Opening in Chicago, Weekend of 12/23

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Sorry I’m so late with this, if anyone’s wondering. As I explained in the other thread, I forgot what day it was, and well, therefore forgot to write Openings. So that’s my bad.

Anyway, lots of big holiday releases, most of which I’m not exactly beating a path to the theater doors to see. What I’m really excited about is that the Music Box is showing a bunch of Hitchcock movies next week. I’ve seen Rear Window recently, so I’ll skip that, but it’s been ages since I’ve seen Rope, Vertigo, Rebecca, and Strangers on a Train, and I’ve never seen To Catch a Thief. So take that, new movies!

The Adventures of Tintin (trailer)
Director: Steven Spielberg (The Terminal, War of the Worlds, Munich, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)
Personal Interest Factor: 7
This looks like one of Zemeckis’s stop-motion things, more like the semi-tolerable Beowulf than the mostly painful other two. But I’m feeling charitable about it, so even though I probably won’t like it, I’m looking forward to seeing it. I figure that there’s no reason for Spielberg to make it unless he really wanted to, unlike, say, the last Indy movie. Might have a problem catching it in 2-D, though.
Metacritic: 67

The Artist (trailer)
Director: Michel Hazanavicius (OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies, OSS 117: Lost in Rio)
Personal Interest Factor: 7
I’m frankly curious to see what my reaction to this film could be. I feel like it could legitimately go either way, either appealing to my sense of cinema history (like Hugo) or pushing me away with its overt sentimentality (like, well, lots of awards contenders). I have no idea how it will go. Maybe both will happen at the same time.
Metacritic: 89

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (trailer)
Director: David Fincher (Panic Room, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network)
Personal Interest Factor: 5
The latest from the suddenly prolific Fincher, who for my money is in strong contention for the title of most overrated director around. My god, has he got an underwhelming body of work for a guy with such a flawless reputation. Now he’s made a movie that is a remake of a movie I didn’t much like in the first place – and is apparently not terribly different. Yes, it’s fair to say I’m not expecting much. Jackrabbit Slim already reviewed the film, giving it a solid B.
Metacritic: 71

War Horse (trailer)
Director: Steven Spielberg (War of the Worlds, Munich, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Adventures of Tintin)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Man, this doesn’t look very good either. Turns out that guy in the trailer that I thought was Anthony Hopkins is not actually Anthony Hopkins; I guess it’s Niels Arestrup. I’ve seen that trailer probably a dozen times and still have no idea what the movie’s about, except for a horse doing … something. It’s one of the worst-cut trailers for a major studio film in years.
Metacritic: 73

We Bought a Zoo (trailer)
Director: Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Vanilla Sky, Elizabethtown)
Personal Interest Factor: 5
I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of Jerry Maguire, and still haven’t seen Crowe’s earlier films, but Almost Famous was one of the most anticipated movies ever for me. I don’t really know why, except that it just looked like something I’d really enjoy. And it was! I just watched it again a few weeks ago, and loved it more than ever. We Bought a Zoo is pretty much the opposite, from a filmmaker that I would now say I am a fan of (I even really liked Vanilla Sky and didn’t hate Elizabethtown like everyone else), but the movie just looks awful.
Metacritic: 57

Also this week:
Miss Minoes (trailer) – Dutch kids movie starring Carice van Houten that is ten years old
Three Stars – doc about chefs

2 responses »

  1. Just saw War Horse, but it’s going to take some time for me to figure out what I thought of it. Thumbs up, but how high I’m not sure. Review coming when I’ve figured it out.

  2. I love romances, sad love stories, flawed protagonists, cute little kids straight out of the Jerry Maguire playbook, and I loves me some Temple of the Dog, and I LOVE animals, but We Bought a Zoo managed to make me hate all of those things at one time, together and without reservation.

    “Come on! I’ll teach you how to shave!” will likely be Damon’s low point on a resume that includes Bagger Vance and the line “Inside every one of us is one true, authentic swing.”

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