Tuesday, February 1, 2011

At the Movies – February 2011 – Part 1: Art-House Films

Art-House Watch:

The Other Woman (Don Roos) – Drama – Feb 4 [LA/NYC]
The film is about Emilia Greenleaf and her difficult relationship with her stepson. Indy director Don Roos has had success in the past with his films The Opposite of Sex and Happy Endings and his online show Web Therapy is revered among its viewers. Roos has a good crew on the film with TV and comedy composer John Swihart, very good D.P. Steve Yedlin (check out his work on Brick and The Brother’s Bloom) and indy production designer Michael Shaw. The film stars Natalie Portman (who is an executive producer as well) and co-stars Lauren Ambrose, Charlie Tahan, Tom Stratford, and Lisa Kudrow (who is in pretty much everything Roos does). The film has been available online since the beginning of the year and has struggled to find a wide release. Even so, it looks funny and dramatic (hopefully not as sad, or sappy, as Stepmom) and after her performance in Black Swan, Portman should be excellent in this too. Check out the trailer.

Cedar Rapids (Miguel Arteta) – Comedy – Feb 11 [limited]
The film is about an insurance salesman, Tim Lippe, who is sent to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at his first convention. But, he has no idea what he is in for when he is taken under the wing of three convention veterans. Indy director Miguel Arteta has a strong background in comedy (and dark comedy) with past features such as Youth in Revolt, The Good Girl and Chuck & Buck and TV work on Freak and Geeks and Six Feet Under. The crew features composer Christophe Beck (who seemingly scores ever comedy), often collaborator cinematographer Chuy Chavez and production designer Doug J. Meerdink. The cast is a great mix of comedians and recognizable names. The film stars Ed Helms (who is awesome in The Office) and features supporting work from Sigourney Weaver, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Rob Corddry, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. (shiiiiitttt, for those who know). The film looks hilarious with Helms and Reilly making a good comedy team. Check out the trailer.

Vanishing on 7th Street (Brad Anderson) – Horror –Feb 18 [limited]
The film is about a massive power outage in Detroit, plunging the city into darkness. When local resident Luke awakens the next morning, he finds that almost the entire population of the city has vanished. He soon realizes that there is something nefarious at work. Director Brad Anderson has quite an impressive TV background working on Fringe, Boardwalk Empire and The Wire. However, his feature films have also been interesting, especially The Machinist, making this (seemingly overplayed) horror film all the more intriguing. His crew includes TV cinematographer Uta Briesewitz, and indy composer and production designer Lucus Vidal and Stephen Beatrice respectively. The film stars Hayden Christensen (He’s holding me back…why George Lucas, why?), Thandie Newton and John Leguizamo. It looks visually interesting (a bit of Y: The Last Man and I Am Legend), and should be scary but the concept reminds me a lot of Darkness Falls (I wonder if the villain is the Tooth Fairy in this one too?). Check out the trailer.

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