Weekend Forecast for January 25-27, 2007

By Reagen Sulewski

January 25, 2008

I saw this in Halo 3!

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The duo behind Epic Movie, itself a knockoff of the Scary Movie franchise, are back with yet another exceedingly lame "parody" of the previous year's hit movies, sort of a year-in-review aimed at the "I get jokes" crowd. Targets this time include 300, Spider-Man 3, Shrek 3, The Apprentice, and probably a bunch of other really obvious jokes that took about 30 seconds to write. Epic Movie opened to $18 million for some reason, and had one of the steepest falls in box office history, ending up with just barely twice that total and a spot in the IMDb's all-time bottom 100. My guess is that striking "Movie" from the title is going to hurt this film a bit, as the yokels that like these films might be unsure if it's really connected to that series and worried that they might not be able to follow the plot. I give it about $13 million for the weekend, but really people, stop hurting movies. You have blood on your hands if you see this film.

Untraceable must be thankful that Meet the Spartans is out this weekend, since it saves it from being hands down the worst film of the weekend. Threatening to make The Net look like a computer science lecture, it stars Diane Lane as a government cyber-cop of some kind who tracks down hackers and other computer related bad guys. Enter the villain, who gets Lane's attention with a Web site that's designed to kill a man after it reaches a certain number of hits. Trying to catch him... actually, just wait a minute.

Before I go any further with this, I'd like to say a few words about how fundamentally stupid the idea for this movie is. Not just the premise, mind you, but the casting. I have nothing against Diane Lane, and I think she's a fine actress. However, hardcore female computer experts do not look like Diane Lane. Don't think you've caught me in some sort of "smart women can't be beautiful" or "women don't use computers" trap either – considering the male compatriot of Lane in the film is played by Colin Hanks. I realize we're trying to sell tickets here, and there are no real "ugly" women in Hollywood, but this is like trying to sell Orlando Bloom as, oh, say a badass pirate, and... what? They did? Oh for the love of...


Anyway, despite it being the equivalent of saying to a eight-year-old, "don't you eat these cookies I put on the table", the government agency tells the public not to visit this Web site, because, you know, it'll kill the guy. Predictably it does, and the cat and mouse game between the anonymous computer dude and Lane goes forward, with him doing impossible things like hacking into things that aren't connected to networks. He's just that good!

With the casting of Lane and the blatant disregard for reality, Untraceable's demographic is your elderly relative who's still not comfortable using her "e-mail machine" and that slightly loopy dude who thought Y2K meant his microwave was going to stop working. I'll give it a little potential for being able to wrench some suspense out of its premise, but this is a bit like staging a World War II movie on the moon, without spacesuits, and the Nazis are all lizards. Let's say $8 million for this can call it a day.

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