Movies

The One Movie You Should See This Week

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Jackass flies out of the screen and into your face; Helen Mirren totes a firearm; and Hilary Swank makes an earnest speech. Who gets your ticket money?

Jackass 3D

Director: Jeff Tremaine
Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius

SCOTT: The chill of autumn is in the air, which means it's time for the year's big Oscar contenders to begin arriving in theaters. What better way to kick off this prestigious season than with Steve-O bungee-jumping in a Porta-Potty — and practically into your lap, thanks to the magic of 3-D? SEE! Unsightly male nudity! FEEL! A gigantic fish slapping your face! EXPERIENCE! The most grotesque bodily functions ever captured on film! Okay, so maybe I can't make a case for Jackass 3D as a serious awards contender, but the entertainment value of extreme human behavior should never be underestimated, and nobody does it better than Johnny Knoxville and company.

ANDREW: I can see how a resilient group of young skate punks with too much free time, testosterone, and Red Bull might decide to film themselves doing painful and ridiculous stunts in hopes of getting noticed, but, I mean, Johnny Knoxville is forty now. Maybe Steve-O's got nothing better to do, but Knoxville is a grown-ass man with an acting career (sorta) and an absurdly monikered child (which, as my wife points out, makes all the death-defying goofery even more irresponsible). But, heck, Jackie Chan was still sliding down skyscrapers at fifty, so if the Jackass boys wanna keep busting themselves up for my entertainment, then I'll continue being entertained by them. And besides, I'm not too proud to admit the gag in the trailer with the giant hand smacking Bam Margera already makes Jackass 3D funnier than I'm Still Here.

Red

Director: Robert Schwentke
Cast: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban

ANDREW: But just as I can't seem to get enough of that big smacking hand, I've also found myself captivated in recent weeks by the sight of sexy, sexy Helen Mirren machine-gunning her way through the trailer for Red — enough so that I may just have to go see this comic take on The Expendables' cranky-old-mercenaries schtick, even as my spider-sense warns me the movie will probably be just as aggravatingly stupid as director Robert Schwentke's 2005 turkey, Flightplan.

SCOTT: Are you sure you weren't captivated by the sight of sexy, sexy Ernest Borgnine? Honestly, I'm on the fence with this one. Does the appealing cast outweigh the questionable behind-the-scenes talent — including the screenwriting team responsible for Whiteout and the upcoming based-on-the-boardgame Battleship? I'm inclined to play it safe and wait for this one to hit cable TV, where it will no doubt enjoy a long and fruitful afterlife.

Conviction

Director: Tony Goldwyn
Cast: Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver, Melissa Leo, Juliette Lewis

SCOTT: Jackass 3D jokes aside, the actual Oscar-bait release of the week is this torn-from-the-headlines courtroom weeper, which cynical industry observers have already dubbed Hilary Swank's Erin Brockovich. Well, consider me one of the cynics. The true-life tale of a single mother who spent eighteen years putting herself through law school and attempting to overturn her brother's murder conviction is probably fascinating and inspirational, but as we've seen recently with The Blind Side, Hollywood has an annoying habit of sanding down all the rough edges that make these real stories, well, real. Maybe Conviction is an exception, but the trailer certainly suggests otherwise.

ANDREW: I'm sure director Tony "Creepy Guy From Ghost" Goldwyn's film is very prestigious and well-acted and Swank-y and all (give or take another round of shaky New England accents), but to a certain extent Conviction's not unlike the Ryan Reynolds in a stinky coffin potboiler we discussed (and dismissed) a week or three ago. I mean, if you know the whole movie's about a guy not getting out of something for decades (in this case, a murder conviction), that's a whole lotta foregone conclusion to sit through before things get interesting, no? Whereas a big smacking hand is always interesting, which is why I'm nominating Jackass 3D as my One Movie You Should See This Week. (No, seriously.)

SCOTT: Agreed. Obviously it's not a movie for everyone — but what movie is? At some point, we all have to decide whether we're Jackass people or not — and if you're not, you'll probably want to sit this week out.

The One Movie You Should See This Week: Jackass 3D