Opening in Chicago, 06/10

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Beginners (trailer)
Director: Mike Mills (Thumbsucker)
Personal Interest Factor: 7
R.E.M. bassist continues his second career as a film director with this whimsical-looking thing, which features a melancholy narration by Ewan McGregor and a subtitled but wise talking dog. Could go either way, being extremely trite and irritating or pleasantly offbeat and engaging. Hard to say, but reviews are surprisingly strong.
Metacritic: 81

Beautiful Boy (trailer)
Director: Shawn Ku
Personal Interest Factor: 6
A couple tries to repair (endure?) their marriage after their son commits a mass shooting/suicide while away at college. That sounds like a hideous thing to sit through, honestly, but as the couple is played by Charlie Sheen and Maria Bello, perhaps it’s worthwhile. Decent but underwhelming reviews on the whole.
Metacritic: 64

Film socialisme (trailer)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard (Nouvelle vague, For Ever Mozart, In Praise of Love, Notre musique)
Personal Interest Factor: 3
I’m torn between seeing this out of misplaced obligation – it’s a Godard film – and simply acknowledging that there’s almost no way I’ll actually enjoy it. I just see it as basically impossible that it’s not a big wank, since I find Godard to be extraordinarily tedious when in his overt analytical mode. I might just stay home and watch Breathless and/or The 400 Blows again.
Metacritic: 62

Submarine (trailer)
Director: Richard Ayoade
Personal Interest Factor: 5
Like Beginners, this could go either way, although this has a Aussie twist on it. Having seen both trailers multiple times, I think this one is a bit less appealing.
Metacritic: 78

Super 8 (trailer)
Director: J.J. Abrams (Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
I wouldn’t have expected the new Richard Donner to make a movie about a discount hotel chain, but here we are. I guess I’m supposed to be really excited about it, but I am not affected by your Earth hype.
Metacritic: 72

5 responses »


  1. but as the couple is played by Charlie Sheen and Maria Bello, perhaps it’s worthwhile.

    I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you named Charlie Sheen instead of Michael Sheen as a hilarious joke. I’d rather see the Charlie Sheen version.

  2. Zoinks! You’re right. I’m going to have to fire a research assistant or two over that one. I don’t know how anyone could mistake Charlie Sheen for that guy in The King’s Speech.

  3. Here’s my review of Super 8: Absurd. Nonsense.

    That is all.

    Okay, besides the slavish ‘Spielberg-but-not-nearly-as-good-as-Spielberg’ evocation, what the HELL were they doing DESTROYING THE TOWN if the colonel STATED CLEARLY that the weapons, in this case missiles and large tracers, were ‘shooting wildly’ and CLEARLY endangering the soldiers themselves? Would they then not be shooting and maybe try flamethrowers and THROUGH ALL THEIR RESEARCH, wouldn’t they know our weapons wouldn’t work?
    Absurd. Nonsense.
    And if you’re going to throw your own style out the window to anal-probe your ‘mentor’…you better be damn close to his writing and directing talent if you’re going to attempt a shot-for-shot mashup of Encounters and ET and Cloverfiled (oh, wait, he was stealing from himself) and any number of other ‘small town ’70′s movies).

    And why try to ape Williams with a really annoying and cloying soundtrack that used the SAME chord over and over and over and over and over…and your forced ‘ET’ ending, after setting up NOTHING of the sort that was set up in the *actual* ET is patently absurd and ridiculously crammed down our throats for something that EATS PEOPLE and is generally a dick to us because we’re a dick to it. Completely absurd. ET never tried to eat people!
    This movie made me angry.

    …sorry for the semi-spoilers.
    The earth hype made me very angry.

    But please believe…it isn’t anything you don’t see coming from a MILE away…

  4. Re: Submarine. It looks like quirky indie bullshit, but it’s very enjoyable. Impressive debut for Ayoade.

    It’s not Darkplace, of course.

    Also, not Aussie. Not sure where that came from…?

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