Saturday, February 25, 2006

Movies opening this week

Marebito (Shinya Tsukamoto, Tomomi Miyashita, dir. Takashi Shimizu)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
Despite mostly mediocre to negative reviews, I was hoping this would be interesting, since I thought that Shimizu's American version of The Grudge had its strong points, and this was done without any sort of studio influence or box office expectations. But it's very student film in a lot of ways, pretentious and rambly and completely disappointing. I guess that just leaves me with The Grudge 2. Opened limited Dec. 9; in Las Vegas this week

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Dwight Yoakam, dir. Tommy Lee Jones)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
I had very mixed feelings about this movie. On the one hand, the script (by Guillermo Arriaga, writer of 21 Grams, which I thought was terrible) really annoyed me. But on the other hand, I thought that Jones did a lot to elevate the film above the heavy-handed and determinstic script, and I found myself drawn in to some of the manipulative sequences because of the nice way he underplayed them (unlike 21 Grams, which had an incredibly oppressive tone). So despite my misgivings, I do think that this is a movie that's worth seeing, even if it's not as good as some have made it out to be. Opened limited Feb. 3; in Las Vegas this week

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