Opening in Chicago, 09/16

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Amigo (trailer)
Director: John Sayles (Sunshine State, Casa de los Babys, Silver City, Honeydripper)
Personal Interest Factor: 7
Latest from the venerable Sayles, whose releases seem to get smaller and smaller these days; with the exception of Silver City, it seems he’s only gotten token theatrical releases since at least Limbo in 1999. I didn’t even see Casa de los Babys or Sunshine State. Anyway, this one is set during the Philippine War during the turn of the twentieth century, and looks pretty decent.
Metacritic: 62

Bellflower (trailer)
Director: Evan Glodell
Personal Interest Factor: 7
For some reason, even though this is distributed by small-label Oscilloscope, I’ve seen the trailer roughly 100 times over the last few months. It’s a disorienting couple minutes of film with a peculiar emphasis on flamethrowers and wild tone changes, and it gives only a very vague idea of what the movie’s actually about. But it is intriguing.
Metacritic: 72

Drive (trailer)
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn (Pusher II, Pusher 3, Bronson, Valhalla Rising)
Personal Interest Factor: 9
I missed out on Bronson for some reason and really meant to see Valhalla Rising, but failed there as well. Now comes this, which despite the presence of Ryan Gosling sounds just about great (as does the rest of the cast). And since it’ll be playing in wide release for more than a week, I shouldn’t have any problems actually seeing it.
Metacritic: 81

Gun Hill Road (trailer)
Director: Rashaaad Ernesto Green
Personal Interest Factor: 5
Keep seeing this title and thinking about the Tom Waits song “Gun Street Girl”. As it happens, the movie is about a convict released from prison, unable to accept his son who has had a MTF sex-change while he was locked away.
Metacritic: 55

Mysteries of Lisbon (trailer)
Director: Raúl Ruiz (Shattered Image, Geneologies of a Crime, Time Regained, Klimt)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Final film from Chilean director Ruiz, who died just last month at age 70. I unfortunately haven’t seen any of his previous films, but this was getting reviewed as one of his best even before his death.
Metacritic: 82

Straw Dogs (trailer)
Director: Rod Lurie (The Contender, The Last Castle, Resurrecting the Champ, Nothing but the Truth)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Never seen the original Peckinpah version, but despite the low overall Metacritic score, at least a few critics have suggested that this new version holds its own. I imagine I’ll find time for it. Both of the previous Lurie efforts I’ve seen (the first and third listed) were solid efforts even if they weren’t especially noteworthy.
Metacritic: 44

Also this week:
Daylight (trailer) – NOT a reissue of the Stallone movie
I Don’t Know How She Does It (trailer) – Sarah Jessica Parker as do-it-all mom
The Lion King (trailer) – “17th Anniversary reissue!”
Where Soldiers Come From (trailer) – doc about four soldiers serving in Afghanistan

3 responses »

  1. Lone Star: One of the greatest films ever.
    Sunshine State: Brilliant.
    Matewan: Brilliant. All time classic.
    Can’t wait to see Amigo.

    Valhalla Rising is amazing.
    As was Bronson.
    Hardy’s performance in that is maniacally good. I hate that people write how Warrior could make him. Do no other movie’s exist outside America?! …idiots.

  2. Hey filmman, are you planning to see Bellflower? I seriously think you need to – it’s the best American indie movie I’ve seen in some time. And it just seems like something you’d like.

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