I tend to see a film on the weekend of my birthday so I will be going this week. Lucky for me, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is showing about 40mins away (saw it in a theater last year but dont mind going again at all). The stuff being newly released this week, I have no interest. First Sanctum from imdb:
The 3-D action-thriller Sanctum follows a team of underwater cave divers on a treacherous expedition to the largest, most beautiful and least accessible cave system on Earth. When a tropical storm forces them deep into the caverns, they must fight raging water, deadly terrain and creeping panic as they search for an unknown escape route to the sea. Master diver Frank McGuire has explored the South Pacific’s Esa-ala Caves for months. But when his exit is cut off in a flash flood, Frank’s team-including 17-year-old son Josh and financier Carl Hurley are forced to radically alter plans. With dwindling supplies, the crew must navigate an underwater labyrinth to make it out. Soon, they are confronted with the unavoidable question: Can they survive, or will they be trapped forever?
I am glad 3D technology is further improving. I am glad that Cameron is producing (beats him directing). He obviously has a large interest in water, but the film looks one note and boring.
The Roomate looks a bit better, modeled after Single White Female on a small budget (8 million) and starring some young tv stars. I respond to horror but doubt this will be scary so I can wait til dvd. I am glad that AJ from AJ and Ally is getting filmwork (cannot stand her tv show but do like her beauty and charm).
all in all a wide release throw away week
Jeez, sorry you have such a bad b-day week! Happy birthday nonetheless. When a film has to rip off a Patricia Highsmith ripoff like SWF, then it’s going to be a slow week. I can see why you wouldn’t want to sit in and watch a same day as theaters release if you have cable.
Sanctum looks like the same thing Herzog is going to do with his 3d doc, but this is a straight PG-13 action thriller. In other words, a little bit of everything and not much of one thing.
Scott Tobias of the Onion AV Club recently had a screening of Death Wish 3 that sounded like a fun event: http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/new-cult-canon-returns-to-music-box-theatre-with-t,49682/ – I’m sure you and I would have been up for this…..
yes Pierre I would kill to se that Death Wish 3 screening (reverse mohawk!!) plus the idea of the aged joining forces with Bronson to take on screen crime is a good one. I think it is my favorite of the Wish films honestly.
next week is gnomeo and juliet which I actually want to see
I want to see it ONLY for the underwater shots…
Somewhere and Another Year are finally coming to the local theatre this weekend.
if you could only see one, which one?
Somewhere, I may get to see it this weekend. I do want to see Another year but I love Sofia Coppola.
variety review of Sanctum sounds like a movie with great 3D but poor talky story
The astounding visuals almost overcome the waterlogged emotional drama in “Sanctum,” a subterranean survival epic that expertly tightens the screws even as one wishes it would keep a tighter mouth-clamp on its increasingly whiny characters. Sure to remind some viewers of “The Descent,” though it mostly bears the thrill-seeking, 3D-loving fingerprints of exec producer James Cameron, this often squirmingly visceral thriller offers aquaphobes and claustrophobes one more reason, as if they needed it, to steer clear of Australia’s treacherous Esa’ala Caves. Superb imagery, stereoscopic enhancements and Imax showings should give this otherwise midrange-trawling B-movie a commercial shot in the arm.
Though directed ably enough by Alister Grierson (“Kokoda”) and loosely based on true events that befell producer Andrew Wight during an actual cave expedition, this extremely Down Under adventure can’t help but feel pieced together from spare parts of other Cameron-helmed pictures. The abundance of watery mayhem recalls “The Abyss”; the deep dives and 3D visuals bring to mind his documentaries “Ghosts of the Abyss” and “Aliens of the Deep” (both also produced by Wight); and like “Titanic,” “Sanctum” kicks off with a nifty computer graphic that provides a visual and scientific context for the thrills and spills to come. Alas, the similarities to Cameron’s body of work also extend to the writing, with the result that the caves have far more depth than the characters in John Garvin and Wight’s script, while the dialogue is clunky enough to make one wish more of it had been delivered underwater.
Thus, Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh, effective), a grizzled hardass who has spent months in the Esa’ala Caves trying to find an elusive underground pipeline to the ocean, is described in passing as “the most respected explorer of our time.” His younger, slicker fellow caver, Carl (Ioan Gruffudd), at one point takes a reckless swan dive off a cliff, spurring someone to point out, “Carl likes to play by his own rules.” And so he does, especially when a flash flood seals off the cave exit and traps the two men underground with Frank’s neglected pretty-boy son, Josh (Rhys Wakefield); Carl’s pretty, and pretty useless, g.f., Victoria (Alice Parkinson); and the unpromisingly named Crazy George (Dan Wyllie).
The key to enjoying “Sanctum” is to look, not listen. Early on, Jules O’Loughlin’s 3D camera prowls the cavern interiors in mostly unbroken takes, allowing viewers to orient themselves within the space alongside the characters (blown up in Imax, the feel is even more immersive). Attention has been paid to every detail of Nicholas McCallum’s production design, particularly the lights coruscating off the pools’ surface and bouncing around the cavern walls. And when Frank and another diver (Allison Cratchley) swim into what looks like a magnificent, sunken cathedral (beautifully lensed by underwater d.p. Simon Christidis), the film allows us to register a moment of genuine awe before terror sets in.
For impressive stretches, the terror is just as genuine. Like “The Descent,” but minus the gollums, “Sanctum” induces an unnerving sense of claustrophobia through formal resourcefulness alone — limited light sources, confined spaces, the painful scrape of bodies against rock in Paul Pirola’s meticulous sound design. Gory moments occasionally cross over into sadism, but that’s par for the course with this sort of clash between man and nature. More problematically, the struggle-for-survival premise is so elemental that the tacked-on character conflicts feel even more banal and screechy as the body count rises: Will Frank and Josh patch up their father-son issues? Is Carl not as trustworthy as he appears? Is Victoria really stupid enough not to wear a wetsuit?
As one would expect from a Cameron-produced film, the 3D is used in an atmospheric rather than obtrusive manner, subtly accentuating the depths and contours of the cave. Pic was shot primarily off the Gold Coast and in caves around South Australia.
Coming to my local arthouse theatre on Friday, Feb. 4th, 2011 is a film I’d much rather see- Mike Leigh’s Another Year. What I’m more impatient to see is their premiere of Dogtooth the following week. I’m all for supporting a wide variety of cinema, but when I only get the chance to see one or two movies a month on the big screen, I tend to pick more wisely than Sanctum (which is playing in 2D in many locations…) or The Roomate.
I am more interested in hearing about people’s reactions to the newest mainstream films because brand new films that many people here have access to are rarely discussed here.
from the Sentinal about the Roomate:
Not much at all is up with “The Roommate,” a timid thriller that manages a couple of mild jolts and a couple of creepy-cringe-worthy moments in its Variations on a “Single White Female” theme. Yes, this is another horrific tale of roommates gone wrong, with the mousy-voiced Meester (TV’s “Gossip Girl”) menacing the mousier-voiced Minka (TV’s “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood”).