Opening in Chicago, 08/07


After a light slate last week, the movies open with a vengeance again this week.

Adam (trailer)
Director: Max Meyer
The trailer for this is reasonably engaging, yet there’s something that is ever-so-subtly off-putting about it. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it has something to do with the title, which is horrible. Besides being hopelessly generic, it invites us to look at the movie solely in terms of Adam’s character, which then implies that the other characters – and especially the woman played by Rose Byrne – are afterthoughts or otherwise not priorities. And that, in turn, makes the movie seem like it’s exploiting the main character’s illness (if we call Asberger’s an illness) for the sake of making something “sweet.” Or, I dunno, maybe I’m reading too much into it. Still a bad title, though.
Metacritic: 58

The Answer Man (trailer)
Director: John Hindman
I guess every character actor of a certain age does a movie like this (i.e, an indie about a lonely middle-age to elderly man who is rejuvenated by the attention of a younger woman) sooner or later. Jeff Daniels is a little younger than most actors when they play this role, but it is what it is. Speaking of bad titles, this one apparently was called Arlen Faber when it premiered at Sundance. Yikes.
Metacritic: 44

Brighton Rock
Director: John Boulting
Rialto Pictures’ latest release, of a 1947 film based on a novel by Graham Greene. I had never heard of the movie before this week, but I love this kind of stuff.
Metacritic: not listed

The Cove (trailer)
Director: Louie Psihoyos
I guess this is the must-see of the week, having gathered near-unanimous positive notices to this point. It’s a “pulse-pounding eco-thriller” about Japanese harvesting of dolphins.
Metacritic: 82

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (trailer)
Director: Stephen Sommers (The Jungle Book, The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Van Helsing)
Well, Van Helsing is on the short list for worst movie of the decade, at least out of stuff I’ve seen, so there’s that. Plus, unlike Transformers, I never played with G.I. Joe toys as a kid (or watched the show). So I don’t even have any nostalgic curiosity going on here.
Metacritic: 32

Irene in Time (trailer)
Director: Henry Jaglom (Babyfever, Last Summer in the Hamptons, Festival in Cannes, Hollywood Dreams)
Jaglom, I gather, is a sort of cult figure, although I can’t say I’ve ever heard of any of his movies. I’m operating out of ignorance here, but he seems like more obscure version of Alan Rudolph, or perhaps the cinema world’s equivalent to Lyndon LaRouche. I dunno.
Metacritic: not listed

Julie & Julia (trailer)
Director: Nora Ephron (Sleeples in Seattle, Michael, You’ve Got Mail, Bewitched)
It occurs to me now that I’ve never in my life seen a movie that Nora Ephron directed, which, when you think about it, might be the only thing she has in common with Satyajit Ray. At any rate, this has the best odds to break that streak since probably Michael, although I wouldn’t say that the odds are exactly good.
Metacritic: 65

Paper Heart (trailer)
Director: Nicholas Jasenovec
Sorta-documentary about Charlyne Yi’s ruminations on the nature of love. If Jeanine really wants to see it, I might could be persuaded to tag along (or might not), but I’m not likely to see it otherwise. It has the feel of something that would make a great short but semi-tedious feature.
Metacritic: 54

A Perfect Getaway (trailer)
Director: David Twohy (The Arrival, Pitch Black, Below, The Chronicles of Riddick)
It occurs to me now that I’ve never in my life seen a movie that David Twohy directed, which, when you think about it, might be the only thing he has in common with Erich von Stroheim. At any rate, this has the best odds to break that streak since probably Pitch Black, although I wouldn’t say that the odds are exactly good.
Metacritic: 63

Revanche (trailer at official site)
Director: Götz Spielmann
Austrian film that is the fourth of the five 2008 Foreign Film Oscar nominees to open stateside. I don’t rightly know anything about it, but it seems worth checking out.
Metacritic: 83

Director: Dominique Abel
Never seen a trailer, and I’ve only lightly skimmed the synopsis, but the second still on this site is enough to scare me away from this movie. I know this is Wellsian in the extreme, but I simply have no desire to see a movie in which those two people dance.
Metacritic: not listed


4 responses »

  1. I saw ‘Brighton Rock’ years ago as part of a university-based film course. Pretty good and harsh iirc; Richard Attenborough certainly provides quite a contrasting performance to the more genial characters he would do later in his career.

    Re: GI Joe, can’t see this doing that well overseas; I don’t think these toys (and wasn’t there an animated series in the 1980s) ever had the popularity outside America that Transformers did.

  2. Brighton Rock is also part of a massive retrospective called “Brit Noir” which started at Film Forum in NYC this weekend–44 films over about a thirty day period, starting with The Third Man.

  3. That’s quite a series, Slim. Besides The Third Man, the only other one I’ve seen is The Fallen Idol, also a Carol Reed/Graham Greene collaboration, and which I can heartily recommend if you haven’t seen it (Criterion has a DVD if you don’t want to make the trip to NYC).

  4. Besides the Third Man, the only other I’ve seen is Night and the City, which I also highly recommend.

    I’ll be staging my own version of the series with what’s available on Netflix. Look for my articles on Go-Go-Rama.

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