(photo courtesy of Warner Bros. pictures)
We have a strange mix of releases this week, including the latest horror movie from the writing/directing team of Saw; a strangely under-marketed Steven Soderbergh period pastiche starring George Clooney and Cate Blanchett (pictured above); a Chris Rock comedy inspired by French New Wave director Eric Rohmer; an Oscar-nominated foreign drama; an Oscar-nominated documentary; and, finally, Sandra Bullock’s latest attempt at career resuscitation.
Opening films (click on grade to read review):
Dead Silence: Not screened for review
The Good German: B-
I Think I Love My Wife: C-
Iraq in Fragments: B+
The Italian: Not screened for review
Premonition: Not screened for review
Flick of the Week: Iraq in Fragments
(photo courtesy of iraqinfragments.com)
Yes, an Iraq documentary finally makes its way to a local theater this week — albeit a brief, two-night (7 p.m. March 20-21) run at the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Fath Auditorium. James Longley’s Sundance- and Academy-approved Iraq in Fragments looks to be one of the best of the many recent Iraq documentaries (as Steven Rosen makes clear in his review above), an incisive, often damning group of docs that also includes Andrew Berends’ The Blood of My Brother, Robert Greenwald’s Iraq for Sale, Rory Kennedy’s Ghosts of Abu Ghraib and Deborah Scranton’s The War Tapes.
The Italian, which is actually an Oscar-nominated drama about an orphaned Russian boy, is another of this week’s releases likely worth a look. While I wasn’t able to catch it at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival and it didn’t have a local screening, a quick scan of the film’s reviews over at metacritic.com reveals it to have some highly dependable fans in New York Magazine‘s David Edelstein and The New York Times‘ Manhola Dargis, among others.
Soderbergh’s The Good German — a black-and-white ode to old-time Hollywood that mixes in contemporary conceits (sex, the “F” word, among others) and a big-name cast — also looks intriguing. Unfortunately, like The Italian it didn’t have a local screening — it was originally supposed to open here in mid-January but was held by Warner Bros. likely due to mixed reviews when it was released on the coasts for Oscar consideration in December.
— Jason Gargano