Once again, Labor Day Weekend is a bare one at the movies, with just two new releases, neither of which will light the box office. They are Relativity Media’s Pierce Brosnan action film “The November Man” and Universal’s horror/thriller “As Above, So Below”. Because of this, other studios are trying to take advantage and attract audiences looking to play catch-up over the four-day end of Summer holiday.
“Chef”, the indie ensemble romantic comedy about a struggling chef looking to re-invent himself, was released by Open Road in May and spent six weeks in the Top 10. Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”) stars and directs the film. And he brought together an impressive ensemble which includes Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, Oliver Platt and Robert Downey, Jr. It’s a solid comedy with several qualities on its menu which make it worth recommending.
And “Begin Again”, from Focus Features, is a musical dramedy about a producer who loses his job (Mark Ruffalo), and then finds talent in a New York City songwriter (Keira Knightley). The songs, particularly “Lost Stars” performed by both Knightley and “Maroon 5” singer Adam Levine (in his first acting role), are terrific. Co-starring Catherine Keener, Mos Def, and Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”), “Begin Again” is predictable, but in a refreshing sort of way.
Hoping to start some early Awards Season buzz, and make some extra $$$ at the box office, both films are being re-released nationwide starting this Friday and are worth checking-out before time runs out on Summer ’14.
Lights Camera Jackson (a.k.a. Jackson Murphy) began his career as a film critic in 2006 at the age of 7. To date, Jackson has written nearly 1,000 reviews of new releases and, in total, has seen more than 1,500 films. In 2010, Jackson became the youngest person to win a NY Emmy Award, for his on-air movie reviews on Time Warner TV station, Capital News 9. And in 2011, Jackson was inducted into the Broadcast Film Critics Association as their youngest member. The BFCA’s annual Critics Choice Awards is one of the industry’s most recognized and prestigious awards shows. Jackson is also a member of SAG-AFTRA and votes annually for the Screen Actors Guild Awards.