Friday, October 21, 2011

Pick O' the Week - October 21

We've maligned the lack of choices in theatres for the last few months and with the Ides of March I think we may have seen the tide change. Each year, starting with Cannes and making its way to North America around the time of TIFF there is a shift in the tone of the films being released. Presumably this is a part of the preparation each studio is making for a run at the Oscars, but in any case, I couldn't be more pleased but it looks like we may have to endure at least one more week of silly releases.

In Theatres: This week's releases include the third installment of popular horror series Paranormal Activity and the much advertised (though poorly reviewed) 3D adventure The Three Musketeers. Finally this week sees the release of The Mighty Macs, starring Carla Gugino as the coach of a basketball team from a women's immaculate college. The last movie I saw Ms. Gugino in was the horrendous Sucker Punch, so I'm not holding my breath on that one. Ultimately there are still a few choices in theatres which would better serve your time. Last week's suggestion The Ides of March and the previous Moneyball are two such solutions.

At Home: Released several weeks ago but still worth a watch is Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life starring Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain. This one was one of the most talked about releases of the year and seems to engender strong reactions from viewers (whether positive or negative). You can read the full review here.

On TV: Recent weeks have seen both members of CineCritical re-discovering the talent of Aaron Sorkin. For myself, I've begun re-watching season 1 of The West Wing, while Matt is just discovering it for the first time. Even if you're not a fan of American politics it is the interpersonal relationships and interplay between the characters which makes this one shine. I'm telling you, check it out.

Retro Re-watch: I've had The Apartment sitting on my computer for the longest time waiting for a re-watch and I think this weekend will be the one. Starring Jack Lemon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray, the film follows a young man's attempt to rise within his company by allowing executives within the firm to have trysts in his apartment. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards at the 1961 Oscars it ended up winning 5; including Best Motion Picture and Best Director. It's also nice to see how Mad Med would have looked if it weren't a period piece...

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