Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Releases (04/07/13)

Opening in cinemas this week: The Lone Ranger, To the Wonder, Reality, A Gun In Each Hand, We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks.

The Lone Ranger - "1869. Starting as strangers on a train into a burgeoning West, John Reid (Armie Hammer) and Tonto (Johnny Depp) are thrust together by greedy transport tycoons, savage criminals, Comanche warriors, tyrannical conservatives and shared tragedy toward their mythic destiny. In the wake of Verbinski’s wonderful and critically lauded animation Rango, he feels desperate to lavish cinematographic adoration on those iconic Western landscapes." - An excerpt from Blake Howard's review (linked) at Graffiti With Punctuation.

To The Wonder - Tells the story of Marina (Kurylenko) and Neil (Affleck), who meet in France and move to Oklahoma to start a life together, where problems soon arise. While Marina makes the acquaintance of a priest and fellow exile (Bardem), who is struggling with his vocation, Neil renews a relationship with a childhood sweetheart, Jane (McAdams). Bold and lyrical, the film is a moving, gorgeously shot exploration of love in its many forms. Written and directed by Terrence Malick. Link to Simon Di Berardino's review at The Last Podcast Show.

Reality - From acclaimed director Matteo Garrone, 'Reality' is a darkly comic look at Luciano, a charming and affable fishmonger whose unexpected and sudden obsession with being a contestant on the reality show "Big Brother" leads him down a rabbit hole of skewed perceptions and paranoia. So overcome by his dream of being on reality TV, Luciano's own reality begins to spiral out of control, making for one of the most compelling tragicomic character studies since Scorsese's 'The King of Comedy'.

We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks - Acclaimed documentarian Alex Gibney ('Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room') takes the reins for this no-holds-barred look at one of the most unusual phenomena of early 21st century media. In 2006, an Iceland-based outfit called The Sunshine Press launched the website WikiLeaks.org. As run by Australian Internet activist Julian Assange, the site's mandate involved regularly publishing top-secret documents and covert information, often regarding governments and their respective military operations. As might be expected, this set off a firestorm between those who admired the organization's bravado and resourcefulness, and those who argued, not unjustly, that the dissemination of data regarding such events as the U.S. war in Afghanistan could put untold numbers of lives at risk. Gibney relays the story of the WikiLeaks website from the inside, and moves beyond black and white to penetrate a complex network of activity guided by courage and idealism but also allegedly guilty of ethical insensitivity and hypocrisy.

Weekly recommendation: I am looking forward to Malick's new film, 'To the Wonder', and Garrone's Cannes winner, 'Reality'. Despite having seen 'The Lone Ranger' and 'We Steal Secrets', the latter extremely disappointing, I can offer no recommendations so far this week.  

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