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Weekend of 9/14-9/16 Movie Choices

September 13, 2018


 I might be irrationally excited for Nic Cage's new opus of extreme acting, "Mandy". That might have something to do with him telling Entertainment Weekly that his role in this was inspired by Jason Vorhees. That is one of the horror icons I find to be tattoo worthy, so my interest level is turned up to 11 for this film. Hopefully this will the film I get to take Jess to this weekend. "Mandy" will be opening Thursday 9/13 at pretty much every Regal in the US, then inexplicably isn't playing there the next day. In Los Angeles, the nearest place I can find it is at the Laemmle Monic Film Center, and that is only 2 shows a day. I really think the studio releasing this missed the boat completely on this. They could have a legit hit on their hands, but are squandering it instead.


 I got a chance to see Lizzie a couple of weeks ago by way of screener. I really enjoyed it, and am going to see it on the big screen to get the full effect of that final act, and to give it go with Jess for the podcast.


I didn't know as much as I thought I did about Lizzie Borden (Chloe Sevigny) going into the film as I thought I did. Most people remember her as a crazy young woman who murdered her Stepmother and Father with an axe, giving one 40 blows before executing the other with 41. What we don't get from the folklore poems about the incident is that there was a real flesh and blood woman behind it, and the motive that may have driven most of us to an understandable level of violence.


We also don't know the story of the maid, Bridgette, who had a relationship with Lizzie. I never even heard of such a character existing. Kristen Stewart continues her transition from an actress sappy teen franchise to an interesting artist with a keen eye for interesting independent projects. This is one I hope people give a chance to, and I think Kristen does a wonderful job in a role that is largely internalized. The chemistry with Sevigny was very good, and that final act...damn that final act. 


This film is a slow burn, so don't expect Lizzie The Exploitation Film going into it. It's more about finely crafted performances and learning to empathize with a character in American Folklore who has been largely demonized. It's opening at The Arclight Hollywood, and Landmark in Los Angeles. 


 "White Boy Rick" looks like one of those films that I'll probably see, but I'm not thrilled about it. Looks like a tale about another jackass kid who gets in way over his immature head in the drug game with the addition of 80's setting. Matthew McConaughey could put this over the edge with some good character work. I'd say I'm hopeful, but not optimistic about this one. Opens at most theaters on Friday. 

"The Basement" is another one this week that I already got to view via screener. It will be getting a limited release this weekend, and also available to everyone with a streaming device via VOD on Friday the 14th.


This film could easily be dismissed as a rip off of last year's "Split", but I wouldn't discard "The Basement" so hastily. "Split" was an alright movie, but in the end, it was just a clever way to introduce the film to the "Unbreakable" universe, and usher in the sequel "Glass" which I can't wait for. The goals of "The Basement" are far more sinister and grisly than that. This is self contained, and wants to build its insanity up to a glorious kill instead of a franchise. The acting in this is B-Horror movie great, especially Jackson Davis, who plays our deranged star. 


Now, this movie doesn't reinvent the wheel of horror or anything, but it was a lot of fun, and I liked it much better than "The Nun". "The Basement" playing this week at Playhouse 7 in Pasadena. 


 For the way I choose my movies, "Don't Leave Home" is an absolute must see, and the only reason I am keeping MoviePass. The Arena Cinelounge specializes in unique, independent horror films, and they happen to be a part of that whole "e-ticketing" thing MoviePass is still completely honoring. So, because of that, I choose to see all the IFC Midnight films, and horror films that are playing there and receiving a positive buzz. This one is a Shudder release. I recently loved "Revenge", and "Ruin Me" from Shudder, so I am hoping this tale of an American Artist obsession with an Irish Folklore tale which drives her to get wrapped up in the reality behind it meets my expectations. The trailer for this one looks really good. Playing at the Arena Cinelounge on Wilcox and Sunset. for the website.


 Blaze is another release I'm extremely excited for. I have my ticket already printed out to see this with a Q&A with director Ethan Hawke, and the cast. I'm a big fan of Alia Shawkat (even outside of "Arrested Development", all the way to "Getting Doug with High), the premise sounds interesting, and the lack of a negative review for this has me on the edge of my seat with anticipation. Combined with his performance in "First Reformed", this has been an excellent year for Hawke. Opens at the Arclight Hollywood and Landmark.


 "A Simple Favor" is  another one I am sure I will seeing for the podcast this weekend.  I like all the people involved enough to see this in the theater (Kendrick, Lively, and Feig) enough that I've had an eye on this since it's been announced; Kendrick and Feig playing outside of their comfort zone in a thriller has be downright intrigued to see it opening weekend. This looks like the right level of twist and turn to keep my attention, and hopefully it's tense enough to make me mentally pace around for much of the film's duration. I just hope it's not a dull affair. Opens Everywhere.


Do I need to tell you to see "The Predator"? I don't think so. Those that are going to see it already have their minds set on it. This is the big shiny go boom movie of the weekend. I'm sort of looking forward to it, but not so much that I want to sit in a packed theater for the experience. I'll catch this on some weekday matinee. I hope it's good, and I hope the film doesn't just get overshadowed by outside forces. Always interested to see what Shane Black does, and enjoy Thomas Jane in action films. I'd try to see this one in a Dolby Atmos theater if possible. 


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