Friday, October 21, 2011

Martha Marcy May's Paranormal Musketeers

This weekend in movieland, things are starting to get serious, not just in lieu of a so-far fairly maddeningly slow start to the fall movie season, but because a mega-blockbuster franchise is returning, as well as franchise in the making, but also the arrival (unfortunately only to selected audiences, this week) of what may be one of 2011's saving graces.  The big movie of the weekend is obviously Paranormal Activity 3, the horror franchise that in its last two outings not only took the shine away from the perennial October releasing of the Saw, but has made a crap load of money off of a very meager investment from its studio, Paramount Pictures.  While the first film may be a creative boon only from its marketing angle, the second proved a nice respite from the horror formula of modern times where more is scarier, and torture is cool.  The films may never be considered artful by any stretch, but the old-fashioned meets reality surveillance motif is a hell of a lot better than disembowelment any day.  And so, give the number one spot to Paranormal, this time directed by the Catfish pranksters Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, but the real picture of interest this weekend is without question Martha Marcy May Marlene, a Sundance favorite (and winner of the Best Director prize for newcomer Sean Durkin.)  Benefiting from a plush platform run by Fox Searchlight and featuring a much raved about turn from Elizabeth Olsen (younger sister of Mary Kate and Ashley), the film is about a young woman trying to re-assimilate after escaping a cult, led by John Hawkes, whose always wed creepiness and charisma so well in the past.  The film opens in limited engagement in New York and Los Angeles.

Also opening this weekend:
  • The Three Musketeers- fortunately presented in both 2D and 3D formats for those who enjoy throwing ones money away, courtesy of the Paul W.S. Anderson, of the famed Resident Evil flicks.
  • Johnny English Reborn- Rowan Atkinson returns as the bumbling Clouseau-type; not important how the flick plays here, it's already a hit internationally.
  • The Mighty Macs- sports drama inexplicably starring Ellen Burstyn; someone get Aronofsky to cast her again, soon.
  • Margin Call- all star inside Wall Street film starring Kevin Spacey and tons more, which received an Ensemble nomination this morning for the Gotham Awards (in limited release.)
  • Being Elmo- Sundance hit about the man who voices Elmo (in limited release.)
Also, if anyone gets a chance, please check out Weekend, the beautiful Brief Encounter-esque new film from director Andrew Haigh, about a chance encounter between two Nottingham boys.  One of the best of the year by a long stretch.  Review here.

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