Opening in Chicago, 03/30


The Deep Blue Sea (trailer)
Director: Terence Davies (Distant Voices, Still Lives, The Long Day Closes, The Neon Bible, The House of Mirth)
Personal Interest Factor: N/A
I saw this a couple weeks ago as part of the Gene Siskel Film Center’s European Union Film Festival, and I thought it was OK but a little frustrating (see my short review here). It stars Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston as doomed lovers in 1950s England, but I thought they both kind of struggled with their roles, for which I blame the writing as much as anything. The highlight of the screening was actually the Q&A with Davies, who I remember irritating me with his narration for Of Time and the City, but who struck me as witty in person and very generous in talking about his work, though also kind of a cranky old man.
Metacritic: 83

Goon (trailer)
Director: Michael Dowse (It’s All Gone Pete Tong, Take Me Home Tonight)
Personal Interest Factor: 5
Since moving to Chicago, I’ve become a big hockey fan. I’ve always rooted for the Blackhawks, but growing up in Florida there was almost no hockey on TV, and ESPN has rarely been much help when it came to hockey. And of course in those pre-internet days it was awfully tough to follow a team from across long distances without some kind of TV supplementation. Now though, it’s probably become my second-favorite sport, after baseball. Anyway, this is a hockey movie that plays up the violent, thuggish element of the game, which as it happens is the facet of the game I like the least.
Metacritic: 63

Mirror Mirror (trailer)
Director: Tarsem Singh Dhandwar (The Cell, The Fall, Immortals)
Personal Interest Factor: 5
I kinda-sorta meant to go see Immortals, just because Tarsem’s first two films were so terrific visually, but it was only playing in 3D so I blew it off. Now this comes along, and it just doesn’t look very good or even all that interesting visually. So I’m thinking it probably won’t happen.
Metacritic: 51

Wrath of the Titans (trailer)
Director: Jonathan Liebesman (Darkness Falls, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Battle Los Angeles)
Personal Interest Factor: 4
This seems like a sequel that no one asked for. Clash wasn’t actually all that terrible, but it wasn’t all that great, either, and I have little desire to see a follow-up made by a guy who’s even more of a studio hack than Louis Leterrier, who directed Clash.
Metacritic: 38

Also this week:
In Search of Haydn – doc about some composer guy
Let the Bullets Fly (trailer) – Chinese western
Mulberry Child – doc about a Chinese family in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution
Musical Chairs (trailer) – about wheelchair ballroom dancing
The Salt of Life (trailer) – Italian comedy of middle-aged manners


One response »

  1. Saw ‘Mirror, Mirror’ a couple of weeks back. It was a tolerable, mildly entertaining timewaster but that I’ve largely forgotten it already shows how inconsequential it is. Felt like a mix of ‘Ella Enchanted’ & ‘Enchanted’ in that it’s a ‘self-aware’ version of a fairy tale with the by now standard modern perspectives such as the princess being much more self-reliant, etc…

    Julia Roberts is pretty good as the villainess (variable accent notwithstanding) and the cast is game, but probably the most vivid memory is an out-of-nowhere Bollywood musical number to end the film. It’s quite charming on its own terms but it’s so jarring in a film like this.

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