Friday, October 19, 2007

A weekend off, but recommendations aplenty

For me at least, there will most likely be no movies this weekend, because I'm headed up to Asheville, N.C., to spend the weekend with my folks. Not anything near a complaint, mind you, just the facts.

Even so, here's what I would recommend watching (and avoiding) from this weekend's busy wide-release slate:

1. "30 Days of Night"
You can tell from the begrudging respect given to this one by reviewers who usually heap scorn on horror movies that it should at least be pretty darn fun. What's beyond dispute is that it's based on a very clever premise: A pack of vampires attacks a small Alaskan town in the dead of winter, giving them 30 days of interrupted darkness for a feeding frenzy. Bring it on.

2. "Gone Baby Gone"
I may be the only person that didn't much care for "Mystic River" at all, but this flick directed by Ben Affleck (yes, really) from another Dennis Lehane novel about an abducted child sounds like it's less heavy-handed but more solidly entertaining.

2. "Rendition"
Even those who agree with the politics of this one (and since it basically, I think, boils down to don't torture innocent people, who doesn't?) might find it more than a little preachy. I'm confident, however, that Gavin Hood, director of the simply flawless "Tsotsi" (if you haven't seen this one, do so immediately), will deliver a smart and entertaining political thriller. And the cast is simply amazing.

4. "The Ten Commandments"
OK, from here there's a distinct drop off. An animated version of the Ten Commandments story without Charlton Heston or, according to reviews, much life at all? No thanks.

5. "The Comebacks"
Seeing Bill Buckner boot that ball in the World Series was pretty darn funny the first time it happened, but I just can't see any possible reason I would want to see him re-create it again (and yes, he's really in this) in this "spoof" of sports flicks. I thought it was the very funny Rob Corddry who had the misfortune of playing coach Lambeau Fields (get it?), but it's apparently his look-alike, David Koechner. Please, please, please do not go see this.

"Sarah Landon & the Paranormal Hour"
I list this one last but with no number because I simply know nothing about it. I will say, though, that the title above is much better than "Sarah Landon & the P," as it's listed at one of my multiplexes. That could be a whole different kind of weird, I'm afraid.

So, there you have it. Please feel free to offer your opinions on any of those, and have a fantastic weekend. Peace out.


Mercurie said...

I have to say I am looking forward to 30 Days of Night. The graphic novel was pretty cool, and while that doesn't always indicate how good a movie is, the trailers look pretty good.

Chalupa said...

RF - do you not like Clint Eastwood as a director? I've just noticed you don't like Million Dollar Baby or Mystic River. Just wondered if it was a coincidence or not.

Jonathan said...

I saw "30 Days of Night" last night and I wasn't overly impressed. I will say that it is the best looking horror film to come out since "The Descent." But from a story standpoint, not a whole lot happens, or at least nothing that interesting. It serves a kind of mindless fun quota I guess if you really want to go to the theater and see a horror film this holiday season.

Marina said...

I'm *still* trying to catch up with a bunch of films I've missed over the least week or so but I'm hoping to get to "30 Days of Night", "Gone Baby Gone" and "The Assassination of Jesse James..." this weekend.

I hope!

Have a great time at the parents'!

Madhat said...

I may be the only person that didn't much care for "Mystic River" at all


JMW said...

I hated Mystic River.

Bob said...

Saw "Lust, Caution" today. It was good but I'm not in love with it. I went to "Eliabeth: TGA" right after...not so good. Not terrible but pretty poorly written and the performances are a little too over the top, which is a shame because I love everyone in that cast. I guess everyone's entitled to an off day.
As for the new releases this week the only one I'm really interested in is "Lars and the Real Girl." I'd like to see "Gone Baby Gone" but I'll probably just wait for DVD. I'm actually more interested in see "Jesse James" and "Darjeeling" each a second time.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I really want to see your take on Gone Baby Gone once you've seen it. I've posted thoughts on my blog, and the more I typed, well...

I suspect I'll be feeling pretty lonely this weekend.

Divinity said...

How did you like the Mad Men finale?

Nell Minow said...

I agree with you about "Mystic River." (And I really could not stand "Million Dollar Baby.") But I thought "Gone Baby Gone" was excellent. Amy Ryan as the mother of the missing little girl gives a full-on and utterly fearless performance. The screenplay is superb, with one of the most powerful final scenes of the year. "Rendition" is cardboardy, but with a twist that adds some dramatic heft. Enjoy your visit and I look forward to your thoughts on the films when you get a chance to see them.

Reel Fanatic said...

First of all, a hearty thanks to everyone who stopped by as I was gone ... I'll try to answer as many comments as I can

Chalupa, I do have to say that I find Eastwood's directing a mixed bag at best ... I also really had little time for "Flags of Our Fathers," especially it's simply awful ending ... I did, however, enjoy quite a bit "Letters from Iwo Jima," and, going way back, "Bird"

Thanks for the somewhat-good word about "30 Days," Jonathan .. I don't think I'll make it to the movies until Thursday, but either that or "Gone Baby Gone" will be on the top of my list when I do.

I had just about the exact same reaction to the "Elizabeth" sequel as you, Bob .. I really enjoyed watchind Cate flirt with Clive, but that's about all I can say about that's remotely positive.

As far as season finales go, Divinity, I'd have to give the "Mad Men" finale an A+, so thank you so much again for introducting me to it ... I especially loved Peggy's reaction to giving birth, which sets up a nice storyline for season two. ... And, in case you're wondering, I have recorded you four things I think you will like, but, mostly due to a really bad spate of car trouble, haven't gotten around to mailing it yet .. soon, I promise!

And finally, Nell, I'm glad to hear from someone who disliked both of those flicks but liked "Gone Baby Gone" .. from all I've read, I think my reaction is going to be much the same when I finally get around to seeing it .. and I tried to see "Into the Wild" on your recommendation this weekend, but we didn't get around to it!

Shorty said...

Gone Baby Gone was very only problem was with Casey Affleck's GF in the film...she wasn't needed as a character...just felt out of place...

Rendition was a pretty big disappointment...while it kept my attention, the ending was terrible and the I felt like the major 'twists' just made me feel like the director cheated...

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for the word on both of those, Shorty ... I'll have some catch-up to do this weekend, and I'm definitely gonna see "Gone Baby Gone" and "30 Days of Night" before I even bother with "Rendition," even though I loved Gavin Hood's first flick, "Tsotsi"

RC said...

i loved mystic river and debated between gone baby gone this weekend and michael clayton.

gone baby gone will have to wait a week b/c my wife chose clayton.

Reel Fanatic said...

I thought Michael Clayton was great, RC, especially due to Tom Wilkinson, who surely deserves a Supporting Actor Oscar nod for it .. But how in the world could such a great movie starring Clooney make so little money?