This weekend is apparently the best of 2009 so far. Two of the summer’s most anticipated films open to rave reviews. It’s about time that I can finally recommend seeing something other than Star Trek.
Three to See in Theatres for May 29, 2009
1) Up (3,766 theatres)
Directed By: Pete Docter
Surprise, surprise – Pixar has come up with a film that’s better than any other animated or live action film of the year. This is only the second time that the main characters in a Pixar film are humans, which makes the story even more relatable and real. It’s been called the funniest, most heartfelt, and best Pixar film by various critics. And compared to other Pixar films, that is high praise.
Here’s what Neil Miller from Film School Rejects has to say:
In fact, the film has such depth that it almost has to have the silly moments that remind us that weâ€™re watching a film meant for the little ones. And even those moments â€” everything from the dogs with collars that allow them to talk to the filmâ€™s lone poop joke â€” are so meticulously planned and perfectly executed that they fit perfectly into this wonderfully sweet story. For example, in the first exchange between crabby Carl and Russell, we watch as the old man sends the endearingly annoying little guy in search of a Snipe.
2) Drag Me to Hell (2,508 theatres)
Directed By: Sam Raimi
Honestly, my expectations were pretty low for this film. After seeing Spider-Man 3, I kind of thought that Sam Raimi was literally losing his mind. Also, when was the last time that a summer horror release was any good? But the stellar reviews have convinced me that it is worth checking out. If not in theatres, the timing of the film should allow for a Halloween DVD release.
Here’s what Dan Kois from the Washington Post has to say:
Awash in phlegm, blood, maggots and even embalming fluid, “Drag Me to Hell” is nonetheless refreshingly free of the kind of cruelly inventive torture that has characterized recent horror franchises. In fact, “Drag Me to Hell” is the rare horror movie that can be survived by people who normally can’t take horror movies.
3) Departures (No theatre count)
Directed By: Yojiro Takita
The Academy Award winner for best Foreign Film at the 2009 Oscar ceremony FINALLY gets a theatrical release this weekend. Director Yojiro Takita became one of my heroes at the Oscars by ending his acceptance speech with “Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.” The film is a dramedy about a professional cellist who is released from his orchestra and forced to take a job at a funeral home.
Here’s what Ella Taylor from the Village Voice has to say:
Takita’s unpretentious classicism and his candid delight in nature work their modest way into our sympathies, along with the plaintive cello pieces by composer Joe Hisaishi, who scored such Miyazaki treasures as My Neighbor Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle. Takita springs enough bracing little surprises to save the movie from rank sentimentalityâ€”the old undertaker, who claims to hate himself for scarfing down an enormous meat meal after every job well done, is the movie’s liveliest character.
New in Theatres, but Worth Skipping:
What Goes Up