Opening in Chicago, 02/24


Chico & Rita (trailer)
Directors: Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal, Tono Errando
Personal Interest Factor: 7
Oscar nominee in the Animated Film category. It looks sort of like a Cuban version of New York, New York, with a jazz musician who falls for a singer. Only it looks like the strain in their relationship is more political than because the guy’s a huge jerk.
Metacritic: 78

Gone (trailer)
Director: Heitor Dhalia
Personal Interest Factor: 3
One gets the sense that Amanda Seyfried’s career is already on the decline, and that it peaked with the Mamma MiaJennifer’s BodyDear John trio (and even Jennifer’s Body was a huge tank for all the hype it got). She didn’t even feature in the marketing of her last big movie, In Time, and now this is the kind of generic thriller that hasn’t really worked for anyone since Sandra Bullock was in The Net (and even then…). She has a Linda Lovelace biopic coming up, which sounds admirably risky but otherwise a very bad idea. She might be able to keep working in the romantic drama ghetto but it already feels like she’s limited beyond that.
Metacritic: no score yet

On the Ice (trailer)
Director: Andrew Okpeaha MacLean
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Not to be confused with Thin Ice, this is an Inuit film about a seal-hunting accident. Sounds good, but the reviews aren’t great and neither is the trailer.
Metacritic: 57

Thin Ice (trailer)
Director: Jill Sprecher (Clockwatchers, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing)
Personal Interest Factor: 5
Generic-looking indie crime movie. Looks like the kind of thing that got festival bookings because of its stars, made no impression at said festivals, got picked up by a distributor that would have had no shot at getting it if it were any good, gets a token theatrical release that almost no one notices, then plays endlessly on Showtime forever, where everyone assumes it was direct-to-video in the first place.
Metacritic: 62

Wanderlust (trailer)
Director: (Wet Hot American Summer, The Ten, Role Models)
Personal Interest Factor: 4
Man, the advertising for this has been intense, although this time it’s on TV instead of theatrical trailers (which I don’t believe I’ve actually seen). Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything yet that actually looks funny – just the same tired jokes about hippies, communes, and drugs.
Metacritic: 51

Also this week:
Act of Valor (trailer) – real US Navy Seals!!!
Crazy Horse – Frederick Wiseman doc about the Parisian cabaret
Good Deeds (trailer) – newest Tyler Perry movie
Hell and Back Again (trailer) – doc about a US soldier wounded in Afghanistan


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