Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pick O' the Week - October 19

Our apologies for the delay this week, it's cold season here and CineCritical has been under the weather so please, bear with us.

This week we saw Dragonette live at the Sound Academy, reviewed Looper, and discovered that author some of Alice Munro's short stories are being adapted into a film starring Kristen Wiig, Haley Steinfield, Guy Pierce and Nick Nolte (?).  In other news, Dan Aykroyd is STILL insisting on making Ghostbusters 3 (sans Bill Murray) and the first teaser trailer for the remake of Carrie (starring media darling Chloe Moritz) has been released.  Finally, with the release of yet another trailer for the film I'm getting increasingly more concerned about Kathryn Bigelow's new film and coke zero released a new add campaign for Skyfall.

And now, on to the picks!

In Theatres:  With Taken 2 inexplicable continuing to dominate the box office, my suggestion is the public's second choice: Argo instead (review to follow).  Argo tells the incredible true story of 'The Houseguests", six American consulat workers who hid out in the home of the Canadian Ambassador during the student revolution and overtaking of the American Embassy in Iran in 1979.  The film concentrates on the plight of the six Americans who were being hunted by the revolutionaries and the CIA exfiltration expert who was sent to help them escape.  While not entirely believable from beginning to end, I thought overall the film did a decent job of portraying the situation as it must have felt for those evading capture (though interviews outline that Canada's involvement was much more than the film allows due to its status as a 'thriller').  I am continually impressed by Affleck's self assuredness when it comes to directing and also genuinely recommend his last directorial effort: The Town.  Ultimately if you don't concentrate too hard on the history aspect you'll very much enjoy the thrill.

At Home:  Out last week, Moonrise Kingdom tells the coming-of-age tale of young Sam Shakusky, an orphan spending the summer at camp and who has fallen in love with Suzy Bishop, a young girl who lives on the island where his scouts make their camp.   Heartfelt, quirky and fun, this film has been universally enjoyed by audiences and is a lovely and touching film for a quiet night in.

On TV:  Lately I've been really enjoying the fifth season of Merlin (BBC) and while I don't believe it's the type of show where you can just jump on five seasons in, it IS worth going back and watching from the beginning.  They have continued to surprise me and while the show itself is quite campy and fun, the story overall has been well helmed and quite touching.  This is a lighthearted show that's meant to keep you entertained but overall it's quite worth your time.

Retro Re-Watch: I was in a store yesterday and some vintage Janet came on over the loudspeaker (it was Rhythm Nation just in case you're wondering).  It reminded me of how much I love Janet and had me thinking about the 90's and what an impact it has had on my tastes in music.  Not just that but the 90's was when I was developing my own taste in movies as well.  This train of thought brought me to a  little film that grossed $11.7M its opening weekend and featured the singular talent of Ms. Jackson (as well as a late rapper 2Pac Shakur) and the poems of Maya Angelou: Poetic Justice.  Roger Ebert described the film (with relation to contemporary Boyz 'N The Hood) as, "a softer, gentler film, more of a romance than a commentary on social conditions," and Jackson was nominated for an Oscar for her original song "Again."  If you haven't seen it, have a look, even if it's not your thing it's worth it just to be exposed to Angelou's poems.

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