Friday, September 14, 2007

Now Playing: Jodie on "Lockdown" and Viggo in the Showers

Now we're talking. Now it's Fall Movie Season. Last week was just a spaceholder. You can justify a whole weekend sitting in the theater today --look at all the (potentially) yummy stuff.

L I M I T E D
<-- Eastern Promises -Since I haven't yet seen it, this gangster drama with a tattooed naked Viggo Mortenson and Naomi Watts, vulnerable in a world she doesn't know, I decided to focus on how much I've enjoyed director David Cronenberg's past work. Here's my vote for his 3 best. Agree? Disagree?
Across The Universe Help! Julie Taymor has a way with visual invention but early word on her Beatles musical suggest it might be tomatoes and not strawberries tossed her way
Darkon -a doc on wargaming medieval fantasy cult group
December Boys Daniel Radcliffe, in his first movie outside Harry Potter, plays another orphan in this coming of age tale set in Australia in the 60s
In the Valley of Elah early consensus: Tommy Lee Jones is masterful. The movie: jury still out. A friend of mine told me he can't imagine it not winning the Best Picture nomination though. Here's his review
King of California Michael Douglas is a once institutionalized man and Evan Rachel Wood is his (exasperated?) daughter in this suburban comedy

Moondance Alexander another entry in the ancient dramatic subgenre of 'a girl and her horse'. Be warned: the trailer has that annoying happy trailer voice guy doing the voiceover. A note of interest: Sasha Cohen, ice skating queen, plays the mean girl in the movie. She writes about her new acting career on her site
Moving McAllister indie road comedy
The Rape of Europa a doc on art theft in the Nazi regime
Silk (pictured, right) Keira Knightley's latest attempt at world domination through costume dramas. Were it not for another leading role gifted to Michael Pitt (whose appeal completely escapes me --as leading man or actor in general) I'd be interested. The story, a man sent on a silkworm smuggling mission to Japan where he falls into an adulterous romance with a concubine, sounds involving. It's from the team behind The Red Violin

W I D E
Dragon Wars CGI dragons wreak havoc on our world. I swear it is fall movie season
Mr Woodcock Susan Sarandon is back -- twice! -- in movie theaters this weekend. In addition to that apparently cameo like role in Elah, she stars in this comedy as a woman torn between playing earth mom to her son Seann William Scott and sex goddess to his coach Billy Bob Thornton. What will she do? pssst. Join me in pretending that this movie is all about Susan Sarandon and her bifurcated career when it's obviously and totally about the men

and finally...

<-- The Brave One Jodie Foster on the war path. Handsomely made, mostly well acted, likely to be a very big hit, but it's not as conflicted as it pretends and irresponsible in its thrill-making. My grade basically goes like this: Beginning B, Middle C, Finale F [My Full Review]
*

21 comments:

J.D. said...

Now this is the weekend I wish I was 17, had a car, and lived in New York!

re The Brave One: Eep. And I measured this out (really), your final score, if you average it up, is about a C-. Unless you put emphasis on the F, which probably means D+. Math is like my masochistic mechanism. :)

NicksFlickPicks said...

I love that Brave One grade and totally agree on all counts. And I can't decide whether this means a C– or a D+, either.

Off to the East for some Promises! Yay!

Glenn Dunks said...

Susan Sarandon and Evan Rachel Wood both have two movies out this weekend. Crazy. I cannot wait for Across the Universe though. I've been anticipating that one for ages and I'm not even a Beatles fan (well, I'm a casual fan I suppose).

Unless it gets Oscar talk I think I'll be skipping Eastern Promises. Just doesn't interest me I'm afraid, and I gave A History of Violence a B- so I wasn't that big on it.

I'll be seeing The Brave One whenever it comes out here. The gradings on this one fascinate me.

Anonymous said...

I'll be seeing The Brave One in a few hours,and can't wait. I've been reading the reviews and critics fall basically into two camps - those who say it borders on ridiculous and those who say it borders on masterful. IMO if a movie is this polarizing it's a must see because you'll never know where you'll fall. You make a point in your reviews that "hawks" will like it, fine, but some more um reasonable people do as well, hello, Ebert, NPR, and PBS...

Anonymous said...

Are you seeing Eastern Promises tonight, Nat? Does that mean we will know what you thought about it by tomorrow?

Myself I will have to wait all the way until December to satisfy my Cronenberg needs. Then February for my Coen needs. And presumably April/May for my PTA needs. Ugh, it's a lesser-known drawback of living in Europe...

Steve C. said...

Now, now... ya can't be talking about Cronenberg's best without mentioning Videodrome. It's just not feasible.

Robert said...

While not usually a Cronenberg fan, I am hyped for Eastern Promises. Also Jodie Foster had a nice interview the other day on NPR.

This is a nice summation of the week. I do so enjoy your blog and website and visit often. I hope you don't mind, I've linked your blog on my blog:

throughablogdarky.blogspot.com
(^^^yes, this is shameless self-promotion, but how else is one supposed to get off the ground and running?)

Anonymous said...

I'd do anything to see "Eastern Promises" this weekend. But of course, I don't live in a special, large city, so I'll have to wait for Viggo and Cronenberg. :( I'll settle seeing "The Brave One" instead. I'm not turned off by the negative reviews, and I just want to see what Jodie Foster pulls off here and if it's Oscarworthy or not.

Beau said...

Across The Universe IS flawed, there's no question in that, but the flaws come out as miniscule by the time the picture's through. Taymor's sumptous visual techniques mixed in with winning performances and beautifully choreographed musicality made for something truly original and truly winning. An A- sounds spot on.

NicksFlickPicks said...

@Kamikaze: If that's how you felt about A History of Violence, I can't imagine you'd like Eastern Promises, which is similarly muted but much, much less ambitious. Viggo's fine, but I'm quite disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I too loved Across The Universe.
I've already seen it twice...including once at the miraculous Toronto Premiere where people actually swayed and lit cell phones during Hey Jude.
It is flawed, but I didn't really care because I allowed myself the pleasure of relaxing and going with it. The cast is great and I hope they all do well.
I would also say A-...but anything less than a B is just wrong (or coming from a snot nosed kid on the internet!)
The NY Times and Ebert both go it right.

Anonymous said...

Hey the lesbians love the brave one:

http://www.afterellen.com/movies/2007/9/braveone

Big surprise, huh?

Anonymous said...

Sasha Cohen is an actress now? I suppose that means she can do her own life story. A pity, that. I was so hoping they would cast Christina Ricci in the role and put her in those skimpy little outfits. No, I don't particularly care whether she can skate or not.

Neel Mehta said...

You didn't grade Jodie's haircuts. I think she's finally ready to make that announcement.

I've seen Elah, and I agree. It's been ages since The Fugitive, and some will argue Tommy Lee Jones is due. Charlize Theron was better than expected; Susan Sarandon isn't featured enough to garner too much attention.

Unknown said...

My lesbian friend REALLY wants to see The Brave One. So I'll be going with her.

I thought you meant Sacha BARON Cohen...

lylee said...

So much good stuff coming out today (at least in the major cities) that, to put it vulgarly, I'm as confused as a baby in a topless bar. I have to wait till Sunday to see "Eastern Promises," gah! And may not get to see "Across the Universe" this weekend at all...oh, the pain.

Another small, very-limited-release movie you don't mention that's been getting a lot of good reviews is "La Faute a Fidel" (Blame it on Fidel), which I'm hoping will hang around L.A. long enough for me to catch it...

Anonymous said...

Anon. 3:16 - THIS particular lesbian is not looking forward to The Brave One - art dressed up as exploitation - no matter how "butch" Ms Foster looks in it, nor how many men are killed (sexism is sexism, yes?) and THIS lesbian thinks the title particularly ironic given Foster's cowardice. (I know, I know - John Hinkley, prying media, protecting career, etc etc - there are of course human rights and justice issues at stake but never mind all of that.)

RedSatinDoll

Anonymous said...

Now this is the weekend I wish I was 27, didn't have a car, lived in NY, and had a lesbian friend....

Brian Darr said...

Summer's officially over, there's new films that I'm actually interested in, which hasn't really happened since Ratatouillie or so.

I saw Eastern Promises last night with one of those radio-station audiences, and they reacted like they didn't know whether to cheer or throw up after some of the more violent scenes.

It's an, as they say, "flawed film", but for me, a Cronenberg near-diehard the flaws are so totally engulfed by the film's merits that they're all but forgotten by the end. I can't wait to give it another go!

Oh, and since you asked: Scanners, Videodrome, Spider. No, make that Shivers, Dead Ringers, a History of Violence. No, make that Fast Company, the Fly, eXistenZ. I can't limit to three, as you can see!

Unknown said...

Jimmy:

I'm 24, have a car, live in Miami, and have a lesbian friend. And we just saw The Brave One. And it was bad. But I had fun.

Glenn Dunks said...

Last week I saw Ratatouille and I'm seeing Hairspray in 2 hours so I'm still happy, but like some of the people commenting I wont get many of these prestige titles until 2008, let alone late 2007.