Adjusting the master plan

Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011

I blame the aliens. I blame the city of Hell-A. They share the blame, really. “Battle: Los Angeles” opened last weekend and I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get amped to invest the time or the money and I definitely couldn’t get excited about eventually conjuring up the 600 words to review Aaron Eckhart’s flick about aliens attacking Los Angeles.

What I could get amped about, and in fact have been amped about for some time, was “The Adjustment Bureau.” The first preview I saw several months ago for the Matt Damon and Emily Blunt movie was the best trailer I can remember from the past year (“Fast Five” is currently threatening that title).

(True story: I just spent 15 minutes finding that first trailer again online, watching it, watching it again, and then researching the soundtrack in said trailer. Credit John Murphy and AudioMachine for the captivating music. That led me to the soundtrack from the movie itself, scored by Thomas Newman, which is also quite good. Finally, I watched the trailer again and, again found myself with goose bumps, my throat catching, and eyes welling up. Never mind “Fast Five.” That first “Bureau” trailer – you want the one that is 2 minutes long – is the most effective preview in recent memory. I am in love with that preview.)

Whew! Okay, back to the actual film. It is pretty good. Damon and Blunt are talented enough, and their chemistry is good enough that I was able to buy their love-at-first-sight scene (the kiss was a tad over the top). If you buy that, you are in. If you scoff at that, “Bureau” ain’t for you. Either way, writer/director George Nolfi’s movie (based on Philip K. Dick’s short story, “Adjustment Team”) is a unique look at the power of love, free will, and even the guy upstairs. You know, Him.

It is downtown for one last show tonight at 7 p.m., admittedly a sizable flaw in my master plan.

Find that preview. Watch it. Then use your free will to decide if an adjustment to tonight’s plan is in order.

Tomorrow, though, “Bureau” is gone. “Battle: Los Angeles” is still an option, don’t worry. Three new flicks open as well: “Paul” stars pals Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as geeks traveling across the U.S. in their RV when they encounter an alien (voiced by Seth Rogen) named Paul. “The Lincoln Lawyer” is based on a Michael Connelly novel and stars Matthew McConaughey as an L.A. lawyer that runs his firm primarily out of his Lincoln Town Car. “Limitless” features Bradley Cooper taking a top secret drug that enables him to use his whole brain. Unlike with “Bureau,” previews have not piqued my interest for any of the above.

Jake G. (I’m boycotting looking up the spelling of his last name) headlines “Source Code” on April 1. He plays a soldier participating in an experimental program that can send him back in time eight minutes before an incident, thus giving him eight minutes to figure out the identity of the culprit. In this case he is on a train eight minutes before the train explodes. Things get extra complicated (just in case you are already comfortable with time travel) when he falls for a girl on the doomed train.

Wes Craven revives the “Scream” franchise on April 15, and the aforementioned “Fast Five” hits theaters on April 29. Throw in a Robert Redford film (“The Conspirator”) about the aftermath of the assassination of President Lincoln that goes into limited release on April 15 (meaning it will arrive in Juneau sometime in early 2013), and it is clear that the summer blockbuster season cannot get here too quickly.

Maybe I can just watch the trailer for “The Adjustment Bureau” on repeat for the next month or so.

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