Opening in Chicago, 05/06


The Beaver (trailer)
Director: Jodie Foster (Little Man Tate, Home for the Holidays)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
This looks like an entry in the “Looked Better on Paper” file, as a movie about a whacked-out Mel Gibson sporting a beaver puppet certainly sounded like a good idea. Plus, I’ve been waiting for Jodie Foster to get back into movies, given her rather infrequent appearances over the last decade. Imagine my disappointment, then, to see a trailer and see that Foster has apparently played this as straight drama. Now I’m thinking that it looks more like Lars and the Real Girl, which did basically the same thing with a blow-up doll and which was pretty stupid and annoying.
Metacritic: 59

Jumping the Broom (trailer)
Director: Salim Akil
Personal Interest Factor: 3
Man and woman are engaged but with families from different sides of the tracks, etc. Like Romeo and Juliet, I guess, if the Capulets and Montagues were content to throw lame one-liners at each other.
Metacritic: 58

The Princess of Montpensier (trailer)
Director: Bertrand Tavernier (Coup de torchon, ‘Round Midnight, Capitaine Conan, In the Electric Mist)
Personal Interest Factor: 7
Tavernier is a director that I’ve heard of but whose work I simply do not know. This seems a good enough place to start, with strong reviews and … well, strong reviews. I admit that’s about all the appeal it has for me at the moment.
Metacritic: 77

Queen to Play (trailer)
Director: Caroline Bottaro
Personal Interest Factor: 5
From the IMDb summary: “Sandrine Bonnaire and Kevin Kline (in his first French-speaking role) shine in this sophisticated feel-good comedy set in idyllic Corsica…” zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Metacritic: 69

Something Borrowed (trailer)
Director: Luke Greenfield (The Animal, The Girl Next Door)
Personal Interest Factor: 3
We all know about Kate Hudson’s sad decline, inasmuch as someone with one good role could be said to have “declined,” but what got me pondering here is just who this ‘Ginnifer Goodwin’ person is. I keep seeing the name, but realized that I don’t have any idea who she is. So I looked at her filmography, and realized that I’ve seen two movies with her in them: Walk the Line and A Single Man. Alas, this does not help, since they’re both (I guess) smaller roles and I have no memory of her from either one. I suppose there are simply things we’re not meant to know.
Metacritic: 36

There Be Dragons (trailer)
Director: Roland Joffé (The Scarlet Letter, Goodbye Lover, Vatel, Captivity)
Personal Interest Factor: 5
Whatever other merits it may have – probably not many – this movie at least has the awesomest title of the year. Who would guess that it’s a historical drama involving seminary students? Incidentally, Joffé has another movie out there currently, which stars Mischa Barton as a girl who falls in love with another girl at a t.A.T.u concert and is “swept into a dangerous world of obsession, drug abuse and murder.” It premiered three years ago in Cannes and is currently in release in Russia and Kazakhstan. Yes, I know those last two sentences sound completely made up, but it’s all true! According to the IMDb, anyway.
Metacritic: 31

Thor (trailer)
Director: Kenneth Branagh, of all people (Hamlet, Love’s Labour Lost, As You Like It, Sleuth)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
I wish I had made my AGEBOC guess even lower, since this looks to me a lot like last year’s Prince of Persia movie which basically tanked. If anything, it has an even less-known star and smaller built-in audience than that film did. Anyway, our own hammer-wielding Scandanavian Nick has reviewed the movie already, giving it a very adequate-sounding C+, which seems in line with consensus expectations. Will I see it? Who knows. I guess.
Metacritic: 58


5 responses »

  1. She was cute and likable on Big Love’s first few seasons, but her act grew tiresome as the series winded down.

    I’d imagine she’ll be ok at the the romantic comedy thing to an extent, but she doesn’t have have the range of a Witherspoon or a Hathaway where she’ll be able to turn that into a movie career.

  2. All the focus on ‘The Beaver’ has been on Gibson and where his career is at, but Jodie Foster is a more interesting situation.

    For someone of her considerable talents, her career has been intermittent and disappointingly underwhelming for a long time now. While films like ‘Panic Room’ and to a lesser extent ‘Flightplan’ were acceptable entertainments, they seems beneath her capabilities and this sounds like another inconsequential film. While a flawed film, ‘Contact’ gave her a terrific part and she duly delivered, but things seem to have fallen away since.

  3. Saw ‘Something Borrowed’ – to it’s credit it tries to something different plotwise with the standard stuff modern rom-com with the film sympathising with a woman who cheats on her best friend’s fiancee because they were meant to be together – but it doesn’t really work.

    Goodwin as the central character is naturally likable but her tiresome, self-pitying character dampens that out. Tom Cruise lookalike Colin Eggersfield is bland as the fiancee while Kate Hudson for plot requirements is brash and obnoxious although she seems to act that way even when a film’s heroine.

    John Krasinski is a bright spot in a thankless supporting role but overall this film is misguided and rather dull.

    One cliche it does have of modern mainstream Hollywood films is how unrealistically prosperous these characters have it, including trips to the Hamptons and living in the oversized plush apartments that youthful, battling employees at a law firm never do.

    Rating: D+

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