One Last Wave Before Fall

Black Rock castWell, here we are at the end of August, and there’s a surprisingly dense wall of openings for what used to be the slowest weekend of the whole year. Dive right in!

Black Rock: Katie Aselton’s thriller is so last-minute an addition to the release slate that my review has to run as this week’s web column. It’s a solid cat-and-mouse picture, and Aselton, Lake Bell and Kate Bosworth are nicely matched as friends who’ve drifted apart, but come back together when they’re plunged into mortal danger.

Closed Circuit: John Crowley’s thriller casts Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall as British lawyers who join forces to investigate a bombing, and quickly come to wish they hadn’t. Andrew finds it boring and talky, which may explain why it opened on a Wednesday at the end of August.

Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie: Hey, remember that shouty talk-show host whose bellicose bellowing laid the template for Fox News? Glenn does, and wonders whether this movie is even necessary. But he doesn’t answer my most burning question: Does it touch on his performance in Predator 2?

Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story: Brad Bernstein’s documentary sums up the life of the esteemed author and illustrator. Glenn loved it at Hot Docs, and loves it still.

Flu: Korea’s answer to Contagion starts off strong but ends weakly. And it features a really, really awful child-actor performance from Park Min-ha. Don’t encourage her.

Getaway: If you ever wondered what Walter Hill would do with eight dozen cameras and an armor-plated muscle car, Courtney Solomon’s bare-bones thriller has the answer: Crash it into everything that isn’t nailed down, and a few things that are. It’s satisfying.

How to Make a Book with Steidl: This German documentary about the publisher Gerhard Steidl does exactly what it says on the tin — though Glenn‘s a hair disappointed that it doesn’t dig deeper into the man himself.

One Direction: This Is Us: Morgan Spurlock celebrates the latest prefab boy band in a documentary-slash-celebration that, um, I don’t know, has lots of songs in it. Julia is  unmoved.

Our Nixon: Penny Lane finds a hidden history of the Nixon Administration in Super-8 footage shot by the disgraced president’s cabinet. Susan finds it self-serving, with many glaring omissions.

That’s it! Enjoy the Labor Day weekend! I’ll be doing my best not to think about the madness waiting on the other side …

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