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What Are You Seeing This Weekend? 'Evil Dead' Probably Won't Be 'The Company You Keep;' Fall Into A 'Trance' With 'Upstream Color'

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by Emma Bernstein
April 5, 2013 5:04 PM
2 Comments
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Looking for an adrenaline fix this weekend? Perhaps you're thinking about extreme sporting, a long run, or riding roller coasters? All good choices, and we'd like to suggest another. Head over to your local multiplex, where an assortment of shocking, dynamic, unearthly films are sure to get your pulse racing and breathing shallow. From the blood-spattered horror of the "Evil Dead" reboot to the chase sequences in Robert Redford's newest political conspiracy picture to a demonic possession tale and a story about cannibalism, this slate of releases guarantees your heart will be beating as hard and fast as your brain. Oh, and then there's the naked Norwegian chick with a lion's tale (who probably has sinister intentions). And, of course, "Jurassic Park" -- a seminal, heart-thumping action adventure flick -- is getting a 20th anniversary/IMAX 3D re-release. Life finds a way, indeed. So, dear readers, how are you going to make your blood run cold? Let us know in the comments below.

"Evil Dead." Directed by Fede Alvarez. Starring Jane Levy, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci, Shiloh Fernandez, and Elizabeth Blackmore. Our review: "If the original was [Sam Raimi's] inventive soufflé of horror and slapstick, in the remake, Alvarez seems content to simply show us the ingredients: a chainsaw, the book of the dead, 'The Classic,' without knowing how to put them together into anything scary, involving or inventive." Metacritic: 62 Rotten Tomatoes: 66% The Playlist: D (for fans of the original) or C- (for everyone else)


"6 Souls." Directed by Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein. Starring Julianne Moore, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jeffrey DeMunn, and Frances Conroy. While this supernatural-psychological thriller has a moderately original premise, and is full of creepy-crawly moments, its narrative isn't strong or developed enough to carry the movie to its end. MC: 36 RT: 0%

"Trance." Directed by Danny Boyle. Starring James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, and Rosario Dawson. Our review: "Some will kick against the film's unwillingness to have an entirely sympathetic character, and few would argue that by the time it's done, it's maybe gone a twist or two too far, stretching plausibility to absolute breaking point. But it just about held together for us, the film proving to be a head-spinning, psychologically rich take on the crime flick." MC: 61 RT: 70% PL: A-


"The Company You Keep." Directed by and starring Robert Redford. Also starring Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Brendan Gleeson, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Julie Christie, Brit Marling, Anna Kendrick, Sam Elliott, Jackie Evancho, and Stanley Tucci. Our review: "The fact that Redford never goes that far makes one wonder who exactly he’s made 'The Company You Keep' for. As his latest of three vanity projects/ unconvincing bits of agitprop, nobody but diehard fans left want to be mildly lectured. But even with so many talented actors involved, there’s nothing really galvanizing or particularly provocative about Redford’s latest." MC: 55 RT: 57% PL: C-

"Upstream Color." Directed by and starring Shane Carruth. Also starring Amy Seimetz and Andrew Sensenig. Our review: "It's a picture that's not easy to process, and that's part of what makes it so breathtaking and brilliant. You're baffled by what you've seen and in awe of how it's illuminated your mind. Thematically rich, layered and hypnotic, 'Upstream Color' is a maddeningly abstract and romantic examination of love, who we are as lovers, what our love does to one another, and how that's connected to the nature of all things. It's fleeting, transcendental." MC: 79 RT: 87% PL: A

"Thale." Directed by Aleksander Nordaas. Starring Erlend Nervold, Jon Sigve Skard, and Silje Reinamo. Our review: "Unfortunately, the suggestions that there’s a folklore element to the story are overshadowed by two missteps, one within the narrative and one embedded in the storytelling. The fantastical element is bogged down by a militaristic agenda that clashes with the outlandish setup of a woodland sprite with an extra appendage, building a mundane mythology in order to create the most 'plausible' answer for the film’s mysteries." MC: no score yet RT: no score yet PL: C-

"Simon Killer." Directed by Antonio Campos. Starring Brady Corbet, Mati Diop, and Lila Salet. Our review: "The film meanders from time to time as Simon finds his way around the City of Lights and his own skin, but Corbet’s performance is a darkly rich one in every scene." MC: 55 RT: 75% PL: B

"No Place on Earth." Directed by Janet Tobias. This documentary about Ukrainian Jews who hid themselves underground during the Holocaust is certainly well crafted, but may be lacking in some finer explanatory details. Side note: see last year's Oscar-nominated Polish film "In Darkness" for a fictional take on a similar premise. MC: 53 RT: 67%

"Free Angela & All Political Prisoners." Directed by Shola Lynch. Our review: "Confidently constructed, and aided by an assured focus, 'Free Angela & All Political Prisoners' is a solid tribute a woman who was one of many vital pieces of the civil rights movement, and an insightful study of a time when the American identity -- both politically and socially -- was being drastically reshaped." MC: 73 RT: 86% PL: B

"Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal." Directed by Boris Rodriguez. Starring Thure Lindhardt, Dylan Smith, and Georgina Reilly. Our review: ""Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal" won't change your life, but it's far from a mere trifle. Save for some screenwriting hiccups (which are eventually overshadowed anyway) and a general lack of flair in the horror department, it's a very competent black comedy, one that should please audiences looking for something with some bite." MC: 59 RT: 71% PL: B-


"Down The Shore." Directed by Harold Guskin. Starring James Gandolfini, Famke Janssen, Eduardo Costa, Joe Pope, John Magaro, and Maria Dizzia. Our review: "The gamble of 'Down The Shore' feels theatrical more than cinematic, based on the assumption that longtime friends and associates will all start to change at the same time." MC: 43 RT: 50% PL: C

"Bert Stern: Original Mad Man." Directed by Shannah Laumeister. Our review: " 'Mad Man' will never be more than an interesting curio that provides a basic overview of why Stern matters." MC: 35 RT: 40% PL: C


"Tomorrow You're Gone." Directed by David Jacobson. Starring Stephen Dorff, Michelle Monaghan, and Willem Dafoe. Our review: "Most of 'Tomorrow You’re Gone' moves incredibly slow for a ninety minute movie. Some of it allows for moments of introspection...And some of it is just filler, an attempt to flesh out a familiar story of bad guy tropes. It’s an admirable sense of patience for a mock-hard-boiled tale scored mostly by moody nu-blues. Perhaps it’s a nice change of pace, a palette cleanser after something a bit more strenuous, shot through unbearably inky shadows that suggest a void about to swallow the entire endeavor." MC: no score yet RT: 0% PL: C

"Sun Don't Shine" will open Saturday. Directed by Amy Seimetz. Starring Kate Lyn Sheil and Kentucker Audley. Our review: "It’s an interesting hybrid of the relationship movie, mumbly indie and dark murder film, and the combination works here, for the most part. The storytelling is the weakest part of the film, which feels more like a half-drawn sketchy portrait of a troubled woman. However, the potential seen in the talent here makes us look forward to more from Seimetz, Sheil and Audley." MC: n/a RT: no score yet PL: B-
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2 Comments

  • spassky | April 6, 2013 10:23 AMReply

    Did Gene Shalit write this headline?

  • wes | April 5, 2013 6:14 PMReply

    Place Beyond the Pines, y'all!

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