Opening This Week (17 – 23 Jan, 2011)

17 Jan

We continue with the drab January movies, but this week has some promise with some films that have already received high critical acclaim in pre-reviews and Natalie Portman…..

No Strings Attached

Rated: R

Starring: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline, Greta Gerwig

Director: Ivan Reitman

Synopsis from IMDB: A guy and girl try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it’s not long before they learn that they want something more.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: I love Natalie Portman and hate Ashton Kutcher, so I am thinking that they will balance out somewhere in the middle for something that is mildly entertaining, but nothing more than that. This is a worn out premise in both movies and tv, the idea that friends can’t have sex and remain strictly platonic. Hopefully, Reitman and his leads can breathe some life into it, but we’ll see. There aren’t any pre-reviews yet, so I can’t get a feel for where it is at. I will probably end up seeing this one next week and I’ll let you know.

The Way Back

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan

Director: Peter Weir

Synopsis from IMDB: Siberian gulag escapees walk 4000 miles overland to freedom in India.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: I did an “Opening This Week” on this one back when it came out in limited theaters and was pretty excited about it back then, and now it is no different. It is opening wide this week and has a solid 82% on RottenTomatoes.com. With a solid cast and director, this one is a pretty safe bet, and with the harsh landscapes portrayed, might be a darkly beautiful film as well.

The Company Men

Rated: R

Starring: Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner

Director: John Wells

Synopsis from IMDB: The story centers on a year in the life of three men trying to survive a round of corporate downsizing at a major company – and how that affects them, their families, and their communities.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: This is the second film on here this week that is a limited release and is finally getting a wide release, even though I am not as excited about this one as I am about The Way Back. While I am sure it will be interesting, this is a film that definitely seems to have a very overt agenda and I don’t like when films make it obvious instead of subtle. The reviews are decent though, so it should be intriguing at least, but probably a solid Netflix rental.

Limited Releases

Johnny Mad Dog

Rated: Unrated

Starring: Christopher Minie, Daisy Victoria Vandy

Director: Jean-Stephane Sauvaire

Synopsis from IMDB: A cast of unknown performers are used in this drama about child soldiers fighting a war in an unnamed African country.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: The trailer is cryptic and gripping. The pre-reviews are very strong for this independent film, but I think I will just get it on Netflix because it was actually released back in 2008 and readily available if anyone wants to see it.

The Housemaid

Rated: Unrated

Starring: Jeon Do-yeon, Lee Jung-jae

Director: Sang Soo-Im, Im Sang-Soo

Synopsis from IMDB: A man’s affair with his family’s housemaid leads to a dark consequences.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: While I enjoyed the cinematography in the trailer, the film doesn’t appeal to me as a whole. It sounds a lot like another film about how an affair ends up ruining everything, but it doesn’ t seem to offer anything new.

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