The Week in Film: Shamu’s Revenge edition


That’s right, just two new films this week.  The Carolina is also bringing back This Is The End for an encore booking, so if you haven’t seen the year’s best comedy, grab some friends and treat yourself to some apocalyptic bromancing.  The theater is one of around 2,000 doing so, and while my first thought was that Sony was capitalizing off the recent Comedy Central roast of James Franco (one of its many stars), the actual reason is far more predictable.

In Theaters

(Magnolia Pictures)

The acclaimed documentary Blackfish looks at Tillikum, an orca responsible for killing her Sea World trainer and two other humans.  Examining how orcas are caught in the wild and treated on their way to a life in captivity, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s film aims to shock, inform, and encourage change.  Based solely on the trailer, it appears to have some of the year’s more disturbing unstaged images and reviews suggest that it’s on the fast track to an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary.  (I still think The Crash Reel is the doc to beat, but there are still four months left in 2013; plenty of time for another contender to emerge.)

(Universal Pictures)

Vin Diesel and mindless sagas go together like peas and carrots.  In Riddick, the third film in the sci-fi series that began with 2000’s Pitch Black and continued with 2004’s The Chronicles of Riddick, the Deep-Voiced One returns as the titular escaped convict with night vision.  Left for dead on a supposedly lifeless planet on which he quickly realizes he isn’t alone, Riddick activates an emergency beacon that brings two ships to his rescue.  As plans of revenge clash with the need to survive the terrain’s deadly alien predators, we’ll see whether or not the title is more than shorthand for “ridiculous.”  Karl Urban, Battlestar Galactica‘s Katee Sackhoff, and Bokeem Woodbine co-star.

Fleeing the Scene

Not that it was expected to, but I Declare War did not do so well last weekend.  It’s gone and, sadly, Crystal Fairy is joining it.


The Iceman got good, not great reviews when it debuted in late 2012, but if you can stomach the subject matter it’s worth a look.  Michael Shannon stars as real-life contract killer Richard Kuklinski, who murdered over 100 men before he was arrested in 1986, all without his family knowing.  The supporting cast includes Winona Ryder, James Franco, Ray Liotta, David Schwimmer, Robert Davi, and an unexpectedly strong turn by Chris Evans as fellow hitman Mr. Freezy.  I recently spoke with the film’s director/co-writer Ariel Vromen and will post a link to our conversation once it’s published.

A far more accessible and family-friendly option is the magician heist flick Now You See Me, one of the year’s most entertaining films.  Less accessible is Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem, which I’ve yet to see but my colleague Justin Souther thinks it’s pretty nifty.

On Netflix Instant

Opening September’s floodgates, we have:

1 Comment

Big Al September 4, 2013 - 3:31 am

re: Blackfish:

I agree that capturing Orcas for entertainment is inappropriate.

We should eat them instead.

Fair is fair, right?

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