Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler December 3-9: Pyramid Force with Tumbleweeds

In Theaters.

All this movie week needs to complete the illusion a ghost town is a brace of tumbleweeds blowing through it. Yes, I know, this is awards season. I have seen quite a few pretty terrific movies recently — and expect to see more. Unfortunately, not a single one of them is headed our way this week. We get one art title, one re-release — and one sort of mainstream offering that may or may not be opening. Frankly, it’s dire.




The art title is Force Majeure, a highly-regarded Swedish film that I saw and reviewed several weeks ago. (It was pushed back just before the review went to press, so it’ll be in this week’s paper.) It opens on Friday at The Carolina. In all honesty, I didn’t care for the film, which the review will make clear. Now, that said, I have to note that — while I don’t know anyone personally who did like it — but 89 out of 97 critics on Rotten Tomatoes think it’s the bee’s knees. Bear that in mind when considering whether or not to see it. Those of you who like to tell me that you never agree with me (you know who are) should beat a path to this one.




Apart from a re-release of Nightcrawler (thanks to it being up for an Independent Spirit Award), there’s also — maybe — a throw-away horror movie from Fox, The Pyramid, which is only slated for about 500 theaters nationally. Are any of them here? That remains unknown. All I know at this point is that it’s not at The Carolina and there’s no indication on the IMDb of it being at any other area theaters. The film is from Grégory Levasseur — a writer-producer we inherited when Alexandre Aja came over from France. Well, Levasseur didn’t write this, though he did produce it (with Aja) and direct it. It’s all about archaeologists being trapped and hunted in an Egyptian tomb. The trailer looks a lot like the execrable As Above So Below, which most of you have probably already forgotten, even thought it only dates back to August. You are warned. I might also note that next week we’re down to get The Babadook — a truly superior horror film that’s well worth waiting a week for.

This week we lose Rosewater, but interestingly (and, yeah, it has a lot to do with a dearth of product) both St. Vincent and Gone Girl go back to full schedules this Friday at The Carolina.

Special Screenings




Since December is upon us we look toward a month with nothing from the Hendersonville Film Society. This week the Thursday Horror Picture Show has Edward L. Cahn’s Zombies of Mora Tau (1957) at 8 p.m. on Thu., Dec. 4 in Theater Six at The Carolina. World Cinema is showing Ousmane Sembene’s Mandabi (1968) on Fri., Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. in the Railroad Library in the Phil Mechanic Building. The Asheville Film Society edges — ever so slightly — into the holiday season with Monty Woolley in Irving Pichel’s Life Begins at Eight-Thirty (1942) on Tue., Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. in Theater Six at The Carolina. More on all titles in this week’s Xpress with full reviews in the online edition.


The most notable things out this week are The Hundred Foot Journey and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I suppose I should remark that As Above So Below also bubbles to the surface this week — and those who wondered why we didn’t get the biopic Cantinflas here can now find out for themselves.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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6 thoughts on “Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler December 3-9: Pyramid Force with Tumbleweeds

  1. Edwin Arnaudin

    2014 releases The One I Love and The Grand Seduction are now on Netflix.

    • Me

      Did you hear about this BBC series Black Mirror thats been added to Netflix? Its won all kinds of BAFTA’s and International Emmys and has been described as a modern day technophobic version of The Twilight Zone.

    • Ken Hanke

      The Bergman set is a pretty good one, though I have no burning desire to see the trilogy again. The Nichols set is on the parochial side.

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