Upcoming Theatrical Releases
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Director: Marc Webb
PG-13; 142 mins.
We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead. It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp. (Synopsis by Columbia)
The direction is a bit of a mess, but this is no worse than the previous Andrew Garfield Spider-Man vehicle. It is entertaining in that big budget superhero way, but the real strength is Garfield’s acting chops outside the spandex. Rent it.
Only Lovers Left Alive
Director: Jim Jarmusch
R; 123 mins.
Set against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier, an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover. Their love story has already endured several centuries at least, but their debauched idyll is soon disrupted by her wild and uncontrollable younger sister. Can these wise but fragile outsiders continue to survive as the modern world collapses around them? (Synopsis by Sony Classics)
A great metaphor for society played out at a leisurely pace. This shouldn’t work for so many reasons, yet Jarmusch’s tight control makes it quite good. It’ll take patience, but this one is worth the payoff. See it.
Director: Frank Pavich
PG-13; 90 mins.
In 1975, Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky, whose films EL TOPO and THE HOLY MOUNTAIN launched and ultimately defined the midnight movie phenomenon, began work on his most ambitious project yet. Starring his own 12 year old son Brontis alongside Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, David Carradine and Salvador Dali, featuring music by Pink Floyd and art by some of the most provocative talents of the era, including HR Giger and Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud, Jodorowsky’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel DUNE was poised to change cinema forever. (Synopsis by Sony Classics)
Just the concept should be enough to send tingles up your spine. Jodorowsky is a one of a kind person, with a…unique…vision for film. There is enough left to give a good idea of what might have been. See it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Director: Jason Reitman
PG-13; 110 mins.
“Labor Day” centers on 13-year-old Henry Wheeler, who struggles to be the man of his house and care for his reclusive mother Adele while confronting all the pangs of adolescence. On a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother encounter Frank Chambers, a man both intimidating and clearly in need of help, who convinces them to take him into their home and later is revealed to be an escaped convict. The events of this long Labor Day weekend will shape them for the rest of their lives. (Synopsis by Paramount)
Previously reviewed by The Dagger.