We've got another thin week for new movie releases — unless you're excited about the latest Narnia film, which I'm not. Even the new Johnny Depp/Angelina Jolie thriller — which I was initially eager to check out despite the warning sign its studio raised by not screening it in advance for critics — is getting thoroughly trashed by those unlucky enough to have seen it. That leaves Wild Target, another film its distributor (the indie outfit Freestyle) didn't screen in advance, as the lone possible saving grace. No pressure.
While I recognize and appreciate the undeniable creative juice expended in their creation, I admit to a blind spot when it comes to comic books (aka graphic novels to the genre’s serious devotees). I outgrew the form shortly after the death of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew, which went out of print after a 20-issue run in the early 1980s. (Don’t ask how much I spent on a recent, eBay-procured mint copy of the first issue.)
Which brings me to Watchmen, probably the most anticipated movie our young, quality-deprived year to date.
On Saturday night (Nov. 12) after the 7:30 p.m. screening of Take Shelter at the Esquire Theatre in Clifton, CityBeat contributing editor Steven Rosen will lead a discussion into the film's meaning — and what really occurs at the mysterious ending.
Miranda July's refreshingly slanted worldview is finally back on display via The Future, which will get its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The long-awaited follow-up to her 2005 feature-length debut, Me and You and Everyone We Know, tells the story of a thirtysomething couple who adopt a terminally ill cat, a decision that has an unexpected impact on their lives — and likely the film's viewers.
Oliver Stone has been out of sorts ever since he gave people an aneurysm with the over-the-top, frenetic football extravaganza Any Given Sunday (1999).
Now that I think about it, U-Turn (1997) blew, too. In fact, it’s been since the underrated (and under-seen) Nixon (1995) that Stone had me fully engaged.
Recent years have been especially tough on the onetime provocateur: World Trade Center (2006) seemed a naked attempt to prove he could make a standard studio picture after the unqualified disaster that was the bloated, thoroughly disjointed Alexander (2004). How far had Stone fallen? I didn’t even bother to catch World Trade Center or Alexander during their theatrical run — an unthinkable occurrence back when even his less successful films were at least intriguing in their mix of testosterone-laden spectacle, pungent dialogue and formal dexterity.
All that said, I can’t wait to see what Stone does with W., his take on the presidency of George W. Bush (as played by what looks to be an inspired Josh Brolin).
The movie opens Oct. 17
Here are a few trailers to tide you over.
After weeks of neglect, I finally caught James L. Brooks' How Do You Know at Danbarry Western Hills last week. (You know I was keen to catch it if I endured Danbarry WH, a second-run/rate movie house that hasn't been refurbished since its opening more than a decade ago). Released amid the crowded, late-December awards season, Brooks' latest fell off my radar in part due to its lame title and acutely glossy trailer, which played up the ever-distracting presence of Jack Nicholsonas much as whatever unique qualities it might offer.
Will Ferrell takes a break from his usual comic shenanigans this week to star writer/director Dan Rush's feature debut, Everything Must Go, an adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story. Ferrell in a Carver story, a story in which Ferrell's character is a listless, downtrodden “functioning alcoholic” with straying loins? Apparently. And, according to tt stern-enzi's positive review, apparently he does it well.
The post-awards/pre-summer movie season trudges on with a curious collection of releases in a variety of genres: we’ve got another romantic comedy starring Jennifer "I Do Movies to Get a Boyfriend" Aniston (The Bounty Hunter), a futuristic thriller (Repo Men), a family-friendly teen thing (The Wimpy Kid Diaries) and even a 3-D IMAX documentary (Hubble).
Who better to explore the life of Mike Tyson than James Toback? The two are mirror images in many ways.
The 64-year-old director of such highly personal, often indulgent films as Fingers (1978), The Pick-up Artist (1987), Two Girls and a Guy (1997) and Black and White (1999) is a noted lothario (despite resembling a balding bear) and a gleefully narcissistic provocateur whose elemental instincts often overwhelm his obviously elevated intellect.
In an effort to be as informative as possible to Tristate cinema geeks of every genre, political persuasion and religious affiliation, I thought I'd alert you to the coming presence of a movie that some have called “excellent,” “very worthwhile” and “absolutely dynamic.”