What should I see this weekend? , 1/9-1/13

ScreenerBlog

The January blahs continue! But, as always, there's always something worth schlepping out to the movie theatre for.

(SR)=Specialty Release

The Good

Vince Giordano: There’s a Future in the Past (SR): “Lovers of big-band music especially—but everyone, really—will enjoy this loving look at a man and his nostalgic mission.”

The Crash (SR): “Detailed knowledge of the subject and a fine ensemble cast of characters makes for a compelling (albeit wholly fictional) financial thriller.”

Claire in Motion (SR): “Betsy Brandt impresses in this sensitive moving-on drama.”

Everybody Knows… Elizabeth Murray and The 100 Years Show (SR): “Two engaging documentaries about women painters (one known, the other lesser known, respectively) who forged their own paths.”

Swing State (SR): “Swing State, marking Jonathan Sheldon’s screenwriting-directing debut, is a mildly diverting film that should have been released in the pre-election months. A political satire—with a hint of Preston Sturges’ Hail the Conquering Hero—it’s an amusing reflection of a time defined by its wild incongruity and cult of personality.”

The Son of Joseph (SR): “Jocular art-house fun with a serious message at its core.”

The Blah

Monster Trucks: “Though generic in the extreme, Monster Trucks still boasts a charming throwback feel.”

The Bye Bye Man: “Three teens try to outsmart the bogeyman in this formulaic but well-executed fright flick.”

100 Streets (SR): “An appealing ensemble makes the most of this rote melodrama charting the occasionally intersecting lives of several South Londoners.”

Worlds Apart (SR): “With its three intercultural and ultimately connected love stories told with the backdrop of economic and political unrest in Greece, 'Worlds Apart' is a naive exercise in empathy that unintentionally enters troubling territory with its simplistic take on politics.”

We Are the Flesh (SR): “An orgy of graphic sex and (mostly) psychological violence, this Mexican art-house shocker is designed to offend. Let the viewer beware.”

Reset (SR): “This inside look at the creation of a ballet is at heart a business drama with prettier people, but will appeal primarily to audiences already committed to classical dance.”

The Ugly

Sleepless: "The action is relentless, and the results monotonous."

Alone in Berlin (SR): “Under-realized film about a 1940s working-class Berlin couple whose son is killed in the war and how they attempt to provoke the Nazi powers-that-be without getting caught.”

Bad Kids of Crestview Academy (SR): “A genuinely ugly and misguided attempt at merging dark comedy with gore.”

The Book of Love (SR): “The performers flounder in this ill-conceived, sappy drama.”

Go North (SR): “A seriously sub-par Hunger Games knockoff.”