To the hormonal delight of teen girls and slightly concerned shock of everyone else, Twilight: New Moon opened to a staggering $140 million over the weekend. If you're seeking solace from vampire-crazed multiplexes around the country, check out these alternative offerings. And wear some garlic around your neck, just in case.
If you are a man, see The Messenger
Twilight's opening weekend audience was 80% female and 20% males who had been dragged to the theater by their squealing girlfriends or unsatisfied wives. 2012 might be the more testosterone-friendly choice among new releases, but most tough guys probably saw that last weekend. The Messenger is a more understated choice, but has the XY-appeal of being a war movie (although Iraq is on the periphery of the plot about two army memebers breaking the news of soldiers' deaths to their loved ones) with male bonding (between actors Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster) at its center.
If staring at a teen idol hasn't blinded you to subtitles, see Broken Embraces.
The latest art house entry from Spanish legend Pedro Almodovar reunites him with his muse, Penelope Cruz. The neo-noir is a twisted, sumptuous story about the thin line between love and obsession. It's a line that gets particularly fragile when the object of said love and obsession is Cruz, who plays against type as a gorgeous movie star and sex symbol (which should also appeal to the gents) decked out in beautiful clothing and jewels (for the ladies who don't know the difference between Team Taylor and Team Pattinson).
Soon after winning the Oscar for his gritty turn in Leaving Las Vegas, Nic Cage took the path of least resistance with regrettable blockbusters like Con Air. With indie icon Werner Herzog's latest, Bad Lietutant: Port of Call New Orleans (itself a sequel of sorts to local grunge cinema hero Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant from 1992), Cage is apparently back in the quirky saddle that earned him raves in earlier work like Raising Arizona and Wild at Heart.
If you've read something other than The Twilight books in the past five years, see The Road:
Not to knock the Stephanie Meyer saga, but other authors have come out with some good stuff as her vamipre epic has unfolded. One of those writers happens to be Cormac McCarthy, whose The Road, a post-apocalyptic tale of a father and son crossing a barren America in search of civilization, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. The Road might not be anyone's idea of a rollicking good time, but if New Moon left you hungry for more brooding lead men, you could do worse than Viggo Mortensen and his perma-grimace.