With this weekend is another horrible time at the box office. As prices increase and quality decreases with I AM NUMBER FOUR, UNKNOWN, and Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son.
Oh the humanity!
Would anyone in their right mind really pay $16.50 to see Big Mamma 3 at the Archlight or $18.50 Imax screening of I AM NUMBER FOUR at Universal City-walk on a Saturday night?
Minimum wage is $8.00 an hour in California, it would take more 2 hours in flipping burgers, pumping gas, or dancing with a sign on a street corner at Hollywood & Vine to pay to see those movies.
To spare you- the poor college and the cinephile both- I give you 3 modern classic alternative viewing to this weekend at the Multiplex.
Nothing to Lose (1997)
Before Martin Lawrence was a latex B-version of Eddie Murphy movies. Lawrence was one of the best four-letter runaway train comics out there. Talking Dirty After Dark, You-So-Crazy, the Bad Boy movies, and the great Fox sitcom "Martin", for all of your post "In Living Color" needs.
As Terrence Davidson (Lawrence) the would be carjacker of Nick Beam (Tim Robbins), a white collar businessman, who is on the verge of nervous breakdown takes Lawrence hostage on a road trip to comedy hell. Failed gas station shoot outs, corporate heist, and other comedic hi-jinx ensue but the performance are where the movie is at.
Nothing to Lose proved, he can go outside of the stand-up one-liners and Michael Bay eye-candy box. Also showing Robbins, the more serious thespian as funny and soulful actor.
This performance predates Robbins hilarious cameo turns in High Fidelity and Anchorman.
A rare 90s comedy classic, writer/director Steve Oedenkirk only departure from sight gig world of Ace Ventura and Thumb Wars. Here with Lawrence and Robbins, a black and white buddy comedy that gives us not only a lot character driven laughs but a lot of heart too.
We all know Liam Neeson can kick some serious European villain ass with last year's action fest Taken. So why do we need to see the same damn movie again with Unknown?
Check out Harrison Ford and Roman Polanski in this 80s tribute to Alfred Hitchcock and European espionage. As Ford tries to track down his missing wife in Paris and leads him to the underbelly of the city of lights.
A bit more slow paced compared to the current action driven thrillers of today. Yet it offers another amazing everyday man performance from Ford and Polanski's siginture dark alley ways and carnal violence. A rooftop chase heightens the quality of this little seen thrill ride.
The Salton Sea (2002)
One of the last of the great Val Kilmer performances and the only film worth mentioning on director DJ Cursoe's career in this jazz fusion turned meth drug comedy turn police thriller.
Kilmer playing dual roles of foreboding jazz musician Danny Parker and tweeker Tom Van Allan, gives it his flawless touch of cool and levity around the crazed performance from a cast that includes Vincent D' Onofrio, Adam Goldberg, Danny Trejo, Anthony LaPaglia, Glenn Plummer, and a very young Peter Sarsgard.
From a JFK assassination recreation with pigeons, stealing Bob Hope's stool, eating human brains, a plastic nosed kingpin, and the musical motif of Lou Reed's "Take a Walk on the Wild side." This one ride to take on if haven't already.
With all of it's crazy and at times ironic violence, the film pull together coolly haunting neo-noir.