Theatrical Releases: Jersey Boys & Think Like A Man Too
Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial venture, “Jersey Boys” is splitting critics and not on whether it is a good film or not but whether he is a good director or not. The reason being is that the musical based on the Broadway smash hit apparently does not land. Following the boys from Jersey who called themselves the Four Seasons and who produced songs like “Sherry” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, the musical version has been around forever, but it seems that Eastwood fails to make the adaptations. Although I will still see it, I know what I am getting myself into.
To be honest, the first film peaked my interest. But having yet to see the first one yet, “Think Like A Man Too”, on its own merits, fails to grab me the same way. With the same ensemble cast heading to Las Vegas for a bachelor/bachelorette weekend, the antics that ensue just simply do not produce laughs. Kevin Hart continues to be the shining light for these films, as he has seen his star rise more than anyone else in the film and with most of the trailer showing that, one can tell that marketing and the creators of the film know exactly what they have.
You know Paul Haggis as the director of the Academy Award winning “Crash” involving intersecting lives. If you look at his IMDB, since his film won the Oscar he has only directed a film about every three years, and with that three years up comes his next film, “Third Person”. The first thing that draws you to the film is the ensemble cast in Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, Olivia Wilde, James Franco, and Kim Basinger. The next thing you recognize is that the everyone’s lives once again intersect within the narrative of the film. With some strong emotions in the trailer and a cast that I simply cannot pass up, this is a must-see.
Eighty years old and Roman Polanski continues to make films. His latest, “Venus In Fur”, sees a director in an audition for a play with a woman from the street who ends up being really good. As the night goes on, the line between play and reality becomes blurred. If you would have asked me if the director of “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Chinatown” would eventually find his way to direct a dark comedy tinged with S&M, I would have laughed. With his name on it, I have a sight desire to see it, but from the trailer alone, it does not get me running out to see it anywhere.
“Code Black” is a documentary set in the Los Angeles County Hospital where apparently: “more people have died and more people have been saved than in any other square footage in the United States.” Following the doctors and nurses who work there, it amazing to see the sheer volume of people that come through their doors. My biggest concern is there is not much the average viewer can do to fix the situation in this film with the hospital being so busy it sometimes turns people away. A call-to-action documentary that offers no solutions is hard for me to watch.
Tiny budget, high concept science fiction films always catch my attention. With some horror elements thrown in, “Coherence” ends up being quite the catch. As friends meet for a dinner party on the night a comet is passing Earth, the tales of what can happen become reality when the comet causes some strange occurrences leading to scares and possibly even deaths. Reminiscent of the more produced, yet still independent science fiction film “Plus One”, I am definitely interested in seeing this.
The only thing more abundant than World War II documentaries these days are “based on true story” dramatic representations of events during WWII. Telling the story of journalist Torgny Segerstedt, “The Last Sentence” is set in Sweden where this man refused to stay quiet about what was happening. Displayed in a bluish tinged black-and-white, this foreign film does little to set itself apart from any other crusading WWII venture and is therefore somewhat forgettable.
Jean Reno has already had a long, stellar career, but now he finds himself in what feels like the live action version of “Ratatouille” in the cooking film “Le Chef”. In it, he plays a veteran chef who has run out of ideas and is about to lose his restaurant to some other pompous chef. That is, until he meets an unknown chef with an attitude that “has more ideas than he can cook”. Together they make the perfect team in the kitchen, but the next step is for them to fix their personal lives. What really turns this foreign film off for me is the hokey American voice-over that seems to popping up everywhere these days.
For once a Bollywood film that I could actually see myself watching. Even though it is much more accessible than most Bollywood films, “Miss Lovely” is still not enough to make me want to see it, but with dark tones than normal, production value way outside of what you normally find in a Bollywood film and racy subject matter, this feels like the black sheep of the Bollywood genre and I love it.
Is it me or is everyone using the “Hitchcockian” monicker on everything these days? If you even have a tinge of suspense in your thriller somehow you can call yourself “Hitchcockian”. It is frustrating because a film like “The Moment” should in no way be compared to one of the best filmmakers in the history of cinema. Jennifer Jason Leigh stars as a photography who is thrown into the arms of a mysterious man who then disappears. For having such a recognizable cast, this film is just never seems to deliver.
The production value of “No Tears For The Dead” is off the chart and that coming from a thirty-second trailer. Directed by Jeong-beom Lee, the director behind “The Man From Nowhere”, another foreign film that I would really like to see, I feel like seeing how the director handles that film will determine for sure whether I want to see this one. But a good looking film is easily approachable and for that I will keep this one on my list. The trailer does not really say what it is about but the visuals are enough to sell it.
A French film, “A Summer’s Tale” from 1996 is finally getting an American theatrical release. It is funny how long it takes certain films to reach America sometimes and with a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, it appears to be popular. About a recent college graduate juggling two women to force him to choose, I have a hard enough time catching the films from this year that I want to see, so thinking about catching a little unknown drama from 1996 is baffling to me.