Hollywood bets there’s gold in them thar woods! (Also, the womb.)

New movies opening this week: Blair Witch, White Girl, Snowden, and more

Blair Witch: It’s like she's reaching right out of the screen and into your wallet!
  • Blair Witch: It’s like she's reaching right out of the screen and into your wallet!


Blair Witch

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Apple founder Steve Jobs once said, “People don’t know what they want until you give it to them.” Maybe he’s right. I never dreamed people would want threequels to The Blair Witch Project and Bridget Jones’s Diary more than 15 years after the originals and more than 10 years after the inevitable sequels. But maybe they do. At any rate, Hollywood is certainly giving it to them.

Alas, I cannot tell you if Blair Witch and Bridget Jones’s Baby are worth the wait; I was too busy working on my spec script for Charlie’s Angel’s 3: Heaven Can Wait to attend the screenings. Sorry about that.

Another blast from the past: the Ken is playing digitally restored versions of Louis Malle’s Elevator to the Gallows (1958) and Carol Reed’s The Fallen Idol (1948). Treat yourself to a trip back in time to an era “when movies electrified the culture, Andrew Sarris and Pauline Kael battled for the souls of the young, and preferring Godard to Truffaut (or vice versa) was a way of announcing who you were.” Yes indeedy. (Go ahead and click — it’s a fun piece, and I say that as someone who enjoys reading The New Yorker‘s Anthony Lane a great deal.) Or, if you prefer your cinematic nostalgia a little less highfalutin’, check out Scott’s video ranking of onscreen Hitlers.

For me, the platinum blonde spot on this week’s movie horizon was White Girl, from first-timer Elizabeth Wood. (I also enjoyed my interview with her, which was kind of amazing, since it included her admission that she decided she wanted to make the movie, sent some script pages to Columbia film school, got in, graduated, went out, made her movie, and had such a positive experience that when I asked her what she’ll do differently next time, she replied, “I think it all went so well that it’s hard to know what I won’t do again; I’m just excited to do it again. I learned so much: I had never done any of this, and every step forward was blind. So I’m excited: next time I can just trust myself, and it’s going to be awesome.” It’s hard to know what to do with such positivity and success.)

Elsewhere on the interview front: I had a fine chat with Leonard Nimoy’s son Adam about For The Love of Spock, the documentary he made about himself, his dad, and his dad’s most famous character, First Officer Spock of the Starship Enterprise. The film screens next week as part of the San Diego Jewish Film Festival. And Scott got to chat with local actor Shane P. Allen about his experience working on Clint Eastwood’s Sully. That was undoubtedly the high point of Scott’s week, since all he got to review was the glorified sake infomercial Kampai! For the Love of Sake. Also because working with Eastwood sounds pretty cool and craftsmanlike.

And then there’s Snowden, which mostly reminded me of how much I liked Citizenfour. Poor Oliver Stone: he finally found a real live conspiracy — a supposedly democratic government spying on its own people, secret courts, public strong-arming of private enterprise, the works — but people love their Internet waaaay too much to feel his outrage. Instead, they chuckle over the grumpy old man who appears before the film to remind them that their cell phones are pocket-size time bombs that can and probably will destroy their lives, and could they please turn them off during the movie? As Charlie Brown would say: sigh.

Also opening, and also unreviewed: the Eddie Murphy tearjerker drama Mr. Church, the border drug drama Transpecos, and the Peruvian environmentalist v. Peruvian government documentary When Two Worlds Collide. We’ll get back on the horse next week.

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