The second weekend of October brings us a well-regarded Paul Greengrass picture; some random Mexican romantic comedy; a Romeo and Juliet reboot (just kidding); Robert Reich on income inequality; and toxic Robert Rodriguez trash that barely deserves a mention.
Captain Phillips: Paul Greengrass rebounds from the disastrous sinkage of Green Zone with this true life tale of a cargo ship captain (Tom Hanks) whose vessel is hijacked by Somali pirates. At the helm: Greengrass knows the ropes and critics are going overboard for his ability to create a suspense thriller that’s already a modern classic. Salty Dog Hanks is considered a shoo-in for a Best Actor nod and newcomer Barkhad Abdi should be setting off on his maiden Oscar Nominee voyage as well!
Despite a challenge from WB’s Gravity, all other studios should give Sony a wide berth – as they’re sure to enjoy a windfall at the box office over the next several weeks. I would imagine that Captain Phillips will be christened #1 by Monday morning!
Personal interest factor: 8
Pulling Strings: Romantic comedy with Mexican superstar Jaime Camil as a mariachi singer who falls in love with an American diplomat who rejected his Visa application. Tom Arnold and Stockard Channing co-star. I know nothing of Camil’s charms and it’s entirely possible he’s on the verge of crossing over to English speaking audiences…but the the American supporting cast members don’t inspire a lot of confidence. Kudos to Lionsgate for giving this a pretty respectable theatrical rollout, though.
Personal interest factor: 1
Romeo and Juliet: Hailee Steinfeld and Thomas Booth star in this latest adaptation from the creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes.
This uninspiring take seems like a missed opportunity given the 1996 version’s Twilight-like popularity with young audiences at the time. While I didn’t enjoy Luhrmann’s film, he’s the template for the type of energetic, modern director who would be able to make this a crossover hit.
Personal interest factor: 2
Inequality for All: Documentary on income inequality w/ Robert Reich.
Personal interest factor: 9
Machete Kills: Robert Rodriguez’s devolution from promising indie filmmaker to schlocky DTV-level hack continues. It’s so hard to believe that this is the same guy who made Desperado and El Mariachi.
I admire his ability to pack films with amusing stunt casting (Mel Gibson in a villainous role here, along with Charlie Sheen as the President of the United States) but that’s about it.
Personal interest factor: 0
For classic fare: The Criterion in New Haven is running Friday the 13th (1980) and Psycho (1960) Friday-Sunday.