Margin Call (trailer)
Director: J.C. Chandor
Personal Interest Factor: 4
The cast list reads like a roll-call of actors I don’t want to watch: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Simon Baker, Demi Moore. Ouch. Good reviews for the most part but it’s hard to imagine it being something I really need to see. At best it’s not going to be any better than Boiler Room, a mostly forgotten movie that was pretty good and, as we see now, way ahead of its time.
The Mill and the Cross (trailer)
Director: Lech Majewski (Prisoner of Rio, Gospel According to Harry, The Garden of Earthly Delights, Glass Lips)
Personal Interest Factor: 8
I had never heard of this until Ebert’s four-star review, but it certainly seems like the goto art movie for this week. It’s about the Bruegel painting “The Way to Calvary” and stars Rutger Hauer of all people. Looks amazing visually and I suspect I’ll regret it if I skip it.
The Skin I Live In (trailer)
Director: Pedro Almodóvar (Talk to Her, Bad Education, Volver, Broken Embraces)
Personal Interest Factor: 9
Almodóvar, I guess, is something of an acquired taste, and I acquired it around the time that I saw All About My Mother during the Viva Pedro! retrospective several years back. I’ve seen about 10 or so of his films now, and really look forward to each new one. This one looks especially interesting, darker and more twisted than he’s done in awhile, and it’s good to see Antonio Banderas working with him again. If nothing else, his films are always good for a good poster, and the poster for this does not disappoint.
Texas Killing Fields (trailer)
Director: Ami Canaan Mann
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Feature debut by Mann, who is Michael Mann’s daughter, and it’s been getting very mixed reviews. Aside from that, it’s notable for being the 37th movie with Jessica Chastain to open this year. Which I don’t mean as disrespectful in the slightest – in the 4 of the previous 36 that I’ve seen, she’s been very good, playing a wide range of characters. Not sure if I’ll make this one, though. Maybe.
World on a Wire
Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder (The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, The Marriage of Maria Braun, Lola)
Personal Interest Factor: 9
Reissue of Fassbinder’s 3.5-hour sci-fi opus, showing somewhat annoyingly in two parts at the Gene Siskel Film Center. I’ve seen Ali: Feat Eats the Soul but otherwise haven’t yet plunged into Fassbinder’s very short-lived but astonishingly prolific career.
Also this week:
The Mighty Macs (trailer) – Carla Gugino as women’s basketball coach
Johnny English Reborn (trailer) – apparently there was a first Johnny English movie?
Norman (trailer) – quirky indie troubled-teen movie
Paranormal Activity 3 (trailer) – didn’t see the first 2
The Three Musketeers (trailer) – “Can’t we make it more like Resident Evil?”