The film I’m most looking forward to this week is Only Lovers Left Alive (78), a vampire film, but by Jim Jarmusch. I’ve kind of lost track of Jarmusch’s work, but back in the ’90s I saw all of his films. Lou Lumenick: “Legendary hipster filmmaker Jim Jarmusch’s wryly funny exercise in genre bending hits so many grace notes it ends up being his most satisfying film in years.”
The multiplexes will be saturated with Draft Day (52), which was the 2012 top entry in the Blacklist, the annual survey of unproduced screenplays. The Blacklist has mentioned many fine films, including Oscar-winners, but what of the top of the list? Any good films there? No, most are still unproduced. The only one that may be any good is Recount, which ended up being a well-received HBO film which I haven’t seen. Anyway, Draft Day is about American football, and though it may seem out of place in April, it isn’t, since football is now a year-round American obsession, and now everyone is consumed with the player draft. Perfect timing in a sports movie, for once. Matt Singer: “The biggest problem with Draft Day is that even as it shows Sonny sticking to his guns, its absurd, saccharine third act suggests Reitman didn’t stick to his, and allowed his latest celebration of free-spirited mavericks to get co-opted by the very kind of system they were created to criticize.”
Also in multiplexes this week is the horror film, Oculus (64), about a haunted mirror, getting suprisingly strong reviews. Adam Nayman: “How do you get revenge on an inanimate object? That’s the quandary facing the characters in Oculus, a deeply silly and mildly effective horror movie.”
Nicolas Cage, who has become an industry joke due to his bankruptcy and laughably bad film roles, tries a resurrection with Joe (72), as a guy who tries to help out an abused kid. Chris Nashawaty: “Both Cage and Sheridan (who shined opposite Matthew McConaughey in Mud) give true and at times tender performances. It’s a shame the film lacks the same subtlety and force.”
Also this week: Rio 2 (50), a sequel to the popular animated film; The Railway Man (56), a David Lean-type war film starring Colin Firth; and Cuban Fury (51), a film set in the world of salsa dancing, starring Rashida Jones.