Saturday, January 31, 2009

Now Playing: Bollywood's Brightest and Hollywood's Darkest

from least screens to most... (links go to trailers)

Shadows - Macedonia's Oscar submission in 2007 (also known as Senki) finally sees limited release. It's from the director of Before the Rain and stars Borce Nacev (pictured right) as a physician who mysteriously survives an accident. His mother is apparently a Lady Macbeth type.

Medicine for the Melancholy
-an indie about African American 20somethings in San Francisco.

The Class
this absolute must see from France reopens now that it's Oscar nominated. I'm sure my own awards had something to do with that release decision, too [snort]. The Class (also known as Entre Les Murs) won the Palme D'Or last summer and hopefully, it can win the golden boy too. I'm not exactly predicting it, though. It might be too subtle and contemporary for standard awards glory.

Luck by Chance -a Bollywood on Bollywood spectacle. Beefcake supplied by "special appearance" superstar Hrithik Roshan and lead actor Fahran Aktar (both pictured, left). But this thing is apparently loaded with star cameos so if you're into Bollywood, you should probably go. Maybe it's like Altman's The Player only with gigantic musical numbers?

Milk and The Reader have both added 600+ screens this weekend for their widest releases yet. It's a bit strange that Milk, which is the third biggest grosser among the Best Picture nominees, has never hit the 1000 screen mark, making it the BP nominee with the smallest "wide" release.

New in Town -Hollywood Cliches Part 1: Midwesterners are so kooky and quaint! Hollywood Cliches Part 2: City folk with big careers are always better off if they move to the middle of the country -- you can find love there! see previous post

The Uninvited -Hollywood Cliche Part 3: Dad or Mom's new "special friend" is always evil! The usually delightful Elizabeth Banks terrorizes in this ghostly horror flick about a teen who doesn't trust Dad's (David Strathairn) new lady.

-Hollywood Cliche Part 4: Revenge is always sweet. Hollywood Cliche Part 5: When someone is wronged violently in a movie they are almost always skilled with the violence themselves since (loop back to Cliche Part 4). Liam Neeson goes berzerk in this thriller when his daughter is kidnapped. This movie has been made dozens of times recently (albeit with different stars and director) but Hollywood never tires of whipping audiences into a frenzy of righteous bloodlust. Has there ever been a movie about somebody who was inept at killing bad guys when they were egregiously wronged?

Any movie plans for you this weekend or are you settling in with DVDs or, god forbid, ignoring the cinema altogether?


BeRightBack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Has there ever been a movie about somebody who was inept at killing bad guys when they were egregiously wronged?"

That's the movie I'd like to see. With Philip Seymour Hoffman playing me. Sample dialogue: "I'm a fucking idiot, I'm a fucking idiot, I'm a fucking idiot, I'm a fucking idiot..."

BeRightBack said...

The other thing about Taken is that it is currently being lauded by conservative pundits for "finally" showing Muslims for who thay "really" are:

"[The villains] are obviously Arabs, who speak Arabic, and they are Muslims–their boss is “the Sheikh” on the yacht (Sheikhs are exclusively Muslim). And for once, they are the criminal thugs, the sex slavers, the murderers–without apology or excuse.

Just the way it was on 9/11.

It’s partly for this reason that I liked “Taken” immensely."

[ ]

I realize that holding a movie responsible for people liking it for the most vile possible reasons is unfair, but, you know, still.

Anonymous said...

@ BeRightBack

-I just saw the comments on the link. Ouch, my eyes! I'll never be the same again!

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't be so harsh on Taken. Maggie Grace is the daughter, and her character was the best in Lost.

My plans are watching a few nuns in Doubt which finally has opened in Spain. Can't wait!!

Anonymous said...

Saw "Last Chance Harvey" last night. Suprised me by very very good it was/ Though I shouldn't have been surprised, after all, La Thompson was involved.

Anonymous said...

"Taken" was shown on the brazilian theaters last year and I had the opportunity to watch it. It's strange to see Liam Neeson as an action hero, but he's great on the role. However, the movie is not good!

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite film site, but has anyone else noticed how trolls seem to be moving in? I'm a bit disturbed. For example: I just clicked on the link originally mentioned for "Taken", and wow, just wow. Awesome anti-Arabic comments.

Anonymous said...

By "awesome" by the way, I mean disturbing and hateful.

Also, this week I'm seeing "Wendy and Lucy" at the suggestion of people on this blog, and I'm also watching a lot of Fassbinder. My husband is on a 70's German film kick, so it's Fassbinder 24/7.


christine -- i'm not responsible for comments on another site. But i thank BERightBack for leting us now about the scariness. I think it's good to understand how all types think even if only to make sure we never think that way ;)


I need to see more Fassbinder myself methinks

Anonymous said...

Anyone seen Shadows? It has me intrigued and I really do like Milcho Manchevski's "Before The Rain" I would just like to know if its worth hunting down in theaters.

Anonymous said...

I went to see "Slumdog Millionaire" again, and loved it even more this time. I wanted to see "Waltz With Bashir", but it's still not in my area. I refuse to see the crap that's opening in the multiplexes right now.

Anonymous said...

Went to see "Defiance" to finish my viewing of "Best Original Score" nominees. Still have a handful of single nominees left in the feature-length categories, and all of the nominees in Foreign and Feature-Length Documentary. Jeez, I only averaged a new release a week for 2008, so something had to give.

Nick M. said...


I watched a screener of "Shadows" and it's useless. Despite the subtitles, candid sex and gothic Macedonian setting, it's just a hackneyed horror film more reminiscent of an artless American knock-off than a truly enigmatic European original. Therefore, it's replete with prophetic dogs, haggard gypsy women, blurry photographs, shrieking children and murky camera gels--essentially a rolodex of standard horror iconography. The protagonist spends most of his late nights — and what seems to be half of the film — wandering around his gloomy, blue-hued apartment building, seeing "dead people." The denouement stumbles along as if the ending wasn’t telegraphed throughout the preceding 110 minutes. Worst of all, any allegorical, national subtext (ala "Cache") is brushed aside to make room for simplistic themes (remorse, religion, sexuality, death, life, the afterlife — take your pick) and a risible depiction of mysticism.

Anonymous said...

the plot of Taken is refreshingly simple: "Liam Neeson is gonna beat down some people till he gets his daughter back..."

Anonymous said...

The other cliches for The Uninvited (2009): 1. Since we here in Hollywood can't come up with something faintly original, let's make a remake of an Asian horror film. The kids never see movies with subtitles anyways, so they're never gonna know. 2. Let's give this movie a title that's been used for so many other movies because we can't think of anything better.

Marshall said...

TAKEN is the most absurd, least PC, most offensive, least plausible, and most enjoyable movie I've seen in months.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, just letting you know that "Milk" was just released where I am in DEEP South Texas so I finally got to see it. I loved it and thought it was amazing, but I do find it slightly upsetting that I had to wait so long to see it.


Jer -- wow just now? I guess that makes sense given the screen count.

Anonymous said...

The Uninvited looks awful.

Which is too bad since the Korean movie it's based on -- A Tale of Two Sisters -- is one of the best in the horror genre. It has a few narrative flaws, but it's also superbly acted and the cinematography+production design+art direction+score are especially topnotch. Go see it!

Anonymous said...

hrithik roshan is looking amazing in dat vouge mag... can i have the large resolution