negative and only 3 positive, with most mentioning the political-thriller elements as being the weakest part.
- The Velveteen Rabbit is based on the classic children's tale and mixes live action with animation. The cast includes Ellen Burstyn, Jane Seymour, and Tom Skerritt. And it was directed by Michael Landon Jr.! It's from Utah-based Feature Films for Families, and the company promises on the film's website that if you don't enjoy it, they'll give you a DVD of one of their other movies for free. Of course, if you don't like this one, there's a good chance you wouldn't like the other stuff they make, either, but still. Just one review at Rotten Tomatoes so far, but it's a rave.
- The Trouble with Romance is pretty original: It's about relationships! And how messy they are! Yay! The film focuses on several loosely related stories of several different couples, and the reviews at Rotten Tomatoes are evenly split between liking it and not. ("A Cinemax skin flick without the skin," says one.)
- Echelon Conspiracy has Shane West, Ving Rhames, Edward Burns, and Martin Sheen. It's a techno-sci-fi-horror-thriller of some kind, opening on a couple hundred screens nationwide. How come I've never heard of it? The only review so far is from The Hollywood Reporter, calling the film passably entertaining for the young, male, more-rock-less-talk crowd.