Moral Conflicts, And Also Some Punching

Wild Card Movie (3)The week isn’t quite as quiet as it seems, given how much I’m covering in this week’s web column, but as far as major-studio stuff … yeah, there’s not a lot happening. Super Bowl and all that.

But here’s what we are getting:

Black or White: Mike Binder — who brought us such garbled melodramatic nonsense as Reign Over Me and The Upside of Anger — delivers this weirdly square tale of a white widower (Kevin Costner, who was actually pretty good in The Upside of Anger) who takes in a black foster child. Glenn ain’t buying it, even with the post-TIFF title change from Black and White.

A Most Violent Year: Just as All is Lost was a radical departure from Margin Call, J.C. Chandor’s latest is another stylistic pivot — this time to a Sidney Lumet-style New York City picture, with exacting social detail and fine performances from Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain. It’s good. See it.

Project Almanac: It’s a found-footage time-travel movie opening in roughly the same slot Fox gave Chronicle in 2012. A scheduling conflict meant I had to pass on the press screening, but I’m hoping to catch up to this soon.

Red Army: Gabe Polsky’s sports doc looks back at the glory days of the Soviet Union’s hockey program with waaaaay more Don Cherry appearances than is probably necessary. But it’s still really enjoyable.

Wild Card: Having made a decent-enough version of The Mechanic a few years back, Simon West and Jason Statham reunite for a decent-enough version of the forgotten Burt Reynolds picture Heat. It is, as you may have surmised, decent enough.

And so to the most important question facing us: Will American Sniper stay on top for another week? Christ, I hope not. But probably, yeah.

One thought on “Moral Conflicts, And Also Some Punching”

  1. Maybe Paddington and Statham can band (or should that be Bond?) together to take American Sniper down, combining Paddington’s trademarked hard stare* and Statham’s trademarked Stathaming.

    *Saw Paddington this week. So good! For me, it didn’t need the added villain elements, but what it got right, it got perfect. I hope it gets Oscar consideration next year for Art Direction. It’s probably not flashy enough to win, but such lovely touches as the hallway mural at the Brown’s were sweet without crossing over into cloying.

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