I will admit to have waited for this week for quite some time. Four years, actually. I stumbled upon 2010’s “The Trip” when I mentioned to my IFC friend Mark Boxer that I was a huge Steve Coogan fan and he directed me to what turned out to be one of the most delightful films of the year, Michael Winterbottom’s “The Trip”. Coogan and real life buddy Rob Brydon reunite four years later as (somewhat) fictionalized versions of themselves and this time go on-continent, taking their sarcasm, appetites and Michael Caine impressions (“Michael Caine’s voice starts off very low and THEN GETS VERY LOUD INDEED!”) with them to unleash on a poor, unsuspecting Tuscan public in “The Trip To Italy”. IFC has a limited theatrical release prior to an August 21st VOD release.
Sundance fave “Frank” certainly wins the award for oddest release of the week. Michael Fassbender stars as the aforementioned Frank, the mysterious lead singer of a rock group, who just happens to wear a paper mache head. Along for Mr. Frank’s Wild Ride are Maggie Gyllenhaal, Domhall Gleeson (as the young guitarist who stumbles into this “Almost Famous”-Meets-“The Elephant Man” gathering) and Scoot McNairy. Lenny Abrahamson directs. The film opens a total for four runs in New York, Toronto and Vancouver and expands next week to 13 runs, including LA, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington,DC and Berkeley (where it may play more like a documentary)
Lastly, A24 has a limited theatrical release on the well reviewed horror comedy “Life After Beth” from director Jeff Baena, who was the screenwriter on “I Heart Huckabees”. Aubrey Plaza (as the title character) and Dane DeHaan headline and John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines and Anna Kendrick co-star.
Sony Classics expands this week on “Magic in the Moonlight”. The film expanded to 170 theatres this weekend for a three day gross of $804,000 for a PSA of $4,729. Those aren’t exactly “Blue Jasmine” or “Midnight in Paris” per screen averages so it could be tough sledding for The Woodman.
Finally, on the Bollywood front, “Singham Returns” in the form of star Ajay Devgn. The film will be helped by the trailer attachment for the big Shah Rukh Khan movie, “Happy New Year”, coming in October.