Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Opening This Week - November 11


Arrival

Directed by: Dennis Villeneuve
Runtime: 1hr, 56mins
Mystery, Sci-Fi

Dennis Villeneuve proved his mastery of tension and tone with Sicario - a film that made my top 10 list last year. I'm also a fan of thought provoking sci-fi, and the cast here looks to be excellent. It's still early, but it's sitting at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. This is shaping up to be one of the most promising films of the fall. I just hope the international box office survives the kerfuffle surrounding one of the early promotional posters that featured Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor with a randomly misplaced Oriental Pearl Tower (an easily recognizable and iconic image of China, that directly conflicts with the people of Hong Kong's desire for independence).





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Almost Christmas

Directed by: David E. Talbert
Runtime: 1hr, 52mins
Comedy, Drama

Maybe I'm growing more cynical, but I continue to be less and less enthused by family holiday films. 




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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Directed by: Ang Lee
Runtime: 1hr, 50mins
Drama, War

Remember when Peter Jackson experimented with a higher frame rate for The Hobbit? It didn't go particularly well for him. Critics and general audiences didn't like it. For Billy Lynn, Ang Lee has experimented with an even higher frame rate. It's a curious choice not just considering the failure of The Hobbit, but also considering the type of film it is. This isn't an exciting, pulse pounding, action, adventure film that aims for spectacular visuals, it's a sentimental drama. And the curious choice made here may not have mattered in the grand scheme if the drama worked, but so far it's received very mixed reviews that point to what would have been a problematic film regardless of the technology used.



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Come and Find Me

Directed by: Zack Whedon
Runtime: 1hr, 52mins
Drama, Thriller

Zack, the brother of Joss, Whedon is making his directorial debut with what looks to be a dramatic mystery, thriller carried by Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul. 



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Dreamland

Directed by: Robert Schwartzman
Runtime: 1hr, 24mins
Comedy, Drama, Music

Speaking of directorial debuts, Robert Schwartzman (the brother of frequent Wes Anderson collaborator Jason Schwartzman) is making his directorial debut with Dreamland. It's an indie that looks to have taken inspiration from Mike Nichols's The Graduate.



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Elle

Directed by: Paul Verhoeven
Runtime: 2hrs, 10mins
Drama, Thriller

Famed director Paul Verhoeven's latest film is already getting strong reviews from critics, mostly for its strong lead performance by Isabelle Huppert and its unconventional, gripping, yet disturbing tale of a woman trying to track down the unknown man that raped her.



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Shut In

Directed by: Farren Blackburn
Runtime: 1hr, 31mins
Drama, Horror, Thriller

After having seen the trailer I'm still not sure quite what sort of film this is. It certainly has a likable cast with lead Naomi Watts, Charlie Heaton from Stranger Things, and Jacob Tremblay from Room. One of whom might be losing their mind, while another is stuck in a catatonic state, and the last is either missing or has turned into a ghost. Part drama, part thriller, and part horror film, there is a lot going on for such a small cast focused in one small house. I only wonder if Blackburn, a veteran of TV, can pull it all off in just his second feature length film. 



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The Love Witch

Directed by: Anna Biller
Runtime: 2hrs
Comedy, Horror

This bizarre horror/comedy pulls off the 1960's look better than any modern film I can think of. Yet it also tries to be a 60's film as well. It may end up working on a nostalgic level, but the trailer makes it look as wooden as some of the 60's B movies or TV shows you remember.



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