On The Babadook And This Weekend's Wide And Special Releases.

The Babadook.
Director: Jennifer Kent.
Writer: Jennifer Kent.
Cast: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall.
Playing At: Texas Theatre and Alamo Drafthouse.

Last week, I made a comment about a horror movie opening after Halloween being odd. But now comes The Babadook, strolling into theaters in December, making me rethink my position. Why? Because this is one of the most talked-about films of the year — and it really is one hell of a movie. But I’m not in the believe the hype camp. Sure, this is a really noble attempt at horror — especially for writer and director Jennifer Kent's first film — but I can't help but think that she took all of her favorite movies as a kid and just smashed them into one. This could actually be a great thing — but, for me, it was a slight disappointment. I still think it's a solid film, though. And if you dig horror films, you should see it.

By the Gun.
Director: James Mottern.
Writer: Emilio Mauro.
Cast: Tully Banta-Cain, Ben Barnes, Paul Ben-Victor.
Playing At: AMC Mesquite 30.

To my disappointment, By the Gun does not have Snoop Dogg in it. Instead, the lead is played by Ben Barnes, who you'll remember from absolutely nothing, unless you've watched those Narnia movies.

Diplomacy.
Director: Volker Schlöndorff.
Writers: Cyril Gely (play); Cyril Gely, Volker Schlöndorff (screenplay).
Cast: André Dussollier, Niels Arestrup, Burghart Klaußner.
Playing At: Angelika Film Center (Dallas).

I've never heard of this movie — or heard a single peep from anyone on the Internet about it. But that doesn't mean a damn thing. This could be the Next Great Movie, for all I know. It's in French and German, so if you still remember those ASL classes from college, this could be a fun exercise.

The One I Wrote For You.
Director: Andrew Lauer.
Writers: David Kauffman, Steven Sessions.
Cast: Cheyenne Jackson, Kevin Pollak, Christine Woods.
Playing At: Wide.

Advance apologies to the filmmaker and everyone involved, but this movie looks dreadful. The only possible saving grace is that Kevin Pollak (The Usual Suspects) is in it. He's an actor we don't get much of these days on the big screen.

Panic 5 Bravo.
Director: Kuno Becker.
Writer: Kuno Becker.
Cast: Kuno Becker, Papile Aurora, Dan Rovzar.
Playing At: Wide.

No matter if the film is shitty or a masterpiece, I'll always respect someone for working in front of and behind the camera. Kuno Becker wrote, directed and stars in Panic 5 Bravo, a movie about Arizona paramedics who illegally cross the Mexico border to help someone out. Trouble, of course, ensues.

Pelican Dreams.
Director: Judy Irving.
Writer: Judy Irving.
Cast: Mark Bittner, Laura Corsiglia, Jacky Douglas.
Playing At: Angelika Film Center (Dallas and Plano).

I have to be honest here: I opted out of reviewing Pelican Dreams because it looks like it will put me to sleep before the opening credits finish. And that's probably not fair to filmmaker Judy Irving (The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill). But I just can't imagine how a documentary on a pelican will compel. But, hey, the 100 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes should tell you not to listen to me since I haven’t seen it. Maybe give it a shot.

The Pyramid.
Director: Grégory Levasseur.
Writer: Daniel Meersand, Nick Simon.
Cast: Garsha Arristos, Joseph Beddelem, Omar Benbrahim.
Playing At: Wide.

Well, here we've got another horror movie opening here in December Babadook is only playing in two theaters — both arthouse — and this one is wide, which should raise a red flag. If the distributor behind The Pyramid has enough money to release it wide, it should have had the brains to know that it should have released this one during a time when people will see anything that will scare them, which, of course, is to say the weeks leading up to Halloween. Maybe the creature in this movie ate the distributor?

Murder of a Cat.
Director: Gillian Greene.
Writers: Christian Magalhaes, Robert Snow.
Cast: Nikki Reed, J.K. Simmons, Greg Kinnear .
Playing At: Texas Theatre.

Murder of a Cat is a movie I want see — and for two great reasons: 1) It stars the inimitable J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), and 2) it's about a murdered cat and the humans who are trying to figure out the who and the why. It could be really funny or the opposite of really funny, and I can't tell you which at this moment. But I am hopeful.

Burroughs: The Movie.
Director: Howard Brookner.
Cast: Mortimer Burroughs, William S. Burroughs, Lucien Carr.
Playing At: Texas Theatre.

If scary movies, pelicans or murdered cats really ain't doing it for you, how about seeing an old documentary about the Godfather of the Beat Generation, author William S. Burroughs? Chances are you were born after this was made and have never seen it. So a showing on the big screen would be a good first time.

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