December 2011 Archives
Cowboys fight aliens. How can you possibly screw that up? Here's how...
Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson trades the vampires of his breakout film Let the Right One In for the business-suited bloodsuckers of the British secret service in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a new feature film adaptation of John le Carré's seminal spy novel, previously adapted into a famous BBC miniseries starring Alec Guinness. Gary Oldman stars as George Smiley, a forcibly retired MI-6 agent brought back into the fold to ferret out a mole in the upper echelon of the organization. But who could it be? The dapper Bill Haydon (Colin Firth)? The excitable Percy Alleline (Toby Jones)? Or possibly even George himself? Alfredson, Oldman and Firth passed through New York recently and talked about the movie's various twists and turns and the legacy of le Carré's book.
Ladies and gentlemen, for your VOD viewing displeasure, here it is: 2011's worst movie.
After Juno catapulted them to the Hollywood A-list four years ago, director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody team up again for Young Adult, a pitch-black comedy about young adult novelist Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) , who deals with a sudden case of mid-life crisis by retreating to her tiny Minnesotan hometown. There, she tracks down her former flame (Patrick Wilson) and dedicates herself to stealing him back from his wife and young daughter. She also befriends her high school's resident outcast Matt (Patton Oswalt), the only person brave -- or foolhardy -- enough to call her on her B.S. The team behind Young Adult, which opens in limited release on Friday, passed through New York recently and spoke with the press about YA fiction and the resurgence of bad girls post-Bridesmaids.
Last year, Garry Marshall gave everyone another reason to hate Valentine's Day by releasing the all-star romantic comedy, Valentine's Day, in which a bunch of obnoxious Angelenos had a variety of misadventures in that crazy little thing called love. The improbable success of that movie convinced Marshall that he should ruin another holiday, so here comes New Year's Eve, in which a bunch of obnoxious New Yorkers have a variety of misadventures while the big Times Square clock ticks down to midnight. Jeeze Garry, why'd you have to go and mess with a holiday we actually like?
Don't let the NC-17 rating scare you off -- Shame is one of 2011's very best movies.
The new indie drama Shame, which opens in limited release on Friday, certainly earns its NC-17 rating, what with the full-frontal nude shots of its leading man and lady (Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan), as well as several prolonged and ultra-revealing sex scenes and its frank depiction of sex addiction. Despite all of this erotically-charged content, the movie itself isn't particularly... well, sexy. That's largely intentional of course, as director Steve McQueen is clearly more interested in stroking moviegoers' intellect than their libidos. The same can't be said of the following movies from the past two decades, all of which were designed for maximum titillation value, but turned out to be about as erotically-challenged as Zooey Deschanel's latest Manic Pixie Dream Girl on New Girl. And we're not talking about soft-core Skinemax titles, which are un-sexy in their own distinct way. These were all studio releases with big (or semi-big) name actors and actresses pretending to get it on for our benefit. Really guys, you shouldn't have. No, seriously... you shouldn't have.