Archive | August, 2012

[Review] – Red Hook Summer

31 Aug

Title: Red Hook Summer
Year: 2012
Director: Spike Lee
Writers: Spike Lee
Starring: Clarke Peters, Nate Parker, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Toni Lysaith, Jules Brown
MPAA Rating: R, brief violence, language and a disturbing situation
Runtime: 121 min
IMDb Rating: 4.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Metacritic: 50

Red Hook Summer is the latest Spike Lee “joint”, as he likes to call his movies, and it’s also the sixth in his Chronicles of Brooklyn series that includes the absolute masterpiece Do The Right Thing, and the first in it since He Got Game from 1998 (that film, which was also pretty great, had a fantastic performance from Ray Allen, proving that some athletes can act). This film is about Flik Royale, a young boy from Atlanta, grandson of the deeply religious Da Good Bishop Enoch Rouse, whom he goes to spend his summer with in the housing projects of Red Hook.

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[Review] – 2 Days in New York

30 Aug

Title: 2 Days in New York
Year: 2012
Director: Julie Delpy
Writers: Julie Delpy and Alexia Landeau, based on a story by themselves and Alexandre Nahon
Starring: Chris Rock, Julie Delpy, Albert Delpy, Alexia Landeau, Alexandre Nahon
MPAA Rating: R, language, sexual content, some drug use and brief nudity
Runtime: 96 min
IMDb Rating: 6.1
Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Metacritic: 61

A few weeks ago I read an interview with Julie Delpy in which she said she had written a new movie, called Virgo Rising, and that her dream was to muster the nerve to go ask Woody Allen to take a role in it. Seeing 2 Days in New York it’s easy to see why he’s at the top of her wish-list; the sophisticated, intellectual, neurotic brand of comedy that’s on display in this film, which was co-written, directed and stars Ms. Delpy, was very clearly influenced by the legendary New York filmmaker.

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[Teaser] – The To Do List

29 Aug

A while ago I read the script that would become The To Do List, the upcoming film fronted by one of my favorites, Aubrey Plaza. That film is gearing up for release next Valentine’s Day and it’s gotten a neat little red-band teaser that you can watch after the cut.

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[Review] – Hope Springs

29 Aug

Title: Hope Springs
Year: 2012
Director: David Frankel
Writer: Vanessa Taylor
Starring: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell, Elisabeth Shue
MPAA Rating: PG-13, mature thematic content involving sexuality
Runtime: 100 min
IMDb Rating: 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Metacritic: 66

I have a total and unapologetic love for The Devil Wears Prada. I read and like the book, and then I saw and absolutely loved the movie. Everything about that film was pretty great, the soundtrack, the fashion, Anne Hathaway and, of course, most of all, Meryl Streep as the inimitably ruthless Miranda Priestly. That role got Ms. Streep her 14th Academy Award nomination, and even though it would take her three further tries to finally win her third golden man last year, it really was a terrific performance that only a living legend like her could have played that well.

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[Review] – The Campaign

28 Aug

Title: The Campaign
Year: 2012
Director: Jay Roach
Writers: Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell, based on a story by Mr. Henchy, Mr. Harwell and Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Katherine LaNasa, Dylan McDermott, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd, Brian Cox
MPAA Rating: R, crude sexual content, language and brief nudity
Runtime: 85 min
IMDb Rating: 6.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 66%
Metacritic: 49

Jay Roach is a director who has dabbled in two very different kinds of films along his career. On the one hand, the guy’s been responsible for some pretty successful comedies, most of them R-rated affairs, that include all three Austin Powers movies. Yet on the other hand, the guy’s made two films for HBO that are dramas about political elections, 2008’s Recount, about the 2000 Presidential election, which won him an Emmy for his direction, and this year’s Game Change, about the 2008 Presidential election, which sees him as the front-runner to take that Emmy again once the awards take place next month.

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[Trailer] – The Master

27 Aug

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: there’s no film this year that even comes close as far as how much I’m anticipating it to Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master. With the film nearly two weeks away now (finally!) we’ve gotten the final theatrical trailer for it, which you can watch after the cut.

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[Review] – 360

27 Aug

Title: 360
Year: 2012
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Writer: Peter Morgan
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Ben Foster
MPAA Rating: R, sexuality, nudity and language
Runtime: 110 min
IMDb Rating: 5.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 20%
Metacritic: 43

Fernando Meirelles got some much deserved attention and recognition (including an Academy Award nomination) a decade ago when he gave us City of God, which he made in and about his native Brazil and that certainly stands amongst the finest films to have come out in the new millennium. Then three years later he used all that fame and made his first film in English, The Constant Gardener, which turned out to be a seriously terrific film that, while not as great as his previous one, certainly established him as a director that was more than worth checking out.

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