Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Opening This Week - January 13

Wide Releases:

Live By Night (Nationwide Expansion)

Directed by: Ben Affleck
Runtime: 2hrs, 8mins
Crime, Drama

Ben Affleck has proven himself a capable actor, writer and director, and he's doing all three for his latest film. Based on Dennis Lehane's 2012 novel of the same name, Live By Night follows Joe Coughlin (Affleck) as he climbs the ladder of organized crime during the prohibition era. I appreciate the occasional gangster film, but my real interest is to see more of Affleck the writer/director. I'm curious to see how this serves as a precursor to his upcoming Batman film, a film he's listed as writer and director for.


Monster Trucks

Directed by: Chris Wedge
Runtime: 1hr, 44mins
Action, Adventure, Comedy

I almost don't even know what to say about this ridiculous film. From the sound of it, Paramount decided to take a $115 million writedown to earnings for this film back in September. So even they aren't expecting positive returns for it. Evidently the film is based on an idea by former Paramount President Adam Goodman's 4 year old son that involves actual monsters living in actual trucks. Sounds like a 4 year old's idea to me. Somehow or another the film got made with a big budget theatrical release in mind back in 2014 and has since spent the last several years getting its release date pushed back in order to give them time to try to turn it into something that might appeal to a wide audience. Nevertheless expectations are extremely low, and it's been given the "death by january release." As we know, January is the month studios release films they have little confidence in. Also, is it just me or is there only one monster truck in this movie?


Patriots Day (Nationwide Expansion)

Directed by: Peter Berg
Runtime: 2hrs, 13mins
Drama, Thriller

Peter Berg's film about Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath has been well received by critics so far. Films based on true events that get good reviews about this time of year tend to earn favor come awards season. Considering how poorly critics have taken to some of the other films on this week's release list, Patriots Day may just find success. That is if and when it expands its limited release and the crowds for Rogue One start to die down.


Silence (Nationwide Expansion)

Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Runtime: 2hrs, 41mins
Historical Drama

Scorsese's latest, an adaptation of Shūsaku Endō's novel of the same name, is a passion project that's been in and out of development since 1990. It takes place in the 17th century and follows two Portuguese Catholic priests (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) as they travel through violence and persecution in Japan in order to find their mentor (Liam Neeson).



Directed by: Baran bo Odar
Runtime: 1hr, 35mins
Action, Crime, Thriller

Sleepless looks like it could be the best film featuring Jamie Foxx since Django Unchained back in 2012. My only question is, where was the marketing campaign for this film? How have I not seen or heard anything about this film until the week of its release? Could this be the start of an action movie resurgence for Foxx like Taken was for Liam Neeson (it looks similar now that I think about it) and John Wick was for Keanu Reeves? Only time will tell.


The Bye Bye Man

Directed by: Stacy Title
Runtime: 1hr, 36mins
Horror, Thriller

This film is based on the chapter "The Bridge to Body Island" in Robert Damon Schneck's book The President's Vampire. It involves a ghostly spirit possessing those who say or think his name forcing them to commit vile killing sprees. Maybe the most interesting thing about the movie is that Faye Dunaway has returned to acting and this is one the handful of new projects she decided to join.


Limited Releases:

100 Streets

Directed by: Jim O'Hanlon
Runtime: 1hr, 33mins

This Crash-style film of three interconnected stories is said to be buoyed by strong performances by Idris Elba and Gemma Arterton - who are both so heavily favored in the trailer you might not know it's supposed to be an ensemble film. But early reviews point to an inability to bring it all together in a satisfying way.


Alone in Berlin

Directed by: Vincent Perez
Runtime: 1hr, 43mins

Despite a cast that features Brendan Gleeson, Emma Thompson, and Daniel Brühl the words most often seen describing this World War 2 drama are dull, tedious, and bland. Nevertheless, because of the cast and the fact that it's a WW2 drama, there's still likely a sizable audience for the film. But it's likely worth heeding Indie Wire's Jessica Kiang's words here, "'Alone in Berlin' becomes a hard sell: a film too perfunctory to be embraced by arthouses, and too damn depressing to be a mainstream proposition."


Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies

Directed by: Dominik Hartl
Runtime: 1hr, 18mins
Comedy, Horror

What? Is this a SyFy original movie?


Claire in Motion

Directed by: Annie J. Howell and Lisa Robinson
Runtime: 1hr, 23mins

This character study follows Claire while she explores the mystery behind her husband's disappearance. Her investigation uncovers his hidden life and causes her to question her own identity in the process.


Go North

Directed by: Matthew Ogens
Runtime: 1hr, 45mins
Adventure, Drama, Romance

This film looks like a modern, post apocalyptic take on Lord of the Flies. In the near future, a global event takes the lives of all adults leaving only unaccompanied minors to fend for themselves in the remnants of civilization.


One Piece Film Gold

Directed by: Hiroaki Miyamoto
Runtime: 2hrs
Anime, Action, Adventure



Directed by: Glenn Douglas Packard
Runtime: 1hr, 34mins


Some Like It Hot (Qing Sheng)

Directed by: Xiaofei Song and Dong Xu
Runtime: 1hr, 56mins


The Book of Love

Directed by: Bill Purple
Runtime: 1hr, 46mins

Even though the trailer seems to give up the entire film, this one may just be an enjoyable night in with Netflix once it makes its inevitable appearance on the streaming service. I say that despite Maisie Williams's very unconvincing attempt at a southern accent. Nevertheless, the cast here is likable enough to give this one a chance.


The Crash

Directed by: Aram Rappaport
Runtime: 1hr, 24mins
Crime, Thriller


The Snare

Directed by: C.A. Cooper
Runtime: 1hr, 30mins
Horror, Thriller


The Son of Joseph

Directed by: Eugène Green
Runtime: 1hr, 53mins


Top Coat Cash

Directed by: David Tittone
Runtime: 1hr, 45mins
Action, Crime, Drama


We Are the Flesh

Directed by: Emiliano Rocha Minter
Runtime: 1hr, 19mins
Drama, Fantasy, Horror


Worlds Apart

Directed by: Christopher Papakaliatis
Runtime: 1hr, 53mins
Drama, Romance


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