Movies Opening in Connecticut – Weekend of August 8, 2013

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Let’s delve into the heart of darkness with this week’s Openings in Connecticut! We’ve got Jennifer Aniston movies, an obnoxiously heavy-handed sci-fi political allegory, porn star biopics and a new Cars sequel!

We’re the Millers: Drug dealer Jason Sudeikis and stripper Jennifer Aniston form a temporary family unit in order to smuggle drugs over the Mexican border. Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball) directs.

While there are a few decent laughs in the trailer, this seems like the type of lackluster studio comedy best enjoyed on HBO a year from now. Besides, Aniston’s scenes look like they’ll play better in private.

Bad movie sign: Emma Roberts. Personal interest factor: 4

Lovelace: This day-and-date theatrical/VOD release follows the production of the groundbreaking adult feature, Deep Throat, along with the volatile relationship between star Linda Lovelace (Amanda Seyfried) and her husband (Peter Sarsgaard).

I can’t remember if this is the recast version of the would-be Lindsay Lohan-starring Lovelace biopic or a recast version of the Malin Akerman-starring Lovelace biopic or a completely unrelated production. Does the world really need two or three films on this same subject?  At least present Lovelace in a fictional take that has her battling terrorists who have seized The White House.

Oh, and take what I said about Jennifer Aniston’s work above and apply it to Seyfried here.

Bad movie sign: Sharon Stone.  Personal interest factor: 3

Elysium  –  Neil Blomkamp directs Matt Damon in this sci-fi action thriller. Jodie Foster co-stars as a stock “cold and calculating bitch” villain and Sharlto Copley plays some guy in it, too.

Sci-fi dorks and people who enjoyed Bomkamp’s District 9 should enjoy this because IT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE DISTRICT 9. Bonus: simplistic political overtones.

Bad movie sign: William Fichtner. Personal interest factor: 2

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters –  Too-late sequel to an aspiring Harry Potter knock-off that performed kinda-respectably three years ago.  I don’t know what the plot is.

Browncoat Jesus (aka Nathan Fillion) plays a supporting role when really he should be toplining this…and all of Summer 2013’s blockbusters.

Bad movie sign: Director Thor Freudenthal. Personal interest factor: 0

Planes: What’s less appealing than another film set in Pixar’s Cars universe? How about a formerly-DTV, non-Pixar spin-off starring Dane Cook! When Jon Cryer bails from your would-be franchise…whoa boy. Bonus: the sequel is already in production.

Bad movie sign: Take your pick! Personal interest factor: No!

For classic fare: The Criterion in New Haven is running Monty Python’s Meaning of Life (1983) and The Caine Mutiny (1954) Friday-Sunday.

9 responses »

  1. Love the “Bad movie signs” (and the links within them).

    Emma Roberts. lol. Sharon Stone. lol. William Fichtner-hang on a minute.

  2. I dunno, Fichtner has had a respectable career for a character actor typecast as a villain. And I always really liked his non-villainous role in Contact. I probably would have gone with Alice Braga, who to me is a more reliable sign of trouble.

    Still, I can’t disagree with your overall take on the film. I’ll see it, but it sure doesn’t look very good, and I didn’t really like District 9 in the first place.

    Also, on a technical side note, Sony has seemingly begun to distribute the majority of their theatrical releases in 4K. Even Grown-Ups 2 and the 2D version of Smurfs 2 are 4K. They’re the only studio so far that’s doing this – there hasn’t been a non-Sony wide release that’s been 4K since Soderbergh’s Side Effects, but I think every Sony mainline release since The Call has been.

  3. Yeah, it was between him, Braga and Foster. I like Fichtner a great deal, but he’s been in some really awful projects over the last decade.

    I am mostly clueless on the 4k thing. Is the difference noticeable? How does 4k compare to film?

  4. I am mostly clueless on the 4k thing. Is the difference noticeable? How does 4k compare to film?

    Well, 2K is currently more or less the industry standard. 2K is roughly the same resolution as a Blu-ray, although the DCP files that are shown theatrically will look significantly better than a Blu-ray because of a greater file size and lack of compression on the DCP.

    4K is generally the standard for a high-end film-to-digital transfer. When a high profile catalogue title is readied for Blu-ray, if the studio isn’t being dirt cheap they’ll do a 4K restoration and then simply downconvert for Blu-ray. Even some low profile films are given the 4K treatment – I was shocked, for example, when I was reading the liner notes for Criterion’s release of Following, to see that the film had been transferred in 4K. It was shot in 16mm! 2K ought to have been enough, but whatever.

    Anyhow, I think the general consensus among tech types is that 4K resolution still isn’t enough to capture all the nuances of 35mm film, but for all practical purposes, it seems to be a reasonable approximation (larger format films are sometimes transferred at higher resolutions still; I think Lawrence of Arabia was scanned by Sony at 8K). Still, the theatrical standard remains 2K.

    Now as to whether the difference is noticeable … I assume you mean the difference between 2K and 4K. The real answer is, it’s hard to say – I haven’t had the chance to compare a 2K and 4K version of the same film on the same screen. And I think the difference depends on the movie anyway – a vast amount of detail can be seen between one 35mm film and another, depending on lighting, equipment, shooting conditions, film stock, etc. And I think at any rate that most people will come in to the theater and not notice a difference if it’s 2K, 4K, or a YouTube stream, in the same way that people will watch standard-definition material on their HDTVs and marvel about how great the picture is. Most people just don’t pay much attention to things.

    But I will say that a 2K presentation is plainly (to me) inadequate on a larger theatrical screen. On a large enough screen, 2K will start to look a little pixel-y, in the same way that a non-HD YouTube video will start to fall apart when you play it full screen. On smaller screens, 2K is probably mostly OK, but the bigger the screen, the more noticeable it is.

    And I will also say that some of the 4K movies I’ve seen – off the top of my head, good examples are Skyfall, Django Unchained, and Amour – look much better than any of the 2K movies I’ve seen at the same theater and even in the same auditoriums. Again, that’s not really an apples-to-apples comparison, but still. Some 4K movies I haven’t really noticed much of an improvement over what I’d expected in 2K, like This Is the End, After Earth, and the few minutes I stepped in to see of The Smurfs 2 (although I thought the extra resolution was obvious with Grown-Ups 2 of all things).

    I suppose that, all in all, I’d say the difference is about comparable to the difference between 720p and 1080p on regular TVs. It’s not that I could always point to any given content and tell you whether it’s 720p or 1080p. But the extra detail is there if you look for it, the color fidelity is stronger, and in general the picture just “holds together” (not a technical term) better on bigger screens.

  5. Re: Lovelace, when I reviewed the documentary ‘Inside Deep Throat’ (which was so-so) on here back in 2006 one of my reactions was that Lovelace herself hadn’t been given her due and her story would make a great biopic on its own.

    However, having seen the trailer and some of the reaction, this doesn’t seem to be the film. Appears to only skim the surface of what could be a fascinating film.

  6. I had no real interest in seeing “We’re The Millers” but because of circumstance I saw it the other day. As it turns out, it wasn’t bad.

    I found Sudeikis rather obnoxious in ‘Horrible Bosses’ but he dials it down a bit here and is much more tolerable. Anniston’s charm and likability is put to good use here as without caring about the main characters, the film would be very hard to take, especially during its flatter comic moments.

    It’s no classic on any level, but it’s a step above other recent overhyped successful Hollywood mainstream comedies like ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘Horrible Bosses’ or even director Thurber’s previous success ‘Dodgeball’.

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