UPDATE: I’m making a slight change to the upcoming MCT Live – Part III: Shane this Sunday the 28th. I will be starting the film at 8:00 PM EST – an hour earlier than I originally stated. My wife Roo will potentially be returning that night (or Monday morning) from a trip to Milwaukee, and while I adore sharing time and Twitter fun with all of my fellow movie freaks, welcoming my wife back from a long car trip and listening to the adventures of her journey (yes, even in exotic Wisconsin) comes first. Check out “Meier! in a Crowded Theater” @ Glasgow to the Movies tomorrow to read the official ad for the MCT Live event.
The football season may be officially under way this weekend (GO COLTS!), but just like every other Friday, new movies start showing in the cinemas too. Before the snap of the pigskin, here are my snap judgments of the latest crop of flicks with the latest GOT ME/LOST ME (now in alphabetical order!).
starring Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough, Helen Mirren, and Andy Serkis. Directed by Rowan Joffe. Rated R.
This looks like the type of movie I would catch in a half asleep state back when I watched movie channels during insomniac hours – you know, the filler. These movies – usually dramatic novel adaptations with at least one British guy – are almost always a 50/50 gamble in entertainment value. The supporting cast of Mirren, Serkis, and John Hurt is of course a strong amount of talent, and Graham Greene was a very well known author with a loyal following even today (I’ve never read a book by Greene, but I would like to – especially after his classic, marvelous, self-written film adaptation of his book The Third Man). But then we find the trouble: As a cat-and-mouse crime thriller/romance, it appears to be running on fumes in all areas. I’m not familiar with the leads Riley and Riseborough, but they better put on one hell of a show to steal attention away from the other players.
starring Sarah Kazemy, Nikohl Boosheri, Reza Sixo Safai, and Soheil Parsa. Directed by Maryam Keshavarz. Rated R.
When I first heard of the film Fire (from the Element series) by Indian director Deepa Mehta, I incorrectly anticipated it would be a lot like this film set in Tehran, Iran appears to be. I’m not sure how relevant the youthful ages of the leads here are; the women of Fire were a bit too old to be considered young adults which may have been what bruised their on-screen chemistry (or maybe Mehta just needed better actresses). I suppose since the Circumstance friends are shown going to an underground club scene in the trailer, the youthfulness is probably necessary although I hope the film addresses the rash generalization of such a lifestyle leading to “sinful” sexual awakenings. All in all, the cinematography looks nice and crisp, and the plot – regardless of the true-to-life downer it may lead to – greatly appeals to me.
starring Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Callum Blue, and Amandla Stenberg. Directed by Olivier Megaton. Rated PG-13.
This heroine action flick is co-written by Luc Besson, a name one would probably find familiar because of his creation of the cult ’90s film The Professional, a-k-a Léon. The Professional is most famous – and rightly so – for containing the powerful debut of a child star named Natalie Portman. It’s also one of the most overhyped films I have seen (and I place the blame almost entirely on the overacting of Gary Oldman as the villain). Besson is presumably a good fit for
Megatron Megaton who last directed the cult ’00s film Taken, a guilty pleasure revenge picture starring Liam Neeson that screamed “Screw logic!” throughout. In January (the original release month of Taken), this sort of brainlessness with any luck could skate by, but in late August, this filmgoer is ready to settle down from his summer high and to search for something more coherent. Saldana killing time and bad guys before the Avatar sequel isn’t the right path (Did they learn nothing from the failure of The Losers?).
starring Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison, and Bruce Gleeson. Directed by Troy Nixey. Rated R.
Oh jeez, here we go: Another horror flick about the parents of a creepy kid surrounded by spooky goings-on. Come on! We just got through tolerating Insidious!
(Wait just one minute there, Chris. Insidious was a mild-mannered “PG-13” while this one’s an “R.” Plus did you see who’s name is attached in the crew?)
Yeah, yeah – Guillermo del Toro, the Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy guy. But he just co-wrote the script and has some producer credit! It’s not like he’s directing! And you of all folks should know, creepy inner voice of mine, that it’s yet another remake! And Katie Holmes, voice? Katie Holmes?!?
(Chris? We’ve been through this. You learned last year how to appreciate horror films. How do you expect to keep that appreciation up if you don’t give those with the slightest hint of potential a deserving chance when they come? And anyway, it should go without saying that Guy Pearce is the man…)
*Sigh* You make a good argument. If the trailer’s any indication, it could have a few good jumps… Okay, let’s try it.
(Good for you! Now,… set fires. Burn! BURN!…)
(Oh, uh,… nothing…)
starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Rashida Jones. Directed by Jesse Peretz. Rated R.
I’ve said before that Rudd reminds me of a boyish Bill Murray so watching him go the Jerk,-Dumb-and-Dumber route could be a backpedal. He’s made an excellent fool before in great comedies such as Wet Hot American Summer and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy so there’s no doubt he could pull off one with more realism tacked on. So far I do like the idea of the tormentor’s tormented being all female though I expect some critics may scoff and accuse the sisters as being fickle, shrewish, or whatever offense that would appall the conformism deities above. I don’t know – they may have a point, but if this comedy does everything right – if no person or personality is left unscathed – insulting groupings may be a moot issue. I really hope Rudd’s Ned doesn’t cause the comedic actor to come off as overly exhausting (like his groom-to-be in I Love You, Man almost was). I’d hate to throw “tomions” at the screen.
Return next Monday or Tuesday (I always shoot for Monday) for the GM/LM for September 2nd, 2011 which will include The Debt with Helen Mirren and Shark Night 3D with Sara Paxton. If you regularly visit Twitter, feel free to follow @gttmovies and @MEIER_in_a_CT for more instant and unadulterated reactions to movies.