Saturday, December 29, 2012

RECENTLY BEHELD: DECEMBER 2012, PART 1

(1991)


Maybe the oddest Woody Allen film I've yet seen. This follows him as a neurotic bookkeeper who gets dragged into a neighborhood watch on the dangerous night that a serial strangler is at large. There's an ensemble going on behind his worried wanderings; namely prostitutes, circus performers, and vigilantes (lots of faces and names you're sure to recognize). They've all got groups to belong to, he does not seem to fit in anywhere. By the end the film feels the same way.

★★★½
_________________________________________________________________

(2012)



The third feature from Australian Andrew Dominik, further proving that each film of his is drastically different in style than the one before it. What does remain are the heavy but fascinating chunks of dialogue and a directorial vision too big to fit through the front door. Slap on the heavy hand of America's ongoing economic crisis and the presidential election of 2008 as the stage and you have a steamroller message that many will resist. It's far from pleasant, revolting really, but I believe in a medium that should not always try to be. I think it's a dark commentary on our times and country while an explosive crime chronicle in its own right.

★★★★½
_________________________________________________________________


(1979)


I still have many Woody Allen films to catch up with, but this is my favorite of what I've seen. Allen is a man who's heart is lost in the city. There are three women who have taken hold of it (his heart) at different times as of late; he juggles between the memories, fears and desires of everything from romance, art and humanity. It's filmed in uncompromising black-and-white, even though his life couldn't be more grey. At times the storytelling becomes Charlie Chaplin-like, at other times it is as funny/tragic as Shakespeare. 

★★★★★
_________________________________________________________________


(2000)


Here is one of the films I had overlooked from one of our most exciting filmmakers today, Park Chan-wook ("Oldboy"). It takes place in the DMZ that separate the Koreas. There was an incident where some soldiers were killed and so those ever-neutral Swedish are sent in to investigate. The fascinating flashbacks and relationship between the individuals of North and South are deeply marred by embarrassing English-speaking performances.

★★★★
_________________________________________________________________


(2011-12)


There may never have been a better/worse example of having your cake and eating it too. Joel Murray gives a disturbingly notable performance as a man who has had it with today's society and goes on a pistol-popping quest to rid the world of its reality stars, political commentators and the like. Unfortunately a young and incredibly irritating girl named Roxy (playing Bonnie to Murray's Clyde) shows up early and sours the entire affair. It's comedy at its darkest, the first half-hour maybe one of the best commentaries on today's pop culture addicted civilization that I have ever seen. (After seeing this and "Killing Them Softly" this month I don't know what to think about what people think of our country anymore.)

★★½
_________________________________________________________________


(2012)


Tom Cruise fills the title role nicely, though fans of the books have made their disapproval known. I had no existing relationship to the character or story, I went in fresh and this was one of the year's best surprises. A shocking and purely cinematic opening sequence gets this investigative beat going. From the writer of "The Usual Suspects," who also directs here, this film feels very much like it was lifted from the page and placed on the screen with precise pacing. There's as much convention-breaking as there is adherence, but its a smart and satisfying ride all the way through.

★★★★
_________________________________________________________________


(2006)


A horror/comedy about a worm-y alien life that takes over the bodies of the general populace in Small Town, USA. Nathan Fillion plays the cop who is hot for Elizabeth Banks' character. Luckily for him Banks' husband is one of the first to turn. It's disgusting and gory, but I did not find it as entertaining as I thought it would be. The last half-hour especially wears out its welcome.

★★½
_________________________________________________________________


(1991)


Leox Carax's sophomore effort is a love story between two homeless. Nothing is theirs and so the city entire is theirs. Denis Lavant and Juliette Binoche are mesmerizing in the unparalleled depths of these unglamorous roles. I've only seen three of Carax's films now, all in the last several weeks. Each is different from another, each is different than anything I've every seen before. The fireworks sequence is creatively sublime.

★★★★½

TRAILER ROUND-UP: HERD 94




Steve Carell is "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," a world famous magician. Alongside Steve Buscemi's Anton Marvelton the two are a renowned duo of illusionists complete with sparkly costumes (think David Copperfields by way of Siegfried & Roy). All's well in Bedford Falls until a David Blaine-like street magician garners the media spotlight and steals their thunder, he is played by Jim Carrey. The strength and comedic power of these three alone seems worth the price of admission, but throw in Olivia Wilde as a magician assistant, James Gandolfini as an agent and Alan Arkin as the aged magician who inspired Burt in his youth. You've got a helluva cast, concept and you can guarantee the weekend box office is in the bag for this one come March 15th.



"Turbo" is the next film coming down the Dreamworks Animation pipe. A whole slew of popular voice talent (from Snoop Dogg to Richard Jenkins) is onboard for this story of a garden snail who wants to be fast. How fast? He dreams of winning the Indy 500! I'd like to think it's more than just "A Bug's Life" meets "Cars." I'd also like to think it's going to have more than the go-to struggle of somebody who wants to do/be something they inherently are not. July 19th, 2013. We'll know more when we get something more than just this teaser.



"Drift"  is not just another surfer movie, it's another surfer movie based on a true story. This time we're set in Australia in the '70s and follow the exploits of two brothers played by Sam Worthington and Xavier Samuel. The trailer has as much content away from the waves as in them, but you'd better believe it has "the big one" rolling in at the end. No U.S. release date as of yet. Do you even care?



Billy Crystal and Bette Milder star in "Parental Guidance," where the grandparents need to home-sit and babysit while their grandchildren's parents go out of town. I've seen my folks go through such a scenario and it can be stressful for those involved, but fun for those on the sidelines. That said, this film does not look like much fun. Predictable, forgettable and in theaters for not much longer.




Eli Roth produces and stars in "Aftershock," a disaster/horror film wherein he plays an American who picked the wrong weekend to visit Chile. After an earthquake strikes, it's survival of the fittest as the number of survivors dwindle due to the psychopaths on the surface. This doesn't look promising and will get a meager theatrical release if any next year.

Clean yer porch with a stallion tail, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


SICK COW


Remember how I mourned "A Haunted House" last week? Well, now it has an equally deplorable competitor in "Scary Movie 5." It also poorly spoofs the "Paranormal Activity" films, often going for the lowest (common denominator) laughs imaginable. When in doubt, hit 'em in the crotch! ("Parental Guidance" resorts to this as well...) "Inception" and "Black Swan" also get referenced. This isn't just stupid, it's sad: Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan play themselves and become the the butt-end of jokes about themselves. Maybe the worst thing I can say about "Scary Movie 5" is I'd rather watch "A Haunted House." I cannot believe I believe that...


QUEER STEER

Ed Harris plays the captain of a Soviet submarine in "Phantom," though he does not know the extent of his mission. The subject matter intertests few I'd wager and this trailer does not do it any favors. Despite some of the talent in front of the camera this comes off looking like a TV movie, which writer/director Todd Robinson has largely worked with in the past. Some realistic (to my oblivious senses) sets are meshed with elementary visual effects. I cannot believe this one is hitting theaters on March 1st. Methinks it will not do so well.


LASSO OF THE WEEK

"The Place Beyond the Pines" stars Ryan Gosling as a motorcycle stunt driver by night and a bank robber, making two-wheeled getaways, by day. Jeremy Cooper plays the dedicated police officer on his tail. The film circulates both men and their wives, it's as much a drama as it is a crime film. It looks to be far more interesting than a black-and-white tale of cops and robbers, Gosling appears to be our protagonist. There are some striking similarities to last year's masterwork, "Drive." Derek Cianfrance ("Blue Valentine") directs. "The Place Beyond the Pines" can be found in select theaters on March 29th, 2013.

Friday, December 28, 2012

THE FILM TOME PODCAST - EPISODE 2: CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN INDIAN



We got a bit behind with releasing these episodes (we already have recorded two more since this one), but we are still dedicated to the idea of an (ideally) weekly podcast. In this, our second episode, Trent and I review Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" after briefly examining the director's most-interesting career, in addition to sharing what we've been watching, a look at two upcoming zombie films and discuss the news of "Star Wars - Episode VII." Enjoy listening (or downloading) below and look for this episdoe soon on iTunes. 

Happy holidays to you and yours from The Film Tome Podcast!




SHOW NOTES

The Film Tome Podcast - Episode 002: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Indian
Recording Date: December 4, 2012
Running Time: 42:06

Segments:
(01:56) Trailer Round-Up
(07:10) Recently Beheld
(17:45) Lucasfilm buyout from Disney & the future of Star Wars
(22:12) Review: Life of Pi (2012)
(35:39) Review, Part 2 (with spoilers): Life of Pi

Music:
Mychael Danna - Pi's Lullaby, Life of Pi OST (2012)
Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin - Once There was a Hushpuppy, Beasts of the Southern Wild OST (2012)
John Williams - Star Wars Theme Song, Star Wars OST (1977)
Mychael Danna - Piscine Moliter Patel, Life of Pi OST (2012)
Mychael Danna - Which Story Do You Prefer, Life of Pi OST (2012)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 94 (SPECIAL DJANGO UNCHAINED EDITION)



NEW IN THEATERS



This Week
  • Django Unchained / 89%
  • Les Miserables / 72%
  • Parental Guidance* / 16%
  • Promised Land* / 67%
  • Quartet* / 90%
  • Tabu* / 92%
  • Therese*
  • West of Memphis / 95%


Last Week
  • Amour / 92%
  • Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D / 56%
  • The Guilt Trip* / 37%
  • The Impossible* / 80%
  • Jack Reacher / 61%
  • Monsters, Inc. 3D / 96%
  • On the Road* / 46%
  • This is 40 / 50%
  • Zero Dark Thirty / 93%

* = limited release

NEW IN STORES



  • Looper / 94%
  • The Well Digger's Daughter / 90%
  • The Words / 22%

CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes
* * *

POSTER CHILD



Check out this beautiful fan-made poster for "Django Unchained"!

* * *


ENLISTED




Total Film lists their "50 Best Christmas Movies."



In honor of "Les Mis" hitting theaters today the crew at HitFix compiled their list of the "Top 20 Movie Musicals of the Last 50 Years." I have not seen a number of these (does this mean I have to watch the "South Park" film?), but I have no doubt "Les Mis" belongs on this list now.

* * *


THE GOOD



Wanna listen to the whole "Django Unchained" soundtrack for free online? Of course you do! Here. I'm telling you, this just may be the best mix-tape soundtrack out of all of Tarantino's films. 

* * *

THE BAD



Not very surprisingly there is some drama surround the use of "nigger" in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained." (Source: The Hollywood Reporter) Director Spike Lee is not a fan.




The production of "Django" had some complications. Hear this story and more in this producer roundtable. (Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

* * *

AND THE RANDOM



Scott Mendelson has the pre-holiday weekend box office analysis. "The Hobbit" still on top.




Quentin Tarantino and the cast of "Django Unchained" discuss the struggle and joy of making the film. (Source: The Film Stage)




In this week's Criticwire Survey Matt Singer asks what in Quentin Tarantino's best film. Looks like all (but "Death Proof") are getting picked and explained, yes, even the brand new "Django"!




Stephen Marche at Esquire argues that "Django Unchained" is a better film about slavery than "Lincoln."




Matt Singer's blog discusses how this Christmas at the theater is mighty depressing...




My dear Werner Herzog plays the villain in "Jack Reacher" opposite Tom Cruise, though this Guardian article discusses how he has done much bigger things in the past.

 * * *

OR THE COOL




What were Tarantino's influences for "Django"? Read about them here. (Source: The New York Times)



Check out this post by /Film with more "Django" content. Also, you can stream the entire soundtrack with introductions from Tarantino himself (above) and also listen to the Frank Ocean song that didn't make it into the film.




Guys, guys, check out the "Django Unchained" B-Roll reel!



Finally, last bit of "Django," check out this mashup trailer using the visuals from Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles"!


* * *

Sunday, December 23, 2012

LES MISERABLES - REVIEW

Les Misérables
December 25, 2012 (United States)
160 min
United Kingdom (English)

Directed by Tom Hooper
Written by William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, Jean-Marc Natel and Herbert Kretzmer (Based on the novel by Victor Hugo)

Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) holding young Cosette (Isabelle Allen).

"Les Misérables" is a feat of adaptation and ambition. The shoulders on which it stands and the landmark production of its own make this one of the best musicals and one of the best films in years. 

PROLOGUE TO MY REVIEW

Chances are that most crowds who flock to theaters this Christmas to behold "Les Misérables" will be fans of the renowned musical, which celebrated its 25th anniversary recently in 2010. When I saw it last week I did not fit into this camp. Growing up in a home with a family that loved the musical I heard the songs every so often, but being the youngest I was removed from a lot of their art consumption. I had not heard the musical in its entirety nor did I know the story it was telling. 

This year I started reading Victor Hugo's literary classic, not light reading as many of you may know. According to so many close and influential people in my life, it is the greatest book that they've ever read and so I could not ignore it. I had to read it. I'm currently halfway through the massive text and I've already had spirited conversations with my father about how incredible it is, Waterloo and all. I've no doubt that when I'm finished with it I will hold it in equal esteem. "The Hobbit" may remain my favorite book of all time, but "Les Mis" may be the greatestWhat a blessed year where cinematic adaptations of each are upon us! Having seen both last week I can happily report that they rose above my high (though after significant critic grapeshot, moderate) expectations, especially "Les Mis."

And so I went into "Les Mis" with some passing familiarity of the songs involved. The melodies and certain lyrics never leave you, do they? The chill-inducing trailer brought a lot of the numbers back and offered glimpses of what the film would be like, a surprising follow-up to Tom Hooper's exceptional "The King's Speech." With the novel providing me a foundation of the first half of this decade-bridging epic, a familiarity of the principal characters involved and more than I would ever need to know about Paris circa early 19th-Century, the stage was more than set for me. However, I did not know the outcome and was able to be surprised by the film's second half. Well, that was a side note in the spirit of Hugo, but I thought it be worth noting on what I brought into the theater when I saw "Les Mis." That is always an important factor but can be even more decisive when dealing with adaptations.

MY REVIEW 

Victor Hugo's novel is the story of a man severely punished for a petty crime and hating the world for it. It is easy to adopt this perception when you have never met someone who seems to care, but one caring person can change your life. This is a pattern we see throughout the story, which has been adapted into plays, musicals and films before, but never has there been a film adapted from the musical. In many ways it is acquiring the best of several worlds: the powerful music that has been stirring the hearts of millions for years now, delving back into the mine of details that Hugo painted with his words 150 years ago, and using the storytelling tools of cinema for lasting measure.

Hugh Jackman plays Jean Valjean, the freshly paroled ex-convict with a troubled past and an unknown future. He is the through-line for the narrative that spans nearly 20 years in and around Paris, starting in 1815. His efforts to change are constantly thwarted by Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) who sincerely believes that once a criminal, always a criminal, especially one as hardend as Prisoner #24601. What makes this account so relatable and debatable is that these characters are neither black or white. Protagonist and antagonist alike have their reasonings and justifications in store, even if their moralities sometimes bend in the wind. That's not to say there aren't some purely good and then some wickedly evil characters abounding around.

I stress this because this story, especially as adapted into a musical, is very much a cast of distinct characters. Jean Valjean is at the head, but it is an ensemble piece to be sure. Anne Hathaway plays Fantine, but for those unfamiliar with the production her short amount of screen time will surprise, especially as she was billed second only to Jackman. In her few numbers she conveys a desperate individual who has tasted loss and lost the taste of hope. Hers is one of the best performances of the year, a shoe-in for Best Supporting Actress for my money; Hathaway's rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" will be legendary. You do not need to mark my words, the feeling is unanimous.


Russell Crowe plays Inspector Javert... and actually sings!

We already knew Jackman and Hathaway could sing, but Russell Crowe? That was a surprise to me from the very first trailer. And yes, correct me if I'm wrong, this is the first time that Crowe has ever attempted to sing. I mean, this is Maximus we're talking about here! He's a great Javert if not a great singer, but he completely commits to the performance and that's what sells it in the end. Besides, we're not just dealing with singing abilities this time (this ain't The Voice), for a cinematic adaptation acting becomes a key ingredient. The same goes for everyone involved. They might not all be Broadway material (though I'm sure I won't be alone in preferring Eddie Redmayne to Nick Jonas as Marius...), but they can sing and can act. This film consistently amazed me at how doubly talented the individuals involved were.

One of the key features about this film that has been widely advertised is that they recorded the music live on set. This is virtually unheard of in movie musicals, Hollywood or otherwise. This isn't just a gimmick, but an actual game-changer. It really makes all the difference in the world. The songs breathe like nothing I've ever seen. Acting (there's that word again) takes a front seat beside the vocals and can change accordingly to the emotions of the moment. Director Tom Hooper wanted the sets to have an affect on the cast and crew, from uncomfortable temperatures to unwanted smells (I watched Hathaway on Ellen describing the raw fish around). Due to these conditions there is a naturalism involved even if musicals themselves are far from natural.

The solo numbers often take place in uninterrupted shots (largely due to the uniqueness of each separate take). It gives the project a degree of guerilla filmmaking, which I was blown away by. From Jean Valjean's opening Soliloquy, where he is singing his repentance in forgotten chapel, I was riveted as the versatile camera moved back and forth with Jackman in his kneeling and his pacing. Do see this film in a theater where their faces can be forty feet tall. The galaxies of human faces (from those miserable to those deplorable and to those joyful) are yours to explore. I did not know this film would be as intimate as it was. We are occasionally treated to a grandiose picture of the setting we are in, like in the breath-taking opening shot where a mighty ship is pulled ashore, but mostly we are in close-up with the souls at stake. Factor in the live and vibrant singing and the result is raw and resonant.

"Les Misérables" sews anger, sorrow, and enmity across threads of sacrifice, forgiveness, and brotherhood. It is ultimately about those who care and love another and that keeps its heart beating strong. The novel was unabashedly spiritual in its "matter of fact" mentions of God above. This spirit is alive and well in this film. Whether you partake of this creed or not I should think the message of compassion could ease anyone's mind. Also, it skips across genres you could list like a smooth stone over a glassy lake. There's a reason this story is standing against time and proving itself to viewers of all ages.

I have since caught up with the stage musical (the 25th Anniversary to be exact). I cannot imagine many others will experience these in this same order. I am curious what others who have appreciated the musical for years will think of this film. Some songs are in different orders, there's additions between the numbers to further the narrative and it even includes a new song while also cutting easily the worst one from the stage musical ("Dog Eat Dog"). My hope is they will love what they have always loved and esteem the improvements (yes, I really consider them to be such). Many of the aspects I have been praising about this "Les Misérables" are purely cinematic. There are things that you can only do in the movies and I believe this team accomplished what they set out to create.


The Thénardiers and their "sweet" Cosette.

Before I close I would like to make mention of a couple numbers in particular: Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter (the two previously sang onscreen in Tim Burton's "Sweeny Todd") are a nastily entertaining duo playing the Thénardiers, the "worst" innkeepers in any town. "Master of the House" feels like it is from a jarringly different musical, as it always has, but thinking back on it brings much mirth. Samantha Banks plays Éponine (as she did in the 25th Anniversary). Her rendition of "On My Own" in the rain is a show-stopper. As amazing as Hathaway is, it boggles my mind of the common criticism that the film's second half flounders in comparison to the first. Daniel Huttlestone plays the street urchin Gavroche. I didn't want to take a swing at him like I did the snot-nosed kid on the stage and I much prefer the greater impact he has in the film.

Not only is "Les Misérables" the best film I've seen this year, it's one of the best musicals I have seen in ages and will undoubtedly blaze a trail for a new lineup of musical adaptations to the silver screen. This particular adaptation of "Les Misérables" is a true cinematic treasure, like other versions of the tale it is a classic of our day and age and will be cherished by many for generations to come.



★★★★★

CONTENT: some sexuality, sexual dialogue, language and brief bloody violence

Update 12/29/12

Friday, December 21, 2012

TRAILER ROUND-UP: HERD 93



Here we go again, it's time for another trailer of "G.I. Joe Retaliation," this time with 3D in the mix, which is why the studio claims it was delayed a year. We should have seen this movie by now, but they chose to post convert. This is mostly stuff we've already seen in previous trailers, but we get the President of the United States taking a jab at North Korea and then watch a city crumble (that must have taken a team of visual effects wizards a month to do). The action is still looking rather fun even if the plot seems rather dumb. We'll see if this actually comes out on March 29th.



"On the Road" was in competition at Cannes but is only now getting a limited release here in the States. Based on the 1957 novel by Jack Kerouac this is the story of a young writer (Sam Riley) road-tripping through Post-War America. He meets many people on his travels and so there are many names, some more well-known than others, in this ensemble mix. This is helmed by Brazilian Walter Salles who previously directed "The Motorcycle Diaries," a film I haven't seen but appears similar in themes and subject matter. 



It's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" meets "Visitors" in "The Host." Aliens have possessed the bodies of mankind, you can tell them from their bright eyes. One girl's soul seems to withstand the infection and sets out on a quest to free the human race. "The Host" is written/directed by Andrew Niccol. We've seen how great films can be when Niccol writes them ("The Truman Show") and how great they could have been when he directs them ("In Time"). Stephanie Meyer ("Twilight") is responsible for the source material, so of course there's a love story involved. March 29th, 2013.



"I Give It a Year" follows newlyweds during their first year of marriage, antics ensue and a heavy amount of British humour is in the air. I found it both parts off-putting and rather amusing. As of yet there is no slated U.S. release date.



I had to watch the trailer for "The Underwater Realm" after The Filmschool Rejects said it's an indie film that looks like a blockbuster. Really? No, not really. In fact, some parts are laughably bad. The actresses' horrified facial reaction only to be smacked on this side of the head is poor acting and worse action. I have no idea what is going on here either... Mermaids, fighter pilots, extras from "The Hunt for Gollum"? Those gripes aside it has some memorable visuals (including a lot going on underwater, which cannot be easy). This was apparently a Kickstarter project and the film will be released for free on YouTube come Christmas Day. I just may check it out, but don't buy the hype.



Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson star in "Pain & Gain." I think these two are fine actors when given the right material, not sure if this falls under that category though. Two bodybuilders get involved with some less than legal activities  Buff boys and hot girls in Miami, with a heavy dose of adrenaline drenched violence and just a touch of Tony Shaloub are the protein for this shake-up. Did I mention this was directed by the one, the only Michael Bay. Expecting something big and hopefully not too dumb on April 26th.



Prepare to get your "creature violence" (thanks MPAA) on in "Storage 24." Some friends get locked in a storage unit downtown London where the military's pet alien is able to terrify them/us in a close quarter space. This trailer gets to a point where it tries to emulate the amazing one for "Prometheus," flash cuts, sound design and all. And is that a face-hugger I spy? There looks to be nothing we haven't seen before and better and yet, this is not this week's Sick Cow... "Storage 24" is currently available on iTunes and will hit a theater or two on January 11th, 2013.




January is notorious for jettison pictures in the wake of "awards season" contenders. "The Baytown Outlaws" proves this trend is still strong. The first feature by Barry Battles (I'm guessing that's a "fame name") has Eva Longoria requesting the help of three redneck brothers to rescue her son from an abusive father played by Billy Bob (Thornton). It's loud, obnoxious, avoid-worthy and yet, this is not this week's Sick Cow. Stay home on January 11th.

Sing me a song Virginia, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


SICK COW

What could be worse than what we've already seen this Herd? Sigh. Double sigh. Here we were... almost through 2012... I thought the worst trailers of the year were behind us (mainly "That's My Boy" comes to mind), but no... "A Haunted House" has a trailer. Think "Scary Movie" catered entirely to "Paranormal Activity;" now don't think because that's what you'll have to do to possibly enjoy this embarrassing excuse for entertainment. I approve of crude comedy when its clever and actually funny, but this is a dim-witted, shrill and cheap imitation of a surprisingly good series. How in the hell does this have such a positive reaction on YouTube? I'm positive I'm not "out of touch," but I'm not positive what to think about my fellow humans.


QUEER STEER



Even though it looks like it could have been made some 70 years ago "Tabu" is in fact a 2012 film. An older woman travels with a maid to Mount Tabu in Africa to find a man from an earlier chapter in her life. The black & white photography, aspect ratio changes, and oldies music all give this Portugese film a distinct flavor that I cannot imagine general audiences would want to touch with a 10-foot-pole. I'm pretty intrigued about it though. It hits NYC the day after Christmas, but not sure how/when the rest of us can see it.


LASSO OF THE WEEK


Finally, a trailer and official release date for "To The Wonder," Terrence Malick's follow-up to "The Tree of Life"! On April 12th, 2013 we will see Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and (most encouraging) Javier Bardem in a story of lovers in small town Oklahoma who will likely question the meaning of that contemplated four-lettered-word (life or live?). It's beautiful, poetic, and yes, looks like B-roll from "The Tree of Life" as many have joked. Still, for Malick fans this looks to be an absolute marvel.

Updated 12/29/12

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 93



NEW IN THEATERS



This Week
  • Amour / 94%
  • Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D
  • The Guilt Trip* / 20%
  • The Impossible* / 83%
  • Jack Reacher / 80%
  • Monsters, Inc. 3D / 95%
  • On the Road* / 50%
  • This is 40 / 63%
  • Zero Dark Thirty / 98%


Last Week

  • Any Day Now* / 91%
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey / 65%
  • Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet* / 82%
  • The Loving Story* / 100%
  • Save the Date* / 46%
  • Stand Up Guys* / 46%
  • Yelling to the Sky* / 40%

* = limited release

NEW IN STORES


  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days / 50%
  • Killer Joe / 77%
  • Total Recall / 30%
  • Premium Rush / 76%
  • Resident Evil: Retribution / 31%

CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes


* * *

ENLISTED




Matt Singer shares his "Best Films of 2012" over on Criticwire.



Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman has his top ten.




Wired lists "The Best Movies You Didn't See in 2012." I've seen half of the movies I didn't see this year then. What about you?

* * *


THE GOOD



Studio Ghibli has announced two new films from the renowned studio coming next year! (Source: /Film)




In today's Criticwire survey the critics shared the best piece(s) of film criticism that they read this year. If you're looking some quality and fascinating reading, look no further.




Criticwire considers the best performances of this year at the movies. Above could only be  Willem Dafoe in the largely unknown "4:44 Last Day on Earth." Pretty shocked to not Daniel Day-Lewis being mentioned...




Now that Peter Jackson has secured "The Hobbit" in theaters he is going to start shooting the sequel to "The Adventures of Tintin" next year! (Source: HitFix)


* * *

THE BAD




FilmDrunk shares "The Worst Movies of 2012."



One of the most unfortunate pieces of film news I heard last week was that "Kill Bill: Vol. 3" in unlikely. The source? The horse's mouth, Tarantino himself. /Film has the details.

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AND THE RANDOM




Last week the Golden Globe nominations were announced. I'll probably be doing a separate post all about them in the near future. "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"... We didn't see that one coming...



Here is Scott Mendelson's box office analysis where it is no surprise that "The Hobbit" ran away with it last weekend.

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OR THE COOL



Nick Kinder has put out another impressive YouTube video, this one honoring the films of 2012. Check this out (and last week's similarly awesome video if you missed it).


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MAYBE THE HILARIOUS



Oh how ridiculous yet ringing true The Onion so often is. You really must watch this news story about how Peter Jackson wanted "The Hobbit" to stay truthful to the Denny's tie-in menu.




In a recent episode of Conan he talked about how much more creepy Gollum was this time around...

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