Friday, November 30, 2007

Movies opening this week

Awake (Hayden Christensen, Jessica Alba, Lena Olin, Terrence Howard, dir. Joby Harold)
For a movie that was on the shelf for a couple of years, released on one of the deadest weekends of the year and not screened for critics, this wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. The main hook, that Christensen's character is conscious but paralyzed during open-heart surgery, is incredibly disturbing, even if a cursory look at Wikipedia indicates that Harold may have exaggerated the experience a bit. The film achieves some real moments of horror when we watch Christensen helpless on the table as the surgeons cut into his skin and saw at his ribcage. These are fairly brief, though, and even though the movie is less than 80 minutes long, the visceral horror is padded out with a dumb murder-plot storyline that's incredibly far-fetched and gets only more ridiculous as the movie goes on. This is more of a thriller than a horror movie, and while its fleeting attempts at horror are effective, it's decidedly less than thrilling. Wide release

Holly (Ron Livingston, Thuy Nguyen, Virginie Ledoyen, dir. Guy Moshe)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
Sometimes these tiny movies that open in like four cities end up playing here, and I never understand why. Is there really a big audience in Vegas for morose message movies about underage prostitution? Bigger than, say, in Minneapolis, or Atlanta, or somewhere like that? I mean, I guess it's nice that small movies open here, but when we get some exclusive, it's usually boring stuff like this rather than something really innovative and different. Oh well. Opened limited Nov. 9; in Las Vegas this week

No comments: