Director: Tim Burton
PG-13; 1 hr. 12 min.
Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet-or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy…until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. (Synopsis by Warner Brothers)
Depp and Burton are back in a project close to both of their hearts: a remake of a late ‘60’s gothic soap opera. Hopefully this will take Burton back to his roots. If it is any indication, the theatrical release of his first film “Frankenweenie” is also due out. At worst, it looks like he took the campy-ness of the original and added Depp’s flair for humor.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Director: John Madden
PG-13; 2 hr. 2 min.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows a group of British retirees who decide to “outsource” their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past. (Synopsis by Fox Searchlight)
AARP members rejoice! A film for you! While the rest of us might not be the core audience, there is still a lot to like here. Some of Britain’s top acting talent is on display. The writing is tight and the story is warm. It’s comfort food film-making at its best.
Sound of My Voice
Director: Zal Batmanglij
R; 1 hr. 25 min.
In Sound of My Voice, Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius), a couple and documentary filmmaking team, infiltrate a mysterious group led by an enigmatic young woman named Maggie (Brit Marling). Intent on exposing her as a charlatan and freeing the followers from her grip, Peter and Lorna start to question their objective and each other and they unravel the secrets of Maggie’s underworld. (Synopsis by Fox Searchlight)
Proving that tension can be built up without special effects, this is a collection of great parts that never fully realize a whole film. Brit Marling is stunning in a role she wrote for herself. A successful indie film that may not be for everyone’s taste.
DVD Releases This Week
Director: Michael Sucsy
PG-13, 1 hr. 44 min.
A newlywed couple recovers from a car accident that puts the wife in a coma. Waking up with severe memory loss, her husband endeavors to win her heart again. (Synopsis by Sony Pictures)
Squandering an opportunity to make a worthwhile film, Sucsy goes with the least common denominator and it shows. Save yourself a few bucks and pick up a trashy romance novel at Goodwill. It’ll have the same amount of shirtless men and dewy-eyed glances for a fraction of the price.
Director: Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein
R, 1 hr. 28 min.
Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species. (Synopsis by the Official Site)
That thing over there? That’s the script. Why’s it in the trash? Oh, we didn’t need that. We have gothic sets and fighting. Replacing the, ahem, story with more generic action sequences seems to be the system of this franchise now. If it couldn’t get more generic, they even resurrected Evanescence for the soundtrack.