Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Upcoming Films Preview: September 13th

The Films of September 13th

Runtime: 105 Minutes

As the title suggests, this the sequel to the 2011 horror film Insidious. Both films were directed by James Wan and written by Leigh Whannell. So far Wan has mainly worked in the horror genre. His big break was the 2004 film Saw, which has spawned six sequels to this point. He also directed the sleeper hit The Conjuring, which was released this summer. That film made almost $260 million and only cost $20 mil. Wan is going to direct the seventh film in the Fast and Furious franchise, which is coming out in 2014.
The first Insidious got decent reviews and was popular with the general audience. It had an even smaller budget than The Conjuring at only $1.5 million, but still raked in almost $100 million at the box office. The stars from the first film, Patrick Wilson (Watchmen, The Conjuring) and Rose Byrne (X-Men: First Class) returned for the sequel.
            No reviews have been published yet. Insidious: Chapter 2 is rated PG-13.


            The Family is the upcoming release from director Luc Besson. His best films include Leon: The Professional and The Fifth Element. Martin Scorsese is the executive producer. It’s based on a novel named Malavita by Tonino Benacquista.
This film stars Robert DeNiro as a mob boss who has to go into the witness protection program. His wife is played by Michelle Pfeiffer, and Tommy Lee Jones is a CIA agent. The Family was originally going to come out in October, but the date got pushed up. It has been given an R rating by the MPAA.

Running Time: 121 Minutes

            The most interesting looking film to come out this weekend is the newest effort from director Billy Bob Thornton, who also stars in the picture. Thornton directed the powerful 1996 drama Sling Blade, but hasn’t directed a film since Daddy and Them in 2001. There are several other big names in the cast, including Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, and Robert Patrick.
            Thornton, Bacon, and Patrick play World War Two veterans living in Alabama in the late 1960s. Duvall plays their father, who was in World War One. They deal with the cultural differences between them and a London family that recently moved to their town.
Jayne Mansfield’s Car has a rating of 38% on Rotten Tomatoes as of September 9th. However, the site only has 8 reviews so far. Linda Holmes of NPR gave it a mostly negative review, calling it “self-conscious”, “slow”, and “unsatisfying.” In another negative review for Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney said the movie is “Thematically diffuse, tonally inconsistent and blighted by an inauthentic feel…”

Running Time: 98 Minutes

            Wadjda is notable for being the first film ever shot entirely in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, it’s also the first feature film made by a female Saudi filmmaker (Haifaa Al-Mansour). Given the lack of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, this is quite an accomplishment.
            According to early reviews, the film has somewhat of a feminist slant and focuses on the lives of an 11 year old girl named Wadjda and her mother. The mother is trying to convince her husband not to take a second wife. Wadjd has been getting excellent reviews so far. All 24 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are positive, giving it a 100% as of September 9th.

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