Opening in Chicago, 03/23


The Hunger Games (trailer)
Director: Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
In a revelation that will surprise no one, I haven’t read the books and don’t have much of an idea of what all the fuss is. I’m told by my reliable GE colleague/wife that they’re a big step up from the Twilight series, though. I see that the ever more cartoonish Jeff Wells has taken up jihad against it, which makes me think that it might actually be halfway decent.
Metacritic: 68

The Kid with a Bike (trailer)
Directors: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Rosetta, The Son, L’enfant, Lorna’s Silence)
Personal Interest Factor: 7
I’ve only seen two of the Dardennes’ films – the last two – so I suppose this one will go a long way to determining how I feel about them. I liked L’enfant but Lorna’s Silence really rubbed me the wrong way. This one is about a kid “obsessively trying to find his bike,” so naturally I expect it to be similar in tone to Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. If it’s not, I’ll be disappointed. Fair warning, Dardennes!
Metacritic: 86

The Raid: Redemption (trailer)
Director: Gareth Evans
Personal Interest Factor: 5
Hadn’t really heard of this before this week, but I’m amused by Ebert’s one-star review and have little reason to believe that I’ll think differently about the film.
Metacritic: 70

Also this week:
Delicacy (trailer) – French comedy/romance starring Audrey Tautou
Love (trailer) – seems like a Chinese version of Garry Marshall’s Valentine’s Day


13 responses »

  1. Ebert gave The Raid one star? Really?
    I’ll stand with Nick’s assessment and happily search it out and likely love the shit out of it.
    Does Ebert’s review count towards the entire discussion of “People either like something or they absolutely hate it”? “They give it 9-6 stars and then jump right to one.”
    I know he only has five…

  2. Your reliable GE colleague/wife will try and see Hunger Games and write a review in the next couple of days. I unforunately had back-to-back meetings today and could not do a long lunch.

  3. I saw Hunger Games today and will have a review up tomorrow, but feel free to write your own review, Jeanine. I read the book (the first one at least). A teaser: meh.

  4. Jackrabbit – go ahead and post your review here. I have no idea when I’ll get around to seeing it this weekend.

    I read all 3 books. I like the books, but they’re not great. I just expect the series to be far better than Twilight.

  5. I liked the book–the pastor of my church even game a sermon on it (I go to Unitarian church, which is a hotbed of liberals). I haven’t read any of the Twilight books, but The Hunger Games at least has a strong female character and has a lot to say about totalitarian governments.

  6. Jackrabbit – I go to a Unitarian church too. Truthfully, I haven’t been to services in a while, but still participate in several groups.

  7. Jeanine, cool! I’m an atheist, but I like attending services and having a sense of community. I like that everyone is accepted (a lot of atheists, Buddhists, and pagans attend) and there’s no judgment. I also like that the minister last week came out and said he didn’t believe in Hell.

  8. I’m an atheist myself, but I’ve always kind of envied the community aspect of organized religion. I’ve never really looked into the Unitarian church.

  9. Saw The Raid Redemption. Pretty good for a chop-socky movie, with some amazing fight choreography, but it isn’t much more than that. Also suffers from that Asian-action thing where bad guys fight the good guy one at a time. Why don’t they gang up?

  10. Yeah The Raid was ok. I found it boring after a bit.

    It was also extremely cheap looking, like a mid 90’s dtv action picture. I’m not sure how much Edwards had to work with budget-wise, but I can’t imagine it was at a level that would excuse such shoddy work.

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