What to See This Weekend: February 27, 2015

This week, see Will Smith co-star with The Wolf of Wall Street's Margot Robbie in a romantic comedy/caper film, check out Canadian auteur David Cronenberg's latest, or watch Christopher Walken do a song and dance in a musical shot by the Prince of Darkness himself, the late Gordon Willis.


What's it about? Will Smith and Margot Robbie are con man and con woman in a twisty caper film. Who the devil made it? The directorial team of Glenn Ficarra and Jon Requa (Crazy, Stupid, LoveI Love You Phillip Morris) was in charge on set. Xavier Pérez Grobet, known for TV series including LookingMarco Polo, and Enlightened, is the DP. What are the tech specs? It was shot in "Hawk Scope" anamorphic with the ARRI Alexa XT and Hawk V-Lite 1.3x lenses. According to USA Today, it is the first "big Hollywood production" edited (by Jan Kovac) with Apple FCP X, and Apple has posted a detailed look at workflow for the show. The DCP is 2K with 5.1 and 7.1 sound. Is it any good? Rotten Tomatoes: 57%. Metacritic: 56/100. Where's it playing? Everywhere. Will it make any money? The R rating ("language, some sexual content and brief violence") may hold it back; analysts are expecting an opening in the low $20 million range.

The Lazarus Effect


What's it about? Precocious medical researchers (Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Donald Glover, et al.) discover a way to bring dead patients back to life. Who the devil made it? Director David Gelb is best known as the director and cinematographer of the hit 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of SushiWhat are the tech specs? DP Michael Fimognari (Oculus) shot with the Sony F65. Is it any good? Apparently so. Rotten Tomatoes: 15%. Metacritic: 32/100. Where's it playing? Everywhere. Will it make any money? Not a lot, but with a reported $5 million budget and a PG-13 rating, it will turn a profit before the weekend's over.

Maps to the Stars

What's it about? A Hollywood acting family has real problems. Who the devil made it? Director David Cronenberg, whose body of work runs the gamut from out-and-out horror to black comedy and satirical psychodrama, directed a screenplay by sardonic L.A.-based novelist Bruce Wagner. What are the tech specs? Cronenberg's longtime DP, Peter Suschitzky, ASC, BSC, shot 4K raw with the Sony F55 and Panavision PVintage lenses. It's being distributed as a 2K DCP. Is it any good? Rotten Tomatoes: 65%. Metacritic: 65/100. Where's it playing? Spotty limited theatrical release nationwide, plus VOD. Will it make any money? Negligible amounts, even with 2015 Oscar-winner Julianne Moore in the lead. Cronenberg told Indiewire, "It's not obviously a very big commercial movie, and even as an independent film it's difficult …. It's a hard sell."

L.A. Repertory and Offbeat: This Saturday night, director Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil) joins documentary filmmaker David Gregory at a Cinefamily screening of Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's "Island of Dr. Moreau", which tells the crazy behind-the-scenes story of the 1996 sci-fi/horror production starring Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer, from which Stanley was fired after just one day of shooting.


New York Repertory and Offbeat: Ever seen Christopher Walken do a song-and-dance striptease to "Let's Misbehave?" On Saturday or Sunday, trek to Astoria, Queens, to view a restored 35mm print of Pennies from Heaven from the Academy Film Archive. It's closing out the Museum of the Moving Image's See It Big! Gordon Willis series showcasing the cinematographer's finest work.