Friday, June 10, 2011

Pick O' the Week - June 10

I think we have survived a record-breaking mini heatwave. We had the hottest June 8 on record since 1950 and I was stuck working in a building without air conditioning. What I would have given to be hiding inside a cold movie theatre! The summer movie season is in full swing these days, with the J.J. Abrams-directed, Steven Spielberg-produced Super 8 opening in theatres and IMAX. But it is Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, opening in select theatres (and only one in Toronto), that I am eager to see. Perhaps a Monday afternoon viewing will be in order!

Here are my picks for the second weekend in June, which last year saw two highly publicized films: The A-Team and The Karate Kid, both remakes from the 1980s.

In Theatres: Woody Allen shines as the writer and director of Midnight in Paris, his most recent offering which has been enjoying widespread critical success. As I said in my recent review, there are quite a few nods to a great number of his previous films, but it is a charming story set in a beautiful city.

At Home: Casting news this week has centred around Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, with Leonardo DiCaprio being cast. This week I offer Tarantino's recent effort, Inglourious Basterds, a great film with Tarantino's trademark dialogue. Audiences may have been lured by Brad Pitt's presence, but it is Christoph Waltz (who won an Academy Award) and the incredible Mélanie Laurent who own the film.

On TV: Brenda Blethyn is one of my favourite actresses ever since her appearance in Mike Leigh's Secrets & Lies (1996). She is starring in Vera, a 2011 British detective series that, while stealing too many themes from Prime Suspect, is riveting in its own way. Blethyn's talent is evident, but she is supported by a great partner in David Leon. The first season consisted of four 90-minute episodes featuring a separate case.

Retro Re-watch: Getting my inspiration from Jeopardy!, I have chosen P.J. Hogan's 1994 Australian film Muriel's Wedding. The insanely hilarious and touching film about a young woman's struggles with her insecurities introduced the world to Toni Collete and Rachel Griffiths. One of the great jobs of re-watching the movie is the fantastic ABBA soundtrack.

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