Opening in Chicago, 10/26


Chasing Mavericks (trailer)
Director: Curtis Hanson & Michael Apted
Personal Interest Factor: 5
Hanson had a pretty strong run as a director for awhile, but his Lucky You was awfully mediocre, and then he had health problems during the filming of this and Michael Apted stepped in. Any movie starring the worst actor in Hollywood, Gerard Butler, is bound to be cringe-inducing in some way or t’other, and as a surfing movie, it marks Hanson’s second straight feature to feature subject matter of very questionable interest (Lucky You was about poker). Realistically, it looks like the studio just wants to release it and get it over with anyway.
Metacritic: 44

Cloud Atlas (trailer)
Director: Lana Wachowski & Tom Tykwer & Andy Wachowski
Personal Interest Factor: 8
Here’s an unusual thing these days, a genuinely adventurous major studio film. I don’t really know what to make of it – the trailer doesn’t inspire much of a reaction from me either way – but I’m still excited to see it.
Metacritic: 55

Keep the Lights On (trailer)
Director: Ira Sachs (The Delta, Forty Shades of Blue, Married Life)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Chronicles the relationship between two men over the course of a decade. I actually had to look it up to see if I had seen Married Life, Sachs’s previous film. Turned out I had. Good thing this site exists or I wouldn’t have even remembered what I thought of it. I still only vaguely remember going.
Metacritic: 80

The Sessions (trailer)
Director: Ben Lewin (Georgia, The Favour, the Watch, and the Very Big Fish, Paperback Romance)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
This has good reviews, and I like the primary cast members involved (I’ve been particularly impressed by John Hawkes), but good lord does this look like the type of obnoxious Oscar-bait drama that I can barely stand. Very suspicious. I’ve barely been to any movies over the last few months and I still feel like I’ve seen this trailer a million times … how is that?
Metacritic: 80

Also this week:
Chakravyuh (trailer) – revolutionary drama from India
Fun Size (trailer) – out-of-control Halloween party
The Other Son – Israeli/Palestinian switched-at-birth drama
Silent Hill: Revelation (trailer) – video game sequel
The Wise Kids – indie coming-of-age drama


3 responses »

  1. good lord does this look like the type of obnoxious Oscar-bait drama that I can barely stand.

    Agreed. I’m sure it’s fine, but I feel predisposed to hate it.

  2. I could have sworn there was a review of Cloud Atlas here, but I can’t find it.

    Rob was right, it’s that rare Hollywood Blockbuster that takes remarkable chances that just work, and add up to a success.
    Though I’m not saying it’s good. It’s uncategorizable, it doesn’t fit into any well-known groupings, but I’m not sure what it added up to. I mean, I know what it was saying, and it said it quite a few times, let me tell you, and man, was it heavy-handed. But it’s first half, the Wachowski half, works far, far more than the Tykwer half does, the latter half, which goes from an ambitious, hard-to-pin-down story of interwoven lives and ‘higher meanings’ to just a series of random, cobbled together chase scenes, some ridiculous, with soooo much trademark Tykwer steadicam and the somewhat jarring nature of the two styles and I really, really didn’t want it to devolve into treacle and booming music and it did. it all just…where we didn’t know what would happen, where we weren’t sure of the big picture, where we weren’t sure what lives were intertwined with what…it’s all just ‘part of the larger picture’.
    The entire ‘love’ admission was so very well done, and nothing was set and he killed himself when his love was there, and if only they would have kept it there.
    But I feel like I’m nitpicking. It works. I was with it the entire way. It works. Ambitious and very well done.
    And Hugh Grant is the true acting revelation. So very good. I didn’t like Hanks. I felt Grant and Hanks should have switched places. Hanks just didn’t seem right.

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