The coming Labor Day weekend box office isn't marked by a single heavy-hitting blockbuster. Which isn't to say movie-goers don't have options. Even putting aside summer leftovers like "Inglourious Basterds," "District 9" and the past weekend's "Halloween II"/"The Final Destination" two-fer, the weekend brings several new offerings which service a wide cross-section of viewing tastes.
For the hopeless romantics and traditional date night-ers among us, there's "All About Steve," starring summer favorites Sandra Bullock ("The Proposal") and Bradley Cooper ("The Hangover"). When Mary Horowitz (Bullock) falls for her blind date, a news cameraman (Cooper), she sets off on a trip to follow him. Too bad he thinks she's a nutball.
Next is "Extract," one-half of my planned weekend double-feature. "Office Space" director Mike Judge is back with a reversal on his 1999 classic: here we see the bossman (Jason Bateman) constantly being undermined by his colorful assortment of employees. I've rarely laughed harder than I did at the printer beatdown in "Space," but if anyone's up to the challenge of one-upping that, it's Judge.
The other half of my weekend double-feature is "Gamer," which I pretty much have to see on principle. Gerard Butler stars as an in-game avatar named Kable. See, "Gamer"'s future-world posits that video games have progressed to the point that players can essentially plug in and take control of other humans. Kinda like "The Running Man," except replace Richard Dawson with "Six Feet Under"'s Michael C. Hall. Must. See.
Rounding out the week's quartet of new wide releases is "Carriers," a horror flick which hits the ground at full speed with a rather cool premise: four friends set out to cross the southwestern U.S., trying to outrun a virus that threatens to wipe out humanity. As the situation becomes more and more desperate, cracks begin to form between the tight band of survivors, letting loose some dark thoughts.
Finally, those who call "select cities" their home can enjoy the limited release of "Amreeka." Writer/director Cherien Dabis tells the story of a divorced Palestinian woman (Nisreen Faour) and her teenage son (Melkar Muallem), who leave their home in the West Bank for a happier life in America. Illinois to be precise.
And those are your choices. What say you, faithful readers? How will you be spending your Labor Day weekend?