Anne Thompson highlights the justly famous opening tracking shot of Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil. And it’s worth reposting. When Touch of Evil was made in 1958, this was the longest tracking shot ever created, a record which stood for a long time; I believe Robert Altman’s The Player broke it, but Touch of Evil‘s is better for my money. And can I just say, in this current era when most movies have an average shot length of about two and a half seconds, how refreshing it is to watch a shot that lasts for three minutes and fifteen seconds?
I’ve stopped doing the trailers for opening movies every week. It just entailed far too much time thinking about films I don’t want to see and finding trailers for obscure films that may or may not ever come anywhere near me or anyone I know. So I’m going to do trailers on a much more haphazard, as-I-see-them basis. Here’s one I ran across via Anne Thompson and Karina Longworth. It’s Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Jack Black in Margot at the Wedding, from Noah Baumbach, who directed the well-received-but-as-yet-unseen-by-me The Squid and the Whale. It looks good. And it looks like it’s the good side of Nicole Kidman, who I swear has schizophrenic acting tendencies (i.e., the dumb, annoying one from Bewitched and The Stepford Wives and the actual good one from The Hours and Dogville), which makes me happy because I always want to love her, and then she does stupid roles and disappoints me.
(It hurts my soul a little to use anything associated with AOL, but the player is actually pretty nice…and at least they have embeddable media–I’m looking at you, Yahoo!Movies.)
I missed Thursday due to the internet acting up.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
Aw, this looks pretty cute. Possibly slightly inappropriate in places, but overall sweet. *adds to Netflix queue* Limited.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
Trailers and commentary after the jump. There are a good many of them this week.
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.
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.
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.
That would be…negatory. For numerous reasons that only start with the spelling of “skool.”
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.
Survival horror doesn’t usually interest me. This one is no exception.
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.
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.
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.)
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.