On The 33 And The Rest Of The Weekend’s New Film Releases.
Director: Patricia Riggen.
Writers: Mikko Alanne, Craig Borten, Michael Thomas.
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Lou Diamond Phillips, Juliette Binoche.
Playing At: Wide.
The Chilean mine disaster gets the glossy big-screen treatment. In 2010, 33 miners were trapped deep in the earth with almost no hope of survival. The film documents the massive rescue efforts. It's doubtful there will be a lot of creativity on display, but it will probably give you the feels.
Love the Coopers.
Director: Jessie Nelson.
Writer: Steven Rogers.
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried, Marisa Tomei, Diane Keaton.
Playing At: Wide.
There's a long tradition of dysfunctional family Christmas movies. They can be done well, like Christmas Vacation or The Ref. But they also have the tendency to strand great casts in over-done sitcom plots, like The Family Stone. This sadly looks more like the latter, which is a shame because everyone in it deserves much better.
Director: Angelo Pizzo.
Writer: Angelo Pizzo.
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Finn Wittrock, Robin Tunney, Sarah Bolger.
Playing At: Wide.
Texas Longhorns fans don't have much to look forward to this season, since they still need two more wins to even qualify for a bowl game. But they can look back fondly at safety Freddie Steinmark's season with the 1969 team that won a national championship. The movie features Aaron Eckhart as Darrell Royal (in a performance that's clearly channeling Kyle Chandler's work on Friday Night Lights) and Finn Wittrock as Steinmark. Unsurprisingly, the movie comes from Angelo Pizzo, who wrote both Rudy and Hoosiers. So if your dad starts to tear up, you'll know why.
Director: Tom McCarthy.
Writers: Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer.
Cast: Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Brian D'arcy James.
Playing At: Angelika Dallas, AMC NorthPark, Cinemark West Plano.
As a journalism major in college, movies about the writers and editors pushing for truth and justice are catnip to me. But there's no bias here: Spotlight is a truly great film about the investigative team at the Boston Globe that brought to the light the Catholic Church's massive cover-up of abusive priests. The entire cast is tremendous, but unlike All the President's Men, this doesn't exactly leave you on a high note. Still, it's a story that needs to be told and, after seeing it, I can say it's told quite well.
Director: John S. Rad.
Writer: John S. Rad.
Cast: James Brockman, Honey Goldberg, Bryan Jenkins, Melody Wiggins.
Playing At: Alamo Drafthouse.
It took John Rad more than a quarter-century to finish his down-and-dirty revenge picture and secure release. Saved from the bargain bin, Drafthouse Films is releasing it for a new legion of bad movie fans to experience this disaster/labor of love. Fellow CT film critic Javier Fuents says it's bound for midnight movie greatness.
Heart of a Dog.
Director: Laurie Anderson.
Playing At: Texas Theatre.
Acclaimed multimedia artist Laurie Anderson takes a look at dreams, dogs and death in this one-of-a-kind documentary. It might seem more “out there” than most movies, but it's got surprising insights.
Director: Mel Brooks.
Writers: Mel Brooks, Norman Steinberg, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Alan Uger.
Cast: Gene Wilder, Cleavon Little, Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn.
Playing At: Granada Theater.
Showing: Friday, November 13.
The current season of South Park has been skewering political correctness, but long before that was even a term, Blazing Saddles took no prisoners and offended just about everyone. The movie has something for everyone, with jokes about race, penis size, alcoholism, and punching horses. It doesn't have the solid structure of Brooks' other masterpieces (The Producers and Young Frankenstein), but in terms of laughs per minute, Blazing Saddles might be the funniest movie ever made. It's also surprisingly deep. In seeing racism and xenophobia as inherently absurd, it defangs their damaging impact. That's pretty impressive for a movie best known for having a group of cowboys sitting around a campfire farting.