kkurman, on the beat. 26 May ’11
Its been slow around here this week. I think its mostly about catch-up on movies missed and anticipation of what’s coming up.
HANGOVER II was pretty much as expected, a ribald romp through an unsuspecting Thailand. There were plenty of laughs as ‘The Wolfpack’ try to retrace their steps from a lost night of blackout partying. As in the original, the objective is to be as shocking as possible and for the most part they succeed and again, as in the original, most of the biggest laughs come when they review the pictures of the night before over the final credits. Through the mayhem and hysteria, there’s some good solid, light entertainment for the casual American movie-goer, but I can’t help but wonder how this form of banal humor is perceived abroad. I guess to some extent, boys will be boys, anywhere, and madcap hijinks are what boys, who aren’t ready to grow up, get up to. Box-office will tell, so we’ll be watching how it does this weekend.
Last week I saw a screening of Mike Mills’ new picture BEGINNERS and I gotta say, I loved it. I’m very concerned that its going to be tagged as just a ‘gay’ movie ’cause the main character’s (Ewan McGregor) elderly father (Christopher Plummer) comes out after his wife of forty-some years, passes away. That he happens to be gay, to me, is just a euphemism for someone finally doing what they’ve always wanted to do in life but kept making excuses for not doing it. That is, at least, the lesson I believe McGregor’s character takes from it. I really hope everyone goes to see it because the film is so beautifully made. It hits all its marks. The story is meaningful, substantive and the script is perfect with very real, human characters and a naturally flowing dialogue that captures uncomfortable silences as well as personal expressions of self-awareness. Its funny and relatable with really great performances by all, especially from Cosmo, the Jack Russell Terrier who tags his comedic role as Arthur, the dog.
Upcoming we have more Action-Adventure-SiFi-Comic Book adaptations:
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS is due out next week and there’s no reason to suspect that it will be anything but wham-bam! thrilling. Following on that will be TRANSFORMERS: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON and the long anticipated GREEN LANTERN with Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and as Sinestro, the bad guy of course, Mark Strong who, as with so many great character actors, is often overlooked because they do their job so well. He’s the guy who disappears into his characters in movies like, SYRIANA, BODY OF LIES, YOUNG VICTORIA, SHERLOCK HOLMES (you know, the one with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law), ROBIN HOOD and most recently THE EAGLE.
As the TWILIGHT franchise draws to a close, Hollywood is, we hope, growing out of its vampire obsession and banking on a strong futures market in fairytales. That’s right, you got it, fairytales. Apparently, with the success of Disney’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND, and any number of princess stories, the producer class has been throwing their bets on a more wholesome (?) romantic fantasy genre. There are two Snow White settings, one with Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth and another with Julia Roberts as, appropriately, the evil Queen. Both are now competing for release times, which reminds me of the year that THE PRESTIGE and THE ILLUSIONIST came out within months of each other. Then there is a remake of THE WIZARD OF OZ, called simply, OZ, that’s already in production, cast with James Franco and Mila Kunis. There are probably more, but the one I’ve been most looking forward to, that keeps getting delayed, is MALEFICENT, which is the Sleeping Beauty story told from the perspective of Beauty’s evil nemesis, starring Angelina Jolie. It was to be directed by Tim Burton but that seems not to be happening, shame, that’s the version I most wanted to see…
Ok, That’s it for now…’till next time, See ya’ and Salam Alik!