Has everyone recovered from their Golden Globes hangover? Ricky Gervais is now in witness protection and Hollywood is all in extra therapy after having jokes made at their expense by that mean, mean man. Let’s just distract ourselves with the entertainment provided by the finger pointing blame game being played by “The Green Hornet” team. It’s the number one movie in America, but someone must answer for its suckage! We’ve at least successfully scared Michel Gondry off doing any more studio action comedies, so there’s your silver lining. Chin up, movie fans, it’s a new weekend with a fresh new crop of cinematic offerings to get excited about. Aw fuck it, everyone’s at Sundance, watching the movies we’ll see in six months, so what we have is a sex-com, “No Strings Attached‘ (spoiler alert, there are strings attached), a pink slip drama, “The Company Men” (topical!) and a bunch of older festival stuff in limited release that are seeing the light of projection booths on our shores.
Natalie Portman gave us a little peek into her latest metamorphosis last week at the Golden Globes when she bigged up her ballet dancer fiance Benjamin Millepied for toooootallly wanting to have sex with her. She’s all, “HAHA that dude put a baby in me with his PENIS! Joke’s on you, Black Swan! Up top!” And with that, and her Youtubable dork laugh, Natalie has molted her feathers to transform into this week’s incarnation, BLUE Swan (get it?!). She and Ashton Kutcher star in the first of the 2011 friends-with-benefits romantic comedies, the Ivan Reitman-directed “No Strings Attached” opening wide (heh heh, two can play at this game NP!) this weekend. Unfortunately, our review described the the film as “a chore,” and “roughly equivalent to watching five below-average, unusually star-studded episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” back to back.” Which, you know, is fine, but watching “HIMYM” doesn’t require putting on pants, leaving the house, or shelling out 11 bucks. The pantsless part appeals to this writer the most, what about you? Rotten Tomatoes:47% Metacritic: 53
If pretty people saying bad words is not your bag, how about something culturally relevant, like the RECESSION? Fun times at the cineplex this weekend with “The Company Men” about upper-middle class white men getting fired. An acclaimed cast (Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, Rosemarie DeWitt, Maria Bello and Kevin Costner with a truly excruciating Boston accent) just can’t save this flick, which our review says, “tries to be timely, but it’s as out of touch as Pat Buchanan” and to top it off is, “more likely to garner yawns than tears.” Oh brother. RT: 73% MC: 73
We mentioned “The Way Back” opening way back in 2010, but that was just a mini Oscar-qualifying run in LA. Now it’s time for everyone to enjoy Escape From Siberian Gulag! Hey, read our Peter Weir retrospective. We like him, we swear! Or, read our review of the film starring Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Saorise Ronan RT: 77% MC: 65
Korean film “The Housemaid” is a remake of a classic, and the self-described erotic thriller looks gorgeously shot and staged (check out the trailer). Our review echoes that sentiment but says, “the director promises a thriller but instead delivers a rather uninventive, dull drama, one that’s more focused on its sensationalistic depiction of class differences than, you know, having a strong scene.” Unfortunately, this remake doesn’t live up to its predecessor. RT:68% MC: 63
African child soldier drama “Johnny Mad Dog” from French writer-director Jean-Stephane Sauvaire, working mostly with a cast of unknowns and non-actors. It looks to be an intense watch but a sadly necessary exploration of this phenomenon. RT: 82% MC: 45
Also in theaters, “Evangelion 2.0” an animated Japanese flick from Hideaki Anno. Here’s the trailer and if you can decipher what’s going on in it, well then, bully for you.
On the documentary front, “The Woodmans” is in limited release. It’s a fascinating looking film about a family of artists and the brilliant but troubled daughter Francesca Woodman who sadly committed suicide in 1981. Check out the trailer. RT: 100%