Friday, September 13, 2013

Pick O' the Week - September 13

I apologize for skipping out on my picks last week. I did not have the available attention to make any decisions. I have been trying to enjoy the Toronto International Film Festival and still sleep and work. I have seen six films and I will be seeing four more this weekend!

This week's new releases are The Family, Insidious: Chapter 2 and Passion. The Family is based on Tonio Benacquista's 2010 novel Malavita. It is a clever and humorous mob novel about witness protection. I love Michelle Pfeiffer, but neither she nor Robert De Niro are the actors I think are even remotely suitable.
Passion is Brian De Palma's needless remake of Alain Corneau's 2010 film Crime d'amour (Love Crime), which starred Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier. This time we have Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams. I have never seen McAdams give such a terrible performance. The movie was godawful.

This weekend will ignite the fire for one film on its path to supposed Oscar glory. TIFF will announce the People's Choice Award winner on Sunday. Will 12 Years a Slave win? Or will Gravity, which had one more screening (four) than most films? It is a ridiculous process and it is all dependent on the number of screenings offered and the size of the theatres, as only a moviegoer with a ticket can vote.

In Theatres: Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine will hopefully win Cate Blanchett a deserved statuette for Best Actress. Some might call it redemption for her first loss in 1998 for Elizabeth, but it is a flawless and incredible performance. Sally Hawkins, Alec Baldwin, Andrew Dice Clay and  Bobby Cannavale also offer some great work. Read my review here.

At Home: Before deciding to put his acting career on hold, Ryan Gosling starred in a fairly innocuous 2011 film that was surprisingly well made and enjoyable. It was definitely improved by the presence of Emma Stone and Julianne Moore, though. Crazy, Stupid, Love is a lot of fun with some surprising tender moments. And then there is that Dirty Dancing scene. Check it out on Netflix.

On TV: Futurama began way back in 1999 as Matt Groening's new animated series for Fox. I always loved it much more than The Simpsons. There is something about time travel and the future that is just more intriguing. It was unfortunately cancelled in 2003 and then revived in 2008 when Comedy Central realized just what a money marker it actually was. Unfortunately, the series has ended once again. But at least Fry and Leela got a much better ending this time.

Retro Re-watch: To better complement your viewing of Blue Jasmine, you should really watch Blanchett in Elizabeth. The 1998 film was directed by Shekhar Kapur and starred Blanchett as the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I. The film also starred Geoffrey Rush, Joseph Fiennes and Richard Attenborough. Blanchett's talents as an actor are so viciously on display in this film that it is still widely considered her career-best work. This was the film that introduced the world to Blanchett, as I doubt many of you saw Oscar and Lucinda (1997) when it was released.

Enjoy your weekend!

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