Opening in Chicago, 01/22


As the holiday season fades into memory and the output of prestige films slows to a trickle, I’m reminded of what a bad time of year this can be for movies. There’s very little of interest in this week’s batch of Openings, which I expect is the beginning of a trend that will last at least until the beginning of March (if not longer).

Extraordinary Measures (trailer)
Director: Tom Vaughn (Starter for Ten, What Happens in Vegas)
Personal Interest Factor: 5
So Jeanine and I were discussing the other day: what demonstrates more dedication on behalf of a father? Extraordinary measures, or desperate measures? I think we finally decided that you resort to the desperate measures after the extraordinary ones don’t work. It’s probably the most interesting thing to discuss about the movie, since discussions about how Harrison Ford’s career as a box-office draw are obviously and painfully over soon get sad and descend into hazy nostalgia.
Metacritic: 44

Director: Adrián Biniez
Personal Interest Factor: 5
Uruguayan film about a supermarket guard who becomes obsessed with a cleaning woman by watching her on the security cameras.
Metacritic: 64

Legion (trailer)
Director: Scott Stewart
Personal Interest Factor: 5
I feel like we’ve so absorbed the tricks of movie marketing that most of us can immediately tell, upon first seeing this trailer, that the old lady is a monster of some kind. And I mean, immediately. On another note, Paul Bettany must be one of the most boring actors around, but I keep reading where people think he’s good, apparently solely on the strength of Master and Commander. Oh well.
Metacritic: no score yet

35 Shots of Rum
Director: Claire Denis (Chocolat, Nenette and Boni, Beau Travail, The Intruder)
Personal Interest Factor: 8
I think that’s as high a Metacritic rating as I’ve seen in some time. In addition, the film ended up at #5 in the IndieWire critics survey for the year, even though it actually ranked sixth (they’re not good with numbering over at IndieWire). It’s about a widowed conducter adjusting to life after he moves in with his daughter.
Metacritic: 92

Tooth Fairy (trailer)
Director: Michael Lembeck (The Santa Clause 2, Connie and Carla, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause)
Personal Interest Factor: 2
From the Self-Fulfilling Prophecies As Marketing Department comes the promise that I “can’t handle the Tooth.”
Metacritic: 40

William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe (trailer)
Directors: Emily Kunstler & Sarah Kunstler
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Documentary about the famed civil-rights lawyer made by his daughters.
Metacritic: 62


2 responses »

  1. From

    ex⋅traor⋅di⋅nar⋅y: beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established: extraordinary costs.

    des⋅per⋅ate: reckless or dangerous because of despair or urgency: a desperate killer.

    So this says to me that Brendan Fraser’s character is only making a smaller than usual effort to save his kids. While Michael Keaton’s character would do anything that would save his kid.

  2. I’m just happy Tooth Fairy is finally released. I’ve been reading about it in the trades as being “in development” for almost 20 years. Feels like the end of an era.

    Now I don’t have to read about it again until Disney begins development on a reboot in six months.

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