Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler March 28-April 3: Rampart Salmon Fishing in the Mirror

Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler March 28-April 3: Rampart Salmon Fishing in the Mirror

In Theaters

There may be nothing as keenly anticipated this week as The Hunger Games, but there’s hardly a shortage of titles. There are five new ones, in fact—and here’s a week where the art titles edge out the mainstream ones, at least in number. Just exactly how that will play out at the box office is, of course, another matter.

On the mainstream side of the ledger we have Mirror Mirror and the sequel that nobody seems to have asked for Wrath of the Titans. In the art column there are Jeff, Who Lives at Home, Rampart, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. I’ve seen the last two. In fact, I got up at some ungodly hour on Sunday and drove into town to see a screening of Salmon Fishing at the Fine Arts. I liked the film well enough that I am not holding that against it, though I can’t say I wouldn’t have prefered a more civilized time. Rampart, on the other hand, required nothing so outré—and it turned out to be one of the most compelling films I’ve seen so far this year. For further thoughts on both titles, there are full reviews in this week’s Xpress. I have yet to see Jeff Who Lives at Home—and I might keep it that way. We shall see.

So, about these unseen titles…

Well, there’s this Jeff, Who Lives at Home thing starring Jason Segel, Ed Helms and Susan Sarandon. Here’s the catch for me—I have disliked everything I’ve seen by those purveyors of mumblecore, the Duplass Brothers. That’s probably because they are purveyors of mumblecore. That said, this looks to have slightly more script than usual—at least to judge by the trailer—and I have no doubt that the Freres Duplass know a great deal about 30-somethings who live in their mother’s basements. There are some amusing bits in the trailer, but there’s also the usual requisite amount of pointless zooming in and out to suggest, I guess, that what you’re watching is really happening.

But there’s also Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror—a playful revisionist take on Snow White. (We get another of those in June called Snow White and the Huntsman, which looks like it takes itself very seriously—or at least seriously in Twilight terms.) This could go either way or even several ways. The trailer looks awfully broad and campy, despite some appealing production design. I know a certain contingent will avoid the film on the strength of the Julia Roberts factor alone. I’m ambivalent on that score. But the one thing that keeps the prospect interesting is the memory of what Tarsem Singh pulled off with The Fall (2006). There has been absolutely no review from anyone I’d pay even the slightest attention to as yet, so it’s completely up in the air at this point.

I’m one of the few people I know who didn’t mind Clash of the Titans (2010) . That may be because most people I know have some kind of mystifying fondness for the 1981 version and I don’t. So why then have they made this sequel, Wrath of the Titans? Well, probably because the first film turned in a tidy profit once the worldwide gross was factored in. With that in mind, it didn’t matter so much whether or not the first one was exactly well loved. Looked at in another light, maybe the 3D is indigenous to this film and isn’t that last-minute 3D varnish job that was slathered onto Clash (perhaps the single worst 3D retrofit ever). Regardless here it comes with Perseus (Sam Worthington) going to hell (wouldn’t Perseus Goes to Hell have been a better title?) to rescue Zeus (Liam Neeson)—if that’s your idea of a good time.

Now, what are we losing this week? Well, A Separation and The Artist are both leaving the Fine Arts to make way for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. The Artist, however, is still hanging on at The Carolina—as is Friends with Kids. On the other hand, The Descendants is finally leaving, as are the, shall we say, underperforming Chico & Rita and Crazy Horse.

Special Notice:

Before we get down to the regular screening business, let me throw out this notice from the ActionFest folks …

ActionFest 2012 is now accepting volunteers to help put on the world’s only film festival devoted to action. We have a number of opportunities to fit a wide array of schedules, including pre-festival promotion as well as on-site work during ActionFest 2012 (April 12th-15th, 2012).

Volunteers will work with ActionFest 2012 staff at the Carolina Cinemas’ The Carolina Asheville movie theatre to ensure everything runs smoothly, from behind the scenes office assistance to being the public face of ActionFest by ushering at the event.

In return volunteers will get the opportunity to attend movies, parties and socialize at ActionFest 2012.

Email us at volunteers@actionfest.com for more information.


Special Screenings

This week the Thursday Horror Picture Show is showing Paul Leni’s The Cat and the Canary (1927) on Thursday, March 29, at 8 p.m. in the Cinema Lounge at The Carolina. World Cinema is showing the second part of Bela Tarr’s Satantango (1994) at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 30, in the Railroad Library in the Phil Mechanic Building. The Hendersonville Film Society is screening Steven Spielberg’s

Catch Me If You Can (2002) on Sunday, April 1, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing in Hendersonville. Bruce Robinson’s How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989) is this week’s Asheville Film Society offering at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3, in the Cinema Lounge at The Carolina. More on all films in this week’s Xpress and in the online edition.

On DVD

On the plus side this week we get David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method. Also showing up is the incomprehensibly Oscar-nominated Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, but far, far worse than that is Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.

Notable TV Screenings

One of those weeks on TCM where there’s a good deal of fine stuff, but all of it is fairly frequently shown on there.

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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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