Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Opening This Week - December 25

Here are the films coming to theaters this week:

The Big Short (Dec. 22)

"The Big Short" expands to more theaters this week. The notes so far on "The Big Short" are that Adam McKay and his star-studded cast bring an enthusiastic energy and cinematic flare to this dark comedy, and that it's succeeds in its attempts to bring about outrage for all the right reasons. It's mostly positive initial reviews are encouraging as well. Who wouldn't want to see a movie with this cast? Bale, Carell, Gosling, Pitt? Sign me up.


Concussion (Dec 25)

This issue driven film has had a fair amount of press over the course of the year, mostly for the issue it's covering but not necessarily for the film itself. Worse yet that press seems to have died down significantly now that it's nearing it's Christmas day release date. It's mixed reviews and the fact that it's hitting theaters during a busy month for the box office are sure to hinder it's returns. The notes so far seem to be about a good performance from Will Smith in a film whose script doesn't do his work justice.


Daddy's Home (Dec. 25)

The holidays are the perfect time to release broad comedies, particularly family friendly ones about families. Everyone has traveled to be together and just as everyone begins to get sick of each other, someone suggests a trip to the theaters for some light-hearted comedy. And as bad as this film may look, it's sure to have a few laughs and that may just be the cure everyone needs. Just temper your expectations if this is the film your family drags you to.


Joy (Dec. 25)

Despite what is being called a strong performance from Jennifer Lawrence, "Joy" is already getting mixed reviews that call it a "rare misstep for David O. Russell." He's a director that is generally critically acclaimed as is the cast of Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. But Russell's unpredictable, improvisational style was bound to backfire at some point. Nevertheless this team of filmmakers are a surefire way to get ticket sales from eager cinephiles, even if only to satisfy the curiosity of just what went wrong.


Point Break (Dec. 25)

To most people this is a remake that wasn't needed. But the trailer may just have won some viewers over. It looks like a slick, stylish action blockbuster whose thrilling action sequences will be well worth the price of admission. Whether it holds up to the film its remaking or if it works as its own thing remains to be seen. 


The Hateful Eight (Limited Release)

The latest from Quentin Tarantino gets it's limited release on 70mm format before its wide release on January 1st. It's already getting a lot of love from critics, and is sure to end up on a lot of end of year top ten lists. My personal favorite Tarantino film, "Inglourious Basterds," was something of an ode to Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns in terms of style and score. With "Django Unchained" and now "The Hateful Eight" he has jumped into the genre with both feet, and I can't wait to see what he does with it this time around.


The Revenant (Limited Release)

Another film getting a lot of buzz is Alejandro González Iñárritu's much anticipated follow up to his Oscar winning film "Birdman." It's based on a true story about a fur trapper who seeks revenge after being left for dead by his traveling companions after being mauled by a bear. That bear attack and scenes of other violence are both brutal and tense. Everyone loves a good revenge film, especially when it's seen through the eyes of Emmanuel Lubezki beautiful, sweeping cinematography. And Hardy vs DiCaprio should be enough to stir excitement with any film goer particularly with Hardy playing the villain. This is another one that'll find itself on year end top ten lists and get its fair share of Oscar buzz.


45 Years (Limited Release)

As Kate Mercer (Charlotte Rampling) and her husband Geoff (Tom Courtenay) prepare for their 45th wedding anniversary, devastating news comes to them. The body of Geoff's former girlfriend has been found 50 years after she fell into an Alpine crevasse. Kate, having no knowledge of their relationship, is shaken by the news and struggles with her newfound perspective on their marriage. This film is a small one that's obviously being overshadowed by far bigger titles, but it's an interesting one worth checking out nonetheless. For their great performances, Rampling and Courtenay won Best Actress/Actor at the Berlin International film festival and there's a chance for Oscar nominations as well. 


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