Opening in Chicago, 10/05

Standard

Frankenweenie (trailer)
Director: Tim Burton (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Alice in Wonderland, Dark Shadows)
Personal Interest Factor: 7
Even as Burton’s career has become less and less interesting, his stop-motion projects have always been endearing. I don’t have much of an opinion about this besides that, and I’m not sure I’ve even watched a proper trailer for it. But, if nothing else, the look of the movie has a lot of appeal – I don’t think I’ve seen black-and-white stop motion before.
Metacritic: 74

The Paperboy (trailer)
Director: Lee Daniels (Shadowboxer, Precious, The Paperboy)
Personal Interest Factor: 5
Yeesh. This got a disastrous reception when it premiered at Cannes, and I wasn’t real sure if it would see proper US distribution in the aftermath of that fiasco. Yet here it is, courtesy of Millenium Entertainment, and the post-Cannes reviews haven’t really been much more kind than the originals. If nothing else, it has a good cast, I guess, and Matthew McConaughey especially has had a series of bizarre roles lately that has been mostly fun to watch.
Metacritic: 46

Taken 2 (trailer)
Director: Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3, Colombiana)
Personal Interest Factor: 5
I thought the original film was kinda dumb and more than a bit sleazy, and if nothing else, the new one looks even dumber. I’m not all that sure I’ll even bother to watch it. Looks like a cynical cash grab, really. The industry is expecting it to be pretty big – I’m seeing estimates of $55-60 million thrown around – but as successful as the first one was, it still only made $145 million domestic, and I think it’s easy to overstate the appeal of the sequel. It’s still a straight-up genre movie with no discernible appeal to the womenfolk. If we were still doing AGEBOC I might have been tempted to take the under, such as it were.
Metacritic: 46

The Well-Digger’s Daughter (trailer)
Director: Daniel Auteuil
Personal Interest Factor: 6
First directorial effort from French actor Auteuil, and apparently it’s a very old-fashioned affair set in rural France during World War I. If nothing else, it should have a lot of attractive photography of the French countryside, but I’m not sure if that will be enough. Seems like something I might enjoy, but also something that could be deadly dull if I don’t, so I’m sort of on the fence.
Metacritic: 67

Also this week:
About Cherry – indie drama about a teenage stripper
The Ambassador (trailer) – guerilla doc about the blood diamond trade
Daisies – reissue of the 1966 Czech film by Vera Chytilová
Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare (trailer) – self-explanatory doc
The Oranges (trailer) – indie comedy with Hugh Laurie and Catherine Keener
V/H/S (trailer) – some kind of indie horror anthology

2 responses »

  1. re: Taken. Yes, it made 145M (which is an impressive number for almost any movie) but that’s on a 25M budget. Not sure how much they picked it up for from Europa, but it was a massively profitable film for them.

    That campaign for the first picture was really smart. One of the best I can remember.

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