Friday, August 29, 2008

Movies opening this week

Hear me discuss these movies and more with Las Vegas Weekly Managing Editor Ken Miller in this week's Josh Bell Hates Everything podcast.

Elegy (Ben Kingsley, Penelope Cruz, Dennis Hopper, Patricia Clarkson, dir. Isabel Coixet)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
I kind of hated Coixet's last movie, The Secret Life of Words, and this isn't quite as pretentious and heavy-handed and self-important as that was, but it still is all of those things to some degree. I like movies that tackle aging honestly and don't try to pretend that older actors are younger than they really are, but this almost fetishizes the melancholy of the dirty old man, and uses Cruz as a prop for his soul-searching. It does feature one of Kingsley's most restrained performances in years, but I have to say that as much I'm inclined to complain about his general hamminess, I thought he did a much better variation on this theme while going completely over the top in The Wackness. Opened limited Aug. 8; in Las Vegas this week

Traitor (Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Neal McDonough, Said Taghmaoui, dir. Jeffrey Nachmanoff)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
I'll give this movie credit both for being more even-handed about the war on terror than almost any other film on the subject so far, and for having ambitions beyond its rote thriller plot. But it can't quite succeed on either front, and cribbing from (spoiler alert!) The Departed, among other things, doesn't exactly announce it as a serious discourse on politics. Still, more entertaining than it probably had a right to be. Wide release


Anonymous said...

Elegy did not open in Vegas.
We are left behind.

Josh said...

Not to was all set to open (even listed on Fandango) and then pulled at the last minute. It will be playing at Village Square starting on 9/12. Believe me, I was very annoyed.