Since the weekend is coming a little early, it's time for some early picks. But one doesn't come easily -- I went by The Block last night with the full intention of seeing a midnight movie, then came home when I decided none of them seemed as interesting as the Academy screeners I had at home.
However, none of those midnight showings was of THE MIST, which I do want to see, based on a Stephen King novella that scared the hell out of me in my teens. I still don't understand the appeal of Tom Jane as an actor -- if you want a Christopher Lambert lookalike, the real deal comes cheap and has a funky gravelly French accent to boot -- but Andre Braugher's always fun, and doesn't work as much as he should. Word is the creatures are suitably ugly too.
ENCHANTED is supposed to be surprisingly good, with some honest-to-goodness Oscar talk aimed in the direction of Amy Adams as a cartoon princess brought into the real world. I figured that Princess Clara on TV's "Drawn Together" already milked that cliche for all its worth in the R-rated realm, but Susan Sarandon as the wicked witch seems promising.
HITMAN looks like a misfire, which is unfortunate -- the director got sacked during post-production, and Timothy Olyphant just doesn't seem like a badass. If Vin Diesel and Jason Statham turned this down, something rotten is afoot.
Meanwhile, if you haven't yet, go see Sidney Lumet's BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD. It makes a semi-decent actor out of Ethan Hawke, has Philip Seymour Hoffman being a jerk, Michael Shannon doing his crazy-eyes thing, and Albert Finney as a mean ol' dad, plus Marisa Tomei gets naked a lot. Can't miss with all that.