Cinephilia: Opening This Week

by Dan on February 21, 2008

Rescue Dawn posterIn 1998 Werner Herzog made an acclaimed documentary called Little Dieter Needs to Fly about German-born Vietnam hero Dieter Dengler and his adventures as a US Navy pilot. He obviously had a big connection to that story as he has now gone back and made a feature about the most amazing chapter of Dengler’s life: the escape from a jungle-bound Viet Cong prison camp after 6 months of near starvation. The Dark Knight’s Christian Bale stars. Rialto exclusive.

Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman star together as two old men on their last legs in The Bucket List, directed by Rob Reiner. It opens today at Readings, Empire, Lighthouse Petone and Penthouse. Also, from the commercial department is teleporting adventure Jumper starring Hayden Christensen and Samuel L. Jackson. Rumours that the proposed sequels to Jumper will be called Sweater and Pullover are simply reckless. Readings, Empire, Regent-on-Manners.

[The rest of this week’s new releases after the jump]

If heavyweight urban drama is more your style, check out We Own The Night: Mark Wahlberg stars as a New York cop trying to save his deadbeat brother (Joaquin Phoenix) from the Russian mafia. The great Robert Duvall also features. Readings and Empire.

The Paramount, despite it’s extensive Fringe duties, finds the space to open two films this week. Red Road is an indie drama from Scotland (by way of Lars von Trier’s Danish producers Zentropa) abut a CCTV operator in Glasgow who sees the last face on Earth that she expects in her monitor. Delirious stars Steve Buscemi as a low-rent paparazzi whose tenuous hold on reality slips even further when his homeless protégé (Michael Pitt) is discovered by a hot young star (Alison Lohmann). Written and directed by Tom DiCillo, whose Living in Oblivion is the best satire of Indie-film ever.

Goodbye Bafana is based on the memoirs of a South African prison guard whose 20 year relationship with one prisoner changed his attitudes and his life. The prisoner was Nelson Mandela and he is played by Dennis Haysbert who plays another President in the TV series 24. Joseph Fiennes is the guard and the film is directed by Bille August (festival favourite Pelle the Conqueror) Penthouse exclusive.

Red Road has already been reviewed at Funerals & Snakes, and reviews of the others will appear sometime around next Wednesday (and in the Capital Times on the same day).

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