The Week in Movies: Blue Jasmine and The Wolverine‘s To Do List
Welcome to Annotate This, where we gather reviews, trailers, and annotate the posters for movies coming out this week. It will help you decide what to avoid, what to see, and what to pretend to see. Click on the image above to add your comments to the mix.
This is the sixth installment in the X-Men franchise and would it surprising if I told you it wasn't super great-fresh-new-ground-breaking? James Mangold takes it on with "furrowed-brow solemnity," forgetting the "difference between comic and daft." Most people say that Hugh Jackman is still pretty good.
Woody Allen's latest movie is really Cate Blanchett's movie. She's undergoing a nervous breakdown after her millionaire husband was arrested for being shady with finances. It doesn't do too much new for Allen, but the cast is fantastic. Who else is in this movie? Only Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, and Peter Sarsgaard. My review is here. For others, here's one guy who said it's the worst, one guy that said it's the best.
The To-Do List
This debut from writer-director Maggie Carey centers on a valedictorian mathlete who decides she wants to complete a checklist of sexual experiences before heading to college. Girls get their radically reassuring raunchy losin'-it story! Though it is "exuberantly vulgar," it's also "funnier and kinder" than many of its peers, and filled with some nice 90s nostalgia. Aubrey Plaza plays the determined girl, and a bunch of great people co-star, including Bill Hader, Alia Shawkat, Rachel Bilson, Donald Glover, Andy Samberg, and Connie Britton. Rich Juzwiak's review is here.
From Hong Kong action director Johnny To, this concise and clear thriller boasts an actually interesting twist! Also, it's about a semi-reluctant meth cook, meaning that if you miss Breaking Bad, this is a good movie for you to see in the meantime.
The Time Being
From director Nenad Cicin-Sain, this film explores the relationship between a painter and his mysterious benefactor. It's patiently paced, really lovely to watch, and the unceasing intense Wes Bentley is fascinating. Though motivations are either not explained or over explained, depending on the character, it's got a good tone. Best summary: "exceptionally handsome journey to nowhere at all."
Mischa Barton plays a girl off to investigate the mysterious death of her sister who fell GUESS HOW MANY floors to her death in writer-director Michael Taverna's remake of a Japanese horror movie that he has set in Detroit. Spoooky stuff ensues, but one reviewer assures you that your monthly rent is more frightening. A line from this movie is "Apartments don't kill people. People kill people."
Wasteland is a deconstructed, intimate, sometimes unintelligible heist drama from first time writer-director Rowan Athale. While the movie has problems, Athale stills comes across as a promising talent.
Breaking the Girls
Jamie Babbit's erotic thriller, is inspired by Strangers on a Train, without any of the logic inherent in Patricia Highsmith's book and Hitchcock's film adaptation. All intense close-ups and golden lighting, it literalizes the gay subtext of the original, in a way that "seems pandering rather than heartfelt."
Christian Slater is stuck on the moon with aliens that are set about possessing, invading, and creating some body horror. From sci-fi movie pro Roger Christian, it unfortunately looks as if it is set in a bargain-bin moon bunker. It's decent, tedious, and "commendably unpretentious but imaginatively bankrupt."
Springsteen and I
This fan-driven documentary about Bruce Springsteen is patched up from various fan submissions, each trying to express why they love the musician. Because it doesn't try and tease out one narrative, it ultimately creates a complex piece about devotion to music .
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