With two weeks remaining until the kick-off of the Summer movie season: the studios continue to unload a few remaining features that aren’t competitive enough to survive prime time.
The weekend’s major new release is Joseph Kosinski’s sci-fi picture Oblivion (RT: 58%, MC: 54%). The film stars Tom Cruise as a technician working to salvage resources on a post-apocalyptic Earth who discovers an unsettling truth about his situation.
Critics are universally hailing the film’s visuals, but are less enthused by the film’s mash-up of story lines from classic genre pictures (Wall-E and Total Recall being the most obvious). Tracking is iffy and exhibitors polled at CinemaCon this week expressed little enthusiasm, particularly in comparison to May’s roster of blockbuster sequels. While the general public perception of Tom Cruise has rebounded nicely post-Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, theaters owners remain skittish and his presence was cited as their #1 concern regarding Oblivion‘s domestic prospects.
Still, with a 61M international bow last week: the studio should enjoy a modest hit overall.
The Lords of Salem (RT: 43%, 60%): Rob Zombie horror film.
No Place on Earth (RT: 76%, MC: 67%): History Channel-produced Holocaust documentary scoring a theatrical release in advance of it’s television premiere. General consensus: fascinating subject, average filmmaking.
Gimme the Loot (RT: 95%, MC: 82%): Comedy about a gang of Brooklyn graffiti artists who plot to tag The Mets’ homerun apple. “Presented by Jonathan Demme”. Solid reviews.
For classic fare: The Criterion in New Haven is running Hitchcock’s The Trouble with Harry (1955) and Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers (1997) Fri-Sun.
Yale’s 8th Annual Festival of New Italian Cinema continues through Sunday at The Whitney Humanities Center. Weekend screenings include 2012’s Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die); 2011’s Habemus papam (We Have a Pope) and Italy, Love It or Leave It; and Io Sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet) from 2009. Screenings are open to the public and tickets are available online via Eventbrite.