New films in theaters this week:
-- "Humpday" (rated R), the controversial 2009 Sundance Film Festival hit.
-- "Inglourious Basterds" (rated R), Quentin Tarantino's latest, a World War II revenge-thriller. With subtitles.
-- "In the Loop" (not rated), a political satire from Britain, starring James Gandolfini.
-- "The Merry Gentleman" (rated R), an unconventional drama starring Michael Keaton as an assassin.
-- "Post Grad" (rated PG-13), a comedy starring Alexis Bledel as a recent college graduate.
-- "Shorts" (rated PG), a live-action fantasy/kids film from Robert Rodriguez.
-- "X Games 3D: The Movie" (rated PG), a documentary feature about the "extreme sports" competitions. Shown in 3D.
Poster art courtesy Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Due to a previously scheduled, charitable obligation, I was unable to see the "X Games" documentary, which is only playing in theaters for a week.
And most of the week's releases are about missed opportunities. The idiotic "Post Grad" squanders the talents of a good ensemble (which includes Michael Keaton and Carol Burnett), while "The Merry Gentleman" never really goes anywhere.
Poster art courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures
As for Rodriguez's latest family film diversion, it's a brightly colored, headache of a movie. The lowbrow humor certainly doesn't help.
Even the week's better films have their faults. "In the Loop" is so foul-mouthed that its messages may get lost, and "Humpday's" observations about male friendships and homophobia make it a risky venture for many audiences.
Tarantino's "what-if?" revenge tale is sure to divide viewers as well. It's as talky and violent as you'd expect with one of his movies. Though it has rewarding aspects -- especially Brad Pitt's goofy performance.
Which, if any, of these movies fit into your weekend viewing plans?