Opening in Chicago, 11/16

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In box office terms, the biggest release of the week will surely be the latest and last Twilight installment, but the bigger news for me is the release of a couple of OScar-season heavyweights in Anna Karenina and Silver Linings Playbook.

Anna Karenina comes to us from Joe Wright, returning to period pieces after a couple of contemporary films. Of those two, The Soloist was the type of pointless misfire that one would expect from a director out of his element. But then Hanna was a startling film, with terrifically efficient action direction and a weird grim fairy tale tone. It’s hard to know what to make about Anna Karenina, except that it’s so far gotten divisive reviews, and that its trailer makes it look rather audaciously stylized. Fairly or not, this movie will go a long way towards solidifying my opinion of Wright, because right now I’m not so sure what to think.

Meanwhile, David O. Russell returns with Silver Linings Playbook, with what appears to be a big moment for the clearly talented Jennifer Lawrence. Otherwise, the trailer doesn’t do the film many favors, making it look like an ostensibly edgy but actually quite saccharine romantic comedy about mentally ill people in love. But I’ve yet to not like a Russell film, and I can only trust that there’s more to it than it appears. Or, at the very least, that like The Fighter it takes a familiar plot outline but presents it with obvious craftsmanship, attention to emotional detail, and fine acting.

Rounding out the week’s notable films is This Must Be the Place, starring Sean Penn as an aging goth rocker. This frankly looks terrible, with Penn utilizing a voice that most resembles Chris Kattan’s goth character on SNL, and a plot that boils down to some bad stuff that happened to Penn’s father in WWII (that he has to go on a cross-country road trip to sort out). There’s also rumors of it being tinkered with by the Weinsteins, so there’s that, too.

Anna Karenina (trailer)

Band of Sisters – doc about nuns

Chasing Ice (trailer) – doc about glaciers

Jab Tak Hai Jaan – romance from India

Silver Linings Playbook (trailer)

Son of Sardaar (trailer) – action movie from India

Sushi: The Global Catch – doc about sushi

This Must Be the Place (trailer)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (trailer)

7 responses »

  1. From what I’ve heard people say, the trailer does Silver Linings no justice and that it’s pretty great…

  2. By the way, what does everyone think about this format for Openings? I’m considering keeping it more or less like this from now on. It frees me up to write a little bit more freeform about the movies I’m interested in – more of a recap than a blow-by-blow.

    Plus, I’ve just gotten bored with the established format. Feels a little better writing real paragraphs, like I have more space to move around in.

    I’d love some feedback, suggestions, etc., if anyone has any.

  3. I like this way quite a bit. Feels like you can almost see you sitting at a desk on a YouTube video and this would be your script.

  4. Still considering the Metacritic scores, but the personal interest factor is gone for good.

    I’m just trying to cut down on the work, really. It’s been kind of frustrating finding time to do this over the past couple months, so taking some shortcuts helps. So right now I’m leaning against keeping the Metacritic numbers, because they’re relatively time-consuming to include, and I feel like we all have a pretty good idea already of which movies are critically approved and which ones aren’t.

    Plus I feel like it’s time for a change in format anyway, the old one was getting a little rigid and stale.

  5. BTW – do not expect a Twilight review from me this time around. I have no interest in the final chapter. She got married and became a vampire in the last film, which is what the entire series was leading up to. From the sound of it, attendance is no where near what it was for Part 1, so I’m assuming I’m not the only one that feels this way.

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