Movies opening and streaming in Connecticut – Weekend of 2/22/18

Standard

Theatrical releases

Annihilation: Alex Garland’s sophomore directorial effort (following 2014’s excellent Ex Machina) is getting great reviews, but the US is the only territory in which it will receive a theatrical release. Paramount’s new risk-averse management team sold it off to Netflix globally and it will premiere on the service in just 12 days. Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s “Southern Reach” trilogy, which I am not familiar with. Rotten Tomatoes: 87%, Metacritic: 81%

Game Night: Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams star in this comedic thriller from directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. Daley and Goldstein’s track record is all over the place (they wrote the really fun Spiderman: Homecoming…but directed the dreadful Vacation reboot) but critics are mostly on-board for this effort. Expect some jarring tonal shifts. Rotten Tomatoes: 82%, Metacritic: 66%

New and notable streaming

Mute: In the pre-streaming age, Duncan Jones would have been sent to Director’s Jail for some valuable contemplation time following the critical and box office failure of 2016’s Warcraft.  However, it’s a new era and he immediately landed a greenlight for this sci-fi noir from Netflix after every other studio turned him down. That does not appear to have been a good decision for anyone.  Rotten Tomatoes: 9%, Metacritic: 35% (Netflix)

Question for the masses: Mute (which Jones tried to get made for a decade) is the latest in a long line of disastrous cinematic passion projects. Why is this so often the case?

Advertisements

7 responses »

  1. Answer: I think when a director has a passion project they won’t listen to anyone else and just barge on, maybe forgetting that people actually have to watch it.

  2. Isn’t it simply because it doesn’t matter about the project or how it lands, it’s just that streaming services need to lock down names and not let them get to the other streaming services, and so…maybe Jones will lead to a job of distributing Scorsese’s Rome miniseries of movies and not just stand on the sides watching?
    With streaming, isn’t it just having the name on a product that will get the names on the product they want?

  3. Answer: I think when a director has a passion project they won’t listen to anyone else and just barge on, maybe forgetting that people actually have to watch it.

    I agree with this. And I think ideas become warped and muddled over the passage of time. You can’t revise something endlessly in your head over the course of decades without it becoming something of a mess.

    I’d imagine that 1973 Warren Beatty would be pretty shocked and disappointed by Rules Don’t Apply.

    Isn’t it simply because it doesn’t matter about the project or how it lands, it’s just that streaming services need to lock down names and not let them get to the other streaming services, and so…maybe Jones will lead to a job of distributing Scorsese’s Rome miniseries of movies and not just stand on the sides watching?
    With streaming, isn’t it just having the name on a product that will get the names on the product they want?

    Basically you’re saying that streaming services have allowed projects that are in development hell for a reason see the light of day?

  4. Purchased my first 4k set today, excited to check out Mute on it (even if the film itself is trash – seems like it would be good demo material).

  5. Quote from Hollywood Reporter review of Mute: “But the film as a whole feels like the product of a studio that greenlights movies without being too invested in what those movies end up looking like.”

  6. Thought ‘Game Night’ was good fun. I was a bit concerned as the two films I’d seen by the Daley/Goldstein team (‘Horrible Bosses’ & ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’) were pretty average comedies.

    And admittedly this had some of the negative traits of those movies: a rather boorish and bombastic tone, grossout humour (although not that much this time, too many changes in tone and non-sequitur humour.

    But they seem to be getting better at filmmaking. This is definitely slicker (there’s a great visually staged sequence of a Faberge egg being thrown around a house), sharper (has good use of music) and funnier than their previous efforts. It helps if you’ve enjoyed various board games and the like, but it’s a good fun film.

    Also, it may also go down as the first film where ‘alt-right’ is uttered.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.