New Releases for 2/25/2011

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83 Academy Awards February 27th
©A.M.P.A.S.®

EUGENE–  It’s Hollywood’s weekend. Sunday night the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosts the 83rd Annual Academy Awards and for many of us it’s more than a reason to watch ABC for the first time since Lost was cancelled. It’s a night of hopes and dreams, of comparing “picks” and red carpet disasters, and of watching Hollywood give itself a nice big pat on the back. The glamor and the glitz will be in full swing Sunday night hosted by James Franco (127 Hours) and Anne Hathaway (slated to play Catwoman in next year’s The Dark Knight Rises).

In theaters this weekend are two movies that, in keeping with Hollywood tradition, will never see an awards ceremony. It’s par for the course this time of year, when Hollywood dumps it’s end-of-the-season garbage… Remember that scene in The Empire Strikes Back where the good guys escape by floating away with the trash? Well that’s exactly what’s in store for you at the movies this weekend.

First we have the Nicolas Cage “vehicle,” Drive Angry 3D. Shot entirely in 3D (proving there is too much money in all the wrong places), the movie centers around Cage, a vengeful father who escapes from Hell to both avenge his daughter’s death (at the hand of a satanic cult), and save his grandchild from being sacrificed. I’m fairly certain that Drive Angry will be a great movie when I watch it, which will be by myself in a few months when the Blu-Ray comes out- because there’s no way I’m dragging my fiancee, and no way I’m paying $16 to see it. Sorry Nicolas Cage, I know you HAVE an Oscar, but you’ll have to ride shotgun this round. Drive Angry is rated R for strong brutal violence throughout, grisly images, some graphic sexual content, nudity and pervasive language.

Hall Pass Movie in Eugene Cinemas Today
© 2011 - New Line Cinema

Second up is Hall Pass, the latest comedy romp from the ever-squaring Farrelly Brothers (There’s Something About Mary, Kingpin, and Dumb and Dumber), who’s last few movies have been more milquetoast than a Jackson Browne album (Fever Pitch, Stuck on You, and The Heartbreak Kid, ew). Even though these guys have more street cred to loose after putting out comedy classics in their first years, Hall Pass, while looking funny, has a lot of ground to make up for. Let’s hope the R rating proves that these guys are back to their original formula of rude, crude, and random- something that got them through the 90s with no problem. If you’re looking for good laughs, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate, and Jenna Fischer just might be able to deliver on this one. Hall Pass is rated R for crude and sexual humor throughout, language, some graphic nudity and drug use.

Either way it’s an R-Rated weekend in theaters while Hollywood dolls out it’s highest honors on Sunday on ABC.

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