Tag Archives: theatrical releases

Theatrical Pick for 9/14/07 – Eastern Promises

Eastern PromisesOkay, now, both sources I’m using for movie release information (IMDb and FirstShowing.net) say that David Cronenberg‘s Eastern Promises is opening in wide release this week. I don’t know how wide “wide” is, though, since it isn’t playing in Austin or St. Louis, and is only in one theatre in Dallas. Still. The other openings this week don’t appeal to me, so I’m going to highlight it anyway. Eastern Promises concerns a midwife (Naomi Watts), who is drawn into the underbelly of the Russian mafia when she tries to discover the background of a teenage mother who died in labor. It’s also got Viggo Mortensen as one of the Russians she encounters. The last Cronenberg-Mortensen outing was A History of Violence, which I didn’t really understand when I watched it because I kept being distracted, but is pretty close to the top of my rewatch list. Based on the buzz I’ve read out of the Toronto Film Festival, Eastern Promises more than delivers. Speaking of TIFF, is now a good time to point out how much I want to be a professional film critic and hang out at film festivals? I thought it was. I’ve been salivating over the TIFF dispatches. Anyway, here’s the trailer for Eastern Promises, for whenever it ends up coming out near you. (And here’s a good review from the New York Times–I’m so glad A.O. Scott is back; I missed him when he was on vacation a month or so ago).

Also coming out this week in wide release:

And in limited release:

  • Across the Universe – I’ve mentioned Julie Taymor‘s 1960s Beatles-inflected musical drama before, and the mixed reviews coming out of TIFF are pretty much what I expected. I’m still hoping to like the film, though.

  • In the Valley of Elah – I severely disliked director Paul Haggis‘ last film Crash (yes, the one that won the Oscar; don’t care, I hated it), but his new one, about a man (Tommy Lee Jones) investigating the disappearance of his just-back-from-Iraq son, looks rather good (trailer)
  • King of California – I’m not always a huge Michael Douglas fan, but this trailer cracked me up. Hadn’t heard of the movie until I watched it, so I have no idea what the buzz is like. (trailer)
  • Silk – This Keira Knightley picture snuck up on me! Also has Michael Pitt, in a 19th century story about a young man going to Japan for the silk trade. (trailer)
  • Fierce People – Rather than join his anthropologist father in his work with indigenous peoples, a young man ends up going to live among a group of super-rich people and decides to study them instead. Looks amusing enough. (trailer)
  • December BoysDaniel Radcliffe plays an orphan who ISN’T Harry Potter. (trailer)
  • Moving McAllister – Straight-laced company man gets tasked with taking care of the boss’s niece and ends up with more than he bargained for, like a whacked out Jon Heder along for the ride. I’m torn between quirky indie and dumb roadtrip film, but leaning toward the latter at the moment. (trailer)
  • Ira and Abby – Indie romcom about two strangers who decide to get married; I really liked Jennifer Westfeldt in Kissing Jessica Stein–might be fun to see her play not a lesbian (she also wrote both films). But the reviews have been mediocre at best. (trailer)

Whew, that’s a lot of stuff coming out. If I really were a professional movie critic, I’d be busy, wouldn’t I?

Theatrical Picks for 9/7/07 – 3:10 to Yuma and Pierrot le fou for St. Louisans

In wide release, we have 3:10 to Yuma, the latest in a series of attempts over the last decade or so to bring the western back. Most of these attempts have been massively unsuccessful, but from the advance buzz, 3:10 to Yuma and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (opening in two weeks in limited release) could make this the year that changes that. Russell Crowe takes on the role of a captured outlaw, while Christian Bale assumes responsibility for getting him to the train station in time for the 3:10 train to Yuma, where he’ll be tried. The film is a remake of the 1957 film of the same name, directed by Delmer Daves and starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin–I haven’t seen the original, so my point of reference is that it sounds sort of like High Noon in reverse. I’m planning on going to see it on Saturday. In the meantime, here’s the trailer, and here’s an extremely positive review from CinemaFusion. (It’s sitting fairly pretty on Rotten Tomatoes, too, with a score of 82% Fresh).

Other wide releases this week are Shoot ‘Em Up, which looks like it could be all kinds of terrible, but also all kinds of fun, what with Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, and Paul Giamatti largely tasked with shooting stuff up, and The Brothers Solomon, apparently the latest in the increasingly annoying category of stupid buddy comedies. However, it does have Jenna Fischer in it, and she’s so adorable on The Office that I hesitate to scratch it completely off my “rent sometime after I’ve watched everything else” list.

On the limited release side of things, there’s Hatchet, which would be a prime example of the sort of horror movie I HATE, and In the Shadow of the Moon, a documentary about the 1960s-1970s Apollo moon missions which looks quite interesting. But if you live in St. Louis, you have the opportunity to see Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le fou at the Tivoli in the Loop. This film is out of print on DVD, who knows when it’ll be back (but hopefully the theatrical rerelease means it’ll be put back on DVD soon), and I only wish I were in St. Louis right now to see it, because I haven’t and I REALLY REALLY want to. It’d probably be a little fanatical, though, to travel 800 miles to see one film, though, wouldn’t it? Yeah, that’s what I thought. I keep trying to see if it’ll turn up in Austin, but my knowledge of where to look for classic rereleases in Austin is shoddy at best. Here’s the Post-Dispatch’s item on the film. And here’s the trailer, but I warn you, trailers for Godard films are not really very helpful at finding out what they’re about (although I’m starting to question more and more if “what is it about” is a helpful question to ask about a film anyway). The title card that says “Belmondo and Karina in a Godard film” is all I need to know about it to Want.It.Now.

(On a tangentially related subject, I just ran across a trailer that had been removed from YouTube due to copyright violations–I mean, okay, yeah, I suppose trailers are copyrighted. But how in the world does “fewer people see the trailer” translate into “more people see the film”? Trailers are marketing materials and marketing materials are more effective the more people that see them, right? So you should post them everywhere that’ll take them, right?)

Trailer Watch Thursday Friday – Opening May 11, 2007

I missed Thursday due to the internet acting up.

28 Weeks Later

This sequel to 28 Days Later is not actually directed by Danny Boyle, but it looks like the director he chose to take his place is keeping a similar feel. I really liked the atmospheric quality of the first one, and I actually didn’t mind the zombie elements as much as usual. I thought it lost itself when the military part came in, though, and it looks like this one is mostly military part. Still, my guess is that if you liked 28 Days Later, you will also like 28 Weeks Later, since it does look quite good. Best Bet

Georgia Rule

One review I read (I don’t remember which one, maybe on Cinematical; no, it was Anne Thompson on her Variety blog) indicated that this film straddles the line between mainstream and indie a little too precariously…that it would have better as an even smaller film. I can believe that from the trailer. Family ties-oriented mainstream films tend to get cloying and sentimentalized mighty quick, but I can feel a better film here underneath that tendency. Especially with Felicity Huffman, who goes a long way toward making me want to at least give it a chance. But probably on DVD rather than in theatres.

Delta Farce

Uh, negatory. On the good side, this trailer looks marginally more inventive than the one for Larry the Cable Guy’s last movie Health Inspector, but that is saying not a lot.

The Ex

I’m torn between my love for Zach Braff and Jason Bateman and a good bit of like for Amanda Peet and my intense sense of dread that this is going to a) suck and b) be rather offensive. Limited.

Home of the Brave

Eh. I tend to like war movies even though I think they tend to be manipulative. I was also reading something about Jessica Biel (who I often avoid) and her acting ability that encourages me to give her another chance…maybe this is the film to do it with. Beyond that, I’m neither enthused nor unenthused. I’m disenthused. I like that! I’m using it. Limited.

The Salon

Didn’t they already do this movie a few years ago, in the double-feature of Barbershop and Beauty Shop? Limited.

Blind Dating

Aw, this looks pretty cute. Possibly slightly inappropriate in places, but overall sweet. *adds to Netflix queue* Limited.

Day Night Day Night

You can’t tell the story from the trailer, but basically the girl has agreed to be a suicide bomber in Times Square. The film appears to be experimental in a way–newcomer Luisa Williams is the only credited cast member, and the story plays out almost completely through focusing on her face. I’m actually quite intrigued by this, but it certainly won’t be a film for all tastes. NY/LA. Best Offbeat Bet

Trailer Watch – Opening April 27th

There are no Best Bets this week, folks. Go see Hot Fuzz from last week if you haven’t already. If you have, uh…see it again.

The Invisible

Probably this won’t be terribly good. The fact that it’s produced by the same people as The Sixth Sense again deals with people who either see or are dead people doesn’t argue for a lot of creativity. At the same time, the kid is cute, and if he can carry the film it might be an enjoyable small-scale suspenser.

Next

Why oh why do people keep casting Nicolas Cage in movies? His last good one was 2002’s Adaptation, and before that it was…I forget… This is from a Philip K. Dick story (aka the guy who wrote the source stories for Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly, among many other highly regarded sci-fi novels), and could actually be good. In Cage’s hands, it just looks trite and overdone. Plus he’s obviously phoning it in. And on top of that, Julianne Moore (who can be good in the right project, but so often chooses the wrong ones) and Jessica Biel? Nu-uh. Not happening.

Kickin’ It Old Skool

That would be…negatory. For numerous reasons that only start with the spelling of “skool.”

The Condemned

Okay, let me get this straight. You take several death row inmates (presumably all murderers), set them free on an island and make them all try to kill each other and promise to let the last one standing go free; meanwhile, all this carnage is being watched by violence voyeurs. Essentially, you do take out several criminals, but you reward the one who ends up committing the most murders? There’s so much that’s wrong with the concept of this movie. And the reviews have been pretty bad, too, so I’m guessing there’s not much to save it aesthetically either.

Wind Chill

Survival horror doesn’t usually interest me. This one is no exception.

Jindabyne

Okay, you can’t tell nothing from that trailer. From skimming a review or two, I know the men go fishing and happen to come across a dead girl in the river while they’re there, and the movie’s mostly about what they do after that. It’s meant to be a character-driven drama/thriller, I think. Again, difficult to tell from the trailer. It has got a good cast (Laura Linney can usually be trusted to pick good projects) and Australian accents, so it might be worth a look. But on DVD for sure. Limited.

Snow Cake

Well, I like Alan Rickman. I like Carrie-Anne Moss. I don’t like Sigourney Weaver. I like movies about autism. But is it really about autism, or about a man finding himself with two women, one of whom happens to be the autistic mother of a young girl who was killed while hitching a ride in his car? That might be less interesting. Limited.

The Hip Hop Project

Basically, looks like Rize for singing instead of dancing. It’s about a program for kids to express themselves through hip-hop music instead of drugs and violence. And honestly, the hip-hop music that’s actually good? This is what it’s about. I don’t care for rap/hip-hop myself, but that’s personal preference, and if they can use it to channel energy and emotion into music instead of all the other things these kids could be getting into, more power to them. Rize did a great job of showcasing the krump movements, and it looks like The Hip Hop Project could do a similar service for rap. Limited. Opens wide May 11th. (If I had to give a Best Bet it’d bet this one.)

Diggers

Looks like a rather quiet, understated character-driven drama. Usually I like those, but I’m not particularly drawn to this one. Probably because it also looks rather forgettable. I forgot the trailer pretty much as soon as I watched it. Limited.