There are 21 films opening in New York today. 21! This means that no one is allowed to say, “There’s nothing to see.”
The biggest opening of course is Iron Man 3 (62), which has already seen by half of the Chinese. From what I hear, they’ve doubled down on Tony Stark’s angst, while keeping a steady rate of explosions. Manohla Dargis: “Originality isn’t the point of a product like “Iron Man 3,” which, despite the needless addition of 3-D and negligible differences in quips, gadgets, villains and the type of stuff blown up, plays out much like the first two movies.” I still want to see it.
For those who live in New York, and disdain the comic book genre, which will never die out as long as these kind of dollars are made, there are a number of other choices. I would see The Iceman (61), which is not about George Gervin but instead a hit man, played by Michael Shannon, perhaps the most interesting and exciting American actor working in films today. With the right choices he could end up another Jack Nicholson, or at least another Christopher Walken. Stephen Holden: “In “The Iceman” Michael Shannon’s mesmerizing portrayal of Richard Kuklinski, a notorious contract killer, has the paradoxical quality, peculiar to many great screen performances, of being unreadable and transparent.”
Earning a great review in the Times is What Maisie Knew (66), a modern-day adaptation of a Henry James novel about a child who is the subject of a custody battle. A.O. Scott: “What Maisie Knew” lays waste to the comforting dogma that children are naturally resilient, and that our casual, unthinking cruelty to them can be answered by guilty and belated displays of affection. It accomplishes this not by means of melodrama, but by a mixture of understatement and thriller-worthy suspense.”
From director Susanne Bier comes Love Is All You Need (58), with Pierce Brosnan and a woman who looks a lot like Gwyneth Paltrow. I think I’d rather shave my head with a cheese grater than watch this film, but it go a so-so review from Stephen Holden: “Despite the gorgeous sights and rollicking sounds of sunny Italy, a Scandinavian heaviness hangs over the film, with a screenplay by Ms. Bier’s frequent collaborator Anders Thomas Jensen, based on a story they developed. Occasionally it feels as if the buoyancy signaled by “That’s Amore” and the luscious cinematography were applied like whitewash to disguise a dour family drama.” Get that Nick? A Scandinavian heaviness.
Olivier Assayas’ new film, Something in the Air (83) is about the repercussions of the May 1968 protests in France. A.O. Scott: “Something in the Air” feels less like a middle-aged artist’s nostalgia than like an attempt to make a film about the past in the present tense. Its open-ended structure and melancholy atmosphere are reminiscent of post-’68 films like Robert Kramer’s brooding “Milestones” and Alain Tanner’s magnificent “Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000,” still one of the truest, saddest films about the aftermath of a revolution that did not quite happen.”
And for those who can’t miss anything with Keanu Reeves is generation Um… (25), which seems to be the dog of the week. Stephen Holden: “What does it add up to? Um … I have no idea and don’t really care. Just because the characters waste their time doesn’t mean you should waste yours watching them circle the drain.”
There are a lot more films opening. 21 in total, remember? But it’s getting late and I think these are the most important and or ridiculous.