Friday, January 20, 2006

Movies opening this week

Match Point (Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode, dir. Woody Allen)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
This is one of those movies that I worried wouldn't live up to its hype and my personal expectations as a Woody Allen fan, but it definitely did. At first the cynicism and coldness is a little off-putting, but eventually I found it bracing and engrossing. One of my colleagues said that he likes Allen because Allen is "an amoral atheist," like himself, and I think I probably fall into that category as well. Opened limited Dec. 28; wide release this week

The New World (Colin Farrell, Q'Orianka Kilcher, Christian Bale, dir. Terrence Malick)
About a month and a half ago, I saw what was supposedly the final cut of this film, a 150-minute version that was screened for awards consideration and opened on three screens in New York and L.A. on Christmas Day. It was wonderful - a lyrical and haunting love story, an eloquent ode to nature and condemnation of man's encroachment upon it, an effective period recreation and a truly transcendent moviegoing experience. I put it at the top of my best of 2005 list with no hesitation. I told everyone who would listen about how great it was, with that kind of personal investment that you get when you see something that affects you so powerfully and desperately want everyone else to see the same thing. Then, a few weeks ago, reports surfaced that Malick was cutting 15-20 minutes from the film before the wide release, which to me sounded like a recipe for disaster. But since it was Malick pushing for the changes and not the studio, I remained optimistic. There wasn't a screening of the new cut locally, so I haven't seen it, but I did get an email today from fellow critic N.P. Thompson rhapsodizing about how much he loved the movie, and he saw the new cut. I may go check it out just for curiosity's sake at some point, but I'm glad to hear that the film's power and integrity remain intact. Seriously, ignore any negative reviews you might read and go see this movie right now. Opened limited Dec. 25; wide release this week

No comments: