Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Opening This Weekend - September 11

Here's the films hitting theaters this weekend:

The Visit

Could this be M. Night Shyamalan's return to form? It's a lower budget film that he produced himself with profits made from Will Smith's Sci-Fi thriller "After Earth." It looks intensely creepy and seems to be getting some fairly positive initial buzz. As usual with any M. Night Shyamalan film, we'll just have to wait for the twist and hope it's worth it.


Coming Home

Famed Chinese director Zhang Yimou first film since 2011 is another collaboration with Gong Li. A devoted husband returns home after serving 3 years in a prison camp during the cultural revolution. Yet he finds his wife, played by Gong Li, is suffering from a medical condition that has caused her to forget him. As a fan of Yimou's work I'm excited to see any film with his name attached, yet this one seem to be receiving a mixed reception. This one might still be well worth the price of admission for Yimou fans, but it's his next film set for a late 2016 release that seems to be of more interest. "The Great Wall" which, of course, will center around the construction of the Great Wall of China is likely to be a bigger hit with a bigger budget and an all-star cast featuring Matt Damon, Andy Lau, Pedro Pascal, and Willem Dafoe (among others). 


Wolf Totem

The new film from director Jean-Jacques Annaud has already been a big money-maker in China and is expected to be among the next academy award's nominations for best foreign language film. Like the previous film "Coming Home," it's set around the time of China's cultural revolution, and centers around the semi-autobiographical tale of a young student from Beijing who adopts a wolf cub after being sent to live with a group of Mongolian herders. It's based on author Lü Jiamin's novel of the same name, and looks to be a visual treat.


90 Minutes In Heaven

Writer/Director Michael Polish and his wife, actress Kate Bosworth take on the movie adaptation of the New York Times best selling book about Baptist minister Don Piper's near death experience. After being pronounced dead at the scene of a car crash, Don Piper miraculously woke up explain his experience having been welcomed into the gates of Heaven. Hayden Christensen joins the cast as Piper, but the question remains, will his fairly unconvincing southern drawl persist throughout the entire film? Either way it's sure to end up with decent numbers at the box office considering the sales numbers for the book.


Time Out of Mind

This one seems to be getting buzz for Richard Gere's performance as an aging, soul searching homeless man. Yet it also seems to be getting negative attention for Oren Moverman's attempts at artistic embellishment of narrative storytelling. It's fairly low rating so far is indication that it doesn't seem to be working for more viewers than Moverman would have liked.


Sleeping With Other People

This romcom looks and feels (at least from the trailer) like your typical Hollywood romcom. In fact one review even went as far as to mock it by saying David Wain's parody romcom "They Came Together" was meant to make fun of exactly this type of stereotypical Hollywood film.


The Perfect Guy

...And speaking of stereotypical, this film has been done before. The only question is whether or not writer Tyger Williams and director David M. Rosenthal manage to breathe some life into the proceedings with plot twists and unique methods of storytelling.


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