Friday, July 19, 2013

Pick O' the Week - July 19

Happy Birthday, beautiful!

It seems to be the week of acronyms as R.I.P.D. (Rest in Peace Department) and RED 2 (Retired, Extremely dangerous) enter our theatres. 

If you are looking for something with a higher Rotten Tomatoes ranking, check out Nicholas Winding Refn's Cannes-loathed Only God Forgives, a reunion with Canadian actor Ryan Gosling two years after Drive

Forbes has also revealed its list of the highest earning actors between June 2012 and June 2013. The list is unsurprising, given Hollywood's penchant for supposed A-list stars to appear in every possible sequel and remake. Robert Downey Jr. comes in first, followed by Channing Tatum, Hugh Jackman, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Leonardo Dicaprio, Adam Sandler, Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington and Liam Neeson. In the past year, have any of these actors been in a good movie? Let's not count the travesty that was Les Misérables

Yesterday also featured announcements for the 65th Emmy Awards. Lots of shocks. Lots of disappointments. And more than a few groans. 

In Theatres: Despite my burning desire to see Gosling as a Bangkok-based thug, but due to the god-awful heatwave burning through Canada, I have to suggest escaping to the cinema to see Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in the could-have-should-have-been-so-much-better The Heat. Bullock tries to play Miss Congeniality over again, but her sweet appeal is too cavity-inducing this time around. And Melissa McCarthy's character never really grows beyond caricature. Yet the film is still rather funny. But I can be you will be too hot to care!

At Home: From June 5 to August 11, the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto is showcasing A Century of Chinese Cinema. It is a retrospective of films from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Because of this, I had the pleasure of seeing my first Cantonese-language film: Johnnie To's 2005 film Election. It tells the story of the struggle between Lok (Simon Yam) and Big D (Tony Leung Ka-fai) to gain control of the Wo Shing society. It is an engrossing and thrilling film, and, as we were told at the screening, does not feature a single gun shot despite being a gangster film. Johhnie To also released Election 2 in 2006 to even more acclaim. 

On TV: I have slowly been devouring the newest Netflix original series, Orange Is the New Black from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan. It is the story of a white, upper-class woman (Taylor Schilling) who is sentenced to fifteen months in prison for laundering drug money (something she did ten years prior while in a lesbian relationship). The series focuses on the relationships of the women in prison and on their lives before being sent to Litchfield. The story is told in such a way that the series is a true ensemble piece. There are great performances from Laura Prepon (as the ex-girlfriend who is also in prison), Kate Mulgrew, Natasha Lyonne and Laverne Cox. Available only on Netflix.

Retro Re-watch: I am going to beak with tradition and offer a film that was in theatres only 7 months ago! I am just too excited to see that Marion Cotillard's career-best performance in the single best film of 2012 is available on Netflix! If Rust and Bone was not playing near you, or you just happened to miss it, go watch it on Netflix immediately. (Review is here and my top films of 2012 is here.) 

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