Friday, March 16, 2012

Pick O' The Week - March 16

This past week's box office saw Dr. Seuss' the Lorax take the top spot for a second weekend in a row and CineCritical STILL hasn't seen any of the films listed in the top five (does that tell you anything)? It also marked the auspicious occasion that is the spring southern shopping visit (a.k.a. march break). Still, there were some bright spots to be had in an otherwise ho-hum release schedule. The weather has taken a turn for the decidedly warm and what appears to be a charming one note romance starring a few of our favourites went into limited release (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen).

This weekend will see the release of 21 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. Co-penned by Hill, the comedy follows two rookie officers who are re-assigned to a program using young looking police officers in high schools to apprehend drug dealers. A remake of the very successful 80's TV show (including a then unknown Johnny Depp), the film has been called everything from, "the funniest high-school comedy to come out of Hollywood in Ages," to, "the movie we had to have when the TV should have been enough." Either way, I will probably wait until I'm forced to see this one but it's out this weekend if you have any interest.

In Theatres: As I mentioned, while 21 Jump Street is being released this weekend I would much rather see The Secret World of Arrietty (Kari-gurashi no arietti). This highly rated animated number comes fro the famed studio Ghibli and is based on the well loved Japanese children's book, The Borrower Arrietty. The film stars the voice talent of favourites like Will Arnett and Amy Poehler and follows the lives of a tiny family who lives in the floorboards of another family's home. They are called "borrowers" because they survive by borrowing tiny scraps to make their living (sugar, fabric etc.). After the tiny Arrietty (the only child of the borrowers) is discovered by a visiting relative of the homeowners an unlikely friendship develops.

At Home: We've been on a French film kick this week, watching Priceless (Hors de prix) starring Audrey Tatou and Love Me if You Dare (Jeux d'enfants) starring the lovely Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Canet. But since neither film really struck my fancy I'm going to suggest the absolutely fabulous Vicky Cristina Barcelona. In case you're wondering my connection to the previously mentioned films is powerhouse performances by females and never was there a fiery female quite like Penelope Cruz. From the moment she tore her way through the fabric of this film and into the lives of a wide eyed and useless Scarlett Johanssen and deliciously seductive Javier Bardem the film found its purpose. While the film itself is an interesting examination of passion and the intoxication of being in an exotic local, it is Cruz' performance that makes the film.

On TV: Lately I have to admit I've been watching some pretty terrible TV. But one thing I've really been enjoying is the Zoey Deschanel vehicle New Girl. Will it change your life? No. But it may make you feel a little warm and fuzzy inside. Deschanel is surprisingly charming with very little actual plot to be had and the relationship between her character Jess and the gentlemen of the loft is played to advantage. Check out a few episodes, the show's light entertainment may surprise you.

Retro Re-watch: I often have trouble thinking of a retro re-watch because of the sheer number of films that it encompasses. But I was discussing the re-release of Star Wars Episode 1 with a colleague a short time ago and it occurred to me that of late we've seen some questionable releases from some very big names. Spielberg recently helmed the unfortunate disaster that was The Adventures of Tin Tin. But the most disastrous of all has been George Lucas' continued adventures into the universe of Star Wars. Chalk it up to being surrounded by "Yes" men perhaps but the spectacular fashion in which his creativity has gone down in flames cannot be rivaled. To that end, I would suggest having a look at American Graffitti. If you haven't seen it you will be surprised and if you have, you'll be reminded that once upon a time, this guy new how to make films... Or maybe it was just another fluke?

Enjoy the weekend everyone, we'll catch you on the flip side.

1 comment:

  1. Well although I will be spending a huge chunk of the weekend watching NCAA basketball (March Madnesss!) and not movies, I am suddenly super eager to watch Vicky Cristina Barcelona again!