Opening in Chicago, 11/18

Standard

The Descendants (trailer)
Director: Alexander Payne (Citizen Ruth, Election, About Schmidt, Sideways)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
I’ve made my feelings about this known already – I’m not a big Payne fan – but I know he’s very respected and I don’t need to beat a dead horse, at least until I actually see the movie. So instead, I’ll say that I can’t believe Sideways is seven years old already. Or more precisely, I was trying to remember the other day what his last movie was, and I couldn’t come up with anything between this and Sideways. It doesn’t seem like he’s been out of the game for that long, but all he’s got in the meantime is a segment from Paris , je t’aime and a handful of producing credits. Time flies, I guess.
Metacritic: 84

3 (trailer)
Director: Tom Tykwer (The Princess and the Warrior, Heaven, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, The International)
Personal Interest Factor: 7
I used to think of Tykwer as an interesting voice of world cinema (or something), but lately I’m not so sure. Now he seems like a guy with impressive technical chops but prone to slipshod execution of his ideas. The US trailer for this is pretty good, though, even if it is cut to avoid betraying it as a foreign film. In this case, though, the absence of dialogue serves it well, and the use of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” over scenes of what look like a not-apparently-extraordinary love triangle is unexpected and compelling. Looks worth seeing even if it turns out to be not very good.
Metacritic: 55

Week End
Director: Jean-Luc Godard (Masculin féminin, Made in U.S.A, 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, La chinoise)
Personal Interest Factor: 7
Another data point in exploring whether or not Godard made a film after 1965 that I can tolerate. This one’s from 1967. The four films I listed were the four he made before this one (and after 1965’s Pierrot le fou, which I do like), and I found all four rather tedious. Before Pierrot, there are many that I do like and none that I find tedious, at least of the ones I’ve seen. Hmmmm…
Metacritic: not listed

The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner
Director: Stephan Komandarev
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Well, I don’t know anything about this, except that it’s Bulgarian and has a title that sounds oddly like a Bono lyric. The synopsis does not sound promising, however; it’s apparently about an old man trying to cure his grandson’s amnesia by taking him on a cross-country tandem bicycle trip.
Metacritic: not listed

Also this week:
Happy Feet Two (trailer) – Couldn’t remember if I saw the first one. My records say no.
Raiders of the Lost Ark – 30th anniversary edition, digitally shown
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (trailer) – Jeanine promises a review!

8 responses »

  1. Now he seems like a guy with impressive technical chops but prone to slipshod execution of his ideas.

    I would say remarkably impressive technical chops. Some of the best working today. The second part of that sentence is exactly spot-on.

    That being said….A new TYKWER MOVIE! Sweet movie gods! Things are looking up!

  2. First 45 minutes of Breaking Dawn are really bad – and that’s just the wedding and part of the honeymoon. I have some ethical problems with it so far, one that involves downplaying the seriousness of domestic abuse.

    I’ll watch the last part after work.

  3. I have some ethical problems with it so far, one that involves downplaying the seriousness of domestic abuse.

    Those complaints were also voiced when the book came out.

  4. Filmman, have you gotten a chance to see 3? It took a while for me to figure out my own thoughts, but now it seems like a kind of rough masterpiece to me. I’d be very curious about what you think of it.

  5. No, unfortunately I have not.
    Very glad to hear you thought it was that good. I can’t wait to see it.

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