New in theaters today: A Sundance refuge, a Pixar wannabe, plus Danny Boyle does a 180, and Bruce Willis pays the mortgage.
The Upside of Anger
A minor hit at this year's Sundance, Mike Binder's relationship drama stars Joan Allen as a recently dumped housewife who finds respite in her new drinking buddy, Kevin Costner's sad-sack ex-baseball-player next door. Most of the reviews reflect a healthy scepticism inspired by Binder himself - his last project was HBO's Mind of the Married Man - but general consensus is that Allen and Costner give fantastic performances in a spotty film. Allen's four daughters are played by the prettiest twenty-something indie actresses in the world, ex-TV-stars Alicia Witt, Evan Rachel Wood, and Keri Russell, and Traffic's Erika Christensen.
Is it just me, or are all these CG films starting to blend together? It's either Pixar, or it's Pixar Without Jokes. I think if I was a kid it would all play as one zoetrope - fish and sharks and wooly mammoths, all living in a world where no character goes un-celebrity voiced. This one has robots, and Robin Williams, but all evidence suggests that no one involved is trying too hard.
Danny Boyle, the man that brought us Trainspotting and 28 Days Later, has apparently switched gears completely with Millions, a story of two boys who find a lot of money and debate over whether they should let St. Peter tell them what to do with it. Manohla calls it "a heartfelt, emotionally delicate children's movie about life and death and all the parts in between." Sounds great if you have pre-adolescents in your life - however, I'm a cynical urban twenty-something, and the trailer alone made my brain freeze.
Oh, something about kids, kidnapped by madmen, and the one cop that will sacrifice everything to make sure they're okay. Whatever. It'll have a good opening weekend. Bruce Willis is clearly getting too old for this, but one imagines that ranch in Idaho doesn't pay for itself. At least he's starting to get the kids on the payroll: his Demi-spawned daughter Rumer plays his daughter in the film.