Movies Opening in Connecticut – Weekend of August 15, 2013

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Looking a little better than last week’s assault on good taste!  However, we’re still in the danger zone thanks to a trashy comic book movie sequel, premature Oscar bait from the Weinsteins, a Harrison Ford film and Ashton Kutcher in a dramatic role.

Kick Ass 2: Helmer Jeff Wadlow steps in for original franchise director Matthew Vaughn with this sequel that feels very late. The entire original cast is back, looking mostly way too old for their high school-age roles.

Reviews are pretty terrible,which should be a surprise to no one.

Random trivia: Jeff Wadlow is Katie Couric’s nephew.

Bad movie sign: Wadlow. Personal interest factor: 5

Paranoia  –  C-grade high-tech espionage thriller about a corporate mole (Liam Hemsworth) caught between two men (Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman).  No, it’s not actually as lurid/interesting as that sounds.  Amber Heard, Lucas Til, Embeth Davidtz, Josh Holloway and Richard Dreyfuss co-star.

Random trivia: According to the IMDB, Oldman’s role was written for Kevin Spacey.

Bad movie sign: Amber Heard, but you could choose almost any cast member at random.  Also: director Robert Luketic is always a name to fear. Personal interest factor: 3

Jobs – Ashton Kutcher stars as famed Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who pioneered such game changing products as Mobile ME, Ping and Lisa.  Oh, and the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Typically, the best biopics come less than two years after the subject’s death.

Trivia: There’s a competing Steve Jobs picture in development from Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) that sounds a little more promising.

Bad movie sign: Ashton Kutcher, although he seems like a nice kid.  Personal interest factor: 2

Lee Daniels’ The Butler: Forrest Gump-esque drama about a Butler who serves 8 different US Presidents. While it looks completely insufferable to me: it’s getting mostly decent notices and should be loved by the geriatric crowd and those who embraced things like The Help.

The all-star cast includes Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, James Marsden, Liev Schreiber and Robin Williams.

Bad movie sign: Forest WhitakerOprah WinfreyJohn CusackJane FondaCuba Gooding Jr.Terrence HowardJames MarsdenLiev Schreiber and Robin Williams. Seriously, it’s like an Ocean’s Eleven of actors with terrible taste in material.  Personal interest factor: 1

For classic fare: The Criterion in New Haven is running The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) Friday-Sunday.

12 responses »

  1. Why does everyone I know call Kutcher a ‘kid’? He’s our age.

    And these openings are consistently awesome. Well done.

    I want to start a new genre called ‘takedown’ documentaries. I want to start with Edison and get Jobs in there somewhere.

  2. Seen the ‘Paranoia’ & ‘Jobs’ trailers a couple of times in the cinema – ‘Paranoia’ looks awful, ‘Jobs’ only slightly better.

    Bad movie sign: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, James Marsden, Liev Schreiber and Robin Williams. Seriously, it’s like an Ocean’s Eleven of actors with terrible taste in material.

    Notwithstanding she’s done nothing of note since her comeback, a bit harsh imo to lump Fonda with most of those. Had a generally great run of films from mid-1960s to mid-1980s or so. On the other hand, Cusack’s record has been dire post-High Fidelity (and he’s given some dismal performances to match in them as well).

  3. I would have to be with James on this one. His intention was ‘terrible taste in material’.
    Jane Fonda has exhibited some awful taste in material lately. “Monster in Law”? “Georgia Rule”?
    All of the actors have had some great movies, that’s how they got where they are. But their choices are highly suspect.

  4. I believe James is using a “what have you done for me lately,” tactic, otherwise he would never dare say that a movie starring Jodie Foster is automatically bad (as he did last week).

  5. Yeah, fair enough. I guess it’s unlikely we’ll ever see Fonda post-comeback reach the previous heights of her earlier acting career. I guess I was just reacting to her being lumped with the likes of Gooding Jr.

  6. While I’m a big fan of Foster, she never really had the incredible run people think she did. Even back in the early 90’s (which are considered her prime years) she was doing shit like Nell and Sommersbsy.

  7. I have to disagree in that I think you’re judging Foster’s taste in movies rather than her quite prodigious talent.
    As per her acting:

    Silence of the Lambs: Brilliant.
    Maverick: Regardless what you think of the movie, she was great.
    Nell: Never seen, but all I heard was great, also.
    Contact?: I could watch her ‘moment of discovery’ over and over and over and over…and her passion and belief she exhibited in that character that had her wearing a headset all the time.
    Panic Room: Awesome performance in what amounts to a limited ‘holy shit, I’m scared’!
    Flightplan: Overly-competent in a weird choice of roles.
    Inside Man: Again, overly-competent in a horrible movie. (And if someone dares write that it’s Spike Lee’s best since Do The Right Thing I might blow a gasket).
    The Brave One, The Beaver (which I recently watched and don’t even want to comment on, because i liked it (when I really didn’t want to), but she was great.

  8. I guess I just elucidated your point that you were already making, though.

    I really did like a lot of those movies, and I don’t think they were the ‘shit choices’ they have come to be known for.

  9. INSIDE MAN is a lot of fun and easily the best Spike Lee movie I’ve ever seen. It’s also one of only three or four of his that I’ve watched all the way through, so there’s that.

  10. Yeah, Inside Man is pretty great. But it’s not his best since Do the Right Thing because 25th Hour is way better than Inside Man.

    But Inside Man is still good.

  11. Another clunker for Ford. His record both criticially & commercially has been horrid post-2000. It’s not just that they’ve been failures but going by the trailer you could tell they looked remarkably unappealing.and/or boring.

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