Whether you’re trying to avoid the releases this week or augment them with even more movies, your alternate box office offers some options for movies that would play perfectly alongside of (or instead of) the stuff studios are shoving into the megaplex this weekend.
This week features Liam Neeson kicking ass and forgetting his name, a teenage alien, the plight of lions around the world, and Martin Lawrence in a fat suit trying desperately to get your attention.
THE GAME (1997)
Double Feature With: Unknown
The Pitch: David Fincher’s thriller (that has nothing to do with picking up women in bars) seeks to confuse the audience just as much as Michael Douglas’s Nicholas Van Orton character. The wealthy businessman is given a mysterious gift from his black sheep brother – an invitation to The Game. Without knowing what’s it about, and after being turned down for participation, Van Orton tumbles into a world of deception that threatens his bank accounts and his life. Twists, turns, being drugged and left for dead in Mexico – it has everything a solid thriller should and is told deftly by all involved. By the end (or somewhere around the middle), Van Orton is only wishing he could forget who he is.
How to See It: Requires a rental
FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR (1986)
Watch Instead Of: I Am Number Four
The Pitch: A little light action aimed at the young and young at heart that features an alien? Mac and Me isn’t good, so the choice is clearly Flight of the Navigator. A boy is thrust into the future and hangs out with a giant spaceship and its crazy inhabitants. Does it involve a hot Australian shooting blue beams out of hands? No, but it does have Paul Reubens as the voice of a UFO and Sarah Jessica Parker back when she was still likable. That has to count for something. It doesn’t? Fine. Then, E.T. and The Man Who Fell to Earth are also fine options.
How to See It: Requires a rental
BAD BOYS (1995)
Watch Instead Of: Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
The Pitch: Although last week’s suggestion of Some Like It Hot also makes cross-dressing sense here, you should watch Bad Boys. Do it for yourself. Do it for Martin Lawrence. I’d offer a movie from director John Whitesell to remind you of his good work, but he hasn’t made a single watchable movie. However, Brandon T. Jackson has – it’s called Tropic Thunder, and it will make your booty sweat. Come to think of it, a double feature of Bad Boys and Tropic Thunder sounds pretty damned epic. Plus, you get the added joy of knowing you’re not watching Big Momma’s House 3. Clipping your toenails will also yield that joy.
How to See It: Requires a rental (However, the 1983 Bad Boys featuring Sean Penn and Reni Santoni, and having nothing to do with any of this is available to Watch Instantly)
THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS (1996)
Double Feature With: The Last Lions
The Pitch: I’m on a roll here with double suggestions. Last week was Lion’s Den, and now it’s a movie about non-metaphorical lions. Continuing the streak this week of movies featuring Michael Douglas from the 1990s, The Ghost and the Darkness makes lions the villains unlike the documentary coming out this weekend which takes a stark look at the drop from the 500,000-strong lion population to 20,000 in fifty years. The Ghost and the Darkness is a lion-based Jaws with some incredible acting from Douglas and Val Kilmer, some incredible cinematog….oh, who am I kidding? You’re going to watch The Lion King, anyway.
How to See It: Watch instantly
Come back next Friday for more alternative box office tips