Will Audiences Take the Dive for ‘Lady’?

A pastor, a rapper, two teens and a city girl weigh in.

Times Staff Writer
We've assembled representatives of some of Hollywood's key demographics. Each week, our group weighs in on the coming weekend's releases, letting us know whether all the script fixes, the re-shoots and the product tie-in campaigns have added up to a movie they are likely to see.

The offices are rank with the smell of cleaning fluids today and we're starting to feel a bit woo-oo-oo-zee. In the meantime our focus group seems to be having the summertime of their lives. Our city girl loves the new job, the teenage girl loves Greece, and our teenage boy loves this week's movies!


The Christian
Keenan Roberts: Senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Northglenn, Colo., as well as director of the ministries of the Hell House Outreach.

The Rapper
GLC: An artist on Kanye West's label. Originally from Chicago, he now lives in Los Angeles where he is at work on his album.

The Teens
Justin Scharf: 18, freshman at Georgia State University. He is 6-foot-3, listens to a lot of music, and works at Starbucks.

Elena Roye: 13, a seventh-grader at a middle school in Westchester County, N.Y.

The City Girl
Carol Creighton: 29, lives in Manhattan, just landed a job as a solutions manager at a consulting firm, and lives with her best friend Mindy.


'Clerks II'
A calamity at Dante and Randall's shops sends them looking for something new. They ultimately settle at Mooby's, a fictional fast-food empire.

Pastor Keenan (via e-mail): "Courtesy of the iTunes, trailer which was a waste of two minutes of my life I'll never get back...I'm not sure I can think of any more completely unproductive use of 90 minutes. I'll either make my next appointment for a fresh root canal or go subject myself to 'Little Man.'"

GLC: "I don't think so. I don't want to disrespect anyone, but I don't want to see any movie where they are spitting on food and putting flies on food. That makes me want to go to a fast-food joint and (mess) somebody up. I think they could have something smoother to come up with, like macking down the co-workers, or freaking at work or something. Nope. Not interested. I don't want to see a movie like that. I think overweight people should go see it though. It will make them not want to eat fast food."

Justin: "Kevin Smith fans are so weird. I don't get it. Brandon is this guy I work with, and he says he's sad at the end of all Kevin Smith movies. He said it's like two hours of bliss and then the end of an era. Everyone is looking forward to it, and yet it is getting slammed. I don't think I'm going to see it this week. I didn't see 'Strangers With Candy' yet so I'm going to see that one."

Elena (via IM): "Yeah, I think it would be funny to see since they don't really have a life and they're kinda lazy... i can almost relate sometimes."

Carol (via e-mail): "Why not, it sounds like fun. I think it is a renter rather then a $10 ticket movie. Well that is unless this heat wave continues, in which case I might go see it in the theater just to cool down."

'Lady in the Water'
An apartment building superintendent rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. But when he discovers she is actually a character from a bedtime story trying to make the journey back to her home, he works to protect her from the creatures that are determined to keep her in our world.

Pastor Keenan (via e-mail): "You guessed it. Well maybe not if you've never read our focus group before, but the Italian wife is already preparing to entice the pastor to the movies to get her scary movie fix. I doubt it will happen this weekend because my wife's in-laws are coming to town, but she is highly motivated and equally creative. I wonder if there's a PG-13 version anywhere."

GLC: "Yeah I saw the previews for that too. Uh...I'll go see it because I love when women be wet."

Justin: "My opinion of M. Night Shyamalan is 'The Sixth Sense' was good but everything he's done since then has sucked. That was an all-around good movie, but the Mel Gibson movie was lame, the movie after that I didn't even go see it. The whole point of the twist ending is you don't know it is coming, but with him you know it is coming, so the whole movie you are like how is the twist ending going to come in here? I saw my care-o-meter going down with each one. M. Night Shyamalan on the care-o-meter has reached zero."

Elena (via IM): "Oh, I totally wanna see that. It seems really scary and really interesting."

Carol (via e-mail): "'Lady in the Water' is a no-go, I can't even imagine, it is like 'Jaws' for the pool. Like I need another thing to be scared of! And really, how can you go skinny dipping after that?"

'Monster House'
Teens DJ, Chowder and Jenny discover that Old Man Nebbercracker's house is a living, heavy-breathing, scary monster.

Pastor Keenan (via e-mail): "I'm not sure if 8-year-old Mini-Me Roberts [my youngest son] is inheriting his mother's movie genetics or not, but he suddenly is interested in getting scared. He has anointed this one his new must-see. He seems to have a new bravery since conquering the incredible roller coaster at Universal Studios 'The Mummy' four times within an hour last month! Looks like I'm forking it over for movies I have no interest in but they're getting my money anyway."

GLC: "You know what? If you do these drugs houses will look like monsters to you. There is too much drugs for these kids out here to be doing now. They really should have named the movie 'Crack House.' They just talking in codes so the government won't shut the movie down. That's what that movie is, a code name for the 'Crack House' where all the kids are going to be little crack heads doing crack and seeing monsters in the crib."

Justin: "I had no idea that was a Buscemi movie. That's pretty sweet. He's still very underappreciated. [Maggie] Gyllenhaal and Buscemi are really good. Nick Cannon is the random one in that one. That is really funny. That one sounds kind of interesting. I have to find out more about it, but the fact that Steve Buscemi is in it would make it more interesting than most."

Elena (via IM): "I don't want to see that. It seems kind of pointless...and not interesting or funny. Or scary. I dont even know what its supposed to be. It's for young kids though."

Carol (via e-mail): "My roommate just told me that it might be too scary for me but because a friend of mine, Cara Paul, is an animator on the movie I will have to see it. I saw one of her animations from school and she was great! So why not support her even if I get scared."

'My Super Ex-Girlfriend'
A young man discovers that the manipulative woman he is dating is a superheroine, and after he breaks up with her, she uses her powers to turn his life into a nightmare.

Pastor Keenan (via e-mail): "I seem to have a really negative slant going this week so why mess it up by actually liking a movie coming out. I have zero interest in this one as well, so my record is safe. I really wish I could give Uma a little more than that. But, uh, not gonna happen. This one has a good chance as a definite maybe as a Super Ex rental. Right after I wrap up that root canal."

GLC: "In my younger days of pimping I ran into a girl who had superpowers who held a blade at my penis, and ripped my new polo shirt with her bare hands. This was like in '96. She was wild. She broke CDs with her bare hands and (stuff). She was a superhero. Ate a lot of food and didn't gain no weight. That's superpowers. And she looked good. She looked good as hell. I will go see that. A lot of women have superpowers now. They will (mess) you up. It will be a wake up call for men."

Justin: "Man, this is kind of a good week. I see this as the kind of movie that Uma Thurman can just carry. I like Uma a lot. And I think Uma Thurman as an evil ex-girlfriend, it looks pretty good. I was kind of surprised. I'm like is this the best idea ever or the worst idea ever? It will be interesting to see what the consensus will be on it, but that's a good cast. With anybody less than Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson it would have been a disaster. I think they are good enough to take a kind of ridiculous idea and do something with it. I think that might be a good one to see. That one ranks high on the care-o-meter."

Elena (via IM): "I kind of wanna see that cuz it looks really funny and fun to watch."

Carol (via e-mail): "I think I will see it. I like Uma, Luke and Wanda and I think the premise is hysterical. I mean, how many times when you were 14 did you wish you could turn a dumb boy into a toad. OK, so how many times in the last 10 years.... Anyway, I think it looks funny and I am a sucker for movies filmed in NYC."