Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Opening This Week - September 16

Wide Releases:


Blair Witch

Directed by: Adam Wingard
Runtime: 1hr, 29mins
Horror, Thriller

I'm not a horror movie guy, but I know "The Blair Witch Project" was a big deal back in 1999. Now 17 years later it's getting a direct sequel. 2016 continues to be the year of ridiculously long awaited sequels.




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Bridget Jones's Baby

Directed by: Sharon Maguire
Runtime: 2hrs, 2mins
Comedy, Romance

Speaking of long awaited sequels, a third Bridget Jones film reunites RenĂ©e Zellweger and director Sharon Maguire, who directed the first film. These movies are well liked among their target audience for Zellweger's warm, honest, and vulnerable performances. Even if critics end up being mixed about this film overall, there's a good chance it's going to hit the mark for that all important target audience. 


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Snowden

Directed by: Oliver Stone
Runtime: 2hrs, 14mins
Biography, Drama, Thriller

Of course Oliver Stone made a film about Snowden. However, it looks pretty good. I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And I'm fascinated by the subject matter, as I'm sure we all are to an extent. If last year's Oscar winning documentary "Citizenfour" didn't do enough to satisfy your interest, there's another option coming out this week.


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Limited Releases:


Miss Stevens

Directed by: Julia Hart
Runtime: 1hr, 27mins
Comedy, Drama

I know this is part comedy, but the idea of a teacher growing all too close to a student left me with a grimace rather than a chuckle. This trailer seems to be going for feel good comedy despite subject matter any storyteller needs to be very careful with. Admittedly Wes Anderson pulled it off with "Rushmore" and for the most part Gia Coppola made it work with "Palo Alto" -though that was not a comedy. There is a precedent there, and most of us remember having a crush on a teacher in our youth. But as I see more of these "inappropriate relations" stories popping up in the news I find myself less and less inclined to these sorts of films. Having said that, I'll always love "Rushmore." Wes Anderson is great. OK, just thought it needed to be said... 


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Mr. Church

Directed by: Bruce Beresford
Runtime: 1hr, 44mins
Drama

Where has Eddie Murphy been? I've always known he was better than "Norbit" and "The Nutty Professor" I've just been waiting for him to take on the right material. I love it when talented actors known for their comedy challenge themselves with more dramatic work. It worked wonders for Bill Murray and Jim Carrey. This is an Eddie Murphy I can get on board with. 



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My Blind Brother (Sept. 19)

Directed by: Sophie Goodhart
Runtime: 1hr, 30mins
Comedy, Drama, Romance

Maybe I just miss "Parks and Rec," but I'm ready to see Adam Scott in more things. Also Jenny Slate is a talented actress and comedian who doesn't get enough work. This is exactly the sort of light-hearted small budget comedies I've come to expect from these two (and Nick Kroll). They often get overlooked and forgotten just as quickly as they get released. But they can be quite enjoyable for what they are. I'll be keeping my eye out for this one.


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The Good Neighbor

Directed by: Kasra Farahani
Runtime: 1hr, 38mins
Thriller

It's always hard to get a true sense of a performance from a trailer, but James Caan looks truly menacing here. The reports from SXSW were positive on this film and Caan's performance, so there's reason to believe that he'll deliver. The problem for this film is that it's opening after "Don't Breathe," a successful film with which this film bears a striking resemblance. Worse yet, it's opening the same week as a much more anticipated horror film in "Blair Witch." As a result, it's likely to fly under the radar. It's potentially another hidden gem coming at the tail end of an otherwise unremarkable summer of movies.


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Wild Oats

Directed by: Andy Tennant
Runtime: 1hr, 26mins
Comedy, Drama



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