Seems like the only thing anyone has been talking about this past week is Gravity, and deservedly so. Now we move ahead to our choices for this weekend. What do you get when you mix surreal nightmares with Shakespeare, pirates and Danny Trejo?
I don’t know either, but it sounds like a lot of fun.
Director: Paul Greengrass
Starring: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Catherine Keener
Based on a true story, Tom Hanks stars in, and as, Captain Phillips in Paul Greengrass’ (The Bourne Ultimatum, United 93) new film. Phillips was the commanding officer of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama in 2009 when it was hijacked by a crew of Somali pirates off the coast of Somalia. The trailer displays Greengrass’ trademark handheld camerawork and tense recreations of true events, and he doesn’t look to disappoint.
Hanks’ performance has been winning nearly unanimous praise, but also keep a look out for Barkhad Abdi’s performance as the leader of the pirates. With Hanks onscreen for nearly the entire run time, Greengrass is crafting an intense, intimate character piece that possibly rivals his previous United 93.
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Danny Trejo, Sofia Vergara, Michelle Rodriguez, Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, and many more celebrity cameos…
Machete’s back, and it seems to be the same old thing, again, but with more celebrity cameos. Perhaps it’s to distract from the fact Rodriguez hasn’t made a truly impressive film in years? Rodriguez has been on a downward spiral for a while now, and this looks to be more of the same. Uninspired jokes, relentless celebrities and shoddy production values are beginning to overshadow his previous successes.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Danny Trejo and absurd exploitation as much as the next guy and sometimes the movie hits its mark, but Rodriguez needs to move on and start challenging himself. He’s just not that good at being bad.
ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW
Director: Randy Moore
Starring: Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber,
Genre: Surreal Drama/Experimental
Filmmaker Randy Moore shot the entirety of Escape from Tomorrow in Disney parks without their permission. The film tells the story of a father who has just lost his job and has to keep it a secret while he goes on vacation with his family. The film becomes a surreal nightmare as the idyllic facade of the park melts into paranoid visions and bizarre encounters and the father struggles to maintain his sanity.
Seems like an interesting, if not fully successful, experiment. One thing is for sure, Disney isn’t letting something like this happen again, so this will be the first and only film of its kind.
ROMEO AND JULIET
Director: Carlo Carlei
Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Paul Giamatti, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Stellan Skarsgard
Yet another Romeo and Juliet adaptation. Shakespeare’s classic (if not overused) play stars Hailee Steinfeld (excellent in True Grit) as Juliet and Douglas Booth (who?) as Romeo. The trailer is uninspired and the material could not be less original, probably a good idea to steer clear of this one this weekend. You have a lot of other choices in theaters right now.
Have a fun weekend at the movies!