Friday, August 3, 2012

Pick O' the Week - August 3

The August long weekend is upon us! Long live summer in Ontario.

It seems unlikely that Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises will be able to eclipse the earnings of The Avengers, but will the numbers show which was a better film?

Released this week, the trailer for The Paperboy, Lee Daniels' follow-up to the extremely critically successful Precious. The film stars Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron as brothers who investigate a murder to exonerate a man on death row. The trailer features a scantily clad Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman. The film caused some audiences to applaud for 15 minutes at Cannes, while others booed. It may be due to this.

Moving on...

In Theatres: Are you one of the few who have not seen The Dark Knight Rises? I am not about to suggest Step Up Revolution (it was pure guilty pleasure for CineCritical, and pleasure might not be the right word). Last Sunday I saw a great documentary: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. It is the story of Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist, who uses art and social media to bring to light his problems of Modern China. China remains a mystery to most people, and while it does not dig very deep, it is an insightful film directed by Alison Klayman.

At Home: Speaking of insanity in parliament, The Madness of King George tells the story of the deteriorating mental health of King George III. It stars Nigel Hawthorne as George III and Helen Mirren as Queen Charlotte. It is a brilliantly acted period piece about the British monarchy (and yes, that is a dig at The King's Speech). The Madness of King George is available on Netflix.

On TV: Not quite as parliamentary-charged, The Closer (and Brenda Leigh's battle against The Pope (Police Chief Pope) is ending its seven season run on August 13. Will Brenda (Krya Sedgwick) leave with her reputation intact, or will she be disgraced by the LAPD. The Closer, one of my personal favourites, is not groundbreaking as a procedural, but it is a fantastic study of ensemble acting.

Retro Re-watch: I was going to stretch the limits of retro with Alexander Payne's 1999 film Election, but I MUST choose my favourite of his films: 1996's Citizen Ruth, starring Laura Dern. I have recommended it numerous times before, but Dern gives an amazing performance as a woman felled by drugs and her inability to keep her legs closed. Ruth becomes the centerpiece of the abortion war. I beg you to watch it.

I must say that I am waiting until next Friday to see Craig Zobel's Compliance. After seeing the trailer, I am hooked!

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