Opening in Chicago, 07/29


Another Earth (trailer)
Director: Mike Cahill
Personal Interest Factor: 7
Is this any good? For being a studio release (albeit Fox Searchlight), this has gotten very little promotion that I’ve seen. The trailer is fairly evocative, and the reviews are mostly positive if not overwhelmingly so. Hard to say, but I’m curious.
Metacritic: 67

Attack the Block
Director: Joe Cornish
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Alien invastion film, this time set in the poorer neighborhoods of South London. Very good reviews for the most part, and while this sort of thing isn’t really my thing, it looks as good as something like Zombieland.
Metacritic: 75

Cowboys & Aliens (trailer)
Director: Jon Favreau (Elf, Zathura: A Space Adventure, Iron Man, Iron Man 2)
Personal Interest Factor: 5
Probably will see it, but don’t look so good. If the box office estimates are correct, it means that I’ve not only overguessed this week, but that we have to start taking seriously the idea that Harrison Ford is a negative box office draw. When’s the last time a tentpole summer movie didn’t open to at least 50 million (EDIT: Jeanine answers here)? Even Green Lantern managed that much. It’s been a long time since Air Force One, Ford’s last bona fide, true blue hit. And it’s been even longer since The Fugitive, which astonishingly was the last time he was in a movie that currently scores at least a 7 IMDb user rating. People just don’t like Harrison Ford movies much anymore.
Metacritic: 50

Crazy, Stupid, Love (trailer)
Directors: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (I Love You Phillip Morris)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Meant to see I Love You Phillip Morris, but it fell through the cracks. This looks like a romantic comedy that probably isn’t all that good, but nonetheless is on the higher end of the scale as far as it goes. Looks better than last week’s Friends with Benefits, for example, and in a different league than Katherine Heigl’s usual stuff. Cast members in its favor: Steve Carell, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei (moderately). Working against it: Ryan Gosling. Indifferent: Julianne Moore, Kevin Bacon
Metacritic: 68

Also this week:
Life in a Day (trailer) – Doc made up of YouTube clips
Sarah’s Key (trailer) – Kristin Scott Thomas researches WWII atrocities
The Smurfs (trailer) – Kill me now.


3 responses »

  1. A boss of mine met Harrison Ford once and basically said he seemed like kind of a jerk. After seeing Ford on some awkward David Letterman appearances, I just think he doesn’t know how to act when he’s not reading a script. But he seems even worse when he’s reading from a bad script (i.e. Indiana Jones 4).

    Based on the Metacritic score, my guess is that Cowboys & Aliens will be listed with Prince of Persia as a summer flop.

  2. After sitting through Cowboys & Aliens the other day, I was very surprised to see Olivia Wilde on Conan tonight and discover that she has an actual personality.

    In possibly related news, I don’t think that Jon Favreau has any clue what to do with actors. I haven’t seen his pre-Iron Man films, so that’s perhaps unfair. Even aside Wilde, though (whose role, in fairness, is comically underdeveloped), Ford and Craig looked completely lost as well. “Act gruff” must have been the only direction they got. You’d think that Ford especially would have been around the block enough times to get through this, like Robert Downey Jr., but you’d be wrong.

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