Friday, November 02, 2007

A great movie weekend in Macon

I realize that means it's at least as great a movie weekend everywhere else too, but a surprise, belated entry has me particularly psyched about the offerings in my little corner of the world.

So, in chronological order, here's what I'll be watching (except maybe the last one) and, if you check back throughout the weekend, I promise, reviewing here:

1. Bee Movie
This isn't the movie I most want to see this weekend, but due to the fact that it's playing on a gazillion screens it's the easiest one to catch before I have to go work today. I think I'd be more excited for this one if we hadn't been inundated with those "Dol-Bee" ads for what seems like three years now. After all, Jerry Seinfeld is a savagely funny guy, and it's much easier to get amped for animation when there's not a glut of it on the big screen, so here's hoping this sucks a lot less than I'm fearing.

2. American Gangster
Until I saw how few screens it's getting at my multiplex, due surely to it's length, among other factors, I was sure this would be the big winner at the box office this weekend. Denzel, Russell and gangsters ... what could be better? For my money, very little. I actually managed to do my senior thesis at Catholic University for a class in political film on something along the lines of "The Social Ramifications and Parallels of Early Gangster Films," which, even though I worked quite hard on it, always felt like a bit of a con. The reviews I've seen so far say this is a pretty by-the-numbers gangster flick, but I still suspect I'm gonna like it a lot.

3. Into the Wild
And here's the wild card late entry, and a flick that many readers of this site have been urging me to see for some time now. My father rather unintentionally spoiled the end of this one for me, which I would be more upset about if every review I've read since hadn't done the same thing. Jon Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven" is one of the best books I've ever read, so I'm sure he delivered a rousing tale here about Christopher McCandless' trip down Thoreau's path, and by all accounts Sean Penn put a stirring visual cherry on top, so count me very psyched for this one too.

4. Across the Universe
I'll definitely need some persuading to drive a half hour to see this one in Centerville. I just love the Beatles far too much to see their songs sung by the likes of Eddie Izzard and, God forbid, Bono. If you've seen this one and there's something to recommend it that I'm just missing, please feel free to let me know.

And there you have it. A busy weekend for me at the movies. Here's hoping you have at least a fairly great one too.

20 comments:

Bill_45 said...

More Beatles' covers for you

Ashok said...

I saw "Across the Universe", couple of weeks back. Here is the review

http://amusicment.blogspot.com/2007/10/across-universe-2007-movie-review.html

I did not like it all the way through but has some visual appeal.

renee said...

I want you to see Across the Universe because then you can tell me whether it's worth seeing. I've been resisting it for the same reasons you listed. But a couple of my friends have seen it and loved it, so I'm sort of re-considering.

I've also been sort of puzzled with how the reviewers (and chat show hosts for that matter) have handled the "end" of Into the Wild. I guess in part it's not a secret because it's on the first page of the book. The film isn't as revealing, though, so it seems like it would be more respectfully handled.

If you haven't read Krakauer's other two books, I highly recommend them. I'm just finishing up Into the Wild and Into Thin Air is fantastic.

Marina said...

I still want to see "Into the Wild". Hopefully I can make time for it this weekend!

Bob said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. "Across the Universe"...not so much. Not a disaster certainly but not good after the first twenty minutes or so.

Jeremy said...

I for one thought "Across the Universe" is worth seeing. I can see how it polarizes some people, but I found it to be a bold experiment and visually impressive.

Reel Fanatic said...

Hmmmm ... A split jury so far on "Across the Universe" ... What I think it might come down to is I may just be movied out after seeing two fairly long ones, American Gangster and Into the Wild, Saturday and Sunday ... And in case anyone's wondering, "Bee Movie" was only slightly better than I might have feared .. It's thoroughly charming for the first 15 minutes or so but then goes nowhere, and Renee Zellweger, looks and sounds even worse as an animated character than she does in the flesh ... And I'll definitely take your recommendation on Krakauer's "Into Thin Air," Renee, after I finish Dave Eggers' "What is the What," which is pretty darn good so far

Eric said...

One opening here and got a great deal of notice ath last sprinng's SIFF was Wristcutters: A Love story.
I was reading about it this morning and it looks really intriguing. it features that hottie princess from "A Knights Tale"

J. Marquis said...

I liked "Across the Universe" quite a bit. There were actually versions of the Beatles songs (especially I Want To Hold Your Hand)that I liked better than the originals.

Reel Fanatic said...

I've seen ads for that one on the Web, Eric, and it's always intrigued if only for the rather unique title .. definitely let me know if it's any good if you get around to see it .. and I'm slowly coming around to indeed going to see "Across the Universe" Monday, J Marquis, if only out of sheer curiosity more than any other motivation

Toto said...

Saw "Bee Movie" -- intermittently amusing but the story was too messy to win me over. The aggressive marketing made me a bit grumpy, too. It's got Seinfeld and it's animated. Isn't that enough to guarantee success?

Reel Fanatic said...

You would have thought so, Toto, so the marketing definitely shaded my viewing too ... I really wish they had just dealt with life in the hive, which for the first 10 minutes or so is extremely funny, before the movie just loses any idea of where its going

Mercurie said...

The only movie of these that'll probably in Randolph County this weekend will probably Bee Movie. I mean, it has taken us two weeks to even get 30 Days of Night...

Reel Fanatic said...

I have missed seeing that one yet, Mercurie, due to the rather crowded fall schedule (not anything near a complaint, mind you), which means I'll probably just have to watch it on DVD

Divinity said...

I think I've given my nutshell review of Across the Universe before. It's a good, 133 minute-long, music video. There are some incredible visuals and the movie is roughly divided into thirds with the first one being a rather disjointed introduction of characters, the second more whimsical and touching on psychedelic, and the third wrapping things up in a very pat manner. I hummed for days afterwards.

Reel Fanatic said...

If it leaves me humming too I'll be pleasantly surprised, Divinity ... I tend to have very little tolerance for being told that the '60s were the golden age of all human civilization, so I'm afraid my opinion will inevitably be clouded by that

Divinity said...

The music's the strongest element so if the covers turn you off, it'll be a long 133 minutes. I wouldn't say it's message is that the 60s is a golden age. It just tries to tell a fairly simple story with the Beatles' music but without the Beatles' presence. It was an ambitious project and I think she succeeded in parts. For me, I'd never heard "Dear Prudence" before (she's my favourite character btw) and had never even associated "Helter Skelter" with the Beatles. Who knew McCartney had the cajones?

Anonymous said...

Went to see Across the Universe tonight. If you can get by the first 20-30 minutes it is pretty good. We are in our 60's, so we grew up with the Beatles. Believe John would have loved it!

Reel Fanatic said...

Thank you for the tip, anonymous ones, and a flick certainly can't get a higher compliment than that .. Unfortunately, I decided that that four theater movies would just be overload this weekend, so I'm gonna have to wait until at least next Saturday, when it will hopefully still be in Middle Georgia

NickDean said...

"Across The Universe" isn't Julie Taymor's best... It's got some great visuals, but I thought the story lacked when compared with "Titus" and "Frida" -- which isn't surprising. I mean, for those movies they had Shakespeare and Kahlo's actual life to work with in terms of story... So much of "Across The Univese," though, seemed cliche and a stretch just to serve out the actual lyrics of the songs.