Opening in New York, September 13, 2013

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We’re still a few weeks away from Oscar bait pictures, so this just looks like an extension of August.  There are a few interesting limited release films, though.

In wide release is The Family (45), about a mob family in witness protection, with Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer. Stephen Holden: “The movie has holes galore. It has abrupt tonal shifts, an incoherent back story and abandoned subplots. It doesn’t even try for basic credibility. But buoyed by hot performances, it sustains a zapping electrical energy.”

Likely to win the week at the box office is the totally unnecessary Insidious 2 (40), a sequel to a not-very-good horror film. Jeannette Catsoulis: “A mess from start to finish — though, judging by the ending, this story won’t be over any time soon — “Insidious: Chapter 2” is the kind of lazy, halfhearted product that gives scary movies a bad name.”

In limited release seem to be a few standouts. Blue Caprice (80) is about the Beltway snipers. A. O. Scott: “[Alexandre] Moors films the main characters with detachment, allowing their inner lives to remain enigmatic. But in observing them — often following behind, the camera aimed at the backs of their heads — he allows some inklings of motive to appear.”

Mother of George (77) is about Nigerian immigrants in Brooklyn. Scott: [Andrew] Dosunmu, working from a sensitive script by Darci Picoult and immeasurably aided by Bradford Young’s vibrant and sensual cinematography, departs from the conventions of the immigrant’s tale in ways both subtle and emphatic. This is not a fable of assimilation or alienation, but rather the keenly observed story of two people seeking guidance in painful and complicated circumstances.”

Briefly, some other limited releases:

And While We Are Here, (48), a romance starring Kate Bosworth.
Jayne Mansfield’s Car (48), a family drama with Robert Duvall and John Hurt, directed by Billy Bob Thornton.
The Last Time I Saw Macao (69), a Portugese film set in the Vegas of Asia.
Good Ol’ Freda (57), a documentary about the secretary of the Beatles fan club.

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.

8 responses »

  1. I neglected to mention Wadjda, which is getting a lot of press. It’s the first film submitted by Saudi Arabia as an entry to the Foreign Language Film Oscar. It’s also the first film directed by a Saudi woman. This is pretty impressive, considering Saudi Arabia has no cinemas.

  2. From Wikipedia: “During the 1970s, cinemas were numerous in the Kingdom and were not considered un-Islamic, although they were seen as contrary to Arab tribal norms.

    In 1980s, there were some improvised movie halls in Saudi Arabia, most of which were in Jeddah and Mecca. There mostly Egyptian, Indian, and Turkish films were screened without government intervention. However, all these halls were closed down as a result of continuous objections of religious conservatives during the Islamic revival movement in the 1980s, and as a political response to an increase in Islamist activism including the 1979 seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the government closed all cinemas and theaters.”

  3. Whoa. I had no idea.
    That would make a great documentary. Someone trying to open a theater in Saudi Arabia, to bring movies back to the country.

  4. It would be a short documentary, as I’m sure the person would be arrested immediately. Remember, this is a country that until a few years ago wouldn’t allow women to drive. People do see movies there on DVD and satellite.

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