Movies Opening in Connecticut – Weekend of October 4, 2013


Gravity: Alfonso Cuarón’s first film in seven years is sitting at 98% on RT and 94% on MC with critics dropping comments like: “In a little more than 90 minutes [it] rewrites the rules of cinema as we have known them…”a marvel of not just technical craft but sheer imagination as well”…” it’s one of the most awe-inspiring achievements in the history of special-effects cinema”…”if the measure of a film’s true greatness is how deeply it immerses you into a world we’re unlikely to experience in reality, then Gravity is purely, simply one of the best movies ever made.”

On the flipside: some note that the film does dip into cheesy sentimentality at times.  Which, uh, wouldn’t be a first for the director.

Personal interest factor: 10

Runner Runner: Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake star in this internet gambling thriller from director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer).  This is pretty much the “anti-Gravity” in terms of critical response…sitting at a mere 22% on RT and 37% on MC.  I really think Timberlake could have what it takes to be a theatrical draw, but he’s not helping by picking awful projects like this.

Personal interest factor: 3

Parkland: Generic-looking Kennedy assassination picture that’s getting a token theatrical release before hitting DVD/Blu-Ray on November 5th.  Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Giamatti and Zac Efron star.

Personal interest factor: 2

Wadjda: Previously covered by Slim last month

Personal interest factor: 4

Raja Rani: Bollywood romantic comedy that features (according to the Wikipedia) spousal abuse, mental breakdowns and electroshock therapy.  Sounds like a blast!

Personal interest factor: 0

For classic fare: The Criterion in New Haven is running The Exorcist (1973) and Funny Girl (1968) Friday-Sunday.


14 responses »

  1. With all this talk of ‘Gravity’ opening this weekend, and how astoundingly amazing it is, and how impressive a feat of filmmaking…I’m reminded of a night at Pohatcong Cinema, a theater so poor, while watching Children of Men, the entire movie was shown with the sprocket holes of the film showing. I thought it was the way Cuaron had shot it. It wasn’t. But it enhanced the experience of what is one of the most brilliant movies I’ve ever seen. I expect Gravity to be the same. But I can’t help remembering, when the lights came up, and that idiot teenager turned to her boyfriend and said ‘Well, that was stupid’.

  2. I saw Children of Men four times theatrically (twice in the first weekend). I hadn’t done that since Pulp Fiction.

  3. The hype on GRAVITY’s visuals is well-deserved, and it’s one of the only movies that compelled me to seek out “how did they do that” type articles and/or videos. But it’s getting the kind of passes from critics usually reserved for summer spectacles… the script is not good. And for a movie that embraces the silence of space it’s absolutely terrified to go more than a minute without some (frequently inane) dialogue.

    That said, it really and truly is an experience best suited for the big screen in 3D. It is a technical marvel, and I would recommend everyone go see it.

  4. After his recent successes you would’ve thought Affleck would have chosen a better project than what all indicators suggest is an insignificant throwaway.

  5. I’ve been wondering what Affleck is doing, myself. It’s none of my business, of course, but it is strange. I look at Sydney Pollack as how Affleck is as a director, and Pollack never did more than ‘extended cameos’, no? While making very good, very solid films for the most part. Popular, well-made films. The Town is good. Argo is amazing. He is building himself a great directing career. Why is he involving himself in such high-profile things as starring roles with Timberlake and…..well….Batman?
    He can do what he wants, of course, and it’s maybe even good for him that he is surviving all the missteps, but man, come on-your ‘great American film’ is coming-concentrate. I can’t wait to see it.

  6. We all convinced ourselves that Affleck aged out of his awful “fame whore with megastar aspirations who can’t say no to a paycheck” period. In reality, we have to accept that it might be his default setting and take the bad with the good.

  7. I’ve studied John Sayles, and Affleck, sir, is no John Sayles.
    I would wager that you can count on one hand-you can lose two fingers and still count on one hand the successful filmmakers who *actually* used their own money to fund one of their films, especially at that level. I bet you could use a sloth hand to count the filmmakers in the entire history of film who actually used their own money who were at that level in Hollywood.

  8. Waiting for Gravity to start right now. IMAX is about 85-90% full with 10 minutes to go, which I haven’t seen during the day since The Avengers.

  9. One of the most visually amazing films I’ve ever seen…but very Hollywood. Bullock is great and probably deserves an Oscar.

    Rob was dead on re: the use of sound. You would expect AC to savor the silence….but there’s more chatter than in a Tarantino movie, sound effects blasting at Summer tentpole volume levels, and a Trevor Rabin-esque score (not sure who the actual composer was) that never lets up and actually undermines the impact of scenes.

  10. Saw ‘Runner Runner’ the other night. For three-quarters of its short running time it was an insubstantial but passable and slick time-waster and I was thinking the critical reaction to it was a bit harsh.

    But the last 20 minutes or so are a total snooze; I wasn’t even sure who was doing to what at some stages and was zoning out towards the end.

    Not much else to say except Affleck is miscast/unconvincing as a online gambling magnate. The voiceover narration adds nothing to the film except a lot of cheesy gambling metaphors.

    Just a few years on a totally forgotten film and deservedly so.

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