weekly reeler Articles
This is an interesting week. Everything -- even the art titles -- open on Wednesday, which is unusual, Thanksgiving or not. The three mainstream openers -- Arthur Christmas, Hugo, The Muppets -- are all of the family-friendly persuasion, which isn't surprising at this time of year. What is surprising is that they've all been seen by some critics of note, and have all fared very nicely in the process. It will undoubtedly be noted that the bulk of the Arthur Christmas reviews are from the UK -- its country or origin -- and are therefore suspect. The problem with that bit of "conspiracy" theory is that the Brit reviewers love nothing better than trashing their own though some weird sense of cultural inferiority. Neither of the art titles -- Like Crazy at The Carolina and Martha Marcy May Marlene at the Fine Arts -- could even slightly be construed as family-friendly, especially the latter.
OK, I'm not gonna sugarcoat this. If it wasn't for The Skin I Live In opening at the Fine Arts this week, I'd basically suggest learning mah-jong, searching for a nice shuffleboard tournament, or just plain old hiding under the bed till this week blows over. This, of course, doesn't apply if you're what is known as a Twi-Hard who's been awaiting the wedding of the century. In that case, you're probably already immersed in the anticipatory showings of the previous Twilight that have been happening, are happening and/or will be happening leading up to the event. Being neither entranced by the soapy antics of Bella and Edward in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1, nor hugely interested in Happy Feet Two (one was enough), this is not a week for me. Well, apart from the new Almodovar movie, that is.
Before getting down to the full offerings of the week, I want to take this opportunity to remind — or tell — readers that this Wednesday there is one showing of David Bowie in Nicolas Roeg's science fiction classic The Man Who Fell to Earth in its only playdate in the area. This is the newly restored 35th anniversary print of the full director's cut. It shows at 7:30, Wed., Nov. 9 at The Carolina. And then there are four new films opening this week. Three of them — Immortals, J. Edgar, Jack and Jill — are mainstream releases and open at most area venues. The fourth — Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life — is in the realm of art house and is at The Carolina. Offhand, I'd say that three of the four have the potential of being at least interesting.
It's actually a pretty slow week at the movies. In the area of mainstream releases, all that we're getting it seems are Tower Heist and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. Don't those prospects simply make you absolutely giddy with anticipation? I know I can scarcely contain myself. The art scene is a little more interesting. We get Margin Call at both The Carolina and the Fine Arts, and we get the documentary The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 at The Carolina. So far it appears that Anonymous is still M.I.A. where Asheville is concerned. Let the copious weeping begin.
Oh, it's a busy week, but before getting to that, let's have a moment of silence for the passing of an old friend. Yes, it's finally happened after 20 weeks -- Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris is leaving us. You have till Friday to taken one last look. Otherwise, the week finds us with three for sure mainstream titles -- In Time, Puss in Boots, The Rum Diary -- and one possible mainstream title -- Anonymous (it's unclear whether its 250 venue release includes Asheville at this point). In addition, we have two art titles with Blackthorn opening at The Carolina and Love Crime opening at the Fine Arts. And then, there's the impossible to classify The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) play late shows and midnights Friday and Saturday at The Carolina.
An interesting week -- at least in terms of the art side of the ledger. The mainstream side is another matter altogether, and a pretty grim one. Was the world really clamoring for the umpteenth version of The Three Musketeers or a second Johnny English movie or a third Paranormal Activity one? Certainly I wasn't. On the other hand, we do have Emilio Estevez's The Way opening at the Fine Arts and Vera Farmiga's Higher Ground opening at The Carolina, which also has two nights (Friday and Saturday) of the Giorgio Moroder version of Fritz Lang's Metropolis. And there are a couple of four-waller things floating around, too, but that's another matter altogether.
Another week, another outburst of movies, but no boxing robots this round -- and judging by what folks went to see last week, it appears that boxing robots are the happening thing. Go figure. Instead, this week finds us with The Big Year, Footloose and The Thing is the realm of the wide-release, while Mozart's Sister opens at the Fine Arts and Attack the Block finally makes it to The Carolina. And I sincerely hope they get better moviegoer support than Restless and The Whistleblower did.
The mainstream and art titles are evenly matched this week -- two of each. On the mainstream side we have The Ides of March and Real Steel. (There are no prizes for guessing who reviews which this week.) The art titles are The Whistleblower at the Fine Arts and Restless at The Carolina. With any luck, this week will fare better than the lackluster last week when no new movie could crack the top three. Audience lack of interest has rarely been so high -- which in some instances was understandable. And, guess what? The special two-week engagements of The Lion King enter their fourth week.
Here we are with the "special limited two week engagement" of the 3D-ified Lion King entering its third big week and five new films entering the fray. We have three mainstream titles -- 50/50, Dream House, What's Your Number? -- and one art title -- Senna -- and one specialized title -- Courageous. The mainstream titles appear to open everywhere except the Beaucatcher. Senna opens at The Carolina. And Courageous will be at the Carmike and Regal Biltmore Grande. On top of all this, there's Qfest -- Asheville's first annual LGBTQ film festival -- running from Thursday night through Sunday at the Fine Arts. In short, there is no shortage of cinematic options this week. And it's going to get more crowded next week when two new art titles open.
This week it's four mainstream titles -- Abduction, Dolphin Tale, Killer Elite, Moneyball (opening most places) -- up against one lonely art title -- Point Blank (opening at The Carolina). There's little doubt about what's going to come out on top here. Moneyball seems destined to be the big winner at the box office. Other questions remain. Will Taylor Lautner prove he's more than a beefy boy with big biceps? Can Morgan Freeman fix an amputee dolphin? Can Brad Pitt make baseball stats interesting? Will Jason Statham, Clive Owen and Robert De Niro become the Groucho, Harpo and Chico of action pictures? All will be revealed over the weekend -- depending on how intrepid you are.
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