What’s Seattle Saying – January 25, 2013

WhatsSeattleSayingLogoEach week, Should I See It will be looking to its left and to its right, collating the thoughts of many of the film reviewers and writers located in and around the Seattle community.

OPENING IN SEATTLE THIS WEEKEND (January 25, 2013):

  • Amour (Opening in Seattle after weeks in limited release)
  • Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
  • Movie 43 (not screened for critics nationally)
  • Parker
  • Quartet (Opening in Seattle after weeks in limited release)

See what the Seattle critics say about these films…after the cut!


AmourPosterAMOUR
Starring: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert
Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic material including a disturbing act, and for brief language)
Genre: Foreign/Drama
Running Time: 127 Minutes
Director: Michael Haneke

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack. The couple’s bond of love is severely tested.- Sony Pictures Classics.


WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT Amour?

Check - YesAdam Gehrke, Adamgehrke.com
From an acting standpoint, the ensemble does a fine job in their portrayals, and some scenes are quite telling and beautiful, but, ultimately the lugubrious European tempo of this film may be too much for some.”

Check - YesRobert Horton, Everett Herald
“Haneke is asking us to examine love, that most exalted of human emotions (and most frequently trivialized movie subjects), and think about what it means. That our eyes fall on people who are weathered by experience and decidedly non-face-lifted is the first of the movie’s wonders.”

Check - YesBrian Zitzelman, Examiner.com
“Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant are flawless here, letting the anguish never be the sole trait of their performances.”

Check - YesNick Ahlers, The MacGuffin
“I found Amour to be a profound and endlessly moving depiction of love...one of the best and most memorable filmgoing experiences of this year.”

Check - YesSara Michelle Fetters, MovieFreak.com
There is a sad, melancholic triumph to be found in this husband’s actions and in many ways he is a greater hero than any of the comic book creations that have littered cinema screens repeatedly over this past decade.

Check - YesBrad Brevet, Rope Of Silicon
“Elegantly told with the utmost respect for its characters, Michael Haneke’s Amour (Love) is as well-crafted as they come, but the unbearable nature of watching it is overwhelming.”

Check - YesMoira Macdonald, The Seattle Times
“There’s no happy ending here, and the film’s opening scenes tell us the tragic conclusion to this story — but love is present, in every frame.”

Check - YesMichael Ward, Should I See It
“I will never forget it, I will always find it difficult to defend, but without any hesitation I can easily proclaim Amour is one of the best films of the year.”

Landing five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film, Amour is the rare film which transcends its international status and speaks to people from all cultures and countries. Michael Haneke is a divisive and challenging filmmaker, whose Oscar breakthrough has been viewed by many as a long time coming. This contemplative tale of tragedy and true, unmitigated love and devotion wowed critics on a national basis and clearly, our unanimous sweep of Seattle’s film community makes this film one not to miss – especially before Oscar night. Nationally, Amour carries a Rotten Tomatoes score of 92%.

HanselGretelWitchHuntersPosterHANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton
Rating: R (for strong fantasy horror violence and gore, brief sexuality/nudity and language)
Genre: Horror/Fantasy
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Director: Tommy Wirkola

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
After getting a taste for blood as children, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have become the ultimate vigilantes, hell bent on retribution. Now, unbeknownst to them, Hansel and Gretel have become the hunted, and must face an evil far greater than witches…their past.- Paramount Pictures

 


WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters?

Check - YesBrian The Movie Guy, KOMO Radio/Star 101.5 FM/Brianthemovieguy.com
“…an over-the-top, no-brainer break from the crop of must-see, must-have-patience, think-piece Oscar baiters of late…”

X - NoErik Samdahl, FilmJabber
“Sometimes you just wish the witch had won.”

X - NoEdward Davidson, The MacGuffin
“…wears out its welcome. It’s noisy, busy, and uninvolving.”

X - NoBrad Brevet, Rope Of Silicon
“I don’t have to tell you Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is bad. You already know that.”

X - NoSara Michelle Fetters, MovieFreak.com
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is head-scratching nonsense that can’t help but annoy.”

X - NoMichael Ward, Should I See It
“…a failure from top to bottom, missing the chance to not only be something entertaining and fun, but to define itself in any conceivable way.”

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters has had a long and dusty shelf life, shot in March 2011, prior to Jeremy Renner’s starring in Marvel’s The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy. Director Tommy Wirkola drew some attention for his Nazi zombie horror film Dead Snow in 2009 and this marks his first foray into the multiplex. Debuting in the January movie wasteland, critics screenings were held back until the last possible moment, but at least we got to watch it. Nationally, critics have been completely underwhelmed, and Rotten Tomatoes has levied a 17% on the film. Locally, our critics, minus one begrudging thumb up, disliked the film considerably.

Movie43PosterMOVIE 43
Starring: More than 40 A-list and recognizable celebrities.
Rating: R (for strong pervasive crude and sexual content including dialogue, graphic nudity, language, some violence and drug use)
Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Director: A dozen different directors offering 14 short films and sketches.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
From the twisted minds of producers Peter Farrelly (Hall Pass, Shallow Hal) and Charles Wessler (There’s Something About Mary, Dumb & Dumber), comes Movie 43– the outrageous new ensemble comedy starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Movie 43 is not for the easily-offended and contains jaw-dropping, sometimes shockingly disturbing, but always entertaining intertwined storylines you’ll have to see to believe. – Relativity Media.

WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT Movie 43?

X - NoLaremy Legel, Film.com
“Not every movie has to mean something, and not every film has to be hilarious, but to offer up a middle finger to the audience and call it a “comedy” is massively offensive.”

X - NoMichael Ward, Should I See It
“I am going to go ahead and assume that Movie 43 is going to be my choice for 2013′s Worst Film of the Year.”

Another week, another film not screened in advance for critics. Is this a weekly trend? Following in the footsteps of Texas Chainsaw 3D and A Haunted HouseMovie 43 sneaks into theaters with a whole lot of confusion about the title, the largest ensemble cast reportedly in movie history, and just what this thing happens to be. As indicated above, I saw it – thanks to a free ticket voucher I had for a local cinema and sat in slack-jawed dismay at what I was witnessing. I hated the film and nationally, for those critics who paid or expensed a Friday morning trip to the multiplex, Movie 43 scores 4% at Rotten Tomatoes.

ParkerPosterPARKER
Starring: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez
Rating: R (for strong violence, language throughout and brief sexual content/nudity)
Genre: Action
Running Time: 118 Minutes
Director: Taylor Hackford

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Set amidst the unparalleled wealth and glamor of Palm Beach, Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez team up to get their cut in the crime thriller PARKER based on the series of bestselling novels by Donald E. Westlake. The film is directed by Academy Award nominee Taylor Hackford (Ray) and also stars Michael Chiklis, Wendell Pierce (HBO’s The Wire) and Academy Award nominee Nick Nolte.- FilmDistrict


WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT Parker?

X - NoSara Michelle Fetters, MovieFreak.com
It doesn’t make any sense...the shifts in tone and the insults to intelligence far too much to bear.

X - NoTim Hall, The People’s Critic @ SeattlePI.com
“A thief is double-crossed by his crew, left for dead, and is out for revenge because of his “principles” or “code”.  That’s the synopsis for Parker and 75 other straight to DVD action films.”

Check - YesLaremy Legel, Film.com
“…generally fun to watch and an entertaining time at the theater, if you’re a fan of the genre.”

Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times
Check - Yes“…well-constructed heist thriller and hard-as-nails character study.”

 

Despite its January release date, optimism ran fairly high for a Jason Statham/Jennifer Lopez action film, directed by Oscar nominee Taylor Hackford. Somehow things went wrong and Parker split our panel, dumped into theaters in a cluttered and busy month where audiences are trying to navigate through films they missed in the fall, high profile Oscar contenders, and whatever happens to be left over. Better received locally than nationally, Parker currently carries a Tomatometer of 36%.

QuartetPosterQUARTET
Starring: Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay
Rating: R (for brief strong language and suggestive humor)
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Director: Dustin Hoffman

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Beecham House is abuzz. The rumor circling the halls is that the home for retired musicians is soon to play host to a new resident. Word is, it’s a star. For Reginald Paget (Tom Courtenay), Wilfred Bond (Billy Connolly) and Cecily Robson (Pauline Collins) this sort of talk is par for the course at the gossipy home. But they’re in for a special shock when the new arrival turns out to be none other than their former singing partner, Jean Horton (Maggie Smith). Her subsequent career as a star soloist, and the ego that accompanied it, split up their long friendship and ended her marriage to Reggie, who takes the news of her arrival particularly hard. Can the passage of time heal old wounds? And will the famous quartet be able to patch up their differences in time for Beecham House’s gala concert?- The Weinstein Company

WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT Quartet?

Check - YesAdam Gehrke, Adamgehrke.com
“Fun abounds in this who’s who of British acting and musical royalty.”

Robert Horton, Everett Herald
X - No“In a better movie, the theme of what creative artists do when their creative peak is behind them could be a rich topic, but “Quartet” barely alludes to that before it goes for the jokes.”

Check - YesErik Samdahl, FilmJabber
“It’s actually quite ingenious, and a solid follow-up to last year’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel…”

Check - YesAllan Almachar, The MacGuffin
Quartet is one entertaining movie.”

Sara Michelle Fetters, MovieFreak.com
Check - Yes“…as matinee fodder this blissful and uplifting drama is a melodious aria I personally found more than worthy of a rapturous applause.”

 

Save one critic who found it tonally imbalanced, Quartet was well received by Seattle reviewers who found it be a nice and laid back comedy/drama. This reaction falls right in line with national review consensus, as 81% have offered a thumbs up for the Dustin Hoffman directed film.

FINAL CONSENSUS:

Skewing towards more adult and/or sophisticated crowds, Oscar nominee Amour won over our panel with unanimous praise, with many of the reviewers commenting on how moving and affecting the film was to them. Quartet was likewise well received, with one detractor amongst our critics. Although panned nationally, Parker split those in Seattle, while Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters found one lone endorsement. And for the two of us who endured Movie 43, the less said about that debacle the better.

NEXT WEEK’S WIDE RELEASES:

  • Bullet To The Head
  • Stand Up Guys
  • Warm Bodies 

What’s Seattle Saying surveyed critics include:

Adam Gehrke, AdamGehrke.com
Brian The Movie Guy, KOMO Radio/Star 101.5 FM/Brianthemovieguy.com
Robert Horton, Everett Herald
Brian Zitzelman, Examiner.com
Erik Samdahl, FilmJabber
Laremy Legel, Film.com/Rope Of Silicon
Staff Reviewers from The MacGuffin
Sara Michelle Fetters, MovieFreak.com
Tim Hall, The People’s Critic@SeattlePI.com
Brad Brevet, Rope Of Silicon
Staff Reviewers from The Seattle Times
Ian Dinsmore, Seattleite
Michael Ward, Should I See It

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