Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Opening 04/21 in Dallas

by Brian
In order of moviegoing priority:

The Notorious Bettie Page (trailer): I’m actually very surprised that I want to see this at all. I don’t consider myself a fan of director Mary Harron, having not seen I Shot Andy Warhol, and disliking American Psycho to the point that I had a hard time watching Christian Bale until Batman Begins. And I’m not a huge fan of the biopic in general. But something about this seems right … I can’t explain it.

Silent Hill (trailer): I was OK if not over the moon about Brotherhood of the Wolf, and I’d assume that this movie features a similar technically dazzling, occasionally exciting experience. Not being familiar with the game, though, the subject matter isn’t too appealing to me.

Evil (can’t find a working trailer): Oh, I don’t know. This Swedish film by Derailed director Mikael Håfström was nominated for a Foreign Film Oscar way back in 2003, and is now receiving an arbitrary theatrical release here by Mark Cuban’s Magnolia Pictures. I’ve seen the trailer half a dozen times, and it seems boring, frankly. Our resident Swedish film guru Nick called it “a might bit earnest and glossy” last month.

The Devil and Daniel Johnston (trailer): To be real honest, if I knew more about who Daniel Johnston was, I’d probably be more interested in this documentary. But I don’t, other than the vague outlines, so I don’t know what to think. I might give it a go if I have time or if someone makes the case that I should.

The Sentinel (trailer): Beware of action movies with spring releases made by no-name directors, in this case, S.W.A.T. director Clark Johnson. It’s curious that the press for this movie focuses on Kiefer Sutherland as much as, if not more than, Michael Douglas. Wasn’t there a time when Douglas made interesting movies? Ever since that Traffic/Wonder Boys double shot in 2000, he’s been in a lot of crap.

American Dreamz (trailer): I have a decent amount of respect for director Paul Weitz. About a Boy and In Good Company were both very solid. But this movie looks like an utterly misconceived disaster.

Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School (trailer at official site): Geez. Great cast, but … geez.

Tamara (trailer at official site): I thought this movie was a joke when I saw this trailer. I kept expecting Tamara to say, “I’m back from the dead to kill you all in horrible ways. But I have some good news – I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance!” But alas, no such luck.


Blogger jaydro said...

I'll probably wait for Bettie Page on HBO; their "First Look" special made it look pretty good, and the little moving Bettie graphics they had accompanying cast/crew subtitles had me hypnotized. Maybe I should check out the DVD to see what they do with menus?!? But, yeah, whatever happened to Gretchen Mol? I remember her from The Thirteenth Floor, too, Count.

The Sentinel's Clark Johnson: seeing that name in the ads (which I did not recall) made me wonder if this was one of the new Alan Smithee's. That infamous nom-de-dispute has been retired by the DGA, and I've been wondering when anyone is going to spot one of the (presumably) multiple replacements. But I guess Mr. Johnson is for real.

4/19/2006 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

I'll see the Bettie Page film, but it's not going to be in my neck of the woods just yet. American Dreamz is getting bad advance reviews, and I avoid American Idol on TV, so what should I go see a movie about the same idea? No interest in Silent Hill or The Sentinel. If I see a movie this weekend it will likely be Friends with Money.

4/20/2006 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Three films I want to see there:

Notorious Bettie Page looks fun, in that "well-made and fun biographical film of an interesting life"-kinda way. Last time I remember seeing Gretchen Mol was in Rounders. She was okay there, nothing spectacular nor underwhelming either, but it sort of feels like her specific spot in the limelight was filled by Renee Zellweger. But she appears dazzling (to not say portrait-like) here.

Silent Hill looks awesome. At the very least it will be beautiful to look at. But it'll probably take until fall until it reaches our shores. That leaves downloading, which is a shame. Pretty pictures deserve big screens.

I'm still holding out hope for The Sentinel. Clark "SWAT" Johnson aside, a thriller with Michael Douglas used to be something to await eagerly. Fingers crossed at least that hasn't changed.

4/20/2006 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Don't click that "awesome" link, or you'll get to a Swedish news article on late trains.

This was the address I wanted to refer to.

4/20/2006 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I'm heard that Silent Hill was not screened for critics, which was very disappointing to hear, but there are some reviews up. Ebert gave it a star and a half, said it was beautiful to look at but didn't make any sense. I am not sure what I think of this, I didn't really understand what was going on during the games either, that was part of what made them so terrifying. I'm wondering now if it will work the same for the movies.

I'll still be seeing it this weekend, but my expectations are nowhere near as high as they were a week ago.

I don't understand why American Dreamz was even made. Does anyone out there really think that we need more american idol or dumb Bush jokes? It would be like making an entire movie devoted to brokeback mountain and michael jackson parodies. Leave this shit to the late night talk show hosts, I expect much better from Paul Weitz.

4/21/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Professor Wagstaff said...

I saw 'American Dreamz' tonight. (potential spoilers)

It generally held my interest but overall the film is a failure. It's especially weak as a satire because it's too broad in its style and its targets too obvious. The scenes with the President played by Dennis Quaid were especially flat, as if the filmmakers assumed that having someone who looked and acted like Bush was all they had to do. And it wasn't helped by Quaid's unfunny performance (never been a fan of his work).

The worst part about the President came at the end where the whole premise suddenly turned into a really bad Frank Capra movie.

Hugh Grant did well with his Simon Cowell impersonation, although again that was a fairly easy target. I would've liked to see his character get more screen time. I was impressed with the complexity of Mandy Moore's performance in what was a more difficult role.

As a comedy, it's a bit better then as a satire but it still disappoints. Some scenes you're waiting for an attempt at some humour (like the scene where Hugh Grant and Willem Defoe's chief of staff meet) and it never comes.

The funniest scene is where an agent (played by Seth Meyers) meets Mandy Moore and her mother for the first time. The humour is quite cleverly deployed, something that happens very rarely in the film.

5/02/2006 09:29:00 AM  

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