Awake: This is the only movie coming out in wide release this weekend. And it wasn’t screened for critics. What does that mean? It probably sucks. Hayden Christiansen goes in for surgery but stays awake (holy shit, that’s the title of the movie!) while under anesthesia, and learns of a murderous plot. Jessica Alba plays his fiancee, who, I gather from the trailer, tries to save him by pouting her lips and looking hot. While I have trouble resisting a movie that Fisher Stevens both produced and stars in (for some reason, as a kid, I was obsessed with Short Circuit 2), I’m probably going to wait for video on this one. Strangely, it’s not playing at any theaters in Brooklyn, but in Manhattan all over the place.
Mr. Johnny 5!
Chronicle of an Escape: The goalie of a soccer team is kidnapped by the Argentine government and tortured. He eventually tries to escape. This was a hit at Cannes, and has already been entered as Argentina’s choice for the Best Foreign Language category at the Golden Globes. It’s playing at the IFC Center.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: Brooklyn Skeptic contributor Bearclaws and I saw a preview for this while at the Angelika to see Margot at the Wedding. She told me that it was about a guy who literally blinked out his memoirs after suffering a debilitating stroke that left him paralyzed. He blinked. It’s based on a true story, and I feel like it kind of has to be, otherwise no one would believe it. I’m already crying. The director is also a Brooklynite, and directed both Basquiat and Before Night Falls. It’s playing at the Angelika.
The Protagonist: This new documentary comes from Jessica Yu, director of the criminally underseen film In the Realms of the Unreal, which chronicled the works of a janitor who wrote and illustrated a 15,000 page epic novel. This new film shows the lives of a bank robber, an evangelist who has renounced his homosexuality, a karate enthusiast and a German terrorist. It’s my pick of the week, and it’s playing at the IFC Center.
The Savages: I watched Tamara Jenkins’ Slums of Beverly Hills the other day and had forgotten how incredibly funny a film it is. Nine years later Tamara has directed this film, where a brother and sister and forced to come home to help their sick father. Stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney have already received heaps of praise, as has Jenkins’ writing. Sadly, as far as I can tell, this is also only playing at the Angelika.
One exciting thing for Brooklynites to do tonight is to go to the Brooklyn Film and Arts Festival, which is taking place at the Brooklyn Historical Society at 128 Pierrepont St. in Brooklyn Heights. A collection of films about Brooklyn dating back to the 1890’s, as well as several Brooklyn based documentaries, the event is free and guaranteed to be interesting for people who love this great borough. For more information, go here.
There are some midnight screenings tomorrow night also, including the classic Sansho the Bailiff at the IFC Center and Jurassic Park at the Landmark Sunshine. Enjoy!