I am a little behind in my usual weekly movie opening postings. Below find a few top picks from recent and upcoming releases.
Mississippi Grind (opened September 25) – Ben Mendelsohn plays Gerry, a down-on-his-luck, lifelong gambler who connects with sharply-dressed, quick witted Curtis, played by Ryan Reynolds. The two of them plan a road trip to a legendary high stakes poker game in New Orleans. The vagaries along the way reveal the duo’s true characters and motivations and they form an undeniable bond. The movie received great reviews – and I am definitely a fan of Ben Mendelsohn since I saw him in Bloodline – although the critic reviews seem to be higher than audience exit reviews.
The Walk (opened September 30) – The Walk is the true story of Philippe Petit, and his group of recruits who together plot and achieve the impossible: an illegal wire walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. The critical reviews have been strong – if you can stomach the high wire views (and I can’t) it looks like a good flick. Directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
The Martian (opened September 30) – Although presumed dead and left behind after a fierce storm during a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies he must find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. While NASA and a team of international scientists work to bring “the Martian” home, his crewmates plot a daring rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Directed by Ridley Scott. In addition to Matt Damon the cast includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.
Steve Jobs (opened October 9) – Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.
Truth (opens October 16) – Cate Blanchett stars as producer Mary Mapes and Robert Redford stars as Dan Rather. The movie tells the true story about the 60 Minutes expose of George W. Bush’s military service in advance of the 2004 election. Producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) received a tip from a source that claimed to have documents proving that President Bush received privileged treatment in the National Guard to avoid service in the Vietnam War. After Dan Rather (Robert Redford) presented the segment, the unverifiable nature of the documents created a whirlwind of controversy pitting Mapes and Rather in a battle for their journalistic lives.
Bridge of Spies (opens October 16) – Tom Hanks stars as the American attorney tasked with negotiating the release of a U-2 spy plane pilot who was shot down over Russia at the height of the Cold War.