Friday, July 13, 2012

Pick O' the Week - July 13

It's Friday the 13th!  Just in time for a series of creepy news stories!  This week found us reeling at the announcement that Whatever Happened to Baby Jane is being remade along with Fox claiming they'll be rebooting Fantastic Four and Daredevil.  Apparently, development on World War Z (based on the novel of the same name and starring Brad Pitt) has been delayed by needs for rewrites.  Is it mean to celebrate?

In other news, it's been confirmed that fan favourite Q WILL appear in the new Bond film Skyfall but he's significantly younger than one would have expected.  Charlie Kauffman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) has started a Kickstarter page for his next film, a stop-motion tentatively titled Anomalisa.  And David Duchovny plays "The Goat Man", a psuedo-dad to a coming-of-age Ellis (Graham Phillips) whose own father left when he was a baby in Goats.  Oddly, this one looks like it could be reasonably funny (also starring Vera Farmiglia and Kerri Russel).  Oh and the final installment of the Hunger Games is going to be two films. Ugh.

On with the picks!

In Theatres: Of the top five films this past weekend, I would have to say that none are truly commendable but I found The Amazing Spiderman reasonably enjoyable, Matt and I agreed that while it was unremarkable, Brave had a certain charm, and we both found Magic Mike to be somewhat poorly paced though randomly entertaining.  To that end, I'm suggesting that you go and see Marley, a doc that's been getting quite a buzz around the watercooler.  It follows the meteoric rise and cult following of Bob Marley and delves into his relationships with his fans, his family and his faith.  With a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I feel like this could be an interesting portrait of a complex man.  Now Playing in select theatres (including the Bell Lightbox).

At Home:  The Artist is now available on DVD and Blu Ray (and Netflix in the US).  Pop some corn, turn out the lights and settle into this dazzling walk down memory lane.  Alternately cute and heartwarming, clever and surprisingly sinister, there's a reason this won so many awards at the Oscars.  Special mention to stars Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo who ooze charisma throughout the film.  Matt's full review can be found here.

On TV: Two weeks ago I finally got around to starting to watch HBO's series Girls created and starring Lena Dunham and executive produced by Judd Apatow.  Dunham gained a cult following for her web series Delusional Downtown Divas and critical praise with her 2010 feature film Tiny Furniture.  Girls chronicles the life of Hannah, a twenty-something and her four closest (this is a relative term) girlfriends who basically stumble through their lives, unaware of their own selfishness.  It's been awhile since a series had me laughing out loud but this one does it often without much effort.  It's not for everyone though, there's frequent nudity and a good portion of the jokes are extremely offside.  If you're a female in her late twenties and you remember how much it sucked to graduation from university and realize you weren't as important as you thought you were, this one's for you.

Retro Re-Watch:  Midway through the week I had a very hectic day and I found myself grumpy and sitting down to watch some ladies beat the crap out of one another.  Yes, I sat down to Kill Bill vol 1 & 2.  And while I can't choose that film for the retro re-watch (it's from 2004) it did remind me of another of Quentin Tarntino's great female leads: Jackie Brown.  Cult favourite Pam Grier is at her best and with Samuel L Jackson, Bridget Fonda, Michael Keaton and Robert DeNiro to back her up this one is a smashing success.  Available on Netflix.

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