We only get two movies this week — one so mainstream that it hardly needs mentioning, and one art title you may have heard of, but I’m not betting on it.
Before we get down to cases here, it’s worth noting — if you haven’t already — that the summer has not been the world-beater that was expected. Just about everything that has come along has been quite what was hoped for — at least, the big budget items. Even Avengers: Age of Ultron is only in the black because of worldwide sales. On the home front, it has yet to double its production costs. I guess the biggest hit on the U.S. basis is (Clapton save us) Pitch Perfect 2, since it didn’t cost a fortune to make. The question that arises is whether or not we’ve started to burn out on spandex and explosions. The next question is going to be how we feel about CGI dinosaurs.
Now, aside from the movie that needs no introduction, we do get Brett Haley’s I’ll See You in My Dreams — opening Friday at The Carolina and the Fine Arts. This is a special little movie starring Blythe Danner as a 70-something woman who starts questioning her life — and whether maybe there’s more out there than her comfortable little home and her circle of retirement community friends, whose insistence that she, too, needs to move into their community doesn’t really suit her. This is not a big movie. It’s not flashy and a lot of it is on the familiar side (how many times are we going to watch “old folks” getting stoned before the supposed novelty wears off?). But it’s also a pretty bold movie just in its choice of subject matter and its star. We don’t get that many movies about 70-somethings — unless, of course, they’re dysfunctional or odd in some specific way. That’s not the case here, and it makes I’ll See You in My Dreams one of the summer’s pleasanter offerings — and definitely worth a look.
And then…we have Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World — starting Thursday evening at Carmike 10, The Carolina, Co-ed of Brevard, Epic of Hendersonville, and Regal Biltmore Grande. (In other words just about everywhere that could book it, did.) And it’s pervasive. I know, for example it’s taking up four screens — three 2D and one 3D — at The Carolina. I suspect it’ll be much the same everywhere (except the Co-ed which only has one screen). I suppose one might be alarmed over the fact that it has no reviews so far. (I suspect there’s an embargo in place.) But does it really matter? This is clearly, yes, the Next Big Thing, and since there’s nothing it should have any real trouble beating, it’s pretty much got a lock on the box office. I’m more interested than I might be since it was made by Trevorrow who — along with writer Derek Connolly — made Safety Not Guaranteed, which was one of my favorite films of 2012. Since the pair also had input into the screenplay here…well, I’m hardly expecting anything personal like Safety Not Guaranteed, it does raise the prospects. I certainly don’t begrudge them the assignment. Face it, they earned more in five seconds on this than they ever did on Safety Not Guaranteed.
This week we lose Ex Machina, Lambert & Stamp, and The Wrecking Crew at The Carolina. (I truly regret that Lambert & Stamp so underperformed. It deserved better.) The Fine Arts is dropping Far from the Madding Crowd and The Salt of the Earth.
The Thursday Horror Picture Show has Tod Browning’s Freaks (1932) at 8 p.m. on Thu., June 11 in Theater Six at The Carolina. World Cinema is showing Peter Greenaway’s The Belly of an Architect (1987) on Fri., June 12 at 8 p.m. at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library). The Hendersonville Film Society is screening Michael Ritchie’s The Fantasticks (1995) on Sun., June 14 at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing in Hendersonville. The Asheville Film Society is running John Barrymore and Carole Lombard in Howard Hawks’ classic screwball comedy Twentieth Century (1934) on Tue., June 16 at 8 p.m. in Theater Six at The Carolina. More on all titles in this week’s paper — with full reviews in the online edition.
New on DVD
This week the honors go to Kingsman: The Secret Service, but that doesn’t prevent us from getting The Duff, Project Almanac, Serena, and Red Army, too.