This Week @ the Movies: Splice, Get Him To The Greek, Killers and more …

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Marmaduke: Based on the popular (?) newspaper comic strip of the same name, Marmaduke is Hollywood’s latest attempt to cash in people’s love of dogs. This being summer, the starring canine needs to be more than cute — it needs to be able to sing and dance. Enter an army of technicians toiling away endlessly in an effort to achieve the director’s fickle artistic vision of exactly how the canine’s hips should swivel and tail should swing. I’m guessing it was around the midway point of the production when the special effects wizards hit their crisis of confidence, asking themselves, “What the fuck am I working on again? All that education, years of training and apprenticing, only to hit the big time and end up struggling to make a Great Dane seem more funky? Fuck this!” I haven’t seen Marmaduke (Full Disclosure: None of the contributors wanted to see it, and I skipped the screening), but the trailer is one of the worst pieces of marketing material for a film I have ever seen. If the movie is as good as the trailer, run for your lives people.

Killers: I haven’t seen Killers yet, either. In my defense, the studio decided not to have an advance screening of the latest sure-to-be-a-horrendous-piece-of-shit from Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher, instead opting for some kind of Twitter-based marketing campaign. Seeing as you can’t yet watch clips of a movie on Twitter, this may have been the PR flacks only option. If you see Killers, please let me know what you thought of it — If your brain is still working after the fact, of course.

If you'd rather stay in this weekend, new Blu-Ray/DVDs released on June 1 include Benico del Toro and Anthony Hopkins in The Wolfman and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Or you could cozy up with Troll 2, which our 3 Guys crew just reviewed as part of their Holy FAIL series. And there's always the Tampa Theatre to break you out of your rut, this weekend playing Oscar-winning Argentine import The Secrets in Their Eyes and the 1937 Cary Grant classic Topper.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

This is a big weekend at the multiplex, with four new high-profile releases seeing the light of day. Leading the pack is Get Him To The Greek, the Russell Brand-Jonah Hill comedy I thought was a rude, crude (and successful) comedy aimed straight at the boys. Of course, the rock ‘n’ rollers aren’t the only fresh faces on the big screen. Also out this week:

Splice: When will genetic scientists learn? Splice is Hollywood’s latest take on mankind’s reckless (but potentially hugely profitable) foray into messing with the building blocks of life, using it to spin a horrific tale of what happens when Mother Nature gets her hands on man’s best intentions. Adiren Brody and Sarah Polley star as a couple of rock-star scientists who build designer organisms from which exciting medical cures can be derived. After hitting a roadblock while looking for a breakthrough, Polley adds some human DNA to her experimental cocktail, with the resulting animal/human hybrid turning out to be more of a handful then she anticipated. The creature is a marvelous invention of the filmmakers, who used a seamless mix of CGI and practical make-up effects to pull off a convincing character that combines aspects of mammals, birds and amphibians into an almost-plausible new species. Splice succeeds precisely because it (for the most part) stays away from being a blood-and-guts gross-out movie, instead focusing on the psychological terror of the truly off-putting. Canadian director Vincenzo Natali (Cube) keeps the pace brisk and the settings atmospheric, which combined with fine performances from Polley and Brody make Splice one of the better sci-fi/creature-features I’ve seen in a while.

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