There are thirteen movies opening in town this week. Three started yesterday at the Lightbox, and ten more open around the city today. So, yeah, we had our work cut out for us. And it’s only going to get busier in the weeks to come, as the gates of fall swing wide to unleash one Oscar contender after the next … oh, and the odd CG owl movie. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin:
“Bran Nue Day”: So I interviewed Geoffrey Rush, like, two weeks ago, and he didn’t even mention he had two movies coming out today. This is the one that’s a musical. Susan liked it.
“Catfish”: Don’t tell me the secret! I haven’t seen it! But Andrew has, and he’s less than enthused.
“I Am Comic“: A whole bunch of famous stand-ups talk about what it’s like to be famous stand-ups in this serviceable if unremarkable documentary. It’s fine, but I’d rather watch “The Aristocrats” again, you know?
“I’m Still Here”: So, was Joaquin Phoenix really trying to quit acting and reinvent himself as a hip-hop star, or was he just screwing with us for two full years and ruining his career? Casey Affleck has since admitted it was the latter, which makes the release of his alleged documentary feel a little superfluous. Here’s Glenn’s TIFF review, as the proper review doesn’t appear to be online yet.
“Jack Goes Boating”: Philip Seymour Hoffman directs and stars — opposite the lovely and talented Amy Ryan — in this adaptation of Bob Glaudini’s stage play. Glenn found it interesting, if a little undercooked.
“Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole“: A heartwarming children’s fable from the director of “Dawn of the Dead” and “300”. With talking owls that wear helmets and battle gauntlets. The tie-in toys will be … interesting. Also: Hey, it’s Geoffrey Rush again!
“Never Let Me Go“: Mark Romanek turns Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel into one of the quietest science-fiction dramas you’ll ever see — and that’s a good thing. Carey Mulligan does that thing where she suggests powerful emotion roiling beneath a placid surface. She’ll probably get another Oscar nomination for it.
“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps“: Yeah, the title makes about as much sense as “Tomorrow Never Dies”, but that doesn’t matter. Frankly, nothing much matters in Oliver Stone’s transparent attempt to remind us that he was once known for having opinions about stuff — except Michael Douglas, who has just as much fun as he did the first time around. And Carey Mulligan turns up as his daughter!
“Whatever It Takes”: Christopher C.C. Wong’s documentary about Bronx principal Edward Tom’s uphill battle to bring his school up to acceptable standards arrives a week ahead of Davis Guggenheim’s major-studio education doc, “Waiting for ‘Superman'”. Think of this as the micro view to Guggenheim’s macro. Susan liked it.
“A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop”: Zhang Yimou transplants the Coen brothers’ “Blood Simple” to 19th century China, where … wait, what? Andrew explains.