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New Movies to Crave: Men in Black Hope Third Time's the Charm; Chernobyl Diaries Radiates Horror

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By Chris Kavan - 05/23/12 at 10:45 AM CT

This Memorial Day weekend how many of you are going to be in town to watch a movie? At least I have pretty high hopes that we're finally going to see something other than The Avengers atop the box office.

1) It has been ten long years since Men in Black II graced the screen - and it didn't exactly live up to expectations that the original set. But Will Smith, a sure-fire box office hitmaker, is back to revive the franchise with a nifty time-travel mechanic that sees Agent J go back in time to the 1960s to apparently stop someone from killing Agent K. My highest hopes for this films rest on the shoulders of Josh Brolin, who, from what I've seen from the trailers, does a dead-on Tommy Lee Jones and looks absolutely perfect for the part. I don't see this being much more than popcorn entertainment, but I think there's enough of a draw and star power to finally knock The Avengers from its lofty perch.

2) If you aren't quite done with the whole found footage genre quite yet, the man who helped make the genre so popular in the first place (that would be Oren Peli of Paranormal Activity fame) helped write and produce Chernobyl Diaries. Why anyone would want to take a vacation to the Ukraine (haven't they seen Hostel?!), let along a defunct nuclear disaster site, is beyond me. But anyone, our intrepid group of young adults tours the deserted ghostly - and supposedly abandoned - disaster site. Of course, this being a horror film, it isn't abandoned at all and apparently some mutant freaks or ghosts or something else is out there and picking off our group one-by-one. At least they keep trying something new with found footage - Chronicle had super heroes, Devil Inside has exorcisms and now we're going on a (freaky) vacation. It's an interesting time of year to be releasing this film, and while I'm not excited about this movie at all - low-budget horror films seem to hold quite a few surprises. We'll see if Chernobyl Diaries is good enough to continue this trend.

3) Even though it's only opening in limited release, I can't ignore Wes Anderson's latest, Moonrise Kingdom. Featuring a cast that includes long-time collaborators (Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman) and welcome new faces (Edward Norton, Bruce Willis and Tilda Swinton) I'm guessing this will follow in the long line of Anderson films by generally being damn quirky and having a great soundtrack. Unfortunately, it's not opening in my local theater - I can only hope that as it expands, they will happen to pick it up at some point. I'll be there as soon as that happens because there are two kinds of people - those of love Anderson's films and those who loathe them and I enjoy the hell out of them. Plus, out of the new movies opening, it's garnering some of the best reviews.

So, will you be watching any films this Memorial Day weekend? With the holiday, I'll be back Monday with the final tally where we'll find out if The Avengers can indeed be toppled.


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