Saturday, May 12, 2007

Movies opening this week

28 Weeks Later (Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Imogen Poots, Mackintosh Muggleton, dir. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo)
Although I liked 28 Days Later, I wasn't as crazy about it as some people were, and honestly I have only fuzzy memories of it at this point (I haven't seen it since it was first released). But all the ads for this one looked really exciting, and although I would have loved to see Danny Boyle directing, I was actually really happy with the choice of Fresnadillo, who made a cool supernatural thriller called Intacto in 2001, which is well worth checking out. I went in with fairly high expectations, then, probably higher than for any other sequel coming out this summer, and they were definitely met. This is a very good movie, I'd say at least as good as the first one. It's obviously got a bigger budget and encompasses a larger scale in terms of story, but they certainly don't go overboard and make into some Hollywood spectacle. There are some extremely creepy scenes, and a nice slow build of the zombie threat that allows for interesting character development. The subtext is there, as an allegory for the American occupation of Iraq, or even for the rebuilding of New Orleans after Katrina, but it's understated and never takes precedence over cool zombie attacks. Fresnadillo has some great visuals, and this could really be the movie to take him to the next level as a filmmaker. I definitely think he deserves it. Wide release

Georgia Rule (Lindsay Lohan, Jane Fonda, Felicity Huffman, dir. Garry Marshall)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
The very existence of this movie baffles me. It's also got to be the most misleadingly marketed movie in quite some time. Even people who actually want to see a predictable fish-out-of-water comedy starring Lindsay Lohan are going to be disappointed and confused, since this is so much darker (and yet incongruously full of dumb humor) than it's been advertised. I predict a quick box-office death, fueled by Spider-Man and bad word of mouth. Wide release

Year of the Dog (Molly Shannon, Peter Sarsgaard, John C. Reilly, dir. Mike White)
I said on the radio this morning that this movie does a better job of combining comedy and drama than Georgia Rule does, but that's not really much of a compliment. There's always a hint of disingenuousness and condescension to White's work, and I think it's amplified here now that he's the director as well as the writer. Shannon redeems a lot of her character's more unfortunate traits, but Laura Dern and Thomas McCarthy as her sister-in-law and brother aren't able to take things beyond the cartoonish. There's some funny stuff here and a few touching and insightful moments, but I couldn't get past the idea that White was studying these people like a scientist looking at cultures under a microscope. Opened limited Apr. 13; in Las Vegas this week

1 comment:

Janet said...

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