Opening in Chicago, 08/05


Not great front-line talent this week, but decent depth, and despite some crap it’s overall the best-looking week in some time.

The Change-Up (trailer)
Director: David Dobkin (Clay Pigeons, Shanghai Knights, Wedding Crashers, Fred Claus)
Personal Interest Factor: 1
There is just nothing about this movie I want to see. I don’t want to see Jason Bateman or Ryan Reynolds. I don’t want to see stale-ass jokes about clueless men caring for babies or women with diarrhea. AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THEY MADE ANOTHER BODY-SWITCHING MOVIE. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. I can take all the comic book movies and sequels and I always roll my eyes when people complain about them and the lack of new ideas and creativity but MY GOD THEY MADE ANOTHER BODY-SWITCHING MOVIE. Game, set, match to the complainers.
Metacritic: 43

The Devil’s Double (trailer)
Director: Lee Tamahori (Along Came a Spider, Die Another Day, XXX: State of the Union, Next)
Personal Interest Factor: 5
Story of a guy who became Uday Hussein’s body double. I guess this can go one of three ways. The first is a critical study of a psychopath given unlimited power and the coping mechanisms that those around him have to adopt to survive. The second is exploitative trash that lives vicariously through the psychopath and revels in his lack of humanity. The third is a movie that does the second while pretending to do the first. I think we all know which category this movie likely falls under. It does have Ludivine Sagnier in it though, and if you’re going to make an exploitation movie about excessive debauchery, that’s a good start.
Metacritic: 53

The Future (trailer)
Director: Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know)
Personal Interest Factor: 7
I really liked Me and You when I saw it back in 2005 or whenever, although I’m a little skeptical that I’d like it as much if I saw it again. I did see the trailer for this and it couldn’t make much of it, but at least I can be pretty sure that it will be something distinctive and thoughtful.
Metacritic: 69

The Guard (trailer)
Director: John Michael McDonagh
Personal Interest Factor: 6
I’m sure this is passable entertainment and all, but I also will be very surprised if it amounts to much more than an extended version of the trailer. If it is, great! But it sure looks like a standard buddy-cop movie transplanted to Ireland.
Metacritic: 77

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (trailer)
Director: Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
I’m in the weird position of thinking this looks surprisingly good while at the same time knowing that I’ll almost certainly not like it. It’s the same feeling I had before The Wolfman was released last year, and well, that turned out terribly. But I have to admit that this looks decent, as far as it goes, and way better than Burton’s Apes way back when. At least this looks like it has a actual story. Oh, one other thing – will the contrarian Oscar forecasters please stop with the Andy Serkis nomination talk? It’s not happening, we all know it, so please just stop.
Metacritic: 71

The Robber (trailer)
Director: Benjamin Heisenberg
Personal Interest Factor: 8
About a champion marathoner who is also a bank robber that escapes from his crimes on foot. That’s such a genius premise that I almost feel like I have to see the movie just on principle. Trailer’s pretty good, too.
Metacritic: 64

Went the Day Well?
Director: Alberto Cavalcanti (Champagne Charlie, Nicholas Nickleby, They Made Me a Fugitive, The First Gentleman)
Personal Interest Factor: 8
Reissue of the 1942 film – which I frankly had not heard of before this reissue – about an English village infiltrated by German spies during the war. Based on a story by Graham Greene, although I don’t see that he had anything in particular to do with the production. I’m pretty much into these reissues without any prodding and this sounds fun.
Metacritic: not listed

Also this week:
Jig – Irish dancing doc
Road to Nowhere (trailer) – Monte Hellman film, HDCAM projection, alas


2 responses »

  1. This is the kind of crap I get with inside industry newsletters:

    A plausible plot might have been that apes, having been subjected to the endless nonsense of the debt limit debates finally took matters into their own hands so as to save the planet, but no, this is not that story.

    The only reason I read this newsletter is because their box office estimates are fairly accurate. At the same time, they only give ballpark ranges so it’s easier to be accurate.

  2. Pretty much from the beginning I absolutely expected not to like this. I liked it. Best summer flick thus far.

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