Theatrical Releases: The Family & Insidious Chapter 2

INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 || September 13th, 2013

Family-poster Wasting no time delving into the story of this insanely dark and violent comedy, “The Family” is a scatter shot of ideas and cast members placed together in a haphazard, yet entertaining way. Lead by Robert De Niro, the cast feels fresh in their roles as a former mob family on the run. Rising above the poor reviews and slightly vague genre for the film, “The Family” is darkly funny and wonderfully acted, with a tinge only Besson could carry successfully.
InsidiousChapter2-poster James Wan leads yet another subtle throwback to classic horror with “Insidious: Chapter 2”, masterfully building off the original with more jolting scares and creepy characters, trading back gore and shock value for good old fashioned horror. With multiple story-lines progressing, Wan takes on twice the adventure with this sequel. With believable imagery and a sound design that immerses the audience, along with the edit cut so efficiently that most of the jumps come from a combination of the two.

AndWhileYouWereHere-poster As much as I enjoy Kate Bosworth, “And While We Were Here” looks a little too much like every other traveling abroad romance film with a twist. The film touts the inklings of a French romance where a woman (Bosworth) touring the Island of Ischia meets a young man and falls for him, only to reveal she’s married and unhappily so. Bosworth is often a draw, but there’s just not enough going for the film to justify a screening.
PASS
BlueCaprice-poster Based on a true story in the point of view of the DC snipers, “Blue Caprice” is intriguing in the fact that you’re getting a glimpse into the mind of the sadistic killers. Isaiah Washington is compelling and the faded out color of the film draws me in even more.
25% MAYBE
Four-poster Whether “Four” stands for the 4th of July, on which the film takes place, or whether its because there are four characters, the film looks like a dramatic stretch into the secret lives and sexuality between two different couples. A young woman who is very smart but looks to find a night of escape with a not so impressive peer. And a father who lies about a work trip to spend time with a young man. In setting this film at night and giving these characters secrets, I could see how this could be compelling.
25% MAYBE
HarryDeanStanton-poster Harry Dean Stanton seems like an interesting enough person, but if the message of his story is to get out of acting, why are we putting him in a documentary. “Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction” appears to visit the friends of Stanton’s as they sing his praises, along with him singing some folk music in the background, but the trailer does little to expand any of this man’s story and really provides me with little reason to see it.
PASS
HerbDorothy5050-poster I definitely appreciate the story in the documentary, “Herb & Dorothy: 50×50”. The thought that this ordinary and selfless couple would be willing to split up their art collection to museums in all 50 states is phenomenal, but this is a case of the trailer offering me enough to be glad I heard the story but offering to real reason to sit down and experience an entire film about the subject.
PASS
Informant-poster My new favorite thing in documentary trailers is over-dramatizing everything to make it appear like the biggest deal ever, when in fact it’s a simple story with simple motivations. But somehow the trailer editor is able to bring up this huge debate with intense music playing it up to be some epic battle. “Informant” has that trailer. About an anti-establishment activist that actually becomes an informant for the FBI, the story is simple, but you wouldn’t know it from the ridiculous trailer.
PASS
JayneMansfieldsCar-poster Apparently I never knew Billy Bob Thornton was a director on top of being a very recognizable actor. Directing films like “All the Pretty Horses” and “Sling Blade”, his latest ensemble piece, “Jayne Mansfield’s Car” shows him calling in a lot of favors with a huge cast but no discernible through-line. Starring Robert Duvall, Robert Patrick, Kevin Bacon, and John Hurt, just to name a few, the film looks like it could have been funny if it were handled by someone more inept.
PASS
LeJoliMai-poster One day I will visit Paris and see the Eiffel Tower and life will be grand. Visiting Paris through black-and-white footage collected from ordinary people in 1962 feels more like a history lesson than an enjoyable, escapist film. “Le Joli Mai” is an interesting concept and I commend the effort, but the trailer alone is boring, not touting the brilliance that this came from 55 hours of home video. That being said, I’d rather wait to visit.
PASS
MademoiselleC-poster Yet another week of endless documentaries, I would say fashion and design documentaries are on the lower tier of films I enjoy. Chronicling Carine Roitfeld from French Vogue who branches off into her own business, this feels very self-fulfilling and self-indulgent. I do enjoy fashion for its sake and of course the gorgeous women, but there’s nothing drawing me into seeing “Mademoiselle C”.
PASS
MotherOfGeorge-poster The imagery of “Mother Of George” is undeniable, with Cinematographer Bradford Young winning the Cinematography Award: U.S. Dramatic at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Presenting Danai Gurira (Michonne from AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) as a recently married Nigerian woman who has troubles conceiving a child, her presence is strong and matched with the photography could transcend its somewhat bland delivery.
25% MAYBE
Plush-poster Despite the horrible trailer for “Plush”, I have a growing affinity for the leading lady, Emily Browning (“Sucker Punch”, “Sleeping Beauty”) who is just thriving in her career and could possibly be the only enjoyable part of this stalker/crazy fan film starring “The O.C.’s” Volchek (Cam Gigandet), whom I could care less for. As much of a thriller as it probably can be, I will only be seeing this for Emily and will not be expecting much.
75% MOST LIKELY
SampleThis-poster One more documentary for you this week. “Sample This” is yet another look at the history of hip hop music and specifically the producer Michael Viner and his 70s album that went unnoticed until a DJ used the beats from it, which are still used by today’s artists like Will Smith and Jay-Z. Forgive me for saying it, but hip hop history documentaries are a bit played out.
PASS
StrangeBrandOfHappy-poster “A Strange Brand of Happy” feels like a first feature film. The production quality and acting are both slightly off and something feels completely unnatural about the entire film.
PASS
Wadjda-poster The first ever film made in Saudi Arabia by a first time female director, “Wadjda” already has all of that going for it. With what looks to be strong performances from the females in the film, I have to say my interest is peaked. About a rebellious young girl who wears Converse shoes and dreams of owning a bike, she must embrace her culture’s customs in order to get the money to buy one. Surprisingly and consistently upbeat, I am impressed with the marketing for this film.
25% MAYBE

THEATER

  • The Family
  • Insidious Chapter 2

RENTAL

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

  • Plush

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • Blue Caprice
  • Four
  • Mother Of George
  • Wadjda

PASS

  • And While We Were Here
  • Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction
  • Herb & Dorothy: 50×50
  • Informant
  • Jayne Mansfield’s Car
  • Le Joli Mai
  • Mademoiselle C
  • Sample This
  • A Strange Brand of Happy

HELL NO

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