A Look at This Week's New Film Releases.

Upstream Color.
Director:
Shane Carruth.
Writer: Shane Carruth.
Cast: Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig.
Where's it playing? Angelika Dallas & Texas Theatre.

Finally, Dallas-based writer and director Shane Carruth has returned to the big screen after he left us awed and perplexed with his lo-fi time travel indie Primer almost a decade ago.

But neither time nor a budget just north of $7,000 has made Carruth's filmmaking any less complicated or confounding.

That's meant as a compliment, by the way.

Still, to attempt to explain what Upstream Color is about is an exercise in futility.

Does the film have a story? Absolutely. Does the film have three acts? Uh-huh. Does the film have characters that carry all this from a beginning to an end? Yep. But does that make Upstream Color conventional? Anything but.

On the surface, it's about a guy (Carruth) and a girl (Seimetz) who share a similar traumatic experience and are brought together by said experience and threatened to be torn apart by the people they've become because of the experience.

The themes are ones we've all faced in our owns relationships, in which we struggle with identity and with behavior and with how those things can be dictated by past mistakes. Upstream Color is familiar in that regard.

And yet it's also not familiar in the slightest. Carruth's films ask their viewers to strip away all preconceived notions about orthodox filmmaking. Herein lies the true beauty and power of Upstream Color, too. It's not so much a film as it is an experience of the senses — and one unlike any you've ever previously encountered.

Just as he did with Primer, Shane Carruth has given the world of cinema a piece of truly original and enigmatic filmmaking with Upstream Color, the likes of which we don't often get to see in this era of remakes, reboots, sequels and such. We could use more films like it and more filmmakers like him.

Lets just hope we don�t have to wait another nine or 10 years for his next one.

Score: 9 out of 10 pigs.

Pain & Gain.
Director:
Michael Bay.
Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely.
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie.
Where's it playing? Various Metroplex megaplexes.

Michael Bay puts down the robots to play with some bad boys and return to his action-comedy roots for a little all-American, iron-pumping Bayhem in this Marky Mark-, The Rock- and Anthony Mackie-starring effort. Here, they play a trio of Florida-area bodybuilders that get caught up in a kidnapping-gone-wrong when they try to take down a local mobster. The only experience akin to watching this film is getting a tribal tattoo on one bicep while lifting a dumbell with the other, all while wearing an Affliction T-shirt and drinking a Monster as Metallica plays in the background.

The Big Wedding.
Director:
Justin Zackham.
Writers: Justin Zackham.
Cast: Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton.
Where's it playing? Various Metroplex megaplexes.

I�m not going to even waste time telling you what this is about. Watch the trailer above and then try to tell me you don't want a big divorce from this movie. Bobby D: What happened, man?

Mud.
Director:
Jeff Nichols.
Writer: Jeff Nichols.
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland.
Where's it playing? Angelika Dallas and Plano.

Writer-director Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter) brings us his latest Southern-steeped noir, which has already been nominated for a Palme d'Or, fresh off SXSW and DIFF. The film stars Matthew McConaughey as a mysterious fugitive who meets two teen boys that aide him in reuniting him with his lost love (Reese Witherspoon) while evading the bounty hunters hot on his heels. It's one of the year's best films.

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