Crisis averted here in Chicago. We had been living under the threat of a public transportation “doomsday”, which was to happen starting on Sunday. Basically, the deal was that the funding had been held up in the state legislature, and the CTA was going to cut service dramatically and raise fares (not to mention lay off about 2400 people) in response. Well, a funding bill has cleared the legislature, so my ability to see movies will not be affected. The only surprise is that it got done today instead of 10:00 tomorrow night. Anyway…
Directors: Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
Animated film based on director Satrapi’s graphic novel about growing up in revolutionary Iran. I think this is the last movie I need to see before I compile my yearly best-of list for 2007, and I’ve actually begun to get a little bit excited about seeing it.
Director: Matt Reeves (The Pallbearer)
So here’s the deal. The movie without a title turns out to be titled exactly what everyone thought it would be, a gambit that completely killed my want-to-see. Plus, it’s directed by a guy whose only credits are a (presumably) crappy David Schwimmer movie and some TV, and produced by a guy whose greatest contribution to cinema thus far was the semi-crappy Mission:Impossible III, whose involvement is nonetheless the subject of incredible hype. Yes, it’s fair to say that the readings on my bullshit meter were off the charts, and I anticipated skipping this one with all the dismissitude (yes, I made that word up) I could muster. But now the reviews are pretty solid (with the RT rating seeming more indicative of the general consensus in this case), and I’m convinced I need to go see it. But be forewarned – if it sucks, and I end up feeling like a chump for getting sucked in, my vengeance will be harsh.
Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037 (trailer at official site)
Director: Ben Niles
Documentary that follows the construction of a Steinway piano from start to finish. I had never heard of this until this morning, but it sounds interesting.
MC/RT: not listed/91
Director: John Sayles (Matewan, The Secret of Roan Inish, Lone Star, Limbo)
John Sayles returns with his first film since 2004′s Silver City. I used to be a fan – Lone Star and Limbo were both outstanding, I thought – although I never caught up with his older pictures. After a brief period of prominence in the mid-to-late 1990s, though, he seems to fallen out of favor, as it were. The trailer for this movie feels like a typical Sayles piece – very specific to a time and place, large cast, dialogue-driven without calling attention to the dialogue.
Cassandra’s Dream (trailer)
Director: Woody Allen (Annie Hall, Manhattan, Deconstructing Harry, Match Point)
Speaking of falling out of favor, Allen has now followed up the acclaimed Match Point with two movies that seem more or less loathed by critics. Not being a fan of his to begin with, and not thinking that the trailer looks at all interesting anyway, the poor reviews give me the perfect excuse to skip a movie with Colin Farrell. And I’ve got to say, I’m relieved.
27 Dresses (trailer)
Director: Anne Fletcher (Step Up)
Why do so many romantic comedies have such idiotic, contrived plots? This time we get a woman who’s been a bridesmaid 27 times, but – wait for it – never a bride. Who comes up with this crap? It doesn’t matter how charming or funny the movie is with a plot like that. It’s automatically going to suck. Of course, if the rating below are any guide, “funny” and “charming” are not so much issues in this case.
Mad Money (trailer)
Director: Callie Khouri (The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood)
I actually saw The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, God help me. And I think I’ve previously mentioned the intense dislike for Diane Keaton that I’ve developed over the past few years. They should have added Colin Farrell to the cast of this to make it a perfect storm of “Reasons Brian Will Not See the Movie”.