This Weekend At The Movies (Sept. 23-25)

JULIA’S EYES

(MP’s Pick of the Week)

(Limited Release)

Directed by Guillem Morales.  Starring Belén Rueda, Lluís Homar, Pablo Derqui and Francesc Orella.

Julia and her sister, Sara, have both inherited a medical condition that is slowly robbing them of their eyesight, with stress severely aggravating the condition.  When Julia gets the news that Sara has died, she has a hard time believing the police report that she committed suicide, and she and her husband begin looking into the matter.  As Julia examines the particulars of Sara’s death, she becomes more convinced that Sara’s neighbors were involved in her death.  Unpleasant events begin happening all around Julia and as she comes closer to unraveling the truth to Sara’s death, Julia inches closer to total blindness.

I like the premise for this movie a lot as it instantly creates a sense of tension in that time is running out for Julia due to her condition.  The movie also looks to have quite a bit of atmosphere to it as well and is in the vein of the type of movie that I am in the mood to watch.  It also doesn’t hurt that this is a Guillermo del Toro presented film.  The man loves horror and has a knack for seeing good things in the genre.  That, of course, doesn’t mean that this is guaranteed horror gold but at least it has a good chance of being something interesting.  The film is in limited release as it is a Spanish film subtitled in English.  If you are like me and can’t wait to devour some new horror films, go check this out.

KILLER ELITE

Directed by Gary McKendry.  Starring Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert DeNiro, Dominic Purcell and Yvonne Strahovski.

Based on a shocking true story, Killer Elite pits two of the world’s most elite operatives – Danny, an ex-special ops agent (Jason Statham) and Hunter, his longtime mentor (Robert De Niro) – against the cunning leader of a secret military society (Clive Owen).  Covering the globe from Australia to Paris, London and the Middle East, Danny and Hunter are plunged into a highly dangerous game of cat and mouse – where the predators become the prey.

It states that this movie is based on a “shocking true story” but let’s be honest, if you want to see this movie it’s because you want to see Statham and Owen face off against each other and not the story.  I know that is my primary interest in the film.  I’m not sure I would be as interested in it if those guys weren’t starring in it.  The action does look like it could be fun though.  McKendry is a first-time feature-length director so the vote is out as to whether he’s someone worth keeping an eye on.  I hope the film is fun and manages to avoid just being a middle of the road film.

ABDUCTION

Directed by John Singleton.  Starring Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Mario Bello and Alfred Molina.

For as long as he can remember, Nathan Harper has had the uneasy feeling that he’s living someone else’s life.  When he stumbles upon an image of himself as a little boy on a missing persons website, all of Nathan’s darkest fears come true: he realizes his parents are not his own and his life is a lie, carefully fabricated to hide something more mysterious and dangerous than he could have ever imagined.

This trailer makes me laugh.  I don’t find Taylor Lautner to be that strong of an actor and while he fits fine in the Twilight universe, I don’t know that he fits the bill as an action thriller star.  Lautner should be applauded for making it to where he is though since producers wanted to dump him after the first Twilight and he fought back and won them over.  The problem is that he just isn’t convincing in this movie.  I may be judging him too much before actually seeing the film, but to be honest, I don’t have much interest in the film itself.  It looks kind of generic and John Singleton isn’t a filmmaker I follow all that much.  I like Aflred Molina but he doesn’t guarantee me in the theater.  This movie will probably play well to Twilight/Lautner fans but not much else.

MONEYBALL

Directed by Bennett Miller.  Starring Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill, Chris Pratt and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.

My interest in this movie rests entirely on Brad Pitt’s involvement in the film.  Being a recent fan of NBC’s Parks & Recreation, I also like seeing Chris Pratt here, though something tells me he won’t be playing the same lovingly airheaded character here.  I find baseball to be one of the more boring sports (sorry baseball fans) so a film set in the baseball world doesn’t seem all that exciting to me.  To be honest though, my interest in sports movies in general is pretty low.  There are always exceptions so I’m not writing the movie off just because of the subject matter.  It will just be awhile before I get around to seeing the film as it is not a priority for me.

THE DOUBLE HOUR

(Limited Release)

Directed by Giuseppe Capotondi.  Starring Kseniya Rappoport, Filippo Timi and Antonia Truppo.

Guido, a former cop, is a luckless veteran of the speed-dating scene in Turin.  But, much to his surprise, he meets Slovenian immigrant Sonia, a chambermaid at a high-end hotel. The two hit it off and a passionate romance develops. After they leave the city for a romantic getaway in the country, things suddenly take a dark turn.  As Sonia’s murky past resurfaces, her reality starts to crumble.  Everything in her life begins to change, questions arise and answers only arrive through a continuous twist and turn of events until the film’s final moments.

To paraphrase a famous quote, don’t judge a movie by its poster.  I look at the poster and I just kind of see a foreign romantic film.  I’m not against those types of movies at all but I’m not in a romantic film mood (October is upon us and its horror time!).  After watching the trailer, this film has moved from “what’s that movie?” to “yea, I kind of definitely want to see that.”  It looks pretty intriguing and the romantic element of the film is definitely there as I assumed but its mixed in with a darker mystery surrounding the woman and who she really is/what’s she involved in.  My list of movies I want to see at the theater keeps getting bigger and bigger but I’m going to try my best to make an effort to hit the local arthouse theater before this film’s run is over.  If I did two picks of the week, I think this film would be the second pick.  Click on the poster to check out the movie trailer.

DOLPHIN TALE

Directed by Charles Martin Smith.  Starring Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Nathan Gamble, Cozi Zuehlsdorff and Morgan Freeman.

A lonely and friendless boy finds and untangles a hurt dolphin that is caught in a crab trap. He becomes very attached to the dolphin when the tail must be taken off to save the dolphin’s life. The boy believes the dolphin would be able to swim normally if it was given a prosthetic tail.

I think this film would be far more interesting, for me anyways, if it was called The Bionic Dolphin vs. Kris Kristofferson.  I’d watch that movie.  Sadly, this is not some b-movie cheesefest but is a dramatic film surrounding the real-life inspired story of a disabled dolphin.  I’ve watched the trailer and, admittedly, it looks like a film that anyone could watch and be emotionally stirred by it.  It contains a disabled animal (let the awwing commence), characters overcoming adversity and the importance of family and friendship seems to be a theme so I have no doubt it will stir inspiration and perhaps a tear if you are watery-eye inclined.  It’s not necessarily a movie I’m dying to see by any means but this could be a good film to go see with the family especially if you have some youngsters.  I personally would rather spend my money catching up on some of the films I missed while in Italy, like the heart-warming story of a virus defying the odds and realizing its full potential!!  (Contagion).  It may sound like I’m trying to rag on this film but the poster for this movie is just begging for me to!  In all honesty, this is more than likely a very wholesome film that old and young audiences can enjoy.  The film is also available in 3D.

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