Opening in Chicago, Weekend of 08/10

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So, here’s some news – my long period of unemployment is over, and so that nightmare is behind me, and should be for good as long as I can demonstrate basic competence.

What this means for Openings is still unclear, although it seems unlikely that I’ll be working Friday mornings or afternoons. But, I’ll be working very late into the night on essentially every single Thursday, so Openings will probably appear a little later on Friday than normal, like today in the very late morning or early afternoon (local time, I mean, which I think translates into early Tuesday morning for our Aussie contingent).

The Bourne Legacy (trailer)
Director: Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, Duplicity)
Personal Interest Factor: 7
Hard to know what to make of this, but it’s either a novel and interesting way to continue a franchise without its major star, or a really bad idea. With Gilroy at the helm, and some of the same supporting actors involved, at least there’s some continuity. I’m looking forward to seeing it, but it seems that critical reactions are underwhelming.
Metacritic: 60

The Campaign (trailer)
Director: Jay Roach (Meet the Parents, Goldmember, Meet the Fockers, Dinner for Schmucks)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
I’m sure that there are some good gags here – I really love Ferrell’s John Edwards haircut – but I’d probably be a lot more eager to see this if I thought that it would have anything to do with the actual world of elections – if it got its hands a little dirty, so to speak. Instead, it’s bound to be simply about two random clueless morons with such a staggering lack of political skill that it’ll undermine the whole premise.
Metacritic: 50

Celeste and Jesse Forever (trailer)
Director: Lee Toland Krieger (The Vicious Kind, December Ends)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
I’ve seen this trailer a few times and I frankly don’t have anything to say about it, except that it doesn’t make me change my mind about Samberg’s departure from SNL being an idea of questionable merit.
Metacritic: 60

Hope Springs (trailer)
Director: David Frankel (Miami Rhapsody, The Devil Wears Prada, Marley & Me, The Big Year)
Personal Interest Factor: 5
Like everyone else, my principal reaction to this is surprise that Tommy Lee Jones is actually in it. Still, it looks mostly unwatchable, and I think that any curiosity I have about Jones playing a role like would be overridden by seeing how pained he looks while doing it.
Metacritic: 66

Unforgivable (trailer)
Director: André Téchiné (Strayed, Changing Times, The Witnesses, The Girl on the Train)
Personal Interest Factor: N/A
I saw this back in March, during the European Union Film Festival. I really liked Téchiné’s previous film, The Girl on the Train, but this one was a little disappointing. My short review is here.
Metacritic: 65

Also this week:
Nitro Circus: The Movie (trailer) – some Jackass ripoff, I guess?
Searching for Sugar Man (trailer) – doc about elusive 1970s rocker ‘Rodriguez’
A Simple Life – Chinese film about a man and his maid, and their relationship after she has a stroke

8 responses »

  1. Congrats Brian! My own job is due to end in a few weeks actually (thanks to our move to AZ), so that should be fun.

    And I just saw UNFORGIVABLE yesterday and was not a fan.

  2. Thanks, guys. It’s quite a relief – it’s been over 4.5 years since I had an actual permanent position. I don’t really want to go through that ever again.

  3. I think Ebert sums up The Bourne Legacy very nicely: “The dialogue is concise, the cinematography is arresting and the plot is a murky muddle.”

  4. Saw ‘Hope Springs’ a couple of weeks ago. Didn’t hold great hopes for it as I disliked the last Frankel/Streep collaboration ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ but I got a lot more out of this.

    I could understand people not taking to it – especially how Streep’s character puts up with how miserable a stick-in-the-mud Jones’ character is but I bought it and accepted the premise and if it works, it works.

    I think what I liked about it the most was how straightforward it was. It had faith in the basic simple premise of its story without adding the contrivances and melodrama standard in such films. For example, I was expecting the marriage counsellor (the only other major character apart from Streep/Jones) to be either goofy or idiotic (especially as played by Steve Carell) but he was shown to be completely honest and decent. I admired Carell for playing his role with complete sincerity.

    This film is no classic and a couple of weeks after seeing it, it’s faded from the memory somewhat. But it was satisfying experience and you could do much worse at the cinema.

    Rating: B

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