Opening in Chicago, 03/16

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Casa de mi Padre (trailer)
Director: Matt Piedmont
Personal Interest Factor: 6
I have to admit, this looks funnier to me than 21 Jump Street, although at the same time it looks like a really funny SNL skit drawn out to feature length. One has to question the decision to open it across from 21 Jump Street, because the idea of Will Ferrell doing a Spanish-language western is certainly high-concept if nothing else. This should have been out a month ago.
Metacritic: 51

Footnote (trailer)
Director: Joseph Cedar (Beaufort)
Personal Interest Factor: 7
The fourth of the five Oscar Foreign Film nominees to open here, although I skipped In Darkness and Bullhead. I’ll probably see this, although I didn’t have a reaction to the trailer one way or the other. It’s an Israeli film about a father and son who are rival professors.
Metacritic: 82

Jeff, Who Lives at Home (trailer)
Directors: Jay Duplass & Mark Duplass (The Puffy Chair, Baghead, Cyrus)
Personal Interest Factor: 5
The poster advertises this as “from the directors of Cyrus” which seems more like a warning than an appeal. Here the idiot manchild played by John C. Reilly has been replaced by Jason Segal, and the other idiot manchild played by Jonah Hill has been replaced by Ed Helms. The woman linking the two is now played by Susan Sarandon instead of Marisa Tomei, only this time she’s the manchildren’s mom, which I guess is an attempt to add some kind of Oedipal/Freudian overtone. Can’t say I’m excited.
Metacritic: 59

Seeking Justice (trailer)
Director: Roger Donaldson (Thirteen Days, The Recruit, The World’s Fastest Indian, The Bank Job)
Personal Interest Factor: 3
On-again, off-again director (and auteur behind the original Species film) Donaldson is apparently off again with whatever this is, no doubt a strictly contractual theatrical release starring Nic Cage, January Jones and Guy Pearce.
Metacritic: 33

21 Jump Street (trailer)
Directors: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Normally I’d be thinking “pass” but word so far has actually been pretty good. And there’s been such a dearth of good stuff to see that I’m thinking about checking it out. Trailers aren’t really all that funny, though.
Metacritic: 70

Also this week:
Kill List (trailer) – indie horror/thriller
The Snowtown Murders (trailer) – another indie horror/thriller

10 responses »

  1. The trailer for 21 Jump Street is off-putting, to say the least. I was determined not to see this after watcing Jonah Hill fire a pistol in the air after making an arrest–which is about as unrealistic as as it gets. But I’m going to give it a chance due to the positive reviews.

  2. I know it’s a growing trend these days (indeed two in this list) and it’s probably a silly view to take, but I’m always somewhat wary when I see a film with multiple directors. Apart from the Powell/Pressburger team, the earliest films I can recall with multiple directors were by the pair who made the D.O.A remake and Super Mario Bros.

  3. Lord & Miller’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was surprisingly funny and inventive, but it’s still a miracle that they seemingly turned out a decent film despite everything going against it (TV adaptation, live-action directing debut, Channing Tatum, etc)

  4. I know it’s a growing trend these days (indeed two in this list) and it’s probably a silly view to take, but I’m always somewhat wary when I see a film with multiple directors. Apart from the Powell/Pressburger team, the earliest films I can recall with multiple directors were by the pair who made the D.O.A remake and Super Mario Bros.

    A few of Eisenstein’s films had multiple directors credited (e.g., Alexander Nevsky), although it’s not clear to me how much his co-directors contributed creatively versus just being an ideological watchdog assigned by the government. Although J. Hoberman in his Criterion essay for Nevsky actually attributes co-director Dmitri Vasilev with “much of the actual direction”.

    Your point actually stands in this case, though, because Nevsky is not actually a very good film.

    Otherwise, it’s been very common in animation to have multiple directors for as long as there have been animated features. And many studio films in the old days had multiple directors, even though they weren’t credited. For example, King Vidor replaced Victor Fleming on the set of The Wizard of Oz when Fleming left early to work on Gone with the Wing (which itself had multiple directors), and filmed most of the Kansas scenes. But The Adventures of Robin Hood credited two directors, as did some number of Buster Keaton’s films.

    But you’re right, animation aside, this seems to be much more common now than it was for most of movie history. Seems like the Coen brothers were on the front lines of the two-director resurgence, although their films only credited Joel as director until The Ladykillers.

  5. The Duplass brothers make Ed Burns look like a cross between Woody Allen with the directing chops of Martin Scorsese.

    The Duplass brothers make Kim Kardashian getting famous look like a sane, sensible and rational thing.

    The Duplass brothers make Neveldine (sp?) and Taylor look like the Joel and Ethan Coen of action films.

    The Duplass brothers and their ‘mumblecore’ progeny make me yearn for a three-day long marathon of torture porn.

  6. Wow, surprisingly short-shrift for Kill List.

    Yeah, thought the same thing, and now that I’ve seen it that’s reinforced. I may not completely understand it, but I think it’s bound to be on my top ten for this year. Review coming in a day or two. I think you’d love it, Filmman. It’s your type of movie.

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