Monday, August 15, 2016

Opening This Week - August 19

Wide Releases:


Ben-Hur

Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Runtime: 2hrs, 21mins
Action, Adventure, Drama

Add Ben-Hur to the list of classic films that shouldn't get a remake but got on anyway. This time it's in the hands of capable effects oriented director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), and of course the film looks full of big special effects sequences. The film stars a veritable who's who of bit players and otherwise lesser known actors. Actors Jack Huston, Toby Kebbel, Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi, and James Cosmo (among others) have all been in enough films or TV shows you'll probably recognize them, even if you don't know them by name. The most recognizable star here is a badly cast Morgan Freeman, sporting extremely fake-looking dreadlocks. Yet all may be forgiven if the film ends up being good. It's a long shot, but not impossible.



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Kubo and the Two Strings

Directed by: Travis Knight
Runtime: 1hr, 41mins
Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

I've been hearing about this one for some time now. To the point where I'm wondering, can it really be that good? I have liked Laika's movies in the past (The Boxtrolls being the most recent example. They also did Coraline, ParaNorman, and Corpse Bride), but word has it, this may be their best yet. Initial reviews (even from some of the web's most curmudgeonly reviewers) have been largely positive. It has a great cast, and looks like the sort of visual spectacle that you'd regret not seeing on the biggest screen available. This might just end up being one of the best films of the year. Notice I didn't say best "animated" film...


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War Dogs

Directed by: Todd Phillips
Runtime: 1hr, 54mins
Comedy, Drama, War

The comedy director behind buddy comedies The Hangover, Due Date, Starsky & Hutch, and Old School, is back to his usual schtick. Though this time he pairs Miles Teller and Jonah Hill in a film based on a true story. It involves two young arms dealers who get a government contract to supply US troops with weapons in Afghanistan. Phillips has made a career off of these sorts of buddy comedies, and they've been met with increasingly mixed reception. One has to wonder what the film would have looked like if Jesse Eisenberg and Shia Labeouf had been cast, as was the original plan.


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Morris from America

Directed by: Chad Hartigan
Runtime: 1hr, 31mins
Comedy, Drama, Coming of age

I'm a sucker for a good coming of age stories, and culture clash films that take me to other countries. This film has both, and looks pretty darn funny as well. So far the reviews are mostly positive. Keep this one on your radar.


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Limited Releases:


A Tale of Love and Darkness

Directed by: Natalie Portman
Runtime: 1hr, 35mins
Biography, Drama, History

Ladies and gentlemen, here is Natalie Portman's directorial debut. 


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Collide

Directed by: Eran Creevy
Runtime: 1hr, 39mins
Action, Thriller

This looks like the film that asks Jason Statham to hand the reigns to his action B movie monopoly on to Nicholas Holt. How about that cast though? Felicity Jones, Ben Kingsley, and Anthony Hopkins? Might be hard to say no. Something convinced these stars to sign on...

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Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

Directed by: Takeshi Nozue
Runtime: 1hr, 50mins
Animation, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy



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