Hey everyone, welcome to the 9/17 edition of “Opening This Week”. Unlike last week, which saw one major release, this is the Fall Cleanout where the summer movies are replaced en masse. Depending on your taste, this is either a good or bad thing, but let’s check it out together. Then maybe afterwards, I can buy you a malt and we can go to the sock hop.
Synopsis: Career thief Doug MacRay (Affleck) considers deepening his relationship with Claire (Hall), a bank teller who was traumatized by a recent heist — and who has no idea that Doug was behind the crime. Meanwhile, an investigator (Hamm), who is close to unmasking Doug’s secret life, wrestles with his feelings for Claire.
Thoughts: I’ve had a soft spot for Ben Affleck since I saw/fell in love with Chasing Amy many moons ago, so it doesn’t take much for me to get into something he’s involved with. Although I didn’t see Gone Baby Gone, I heard good things about Affleck the director, and with The Town, he’s doing double duty as director and actor. Personally, I’m not a huge crime drama guy, but being as I’m homesick for Massachusetts and the trailer made it look pretty interesting, I’ll be giving this one a go. Judging by the trailer, I think The Town may actually revive his acting career the same way Surviving Christmas almost killed it.
Synopsis: As she studies The Scarlet Letter, high schooler Olive Penderghast (Stone) notices her parallels to the novel and begins to work the school’s rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.
Thoughts: This is my movie of the week. I don’t know what it is, but ever since watching the trailer for the first time, I’ve been boned up to see this. It looks clever, has the excellent Emma Stone, and may actually be a smart teenage movie. I’m still a bit worried it will hit annoying Juno territory, but come on! THOMAS HADEN CHURCH!
Synopsis: Four people get stuck in an elevator, and one of them may or may not be a demon! Or Satan himself! Or Bruce Willis!
Thoughts: I watched a newer trailer for Devil, which downplayed the involvement of M. Night Shyamalan; it was about time because frankly after the embarrasment of The Last Airbender, I doubt his name is going to sell any tickets. Still, since he isn’t directing or writing this, he just gave the idea for it, Devil might be pretty interesting. He is a good idea man, and I want to see how an unproven writer and unproven director can handle this.
Synopsis: After being relocated to Idaho by park rangers, a female and a male wolf face a dangerous trip across unfamiliar territory in their attempt to find their way home to Canada.
Thoughts: Stupid concept? Check. Talking animals? Check. 3D gimmick to wring out as much money from families as possible? Super check. I hated the trailer and in turn, hope no one comes out to see this, but I know families will anyway because kids will make parents do the darndest things (I, for example, got my parents to murder a bully and bury him in our backyard…I mean, get me ice cream).
Opening in Limited
Synopsis: Set in a dystopian Britain, boarding school friends Ruth (Knightley), Kathy (Mulligan), and Tommy (Garfield) face the sobering reality that awaits them all as they mature into adults.
Thoughts: The one person I know who has read the book wouldn’t tell me what the big twist is, so I have no earthly idea. Still, the trailer looked okay and it’s got a great cast (Knightley, Garfield, Mulligan). I’d check it out if it was nearby.
Synopsis: A limo driver’s blind date sparks a tale of love, betrayal, friendship, and grace centered around two working-class New York City couples.
Thoughts: Jack Goes Boating marks the directing debut of Philip Seymour Hoffman (who also stars), who starred in the Off-Broadway play this is based on. The plot of it looks kind of generic, but Hoffman generally does good work (if you don’t count Love Liza) and he only does indies that are severely dark or depressing (at least that I’ve seen).
Synopsis: Curious events cause New York City photographer Nev to head to Michigan to meet Abby, the 8-year-old girl he befriended on MySpace.
Thoughts: I took the advice of the poster and haven’t looked up just exactly what this is supposed to be, but I’ve heard nothing but good things (or at least “it’s interesting”). Because my mind goes different ways, I can see this turning out to be really dark and twisted, but that’s probably because I’m messed up in the brain cavity. This will end up on the Netflix queue, I’m sure.
Those are your movies to choose from this week. There are some definite viable options. The Town will probably be good, if a bit generic. Easy A has the potential to be a smart teenage comedy if it doesn’t over-sass itself. Devil has an intriguing premise, and even the limited release movies are all interesting. Alpha and Omega, though? F that in the A with your D people. What are YOUR thoughts of your choices this week? Let us know!