Friday, February 7, 2014

Pick O The Week - February 7

Well it's time for the Olympics, which means that every time you go out in public for the next little while (in North America at least) there will be people watching the games.  And while it's not really my cup of tea, I'm totally on board for a live event that brings people together. Now that said, it does mean we may have a bit of a break before some of our favourite shows return, but since I'm not really watching anything anyway I'm not too bothered.

Unfortunately the big news out of the entertainment world this week has been that actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed away in his New York apartment.  Apparently the victim of an overdose, Hoffman had been battling drug addiction for a very long time and will be missed by his friends, fans and the entertainment industry.  Co-start and friend Cate Blanchett has cancelled her appearances this week to mourn his loss but instead of focusing on that, I suggest taking a look at his varied career.

And now the picks.

In Theatres: I finally managed to get our to see Frozen this past weekend and it really was as good as people have been saying.  Not only does the film make a concerted effort to ensure that the heroines (there are two) make their own decisions and aren't unduly influenced by their male cohorts, they manage to side-step the troubles that Brave had in telling a story that little girls really wanted to see.  It's enough of a change to make it a better model for children to aspire to, but not such a change that they have no interest in the film at all.  As my niece said when prompted about whether she liked Brave, "The bear was scary."  Well, while harrowing at times, I wouldn't class Frozen as scary so that's a definite win. 

If animated movies aren't your thing, I'm afraid you're left with few choices as the LEGO movie is the only big opener this weekend.  That said, there are still a handful of Oscar nominated films in theatres for you to attend including 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, American Hustle, Wolf of Walstreet and Nebraska

At Home:  Dallas Buyer's Club is out on DVD as of this week so that might be one to check out if you've not already had the pleasure.  I haven't seen it myself but incidentally I've been much more impressed with Matthew McConaughey's work lately, most particularly with HBO's True Detective (which you should totally check out and will likely be something I do a 'quick look' at soon).  In the mean time I'm probably going to try to get hold of In A World (out on DVD Feb 4) starring, written and directed by, Ms. Lake Bell.  It looks cute and entertaining and with the beginning of a very busy year, I sort of want some "cute and entertaining" time this weekend.

On TV: I remember seeing the trailer for the pilot of Being Mary Jane and thinking that was something I might want to watch but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I truly enjoyed MJ (as played by Gabrielle Union).  While I don't think MJ's on-camera anchor persona is as honed as I'd like (that'll come) the believability of her struggle to be the, "one that has it all together," really got me.  I'm not a big fan of characters who seem doomed to repeat the same cycle again and again but with all the pressure that MJ is under in the other parts of her life, I'm inclined to believe that she would give in to her attraction to, "All the wrong men."  With a love life that is constantly on the verge of imploding and some interesting (if a little stereotypical) secondary characters, this one should develop into an interesting little soapy drama.

Retro Re-watch: So with the Empire covers for X-Men Days of Future Past coming out (to reiterate you that there are so many damn people in this movie), I'm reminded of my shock at finding out one of my favourite films was directed by Bryan Singer.  Yup, that's right.  The dude best known for the first two X-Men movies is not only back to his old tricks, but was behind one of the best examples of a heist movie I've ever seen.  Now You See Me tried to replicate this magic but it just can't be done.  So, go watch The Usual Suspects and enjoy.  You'll be glad you did!

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