Saturday, October 20, 2007

Now Playing: Vampires, Missing Children, Grief

L I M I T E D
Out of the Blue -Busy Eomer (aka "Karl Urban") stars in this film about a gun collector who killed thirteen people in New Zealand.
Reservation Road -Joaquin Phoenix & Jennifer Connelly lose their son in a hit and run. Mark Ruffalo is to blame. The trailer, one of those tells-you-too-much affairs, makes it look like a one note slog. But perhaps that has unintentionally done us all a favor. If they show everything in 2 minutes do you really need to spend another 100 with it when word is dismal?
Wristcutters: A Love Story -A comedy set in the after-life. Heathers successfully mined black comedy from teen suicide but degree of difficulty with that feat is a 9.9 so good luck Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous) and Shannyn Sossamon

W I D E
30 Days of Night -(based on the graphic novel) They only come out at night. But what if it's always night? Josh Hartnett's Alaskan town is overrun by vampires. Things will get very bloody. As someone who has actually spent time above the arctic circle in the winter, the concept alone terrifies me. It is already freaky enough when there's no daylight where there outta be ... even without a vampire invasion [shudder]
The Comebacks -sports movie spoof. I guess the timing is right
Gone Baby Gone -Ben Affleck's directorial debut stars his kid brother Casey Affleck (an excellent actor: see also Gerry and the current The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford for proof) in a crime drama about a missing girl in working class Boston. It doesn't remind you of Mystic River on accident. It's also adapted from a novel by Mystic author Dennis Lehane. Reviews are strong. Can this film emerge as an Oscar contender? Stay tuned

Rendition -Jake Gyllenhaal has a troubled conscience. Reese Witherspoon has a missing husband. Meryl Streep has a dark side. Throw them all together for a tortured political drama. Get mixed reviews
Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour -This is billing itself as the first movie in a series of mysteries. No one told them that episodic detective work is the bread and butter of the small screen?
The Ten Commandments -For people who hated The Prince of Egypt but still feel the need to see a cartoon version of the beloved Bible story? The animation looks as cheap as the CG type that you sometimes see in locally produced TV commercials and they've condensed the whole story into 88 minutes. Famous actors eager for a quick buck (Ben Kingsley, Christian Slater, Alfred Molina) provide the big voices. I don't want to see any Moses movie unless Anne Baxter is there to drool on him "Oh Moses, Moses, you stubborn, splendid, adorable fool!"
Things We Lost in the Fire Susanne Bier (Brothers) directs Halle Berry as a new widow and Benicio Del Toro as a recovering junkie in this drama. I thought the plot sounded similar to Brothers (top ten list 2005) --apparently it's not as much as I feared --but Brothers is being remade. I hope for this Danish director's next project, she steps out of her comfort zone and really surprises.

P L U S
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D returns after a successful mini holiday run last year and I guess so will I (had fun last year and I do love the stop motion).

Sean Penn's Into the Wild takes its magic bus to hundreds of new locations this weekend so you can see what the fuss is about. If the AMPAS voters enjoy it Hal Holbrook's late in film supporting role is a real tearjerking contender. There's also 100+ new screens for haunted western killers and troubled white rich kids in India. And speaking of troubled kids... The Seeker: The Dark is Rising has just set a dubious record: the largest theater drop in history. It's losing 2,338 theaters only three weeks into it's run (10 bucks says this becomes a stand alone --franchise begone)

What are you seeing this weekend?

18 comments:

Peter Nellhaus said...

Brothers is being remade by Jim Sheridan. I guess after working with Fiddy, he ran out of anything original to say.

Anonymous said...

I'm seeing Things We Lost in the Fire today. Any thoughts?

J.D. said...

Well, I saw Across the Universe yesterday.

I might be seeing Rendition or Gone Baby Gone tomorrow.

I really wish TNBC 3-D was within 40 miles of me. :(

And why do Walden Media movies have to be so hit or miss? For every Narnia or Bridge to Terabithia there's a Seeker or Hoot (which was the No. 1 on that list). Eep.

NATHANIEL R said...

unfortunately i missed the screenings. haven't been yet. if i head to the movies this weekend i've got to catch up though

still haven't seen
LARS AND THE REAL GIRL
CONTROL
2 DAYS IN PARIS
3:10 TO YUMA
IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH

no matter how many i see... i still miss a bunch.

Rural Juror said...

Gone, Baby, Gone I could see getting nods for Picture and Director. Great reviews, actor/director....who knows?

When you say 'starring Ben Kingsley' that usually mean he's ther for a paycheck.

Rural Juror said...

oh my Elliot Gould...he's playing God in the 10 Commandments

J.D. said...

On right. I forgot to mention that The Prince of Egypt is one of the greatest films ever made, and when I heard about the new movie, I wanted very much to commit seppuku. It disgusts me.

vince said...

What were you doing up in the Artic circle?!

Anonymous said...

I thought Rendition was much better than the reviews indicated.. Reece Witherspoon is sadly miscast. The supporting roles are better than the main ones . Meryl Streep in only a couple of scenes is great.

Catherine said...

I saw Rendition today and will see Ratatouille tomorrow. It's crazy, the rat film only got a release here last week.

adam k. said...

Ben Affleck for Best Director? Really? That just seems wrong to me. I could see Penn getting it before him. Although either of those possibilities seems kinda "meh."

They'd just better not knock out PT Anderson, Todd Haynes, or the Coen Bros.

p.s. I knew Reese would get nowhere near oscar for Rendition.

And it does indeed look like they'll pass on Meryl this year. All the better, really. No one wants to see her lose yet again.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Adam, I imagine you're saying that because you don't actually like Ben Affleck, when even his most ardent enemies seem to be praising him for Gone Baby Gone.

I predicted it for Pic/Dir/Supp Actor/Screenplay in my random March predictions because I thought if it's really good it could ride the "wow, Ben Affleck's surprised us" train. And Amy Ryan is looking like a good bet for supporting actress at least.

And with Sean Penn vs Ben Affleck (just cause) the history is going for Affleck. Most actors turned directors who then get nominated are actors who never got nominated for their acting earlier. Think Clint Eastwood, Sydney Pollack (who effectively gave up acting for a while there), Kevin Costner...

Although both of their chances would be significantly higher if they acted in their films and acted well.

Also, why is this "vampires come out for 30 straight days" thing original? Didn't Pitch Black have a very similar (albeit science fiction) plot device?

Kamikaze Camel said...

Oh, I saw Once last night.

I found it kind of crap.

steve said...

I hope Penn makes it in, since he certainly deserves it. I loved Into the Wild.

Gone Baby Gone is fine, but it's not great directing and it's nowhere near the Top 5 of the year. I wouldn't care terribly if Affleck got a nod for the screenplay, though.

I think "30 Days of Night" is original because it marries an actual natural phenomenon to an actual bit of human folklore. So it's more effective than a film set on a planet with three suns that somehow manages to go pitch black every 20 years or whatever and awakens these creatures that no one's ever heard of anyway.

vieve said...

thank god that the "Seeker" franchise is gone. literary desecration does not sit well with me.

adam k. said...

I don't know why Affleck seems wrong to me. I guess I should just see his movie. But he's just so un-prestige lately that it just seems bizarre to imagine him as an oscar-nominated director. Though I guess he's making quite the comeback, with Hollywoodland and now this.

Catherine said...

Was anyone else slightly disapointed with Ratatouille? I mean, it was still one of the better films that I've seen this year and I was breathless at the end, but nnngh...I still think Pixar could do better. I know this is way too late for most of you to be thinking about Ratatouille, but has anyone shared my view?

Kamikaze Camel said...

No. Ratatouille is my #2 of the year and perhaps my #3 Pixar film. I fail to see how Pixar can "do better". I think some people just almost unparalleled greatness each and every time, which is impossible.

Adam, I'll direct you towards Marisa Tomei.

Needless to say, both Affleck and Penn could be pushed aside for... Denzel Washington if word on The Great Debaters (what a terrible title) is any good.