Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Opening This Week - October 7

Wide Releases:


Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life

Directed by: Steve Carr
Runtime: 1hr, 32mins
Comedy

This reminds me of the sort of movies the Disney Channel was making as made for TV movies in the late 90's - early 2000's. Typically they'd star someone like Andrew Lawrence and play early enough in the evening that you could watch them without staying up too late on a school night. Yet I can't imagine I would have ever gone to one of those movies in the theater even at that age. Their quality was never worth the time and money for a night out. But as something to serve as a mild distraction during homework, they worked well enough. As such I have to question the budget and means of delivery here. I remember having to pick my theater outings carefully at that age. This would not have made the cut.


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The Birth of a Nation

Directed by: Nate Parker
Runtime: 2hrs
History, Drama

This is one of the early must see films of the fall. I've been hearing about this film all year long and it's finally hitting theaters. After premiering at Sundance in January, Fox Searchlight Pictures bought the rights to the film for a whopping $17.5 million. It was the largest deal made at Sundance to date. It won the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize, and is already getting Oscar buzz. Whether it gets the box office numbers and positive critical reception or not, it is an incredible accomplishment for first time director Nate Parker - who also plays the central character.


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The Girl on the Train

Directed by: Tate Taylor
Runtime: 1hr, 52mins
Mystery, Thriller





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Limited Releases:


Being 17

Directed by: André Téchiné
Runtime: 1hr, 54mins
Drama



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Better Off Single


Directed by: Benjamin Cox
Runtime: 1hr, 25mins
Comedy



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Blue Jay

Directed by: Alexandre Lehmann
Runtime: 1hr, 20mins
Comedy, Romance

This film looks right up my alley. It's written by, and starring, Mark Duplass, who has made some excellent little indie films. This one is a romantic comedy about two former high school sweet hearts meeting again after being apart for years. It's the feature film directorial debut for Alexandre Lehmann, one of the cinematographers on the ensemble comedy show The League - featuring none other than Mark Duplass. I'm curious to see these two charming leads - Duplass with Sarah Paulson - exploring relationships past in the town they grew up in. I'm also curious to see how this cinematographer turned director attempts to add visual flair to a genre not known for its visuals. Duplass films never seem to get much fanfare, but I enjoy them more often than not.


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Mirzya

Directed by: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Runtime: 2hrs, 9mins
Bollywood, Drama, Musical, Romance

Indian films continue to get more and more western exposure, and I've liked the few I've had the opportunity to see in the last few years. But I'm not quite sure they've nailed down the art of the trailer. The one for this film is a mess. There is some beautiful cinematography and some catchy music, but I couldn't tell you what this movie is about. The genre and time period seems to be fluctuating randomly throughout. As long as the film makes sense I can let their messy trailer go. But the availability of Indian films, as with most foreign films, remains inconsistent - at least in my area.


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The Great Gilly Hopkins


Directed by: Stephen Herek
Runtime: 1hr, 39mins
Comedy, Drama, Family

Speaking of movies that look like they were made for TV Disney movies from the early 2000's...


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The Matchbreaker

Directed by: Caleb Vetter
Comedy


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The Late Bloomer

Directed by: Kevin Pollak
Runtime: 1hr, 30mins
Comedy



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The Siege of Jadotville

Directed by: Richie Smyth
Runtime: 1hr, 48mins
Drama, Thriller, War
Netflix Release



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