Opening in New York, May 3, 2013

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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.

 

About Jackrabbit Slim

Location: Vegas, Baby! I’m much older than the other whippersnappers here, a baby boomer. I tend to be more snobbish about film, disdaining a lot of the multiplex fare for “cinema.” My favorite films: Woody Allen’s oeuvre (up until about 1990), The Godfather, The Graduate, A Hard Day’s Night, Pulp Fiction. Politics: Well, George McGovern was my political hero. I’m also a prickly atheist. Occupation: Poised to be an English teacher in Las Vegas. For many years I was an editor at Penthouse Magazine. My role on this blog seems to be writing lots of reviews and being the resident Oscar maven.

4 responses »

  1. I really had fun at Iron Man 3. It’s the best James Bond film of the year. I can write a review tomorrow unless Nick beats me to it. And I think it’s great the audience expects the post-credit teaser. In the packed house I was in, hardly a soul left before the credits were over.

  2. I didn’t like The Iceman at all. Cheap and underwritten. It feels like the remnants of a hacked-up movie double the length given the lack of character development.

    Shannon is alright, but I still contend he works best in smaller doses (as on Boardwalk Empire) rather than as a lead. There’s nothing in his performance here that you haven’t seen him do before.

    On the flipside, Chris Evans is pretty damned good as a fellow assassin. You can tell he had fun with with the role, probably enjoying a rare week or two where he’s not working on / prepping for a Marvel film.

  3. I think he’s a phenomenal actor, but I was starting to think the same thing as you, James, about Shannon. The less you see, the more impactful it is. Look at Premium Rush, for example…

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