Trailer Park: FAIR GAME, ENTER THE VOID and CASE 39
By R. Kurt Osenlund, The Good Life film critic
Not to be confused with the 1995 action flick with Cindy Crawford and Billy Baldwin (which just happens to be one of my favorite guilty pleasures), this fact-based thriller about outed CIA agent Valerie Plame stars Naomi Watts and Sean Penn -- two actors of just slightly greater reverence. Directed by Doug Liman (who needs a success after "Jumper"), "Game" was vying for the Palme d'Or at Cannes, and is being touted as an Oscar hopeful. The trailer is rather routine stuff, and I don't find Watts nearly as exciting as I did in the early '00s, but the other two times she and Penn teamed up, we got "21 Grams" and "The Assassination of Richard Nixon." Not a bad track record.
ENTER THE VOID
From French filmmaker Gaspar Noe comes this trippy, sleeper sensation, which recently played at Philadelphia's Danger After Dark Film Festival. Set in Tokyo and dubbed a "psychedelic melodrama" by the writer/director, the ultra-colorful, experimental-style film also debuted at Cannes, and, as you'll see in the trailer, it's drawing some highly impassioned reactions from major critics. Remarkably appetite-whetting, "Void," which centers on two siblings who vow to never leave each other following the death of their parents, looks like some seriously bold drug-cinema, perhaps the next "Requiem for a Dream."
Bad sign: Shot in 2006, the horror-thriller "Case 39" has been on the shelf for nearly half a decade.
Worse sign: The most press this film is generating is about the on-set coupling of stars Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper.
Hopefully, the Halloween timing will mean good things for "39," the latest from Christian Alvart ("Pandorum"). It concerns a social worker (Zellweger), who adopts an apparently abused girl (Jodelle Ferland), who's actually the one to fear, as demons follow her wherever she goes.
Worst sign: "Case 39" is the 947th movie about a creepy little girl. Did I mention I'm dreading it?