Flicks: Tired of action? You might be after this week

Donna Antonacci

Coming down off the action high of the past couple of weeks is difficult. There is one more kick-butt female in theaters this week, for those of you who aren’t ready to take a break from action.

Milla Jovovich returns as genetically engineered Alice, fighting through an army of zombies and looking for revenge on the evil Umbrella Corporation. What the heck am I talking about?

Yes — “Resident Evil” is back for the third, and I hope final, installment. Zombie lovers and action junkies unite for the cult classic’s return. Maybe because it is based on a video game, “Resident Evil” is not my type of movie. I do like their marketing taglines, though. “Everyone died. The trouble is they didn’t stay dead” was used for the first movie in 2002. Then there was “You’re all going to die” in the 2004 sequel. For this one it’s “The extinction is coming.” I say, “Don’t believe them,” and you can quote me on that. They keep promising death, but the characters and zombies keep coming back. Hey, this movie is rather like a video game ... hmmmm.

Like its predecessors, “Resident Evil: Extinction” should be good for at least $100 million in box office proceeds. To me it is just a bit passé, and this is the week for passé.

The tired western drama with Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck called “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” fits in. Could that title be any longer? Is it just me, or does this movie look like a huge yawner?

It’s the story of Robert Ford (Affleck), who joins the James gang to plot Jesse James’ (Pitt) death. It looks as if the movie is full of a leather-clad, gun toting Pitt walking around and talking about the good old days of killin’ and robbin’. Affleck plays the newest sycophantic gang member, and he talks with a persistently annoying accent. It’s not so much accent, but he also sounds as if he always needs to clear his throat as if he’s going through some second puberty. Could this be Affleck’s big dramatic break, or will the critics just find him hopelessly irritating?

Let me just say I am not a Pitt-fawning fool, but the leather chaps are a nice touch. Unfortunately, a bit more substance is required for me to watch a Western at the theater. We all know I am not a huge fan of Westerns. It may make a nice video rental, but I predict this movie will be quick and dead or rather quickly dead at the box office.

Another annoying voice appearing this week is Amanda Bynes, starring as “Sydney White,” the title character of the newest teeny bopper reel. Sydney is an unpopular girl who moves into a fraternity when not accepted by a sorority — just not my bag.

So what the heck else is out there in this week of passé? “Antonia” tells the story of a female singing group emerging from the slums of Brazil. Told in the style of “City of God,” the film looks interesting, but a video release should be quick enough.

In comedies, “Good Luck Chuck” features Dane Cook as a sexual good luck charm — for other women. It’s barely a rental to me. Yes, I did laugh a couple of times with the preview, but it looks mostly bad. Also, Cook is not cute enough.

“Randy and the Mob” looks way more funny and quirky, but I’ll be waiting for the video since it’s limited release.

Another limited release is “The Jane Austen Book Club” starring Cathy Baker and Amy Brenneman — a great yawner, I’m sure. I hate to be a traitor to fellow Connecticut native Brenneman, but she has become a film bomb harbinger for me. If I see her name in the cast, it’s almost a guaranteed bomb. I just think the five-time Emmy-nominated actress should stick to the small screen.

“Into the Wild” is my pick. It won’t be for everyone, but I have personal reasons. Based on the bestselling nonfiction book by Jon Krakauer, Emile Hirsch stars as Christopher McCandless, a brilliant young man and a recent college graduate with a big, bold future ahead of him. He gives away everything he owns and decides to live off of the land in the Alaskan wilderness.

I have longed to visit Alaska, and this movie may be as close as I get. It’s written and directed by Sean Penn and co-stars Vince Vaughn, which makes it appealing to me. So, this may not turn out to be the most popular movie, but I will be wide eyed in love with the stunning visuals it promises.

Norwich Bulletin

In Flicks, Donna Antonacci will narrow each week’s field of new releases to one must-see cinema adventure. Reach her at dantonacci@norwichbulletin.com.