Any movie without a single properly named character is bound to be trippy. But we already guessed that about Mother! (R) since it's written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, who previously scrambled our thinking with Pi, Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan.
Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence takes the title role, no name just the maternal title. Fellow Oscar winner Javier Bardem plays Him, Mother's husband, a blocked poet-author. Their comfortable — as yet childless — life is disrupted by the arrival of Man (Ed Harris) and Woman (Michelle Pfeiffer), strangers taking intimate, unsettling interest in their lives.
Notoriously secretive about his art, Aronofsky is teasing Mother! as similar to Rosemary's Baby, releasing a nearly identical poster as Roman Polanski's terror classic. Trailers continue the vibe with Man and Woman joined by others seeming to celebrate Mother, who's reeling with fevered suspicion.
Yet Aronofsky is a more original filmmaker than that. Early buzz from the Venice Film Festival suggests he's gone further out on the creative limb here than ever before. He'll have surprises up his sleeve. Audacity won't be one of them.
A review of Mother! will be published at tampabay.com/movies.
In movies we've seen American beauty, psycho, several pies and graffiti. Why not an American Assassin (R)? Well, we have that cutthroat offering this weekend.
Based on Vince Flynn's novel, American Assassin stars Dylan O'Brien (The Maze Runner) as Mitch Rapp, a college student whose fiancee is killed by terrorists. Mitch turns grassroots vigilante, tough enough to be recruited by the CIA for killer ops.
Taking a break from award contending, Michael Keaton, above, co-stars as Stan Hurley, who will train Mitch in the art of slaughter then point him in the bad guy's direction. That would be Ghost, a shadowy operative stirring up trouble in the Middle East, as if they don't already have enough. Ghost is played by Taylor Kitsch, who hasn't gotten much work his disastrous 2012 triple play of John Carter, Battleship and Oliver Stone's Savages.
ALL I SEE IS YOU
Speaking of Savages, one of Kitsch's co-stars was Blake Lively, who's doing much better with her career.
Lively follows up her shark bait sleeper hit The Shallows with All I See Is You (R ), stretching a bit to play a blind woman regaining her sight, perhaps losing her marriage in the process.
Gina (Lively) lives with her husband James (Jason Clarke) in Bangkok, where cutting-edge medicine can restore the sight she lost as a child. It's also a site with few sexual inhibitions, so Gina gets an eyeful of what James has been doing in front of her.
All I See Is You is directed by Marc Forster, whose credits range from ridiculous (World War Z, Machine Gun Preacher) to sublime (Monster's Ball, Stranger Than Fiction). We'll see where this one fits.
in theaters: our Top 5
Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:
1 It: Stephen King's horror novel gets the R-rated version It deserves.
2Good Time: Robert Pattinson eclipses Twilight in a crackling crime thriller.
3Dunkirk: Christopher Nolan's WWII masterpiece will be chased all awards season.
4Logan Lucky: Channing Tatum and Adam Driver play dumber than two bags of hammers.
5Patti Cake$: Hairspray meets 8 Mile making a hip-hop Cinderella of newcomer Danielle Macdonald.
(Dates subject to change)
Sept. 22: Kingsmen: The Golden Circle; Battle of the Sexes; The Lego Ninjago Movie; Stronger; Brad's Status
Sept. 29: American Made; Flatliners; Lucky
Oct. 6: Blade Runner: 2049; The Florida Project; The Mountain Between Us; My Little Pony: The Movie
Oct. 13: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Marshall; The Foreigner; Happy Death Day
Oct. 20: The Snowman; Geostorm; Only the Brave; Boo 2: A Madea Halloween; Same Kind of Different as Me
Oct. 27: Suburbicon; Thank You for Your Service; Jigsaw
Nov. 3: Thor: Ragnarok; A Bad Moms Christmas; The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Nov. 10: Murder on the Orient Express; Daddy's Home 2