Friday, November 15, 2013

Pick O' the Week - November 15

This week, Darren Aronofsky's beleaguered Noah finally has a trailer (is this his mid-life religious crisis film?), Fifty Shades of Grey is officially delayed (does this mean we can stop hearing about it?  Oh I'm contributing....for shame) and I've been reminded that Nick Frost has made a dancing movie and I'm VERY excited about it (if we remember, I have a weakness for dancing films).

In other news, German film Nothing Bad Can Happen has won the AFI New Auteurs award and I can see why, there's a very dynamic clip from the film available to view here.  Variety is reporting that there also seems to be a growing audience for film music, but more specifically when it's played on stage for an audience. And finally, just in time for Remembrance/Veteran's Day Tom Cruise stuck his foot in his mouth during a recent statement where he compared filming to going away to war, which it seems Marky Mark took issue with.

In Theatres: Much has been made of Thor 2's impressive numbers this past weekend (as in, "Well it did so well because nothing else came out last weekend,") but it seems that while the critics complain of plot holes, they are also quick to mention just how much fun the film really is.  I suppose we'll see.  Of course the controversial Ender's Game adaptation was also released last week and though there is a well publicized campaign to boycott the film it still hit number 5 at the box office.  It makes me wonder if there wasn't an anti-Card campaign (as a result of his virulent and outspoken views on gay marriage) how it might have done.  Well I suppose we'll never know, but it's also not getting very good reviews so I would skip that one if you can.  All the old favourites are still in theatres in various areas but my suggestion would be if you can to seek out Blue is the Warmest Colour, the Cannes film festival Palm d'Or winner.  And stay tuned as Matt will likely be reviewing it very soon.

At Home: Back in July when he saw this Matt gave Frances Ha a 3.5 (out of 4) and praised it for its self-conscious nods to Woody Allen and ability to evoke a modern Annie Hall.  Frances is a dancer who exists in a co-dependent relationship with her roommate Sophie and the film follows the consequences of Fances' dependence on and inability to leave Sophie.  This is one that's been on my list for awhile so I'm excited to check it out this weekend, I would suggest you do that same (now on DVD and Blu Ray).

On TV:  Lately, Saturday Night Live has been funny.  And it's been awhile since that was true.  Even during what some would call peak times for the variety giant, many skits end up being throw aways so I've been pleasantly surprised these last few weeks by being reasonably entertained.  Most recently with the incomparable Kerri Washington hosting and managing to be the funniest part of nearly every sketch.  With the controversy that has been swirling around SNL for some time regarding the casting choices they've made of late, and Kenan Thompson's decision to no longer play female characters on the show, the time was right for something to be said.  Which they did.  And while the move did more for SNL than for Washington or the future of black comediennes on the show, at the very least it did point a problem.  Tellingly though, the sketch ended with a cameo from the Reverand Al Sharpton, making a pointed statement about what we had learned from the sketch.  As he says, "As usual, nothing."  But I'm interested to see how this plays out, and how the show evolves now that Seth Meyers is moving on.

Retro Re-Watch:  Inspired by the events of the past news week here in our little corner of the world, I give you Rebel Without a Cause.  While James Dean's Jim Stark suffers from a different sort of addiction and only the vague sense of narcissism which comes with being young, he is certainly a conflicted character in a whirlwind of action.  While I would argue in this film that Plato (Jim's 15-year-old and terribly earnest companion) is actually the rebel, living on the fringes of society rather than the reluctant embodiment of it as Dean is, I do believe the film has something interesting to say about misfits.  What's more, it's always enjoyable to see what studio execs thought the root of all evil was and apparently it's a household where the traditionally demonstrated roles of Mother and Father are reversed.   Apparently this is new to Toronto Life magazine who dedicated the cover of their magazine to exactly that.  Which visual depiction is more offensive I ask you?

Have a great weekend everyone!

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