Friday, June 30, 2006

Opening in Dallas, weekend of 06/30

by Brian
Not a lot of quantity this week, but the quality is about as good as it gets.

Movie I’ve already seen:

Superman Returns (trailer): My full review is here.


The Fallen Idol: The latest re-issue from Rialto makes its way to town. This is apparently the film Carol Reed did immediately before The Third Man, one of my faves. Like that film, this one is also based on a Graham Greene script; both he and Reed were nominated for their work on Idol back in 1949. But, it’s apparently been largely forgotten since then, and I’d never heard of it until I saw it on the re-issue slate. Can’t wait.

Lady Vengeance: Chan-wook Park’s follow-up to Oldboy finally arrives, after spending nearly a year traveling around the world to various festivals and countries that care more than ours. There’s been decidedly little fanfare for this, considering how well Oldboy was received, but distributor Tartan Films has never really seemed on the ball to me in terms of marketing beyond a niche audience. So I guess that figures.

The Devil Wears Prada (trailer): I don’t really know what to think about this. It doesn’t look great, but the thing about Meryl Streep is that her movies are always a little bit better than you think they will be. Not that I’ve rigorously tested that theory, but it seems right. And at any rate, it looks better than Prime did.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, that's a good weekend (except for maybe Superman, then). I'd go see all three. You could even have a cold-hearted psycho-women double-feature with Devil Wears Prada and Lady Vengeance.

6/30/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger LesterG said...

I'll be checking out Prada tonight. Anna Winotour is a fascinating character and it looks like Streep nails her. Of course, my borderline-creepy obsession with Anne Hathaway would have had me in line for opening day anyway.

Lady Vengeance is absolutely worth your time if you haven't had a chance to catch it on DVD.
Tartan has now bungled the releases of two Park Chan-Wook films in a row (SFMV and LV) - so here's hoping his next film falls in more capable hands.


6/30/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Tartan has now bungled the releases of two Park Chan-Wook films in a row (SFMV and LV) - so here's hoping his next film falls in more capable hands.

Yeah, plus I'm pissed about The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, which has gotten great reviews across the board, but doesn't appear to be scheduled to open here at all.

6/30/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger LesterG said...

Unfortunately, excluding Sony Classics' and Miramax's success with Crouching Tiger, Flying Daggers and Hero - there have been few Asian language films that have been marketed to general audiences. There's simply not enough of a track-record there to make it worth their while.

As a result, these films end up at Tartan, Magnolia or some other nameless indie. They're typically well-meaning, but they lack the talent and/or resources to get the job done.

Can you imagine what the folks at Fox Searchlight could do with a film like Oldboy? If only they'd take a chance.

6/30/2006 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Saw Prada, was more or less OK with it. Wasn't really sure what it was trying to say, though - it seemed to be pulling two ways at once. It seemed to be saying that a) you have to work hard to be successful, and b) you can't sacrifice Things That Are Important for success. I couldn't really resolve those two things.

Also saw Fallen Idol, which I enjoyed. If nothing else, it makes the claims that Orson Welles really directed Third Man look somewhat specious, although I think they've been discredited by now anyway. Reed uses some of the same style devices here that he later did with Third Man, lots of shadows, floor-level camera placements, etc. - the kind of stuff that's so often associated with Welles.

7/03/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger LesterG said...

I really enjoyed Prada myself. Yeah, it's not going to change the face of cinema - but sometimes a lightweight comedy with a generous portion of snappy dialogue is just what the doctor ordered.

I agree that the film did send some mixed messages. In particular, I don't think that Hathaway’s transformation was particularly negative in any way. Hell, when she walks away from Streep in Paris - it seemed more like a self-destructive act than a courageous one. Oh well, it's just a chick lit flick. I will go out on a limb here and predict Streep is getting a nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

7/03/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Wow, I wasn't aware that anyone ever seriously thought Welles directed The Third Man. I thought the controversial film was Journey into Fear.

7/05/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

I don't know how serious the Welles rumors were/are, but they were serious enough that Peter Bogdanovich felt compelled to address them in his intro on the Third Man DVD.

7/05/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Colin said...

I saw Prada as well and thought it was okay. I'd give either it a B or a B-. Streep was terrific, and it mostly kept my interest throughout, but it really seemed to treat everything with kid's gloves. My wife, who had read the book, said that everything in the book (including the ending) was a lot darker. Basically, the film felt like it was trying to be a crowd pleaser rather than anything approaching reality. And on that count, I guess it pretty much worked.

7/06/2006 03:27:00 PM  

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