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WEEKEND PREVIEW: Unmissable Apocalyptic Melancholia, Herzogian Into the Abyss, J Edgar & More

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood November 10, 2011 at 1:29PM

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Unmissable Apocalyptic Melancholia, Herzogian Into the Abyss, J Edgar & More
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J Edgar, Into the Abyss, Melancholia
J Edgar, Into the Abyss, Melancholia
Several excellent films are arriving at the box office this weekend, including Lars von Trier's achingly beautiful "Melancholia" and Werner Herzog's poignant "Into the Abyss," and if you can handle the heavy subject matter, these two are your best bets. Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" is bound to elicit a range of reactions, but it's worth the two and a half hours for Leonardo DiCaprio's committed performance and the strong supporting cast of Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts and Judi Dench. Tarsem Singh's "Immortals"--and the latest Adam Sandler abomination which we will not name--should both bring in crowds that are less inspired by auteur offerings. Brazil's "Elite Squad: The Enemy Within" is boasting an impressive 100% on the Tomatometer, while indie drug drama "Cook County," from David Pomes, is finally getting a release after three years. Details, reviews and trailers for these films below:

"Melancholia" | Magnolia, DEN/SWE/FR/GER | Dir: Lars von Trier; Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Stellan Skaarsgard, Alexander Skaarsgard, John Hurt, Charlotte Rampling | Oscar Talk | Now and Then: Melancholia vs. Magnolia | TOH! Von Trier Q & A at Cannes | 80% Tomatometer.

"Into the Abyss" | IFC, GER/CAN | Dir: Werner Herzog | Herzog Q & A at FIND Forum | TOH! Interviews Herzog | 90% Tomatometer | Village Voice: "An egalitarian study of crime and punishment in a small Southern town, Into the Abyss is also an unmistakably Herzogian inquiry into the lawlessness of the human soul."

"J Edgar" | Warner Bros., US | Dir: Clint Eastwood; Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench | TOH! Review & Round-up | 41% Tomatometer.

"Immortals" | Relativity, US | Dir: Tarsem Singh; Cast: Henry Cavill, Luke Evans, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Dorff, Kellan Lutz, Freida Pinto, Isabel Lucas | 40% Tomatometer | TOH! at Comic-Con panel.

"Elite Squad: The Enemy Within" | New Video, BRAZIL | Dir: José Padilha; Cast: Wagner Moura, Irandhir Santos, Andre Ramiro, Milhem Cortez | 100% Tomatometer | Village Voice: "Plays footsie with both socialism and fascism, it’s never easy to peg,..its conviction makes it tough to dismiss." | ThePlaylist: "Elite Squad: The Enemy Within" aims to be more than just some action movie, even if it is an action movie with a potential Best Foreign Language Feature nomination pedigree. It looks to be about what causes the violence and unrest in these communities – the power of the people pulling the strings and the unending cycle of corruption that, as the movie comes to a close, keeps on chugging."

"London Boulevard" | IFC, US/UK | Dir: William Monahan; Cast: Keira Knightley, Colin Farrell, Anna Friel, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone, Ben Chaplin | On VOD First | 31% Tomatometer | Variety: "London Boulevard is like a fancy, retro-styled pocket watch that someone accidentally broke and tried to reassemble with only a vague idea of clockwork."

"Cook County" | Hannover House, US | Director: David Pomes; Cast: Anson Mount, Xander Berkeley, Ryan Donowho, Polly Cole.

"Jack and Jill" | Columbia, US | Dir: Dennis Dugan; Cast: Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes, Al Pacino, Elodie Tougne, Rohan Chand, David Spade | Roger Moore: "Even by sloppy Sandler movie standards, this one's a wreck." | 17% Tomatometer.

This article is related to: Weekend Preview, Box Office, Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio, Directors, Studios, Reviews, Video


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.