Hello, everyone. This is In Cinemas, what I hope will be a semi-regular series where I’ll inform readers in Halifax—and beyond—what’s playing on local screens, what is recommended, and what you’d best avoid, all in one handy (and brief) blog post.
So, with brevity in mind, here we go.
Disney continues to diminish Pixar’s rep by releasing cut-rate spin-offs and sequels to Pixar’s commercially successful but critically trashed movies. Cars begat Cars 2, which begat Planes, which begat Planes 2: Fire & Rescue, opening today. I guess the kids love them, but I miss the inter-generational appeal of WALL-E, Up, Ratatouille and Toy Story. Here’s hoping Inside Out, coming next summer, is more like those.
Also opening is a broad comedy called Sex Tape, with the generally reliable comic force Jason Segel (as a writer and performer) and Cameron Diaz. Your mileage may vary.
And The Purge: Anarchy is opening, suggesting that last year’s Ethan Hawke-starrer The Purge—a movie about an alternate America where for a 12-hour period you can commit any crime with impunity—was a moneymaker. I don’t know anyone who saw it, and few reviewers recommended it. Go figure.
Not opening (yet)
Due to the vagaries of movie distribution, a lot of movies take their time coming our here to Nova Scotia, or don’t show up at all. Wish I Was Here, Zach Braff’s long-awaited follow-up to Garden State opens elsewhere today, but not here. And we’re still waiting on Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and Joon-ho Bong’s epic train-bound fantasy Snowpiercer. Keep your fingers crossed for these to arrive soon, Haligonians. I’m looking forward to Luc Besson’s Lucy, which arrives next Friday.
I really enjoyed Obvious Child—full review to come soon. The Grand Seduction is whimsical, inoffensive local fare. How To Train Your Dragon 2 has charm and imagination. Of the big-budget blockbusters still kicking around from earlier this summer, X-Men: Days of Future Past is quality escapism, though it would help if you’ve seen other X-movies. Sad to see what is probably the summer’s best film, Tracks, departed from local cinemas. If you missed it, look for it when it comes on DVD or VOD.
Approach with Caution
I had some fairly serious problems with Begin Again and Dawn Of The Planet of The Apes, as I did with Edge of Tomorrow, though I admired its cleverness. The Fault In Our Stars gets a conditional pass from me, mostly due to the lead performance.
The Atlantic Film Festival launches its annual summer screening series down at the Halifax harbourfront tonight, this year choosing to focus on Sandra Bullock. Now, while I get Ms Bullock’s appeal, I’d be challenged to program more than a couple of her films I’d ever want to sit through again. For the full list and schedule you can go here. Tonight you can see Gravity, probably as good a performance as she’s given. I’m thinking of going to see Speed on August 8. It’s been awhile.
Oh, and Cineplex is showing the Monty Python reunion live from the O2 in London on Sunday, plus encore broadcasts. Go here for details and tickets.