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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

my week at the movies: ‘Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America,’ ‘Alien Trespass,’ ‘Miss March,’ ‘The Last House on the Left’ (and ‘Race to Witch Mountain’ too)

While much of the rest of the NYC critical community will be attending a screening of Race to Witch Mountain tonight (here’s why I won’t), I’ll be seeing Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America (opens in New York City on March 13; no U.K. release date has been announced), an ultralow-budget epic about two Viking warriors stranded in 1007AD North America. I love this kind of stuff — early Viking explorations of the New World are one of my favorite pet subjects.

I will see Race to Witch Mountain (opens in the U.S. on March 13, and in the U.K. on April 10), but I’ll have to wait till opening day. I expect to catch an early show on Friday morning, and then whip up a review immediately after. So check in on Friday afternoon for my thoughts on the film. (Which will not, I hope I don’t have to add, be impacted by my dustup with Disney. The movie is what it is — it is its own thing — and nothing but what the movie is will affect my review.)

Alien Trespass (opens in the U.S. in limited release on April 3; no U.K. release date has been announced yet) is a faux leftover from the 1950s — tagline: “She was a waitress – he was a space alien” tee-hee! — a put-on of a paranoid monster movie starring Eric McCormack as, I’m guessing, the alien, since he’s credited with a character name of “Urp.” Also starring my stalker, Robert Patrick. Of course.

The rest of the week is bias-meter-dreading fodder, or would be, if there weren’t plenty else to be dreading these days. Miss March (opens in the U.S. on March 13; no U.K. release date has been announced) is yet another example of the horny-teen-boy-tries-to-get-laid subgenre of idiotic comedies, and oh, am I so not looking forward to this one. The Last House on the Left (opens in the U.S. on March 13, and in the U.K. on September 4) is yet another pointless remake of an old horror movie, and it’s bottom-of-the-barrel time: this original isn’t exactly considered a classic, and the only distinction it can claim is that it borders on the pornographically violent. Oh, goodie.

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