Two big sci-fi openings today. One seems well worth seeing, the other is a piece of shit.
Looks like the best film opening this weekend is Snowpiercer (86), a dystopian thriller from Joon-ho Bong. Peter Travers: “A slambam sci-fi thriller with a brain, a heart and an artful sense of purpose. You’re in for a wild whoosh of a ride.”
On the other end of the scale is Transformers: Age of Extinction (31), yet another multi-million dollar movie about children’s toys. I saw the first one and will never go back. At least they dumped Broadway-show interrupting Shia LaBeouf. Richard Roeper: “Age of Extinction is just another warmed-over, cynical, ATM machine of a movie. It’s soulless eye candy.”
From the director of Once, John Carney, comes another music-based story, Begin Again (59) with Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley. A. O. Scott: “Compared with “Once,” Begin Again is a bit like the disappointing, overly produced follow-up to a new band’s breakthrough album.”
Archipelago (82) is a British drama starring Tom Hiddleston, who seems on the verge of being the next big thing. Holly Cooper: “Archipelago is a sharply observed and excruciatingly honest exploration of family relationships and the mess that we call life.”
Also this week: Drones (50), a war thriller (the poster looks like the cover of a video game box); Jackpot (45), which has this description: “Terrified and bloody, Oscar Svendsen wakes up clinching a shotgun in a strip joint. Around him are 8 dead men and the police. To Oscar it’s clear that he is innocent;” and Whitey: United States of America vs. James J. Bulger (80) a doc about the Boston organized crime boss (and the basis for Jack Nicholson’s character in The Departed).