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Friday roundup: 'Hurt Locker' tops DVD rentals; 'Runaways,' Spike Jonze previews; 'Rings' marathon at Aero

January 22, 2010 |  1:34 pm


First, some business to attend to: The awards buzz surrounding "The Hurt Locker" has pushed it to the top of the home video rental charts. A Reuters report noted that the Kathryn Bigelow war drama debuted at No. 1 for rentals this week, besting "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" and "Halloween II." "Locker" also was strong on the Nielsen VideoScan sales charts, placing second after Tyler Perry's "I Can Do Bad All By Myself." 

More after the break.

Now, on to the audiovisual portion of today's roundup: Two of the most anticipated films playing at this year's Sundance Film Festival are Spike Jonze's short "I'm Here" and the rock biopic "The Runaways." As we reported on this blog in December, "Here" is the first film he's brought to the fest as a director in 12 years. The 35-minute short -- a sort of dysfunctional romance between robots, done in Jonze's eclectic style -- was featured as part of the opening night program and played to positive reviews. Don't fret if you missed it; there are several more chances to catch it during the fest. In the meantime, here's a look at "I'm Here":

We also posted a peek at the teaser trailer for Floria Sigismondi's "Runaways" back in December. The film, which stars zeitgeist megastar Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett, Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie and Michael Shannon as infamous L.A. producer-Svengali Kim Fowley, premieres at Sundance on Sunday. It's also part of the Sundance Film Festival USA, which brings flicks from the fest to art houses across the country. 

Here's a longer look at the pic; the scene immortalizes the introduction of Joan to Cherie via Fowley, which set the Runaways' glampunk assault on the '70s music scene in motion. Debates will undoubtedly swarm like locusts as to whether KStew and Dakota have the right amount of mojo to play these legendary ladies. I will excuse myself from that contest and add that I'm glad to hear the Stooges in a movie soundtrack. 

And from Runaways to "Rings": The American Cinematheque at the Aero in Santa Monica is hosting a daylong screening of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy on Feb. 6. Lest we forget, the concluding film, 2002's "The Return of the King," remained tied with "Titanic" and "Ben-Hur" for most Oscars won by a film -- one wonders whether "Avatar" will join that elite group come March 7. 

I am particularly fond of the Aero making room in the schedule for "Hobbit snacks" and "Middle Earth rituals." If anyone attends and gets pictures of either, please send them along, will you? Anyway, if you need a reason to check out "Rings" on the big screen again, here it is:

-- Paul Gaita

Photo: "The Hurt Locker." Credit: Summit Entertainment

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