Eclectic release week, satisfying your need for uncompromising horror, controversial drama, or comic bizarreness.
The Mist – MovieZeal rating – 5 out of 5 stars
Stephen King adaptations over the past few decades have been both numerous and crappy. Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) has been the only director to really deliver the master of horror to the silver screen with any kind of competency. This one, however, is difficult to recommend. As you can see from the rating above, I’ve accorded it masterpiece status, but it is not an easy film to watch. Take 1 part monster movie, 1 part religious cultism, and toss in the most uncompromising ending to grace a studio picture in a long time, and you have one of the most powerful films of last year. If you see it, be sure to approach with fear and trembling.
Recommended if you liked IT, Pet Semetary, or Dreamcatcher (well, just pretend that last one was actually good)
The Kite Runner
The controversy surrounding this film made more of a splash than the film did itself. The two young leads and their families fled Afghanistan amid concerns that they would be targeted by the Taliban because of the inclusion of a rape scene. They claimed they had no foreknowledge of the scene; Dreamworks and director Marc Forster said otherwise. Regardless, the adaptation received a lukewarm critical reaction, perhaps because of the love lavished on the source material.
Recommended if you liked Finding Neverland but wished it had been set in Afghanistan
Wristcutters: A Love Story – MovieZeal rating – 3 out of 5 stars
Say what? Similar to last week’s Southland Tales, you’ve never seen anything quite like this. Apparently, when you commit suicide, you go to a place that’s just like here, except more boring. One wristcutter attempts to find his lost love in the colorless landscape, running into a veritable carnival of quirky characters (including Will Arnett, aka Gob Bluth of Arrested Development fame).
Recommended if you like unique, bizarre black comedies about suicide and the afterlife