Friday, March 14, 2014

Pick O' the Week - March 14

In the afterglow of the Academy Awards, not much has been said positive or negative about Ellen DeGeneres hosting the show. For me, it was one of the worst and most painful awards shows I have sat through - even worse than James Franco and Anne Hathaway!

I was finished with Ellen way before the selfie. The whole "pizza for celebrities" gag had me gagging. It sure did not help that three hours into the show six major awards were still unannounced.

There is an interesting article - from the otherwise terrible Huffington Post - that claims Leonardo DiCaprio does not - and never has! - deserved an Oscar.

A trailer for Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman, has been released. I am not sure how I feel about the film yet. I love Nicole Kidman, as we all know, but the trailer does not captivate me. I noticed, however, that the YouTube link claims a June 6 release date - though it is the official UK trailer. I just hope that the film is better than Marion Cotillard's undeserved-but-deserved Oscar winner La Vie en Rose, also directed by Olivier Dahan.

In most exciting news, A Monster Calls, written by one of my favourite authors, Patrick Ness, has been announced as a feature film. It will be directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, who directed The Impossible.

In Theatures: Due to the terrible problem of having two of my most anticipated 2014 films being released on the same weekend, I have to offer two official picks:

1. Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel opens after charming audiences in Berlin. The trailer is impeccable and it features an all-star cast, lead by Ralph Fiennes. This week, we are also gifted with the red band trailer! It also stars Anderson regulars Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Jeff Goldblum, and Tilda Swinton. The film takes place at a once-lavish hotel in the fictional eastern European Republic of Zubrowka with Fiennes in the role of head concierge M. Gustave H. For fun, check out this great article about food in Anderson's films.

2. After raising $5 million on Kick Starter, Rob Thomas and the cast of Veronica Mars return for a one-week theatrical engagement. It has been seven years since the show last aired on television, but VM fans are die hard. Set nine years after the events of season three, Veronica (Kristen Bell) is living in New York. She returns to Neptune after Logan (Jason Dohring) is one again accused of murder. Do I anticipate Veronica Mars being a flawless piece of filmmaking? No. I just want to rejoin my beloved V as she reunites with Mac and Wallace. Check out reviews from SXSW from Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.

At Home: Post-Veronica Mars and pre-Frozen, Kristen Bell was floating in could-be obscurity. Then came Jason Segel's 2008 film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, directed by Nicholas Stoller. Segel stars as the lovable idiot (does he have another layer?) who is dumped by the titular Sarah (Bell). In his devastation, he travels to Hawaii where he meets Rachel (Mila Kunis), a hotel employee. Despite being predictable, it is a genuinely funny film with some terrific comedic performances. Check it out on Netflix.

On TV: If you are feeling unprepared for the theatrical release of Veronica Mars, you should absolutely check out the first three seasons on DVD. In 2004, we were first introduced to Veronica Mars, the high school student turned private detective. Veronica is as snarky and intelligent as we all wish we were in high school. With her friends Wallace and Mac, she solves the mystery of her best friend's death, takes money from her peers with her sleuthing skills, and expertly navigates the social nightmares of being a teenager.

Retro Re-watch: In honour of my ten year friend-aversary with Siobhan on Monday (St. Patrick's Day 2014!), I offer Robert Zemeckis' 1992 dark comedy Death Becomes Her. Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn star as former best friends turned rivals whose childish fight over the same man (Bruce Willis) has now caused them to seek eternal youth. Siobhan and I have always wanted to end our friendship after fighting over the same man! Campy and hilarious, Death Becomes Her is a kitchy 90s movie with great visual effects. Can you really go wrong with La Streep?

To another ten years!


  1. May we always put up with each other ;)

  2. Can I be Lisle Von Rhuman?? I've always loved the bead-necklaces-over-bare-breasts look on me.