Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Opening This Weekend - October 2

Here's what's coming to theaters this weekend:


The Martian

Andy Weir's best selling novel turned Ridley Scott film project has been highly anticipated since its announcement. Scott seems like a director who is very much at home with stories set in space, and its exciting to know that this one, despite its title, doesn't involve aliens. This is a very star-studded and likable cast. Matt Damon certainly has the charm and likability to take on the role of "Cast Away" set in space. This is definitely one of the most exciting Fall releases.

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The Walk (IMAX only - Theatrical release 9/9)

Speaking of "Cast Away," Robert Zemeckis' latest film takes on the true story of Philippe Petit's high-wire walk from one world trade center tower to the other. It looks like a visually spectacular spectacle and will contend with another visually spectacular 3D IMAX film based on a true story in Everest this weekend. That goes without mentioning the fact that it faces stiff competition from the aforementioned "The Martian," which is sure to have a big opening weekend. We'll have to wait and see how well Joseph Gordon-Levitt's French accent holds up across the 2 hour and 3 minute runtime. These events were already detailed in the Oscar winning documentary "Man On Wire" by director James Marsh (which is available on Netflix by the way).

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Freeheld

Another film based on a true story is "Freeheld." It's based on an Oscar winning documentary short film based on Laurel Hester in her fight against the Board of Chosen Freeholders of Ocean County, New Jersey in order to give her pension to her partner Stacie Andree. It's sure to make a bid for its stars, particularly Julianne Moore, at the Oscars. Yet early reviews are generally negative despite the film's strong performances. 

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Sicario (Now in wide release)

Sicario carries with it a fair amount of buzz considering its director Denis Villeneuve has been gaining a strong reputation ever since his Oscar Nominated 2010 film "Incendies." He's known for taking on good scripts, and this cast is looking very strong. It also feels like a timely release given that it's story is set around the US/Mexico border. It can be hard to tell from a short trailer, but Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro look particularly good. Given their track record of solid performances, it's hard not to be interested in seeing this one.

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Addicted to Fresno (Limited Release)

This raunchy, dark comedy by long-time TV director Jamie Babbit is seeing a limited theatrical release after several festival runs earlier in the year. It follows two sisters who work as hotel maids until one of them accidentally kills someone. So far it's seen a fair share of mixed reviews that put the blame on a lack of actual comedy and Judy Greer's character for giving too little for the audience to root for. Yet there's enough comedic star power here to interest some (Judy Greer, Natasha Lyonne, Aubrey Plaza, Ron Livingston, Fred Armisen, and Molly Shannon), but with its limited release you might find it hard to see (unless they do a simultaneous VOD release).

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Shanghai (Limited Release)

This one has been a long time coming. Harvey Weinstein originally set out to begin filming in 2008 before running into trouble with the Chinese government. He then changed plans and began shooting in Thailand and England instead. It's been on the shelf, or stuck in post production hell since 2010. Yet this crime thriller set in the 40's looks tense and beautifully shot, not to mention it features a handful of well known international stars. If and when it actually does get released, count me in.

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Partisan (Limited Release)

Australian writer/director Ariel Kleiman's first feature length film is looking like a tense, thought provoking drama about a corrupt cult leader played by Vincent Cassel, raising the murderous next generation.

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Also coming to theaters:

He Named Me Malala 
The documentary from Davis Guggenheim about Malala Yousafzai.