There are some fantastic smaller films releasing today and one huge one that released earlier this week. It’s no secret that when choosing between a summer blockbuster and a small indie, 9 times out of 10 the smaller film will be the better of the two. But you can make your own decision.
Here are Two to See (One to Avoid) for June 26, 2009:
1) The Hurt Locker (4 theatres)
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow
It’s one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year with the highest Metacritic score of 2009. Ever since the announcement came that there will be 10 Best Picture nominees, this film has become a real contender. So many Iraq war films have been attempted, most failing miserably. I’ve been waiting for a good, contemporary war film and this seems to be it.
Here’s what David Denby of The New Yorker has to say:
The film, from a script by Mark Boal, has a new subject: the heroism of the men who defuse improvised explosive devices, sloppily made but lethal bombs planted under a bag or a pile of garbage or just beneath the dirt of a Baghdad street. Bigelow stages one prolonged and sinister shoot-out in the desert, but the movie couldnâ€™t be called a combat film, nor is it political, except by implicationâ€”a mutual distrust between American occupiers and Iraqi citizens is there in every scene. The specialized nature of the subject is part of what makes it so powerful, and perhaps American audiences worn out by the mixed emotions of frustration and repugnance inspired by the war can enjoy this film without ambivalence or guilt. â€œThe Hurt Lockerâ€ narrows the war to the existential confrontation of man and deadly threat.
2) Cheri (76 theatres)
Directed By: Stephen Frears
Maybe not a Best Picture contender as once speculated, but a great showcase for the lovely Michelle Pfeiffer and some beautiful costume design and set pieces. It looks like it also has solid performances from the supporting cast of Kathy Bates, Felicity Jones, and Rupert Friend. Also, it’s number 5 on my Movies to See Before the 2010 Oscars list.
Here’s what Ty Burr of The Boston Globe has to say:
â€œCheriâ€™â€™ is a less tart story onscreen than on the page, and its keynote is pining. Pfeiffer and Friend each wilt in interesting ways, she with ladylike stoicism, he with brooding petulance, and Friend is a good enough actor to play to the thwarted little boy under the dashing young man.
AVOID IF YOU CAN!
3) Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (4,234 theatres)
Directed By: Michael Bay
It saddens me that no matter what any critics or audience members say, this movie is going to make a killing. Michael Bay creates a ridiculous, indulgent, horrible films and laughs about it all the way to the bank. If you can manage to stay away from this film, do it! Don’t let Bay get away with his shenanigans.
Here’s what I had to say in my review:
Thereâ€™s a difference between being â€œlight on plot,â€ and being emotionally and psychologically empty. Towards the end of Transformers 2 I realized I didnâ€™t even care what was happening on screen, as the human characters and robots had minimal character development. If I were to draw the plot line for the movie it would look like tree branches â€“ sprouting off every which way, with no clear focus. Worst of all the movie also did one thing that a summer movie blockbuster should never do â€“ it bored me.
Also Opening in Theatres:
My Sister’s Keeper
The Stoning of Soraya M.
What movie are you seeing this weekend?