Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Opening This Weekend - December 11

Here are the films coming to theaters this week:


In the Heart of the Sea

It's Ron Howard, it's Chris Hemsworth and Cillian Murphy, and it's the cinematic retelling of the story that inspired Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick. Appropriately, it looks like a stunning visual spectacle that has to be seen on the biggest screen available. So it's a shame that interest in seeing this film has come down to curiosity about where it went wrong. Initial reviews are sadly, not favorable.

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Legend (Nationwide Release)

It's been out in limited release, but it finally expands nationwide this week. Gangster/Crime thrillers always tend to be a pretty enjoyable genre, and Hardy's two performances certainly lends to the intrigue here. Yet reviews have not been favorable. The initial buzz seems to have died down recently, enough to the point where viewership depends on whether you're a Hardy fan or not.


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The Ridiculous 6 (Netflix Release)

Netflix's parody of Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight" curiously gets its digital release even before the film its parodying hits theaters. The cast is made up of faces that have lost trust from audiences in recent years. Sandler's last outing "Pixels" was universally crushed by critics, and he follows it up with a film in which he surrounds himself with similarly maligned actors like Rob Schneider, David Spade and Taylor Lautner (whose campy performance looks a few steps past over-the-top). It may appeal to anyone who still considers themselves a Sandler fan, and there is hope in the fact that Netflix has a glowing track record. But as has become par for the course, you might want to temper expectations.


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The Big Short (Limited Release)

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.


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The Lady in the Van (Limited Release)

"The Lady in the Van" tells the true story of Mary Shepherd, who lived in a broken down van in writer Alan Bennett's driveway for 15 years. The talented Maggie Smith takes on the role again, having played the character in the original theatrical production.


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Don Verdean (Limited Release)

Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess' comedy "Masterminds" starring Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis looked hilarious when trailers started rolling out a long time ago. But due to Relativity Media's bankruptcy, release of the film has been put on hold indefinitely. So strangely enough, Hess has another film set to release before "Masterminds" sees the light of day. That film is this fairly star-studded comedy about a religious archeologist whose recent rough patch forces him to bend the truth in order to keep inspiring men and women of faith. I've always like Sam Rockwell, Amy Ryan and Will Forte, but Jemaine Clement has recently become one of my favorite comedic actors working today. Even if I'm undecided as to how I feel about this film after seeing a trailer, the cast has me intrigued enough to watch it, if and when it finds a wider release.

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Boy and the World (Limited Release)

This imaginative piece of art looks like a beautifully unique experience. It's already won big at numerous film festivals, and now has its sights set on the Oscars. If only it would get a wide release...


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