October comes to a conclusion with only two new studio releases and an ancient artifact uncovered from deep within the Weinstein vaults:
The Counselor: This FOX crime drama sports a top-notch cast (Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz), a screenplay by Cormac McCarthy and is directed by Ridley Scott. What could go wrong?
Oh yeah, pretty much everything!
Critics are calling it “incoherent“, “self-important“, “ugly“, “soulless“, “uniquely awful“, “a jaw-dropping misfire“, “an extremely unpleasant piece of business” and “a low point for both (Scott and McCarthy)”
I think it’s been clear since the first trailer that FOX had no idea how to market the film. The television spots make it look like a Tony Scott Traffic rip-off from 2002. Expect a subdued opening weekend and a lot of red ink down the line.
Personal interest factor: 3
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa: Johnny Knoxville stars in this Borat-esque hybrid of scripted comedy/hidden camera hijinks. While there’s the typical divide one finds among critics when it comes to studio comedies (some call it the “…funniest movie of the year” while others are completely turned off by the crude gags) Knoxville’s performance is getting raves across the board.
Also: this has nearly double the RT score of The Counselor.
Personal interest factor: 5
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane: After seven long years in release purgatory courtesy of several distributors: horror flick All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is now available for digital rental and screening in limited release (it opens theatrically in CT today).
To put things in perspective: Director Jonathan Levine has released three films (The Wackness, 50/50 and Warm Bodies) since helming this directorial debut. Star Amber Heard has been in 19 features and toplined two failed television series.
I didn’t bother to look, but it’s not hard to imagine that one of us was talking about this film in the early days of the blog.
Anyway, looks decent. You could certainly do worse in terms of Halloween chillers.
Personal interest factor: 6
For classic fare: The Criterion in New Haven is running Ghostbusters (1984) Saturday-Sunday.
On Wednesday, October 30th – Smashed (2012) will screen at Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center at 8:00 pm followed by a Q&A with director James Ponsoldt.