Image Credit: (left) Jonathan Olley; Myles AronowitzFor the record, I swear I will never again write the word “RPattz.” Blame it on the dizzying effects of the storm that turned the East Coast upside down on Saturday, ripping giant trees out by their roots. But you know what I mean: Depp, Damon, DiCaprio, and Pattinson all wanted you to choose them this past weekend, offering a quartet of movies that, taken together, might be read as the resting pulse of serious, mainstream American cinema. Which is why I’ve always had a particular fondness for springtime wide releases: They’re so content to be what they are. There’s no pretense, no great expectations. Spring movies don’t rattle their chains and bellow like summer joy-ride blockbusters; they don’t hustle for prestige (with the best of manners, of course) like autumnal Oscar bait. What you see is what you get.

And by that measure, Alice in Wonderland, Green Zone, Shutter Island, and Remember Me comprise a pretty classy assortment pack. (For the mainstream comedy alternative, add She’s Out Of My League.) Here’s Tim Burton’s family fairytale made by one of the medium’s most inventive visual stylists, starring one of the medium’s most interesting chameleons; Paul Greengrass’ distinctive action pic, incorporating essential information about current events; Martin Scorsese’s lavish construction of a big old spooky junky thriller; and dewy romantic mush that ends with the kind of howling tonal misstep that makes bad movies interesting.

When you look it at it that way: Cool! (And no one is angling for an award!)

So who was your man this weekend?

Alice in Wonderland
  • Movie
  • 109 minutes