Skip page navigation

William Goss

| e-mail | twitter

Film critic. Wisenheimer. Member of the AFCA. Down with OPP. He wouldn't go in there if he were you.

Alt Weekly: ‘The Master’ and More

Welcome back to Alt Weekly, a column in which we shine a spotlight on the independent films brave enough to open opposite Hollywood’s behemoth blockbusters before rolling out in wider release.

This week marks the long-awaited showdown between Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” and Paul W.S. Anderson’s “Resident Evil: Retribution.”

‘10 YEARS’

Filmmaker Cred: This is writer Jamie Linden’s directorial debut.

Star Power: Plenty of it — Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Chris Pratt, Justin Long, Max Minghella, Oscar Issac, Kate Mara, Ari Graynor, Aubrey Plaza, Lynn Collins, Ron Livingston, Brian Geraghty.

Festival/Awards Buzz: After debuting at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, this reunion dramedy has earned generally positive reviews as part of Tatum’s already stellar year.

Release Details: One screen in LA and two in NY this Friday.

See This If… You’re a sucker for ensemble regret, second chances and good old-fashioned C-Tates.

‘ARBITRAGE’

Filmmaker Cred: Writer-director Nicholas Jarecki previously directed the 2005 documentary “The Outsider.”

Star Power: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Tim Roth.

Festival/Awards Buzz: This upper-crust thriller was well-received at Sundance earlier this year, although our review was less impressed.

Release Details: Almost 200 screens across the country in addition to availability on demand starting on Friday.

See This If… You’d like to watch Richard Gere sweat and scheme past his white-collar problems.

‘FRANCINE’

Filmmaker Cred: Co-writer/directors Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky previously collaborated on the 2011 documentary “The Patron Saints.”

Star Power: Melissa Leo.

Festival/Awards Buzz: For the most part, reviewers praised Leo’s performance in this character study while acknowledging the inherently glum nature of the material.

Release Details: Opens this Wednesday at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

See This If… The prospect of Melissa Leo playing an ex-con who finds herself connecting more with pets than people doesn’t put you off outright.

Liberal Arts‘LIBERAL ARTS’

Filmmaker Cred: This is writer-director Josh Radnor’s follow-up to 2011′s “Happythankyoumoreplease.”

Star Power: Radnor (“How I Met Your Mother”), Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Alison Janney, Zac Efron.

Festival/Awards Buzz: Most enjoyed this campus-set romantic comedy out of Sundance, and our own review is a glowing recommendation.

Release Details: Four screens in NY and LA this weekend.

See This If… You’re willing to give someone besides Woody Allen a shot at tackling modern neurotic love.

‘THE MASTER’

Filmmaker Cred: Paul Thomas Anderson (“There Will Be Blood,” “Magnolia,” “Boogie Nights”).

Star Power: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams.

Festival/Awards Buzz: Reactions to PTA’s somewhat cryptic drama have ranged from full-blown awe to more restrained admiration.

Release Details: NY and LA this weekend, with a nationwide expansion set for next week.

See This If… You’re already on board for a psychologically opaque character study featuring the return of Joaquin Phoenix after the “career-ending” stunt that was “I’m Still Here.”

‘STOLEN’

Filmmaker Cred: Director Simon West has cranked out “Con Air,” “Tomb Raider,” “The Mechanic” and last month’s “The Expendables 2.”

Star Power: Nicolas Cage, Josh Lucas, Danny Huston, Malin Akerman.

Festival/Awards Buzz: Not a peep.

Release Details: 141 screens scattered across the country.

See This If… You want to help Nic Cage pay his bills.


Categories: Alt Weekly, Columns

Tags: 10 Years, Alison Janney, Alt weekly, Amy adams, Arbitrage, Ari Graynor, Aubrey plaza, Brian Geraghty, Brit Marling, Channing tatum, Chris Pratt, Danny Huston, Elizabeth Olsen, Francine, Jenna dewan tatum, Joaquin phoenix, Josh lucas, Josh radnor, Justin long, Kate mara, Liberal Arts, Lynn Collins, Malin akerman, Max Minghella, Melissa leo, Nicolas cage, Oscar Issac, Paul thomas anderson, Philip seymour hoffman, Richard gere, Richard jenkins, Ron Livingston, Rosario dawson, Simon west, Stolen, Susan Sarandon, The master, Tim Roth, Zac efron