Opened in Chicago, 01/25


Another boring week:

The industry had bizarrely inflated expectations for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (trailer), and I saw estimates of $30 million and even higher last week. That didn’t materialize, though, with the movie only grossing about $19 million over the weekend. And even that seems high since the movie looks terrible.

Maggie Smith, fresh off her Oscar snub, stars in Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet (trailer), which looks prettty dull to me. I’m glad that it didn’t get any Oscar nominations, because now I don’t feel the slightest bit of compunction over skipping it. I do, however, think that this “let’s make movies for old people” trend is interesting, because it seems like pop culture has been almost exclusively mareketed to young people (i.e., maximum age of 30) for a long time.

Then there are a couple of movies that no one cares about at all, Taylor Hackford’s Parker (trailer), starring Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez, and Movie 43 (trailer), starring a bunch of people but no one I feel like mentioning. The former looks utterly routine, and the latter looks like it should be showing on one of the lesser Showtime channels.

From India comes Race 2, apparently a sequel to Race, and about the activities of the Indian mafia in Turkey. As far as I know, every word in that sentence is really true.

The Music Box is showing a couple of reissues, Alexander Mackendrick’s The Man in the White Suit and Marcel Carné’s Port of Shadows. I’ll try to make it to Port of Shadows, at least.

Downtown, there are a couple of arthouse films showing. The first is a documentary about photographer Gregory Crewdson, entitled Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters (trailer). The second is Consuming Spirits, an animated film about residents of a “dreary Rustbelt town”.


One response »

  1. Saw ‘Quartet’ and while it has nothing earth-shatteringly new to say about the elderly and growing old, I found it most agreeable.

    Having Dustin Hoffman as a debut director was a definite benefit to the film; not because he was a born natural at directing but in fact the exact opposite. That there seemed a genuine curiosity and ‘learn-as-we-go’ aspect to the direct instead of standard professionalism gave it a real unexpected sense of freshness.

    The film can’t help but avoid some of the cliches of modern films about the elderly (including the obiligatory sex-starved randy character) but the excellent cast helps it through. Certainly I would be surprised if Tom Courtenay has given a better film performance in the past 30 years.

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