Friday, October 4, 2013

Pick O' the Week - October 4

In entertainment news this week, Fox has already renewed Sleepy Hollow after three episodes (premature?) and Don Juan made the box office top 5: queue awkward discussion of sex politics.  Judy Dench has decided to co-star in the trailer for this unfortunate thing and in an effort to convince the powers, a fan has made this trailer for a Wonder Woman movie

More encouragingly, TIFF People's Choice winner 12 Years a Slave has a new TV spot promoting the film (which I'm anxious to see) and on an entirely different note: Reboot is getting a reboot!!

And so, on to the picks!

In Theatres: The much buzzed about Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney comes to theatres this weekend, bringing with it a taught feeling of claustrophobia that may or may not be your cup of tea.  Bullock's performance may scream Oscar bait but director Alfonso Cuarón (The Children of Men, Y Tu Mamá También) is also being hailed as a visionary.  The film follows the exploits of two astronauts, Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) on her first mission off world, and Matt Kowalsky (Clooney), a veteran space traveller.  Unfortunately for both, during a routine space walk their shuttle is destroyed and they're left alone in the depths of space.  Undoubtedly you'll hear about this one come awards season but in the mean time it's also being pegged as one of the most anticipated films of the year.

At home: With all the buzz surrounding X-Men: Days of Future Past at San Diego Comic-Con, the recent release of The Wolverine and the upcoming arrival of Thor: Dark something-or-other, it would be easy for me to choose another comic property (Iron Man 3) as the pick this week.  I've spoken before about the amazing portrayal of females in the film, which flies in the face of much of what Hollywood puts out these days, and I did enjoy the film much more than I thought I would.  That said, this week I will instead suggest the viewing of a little film, starring none other than Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde herself) and Alexander Skarsgård (whose father also co-stars in the Marvel franchise.  The East follows a former FBI agent (Brit Marling) sent out to infiltrate a notorious band of environmental terrorists known as The East.  Unfortunately for her corporate clients, a growing attraction to one of the organisational linch-pins (Skarsgård) coupled with a shifting perspective on the activities of the corporations she is protecting, pulls Sarah (Marling) into a world of questionable morals and even more questionable actions.  Overall it opened to reasonably good reviews and is hailed as fast paced and engaging.

On TV: I recently stumbled upon Danish dramedy Rita, starring actress Mille Densen (for whom this is the second TV series in which she plays eponymous character).  Centred around Rita, a middle-aged mother of three, as she tries to balance work and life after finding out that her oldest son is poised to marry the daughter of her former lover.  Believing that honesty is the best policy when it comes to all things, Rita must struggle to keep her composure as she navigates the world of in laws, teenage children and work romances.  Did I mention she has a student teacher who wants nothing more than to be Rita's own bard (as in the Icelandic legends).  Yup, this mess of a person teaches children, and it's delightful.  Check it out, now available on Netflix.

Retro Re-Watch: The retro re-watch is getting harder and harder to pick each week.  With the more films I watch, (and the more which recently are pretty terrible) I find I'm misplacing the brain cells that catalogue those good film I've seen that I'd like to share.  But perhaps that can be alleviated by singing the praises of something I recently re-watched: The Celluloid Closet.  Now as documentaries go it's not particularly hard hitting but it does bring a visibility to a criminally underexposed element of popular movies.  The reality of black and white films that we watch and the self-awareness of the filmmakers who made them is deftly demonstrated and discussed by some of the very individuals who were involved in these films.  While the topic (the closeting of the LGBT element in Hollywood filmmaking) is certainly not positive, the overall tone of the film is celebration of those small moments that acknowledged and included representations (if flawed) of a underrepresented community.  It's definitely worth a watch.

1 comment:

  1. I saw The East. I hated it. I wasn't into it at all. But I had also had a few free drinks.