A look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…
IN THEATERS (WIDE RELEASE):
Coraline: An animated fantasy film about a little girl who discovers a parallel universe in which her childish desires are satisfied, but at a price. Previews look “visually stunning.” Also showing in 3-D in some venues. From Henry Selick, the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, with the voices of Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher. Coraline Official Site
IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):
2008 Academy Nominated Animated Shorts: Ten of the Academy-Award nominated shorts will be shown as a program in a limited number of theaters (probably on the coasts), an interesting concept that I don’t remember happening in other years. Directors often have far more latitude to be as weird as they want with shorts, which are often self-produced and not subject to studio demands to normalize things for a mass audience. The slate includes 5 animated films and 5 live actioners. The British This Way Up, a macabre stop-motion animated film about two funeral home workers, may be the biggest draw for fans of the unusual. No official site.
Memorial Day: Feature length film debut of experimental theater director Josh Fox. Young revelers engage in shameful debauchery at a Spring Break style party, then are magically transported to the Iraqi battlefield where they continue in the same style. Lambasted by critics for being morally and politically simpleminded and uninsightful. No official site.
NEW ON DVD/BLU-RAY:
Being There (Deluxe Edition): Hal Ashby’s enigmatic satire about a simple minded gardener (the great Peter Sellers) who becomes elected President. A great weird movie, but there doesn’t seem to be much special about this special edition, which includes no commentary, only a 15 minute documentary and a few deleted scenes and outtakes.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: XIV: The fourteenth box set release of the cult-TV phenomenon wherein a man marooned in space and his wisecracking robots make live-time jokes at the expense of some of the worst movies ever made. The movies skewered are The Mad Monster (1942), Manhunt in Space (1956), Soultaker (1990), and Final Justice (1985).
What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.