Full disclosure: I saw First Cow, the new 19th century-set frontier drama from cowriter/director Kelly Reichardt last night at a screening that was followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker herself. At the end of the evening, she saw me crutching along—I had arthroscopic surgery to repair my meniscus two weeks ago today—and she held the door for me.
That decent gesture did not in any way influence my NPR review of First Cow, which is here.
Rachel McAdams & the late Phillip Seymore Hoffman in Anton Corbijn’s “A Most Wanted Man.”
Rob Brydon & Steve Coogan reunite with Michael Winterbottom in “The Trip to Italy.”
Chris Evans leads an international cast in Bong Joon-ho’s “Snowpiercer.”
Ellar Coltrane in Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood.”
Tom Cruise in Doug Liman’s “Edge of Tomorrow.”
Time was, the summer movie season — when blocks got busted and Oscar contenders got out of the way — began Memorial Day weekend and had shot its wad by mid-July. Once in a while you’d get a great late-summer picture, likeThe Fugitive,released Aug. 6, 1993 (and nominated for Best Picture, come to that.) But generally the big action pictures, which gradually gave way to the superhero flicks, needed six or seven weeks before kids got marched back into school so studios could benefit from repeat business.
In the 21st century, the summer movie season advanced to the first weekend in May, a date that in recent years hasbelonged to Marvel Comics adaptations, whether they’re made by Marvel Studios, likeThe Avengers,or by other studios, like theSpider-Manpictures (both the Raimis and the Webbs) from Sony, or theX-Menseries, from Fox.