Morgan Freeman, Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan in Gone Baby Gone (2007)
There are quite a few new releases this week. You know, if the studios would release a few of these adult oriented dramas earlier in the year instead of crowding them all in between September and December on the off chance they’ll get some attention from Oscar, the world would be a better place, don’t you think? They might even get a bigger audience:
- Gone Baby Gone. Ben Affleck directs his little brother Casey in this movie based on the novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) about the search for a missing girl in Boston’s underworld. Also with Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris.
- 30 Days of Night. Vampires run amok in the town of Barrow, Alaska. Why? Because it’s located within the arctic circle and it’s dark for 30 straight days during winter. Directed by David Slade (Hard Candy) from the comic book series. Starring Josh Hartnett.
- Rendition. Reese Witherspoon’s Egyptian husband disappears during a return trip home from Africa. Turns out he’s been kidnapped and interrogated by the US government as a suspected suicide bomber. Jake Gyllenhaal is a CIA operative. I don’t know. The subject is a political hot potato and there are a lot of ways this thing could go wrong. Plus it kinda smells like Oscar bait.
- Things We Lost in the Fire. Benicio Del Toro and Halle Berry doin’ it Dogme-style in Danish director Susanne Bier’s tale of a woman who turns to her husband’s heroin addict friend when the husband is killed in a random act of violence. Oprah say: Me likey!
- The Comebacks. Spoof of sports movies. Nope, don’t care. Wait, let me think about that one for a second….yeah, don’t care.
- Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour. Quick, someone call in Nancy Drew to solve the mystery of how this Direct to DVD Family Channel movie made it into theaters. Nah, don’t bother.
- The Ten Commandments. Moses gets the 3-D computer animated treatment. If you like that idea, take heart, they’re planning 11 more just like it. If you don’t like that idea, well tough shit. Here it is and there are still going to be 11 more. This one’s got the voices of Ben Kingsley, Christian Slater, Alfred Molina and Elliot Gould.
In limited release:
- Golda’s Balcony. Hey, remember Valerie Harper? You know, Rhoda Morgenstern from the Mary Tyler Moore show? Mary’s sister? Spun off into her own show called Rhoda? Starred in The Hogan Family when it was still called Valerie? Before she got canned? Right that Valerie. Well, if I told you Valerie’s one-woman show about Israeli prime minister Golda Meir (wherein she plays all the parts – hence ‘one-woman show’) was now a movie, would you run out and see it? What if it was called Golda’s Veranda instead? How about Golda’s Lanai? What if it had Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain? Yes? No? Ok, ok, maybe it’s top shelf entertainment, but admit it, it sounds like a joke right? Next Week: Tony Danza IS 12 Angry Men!!! (Factually, Golda opened in NY already, but I don’t live in NY and it snuck in under my radar. Better late then never, right? Yes? No…?)
- Control. The story of New Order frontman Ian Curtis opened in NY last week and it hits LA this week.
- Reservation Road. Mark Ruffalo clobbers Joaquin Phoenix’s kid with his SUV then takes off. Joaquin seeks vengeance. Drama ensues. Jennifer Connelly and Mira Sorvino are the wives. This seems like exactly the kind of movie that gives Oscar bait a bad name. Earnest, well crafted, plenty of tear-jerking histrionics. Fatally boring. Or maybe it’s good. What do I know?
- Weirdsville. Another black comedy that mines “what to do with the dead girl?” territory. Opened in Austin on 10/5. Goes wider this weekend.
- Wristcutters: A Love Story. Comedy Drama Fantasy Romance with Patrick Fugit searching the wastelands of the suicide’s afterlife for his ex-girlfriend.
- Broken. A word that could probably describe Heather Graham’s career. In this case, it’s the title of her new movie. She’s a waitress/aspiring singer who is tracked down by her creepy ex-boyfriend Jeremy Sisto.
- Canvas. Indie drama with Marcia Gay Harden as a wife and mother diagnosed with schizophrenia. Joe Pantoliano is the husband and father trying to hold the family together. Somewhere along the line, someone decides to build a sailboat. I know this because I saw it in the trailer. I’m sure that has all manner of metaphorical significance. If you see it, be sure and let me know. I won’t hold my breath.
- Naked Boys Singing! The Movie. This title is about as self explanatory as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Shorter though. Based on the hit play that premiered at the Celebration Theater in Hollywood in 1998. You like boys? You like ’em naked? You like ’em singing? This might be the movie for you.
- Trigger Man. Indie horror produced by Larry Fessenden (Habit, Wendigo, The Last Winter). Three old friends on a hunting trip find that they’re the ones being hunted.
And finally, three of my favorite movies of the year are expanding so if they haven’t played near you yet, maybe now is your chance:
- Lars and the Real Girl.
- The Darjeeling Limited.
- The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.