Movies Opening in New Haven – Weekend of January 31st, 2014

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Labor Day: (Trailer) This sappy romantic drama stars Josh Brolin as an escaped convict who is taken in by a depressed single mother (Kate Winslet).  Of course, while he may have escaped the law – someone may have finally captured…his heart.

Tobey Maguire and J.K. Simmons co-star (for a mini-Spiderman reunion) along with Clark Gregg, Brooke Smith and James Van Der Beek.

Director Jason Reitman’s film was originally scheduled to open during Awards season before being exiled to the end of January.  That along with the middling 38% on Rotten Tomatoes should tell you all you need to know.

Personal interest factor: 3.  I’m a fan of almost everyone in the cast, but this just isn’t my bag.

Gloria: (Trailer) Chilean-Spanish film about an empty nester who leaps into the singles scene.  It’s received wide acclaim (98% on RT, 85% on Metacritic) but it’s a Roadside Attractions release, so you’ve probably never heard of it.  

Personal interest factor: 7

That Awkward Moment (Trailer) Sitcom-level romantic comedy with Michael B. Jordan, Zac Efron and Miles Teller.  Possibly notable in that it stars 1/2 of the (likely) cast of FOX’s Fantastic Four reboot, but that’s about it.

Personal interest factor: 1

Frozen: Sing-A-Long (Trailer) –  Disney is re-releasing the smash hit with on-screen lyrics this weekend.  While I understand the motivation (with an additional 18M domestic Frozen will topple Despicable Me 2 as 2013’s top grossing animated film) I don’t know how big the market is for this.

Personal interest factor: 0 for the Sing-A-Long version, but hey – I loved the film overall.

The Criterion in New Haven is running their annual program of Oscar Nominated Short films:

2014 Oscar Nominated Animation Shorts (Feral, Get a Horse!, Mr. Hublot, Possessions, Room on a Broom)

2014 Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts (The Lady in Number 6: Music Save My Life, Karama Has No Walls, Facing Fear, Cavedigger, Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall)

2014 Oscar Nominated Live Action Shorts (Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me), Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything), Helium, Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?), The Voorman Problem).

In terms of classic fare: The Criterion has Groundhog Day (1993) Friday and Saturday evening and The Bridges of Madison County (1995) Saturday and Sunday morning.  While Double Indemnity (1994) and Illusions (1983) will be screening at Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center on Saturday evening.

4 responses »

  1. It’s interesting how Reitman’s career has turned around in just a few years. Back in early 2010 he was probably the most acclaimed young director going around with Best Director noms (and then some) for consecutive films.

    Yet, with all indicators suggesting ‘Labor Day’ will be as underwhelmingly received as ‘Young Adult’ was – plus fairly lengthy periods of time between his last two films – he already has a feeling of “yesterday’s man” to him.

  2. Had a movie gift card so went with my wife to see ‘That Awkward Moment’ today (called ‘Are We Officially Dating Yet?’ here in Australia). The reviews are pretty much on the mark – it’s low-brow and blunt sex talk is basically a cover for a series of sappy romantic subplots.

    Despite it having many modern movie cliches (characters living in apartments they’d never afford in real life, film begins with a zoom-in on the city skyline, credits sequence pointlessly going on forever) the film is moderately agreeable for the most part (the central male trio do convince as friends), until it collapses under the weight of its plot contrivances at the very end. Indeed it ends in the tedious romantic contrivance of a character expressing their love to someone in a public forum for no good reason.

    Hadn’t seen her in much before, but Imogen Poots is impressive and deserves better material than this.

    Rating: C-

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