Thursday, January 31, 2013

THE RABBI'S CAT - SHORT REVIEW

The Rabbi's Cat (Le Chat du rabbin)
June 1, 2011 (France) / December, 2012 (United States)
100 min
France (French)

Directed by Joann Sfar and Antoine Delesvaux
Written by Joann Sfar and Sandrina Jardel


"The Rabbi's Cat" is quite a catch for the right crowd. Its audacious humor and vibrant animation make for an ay-yay-yay of a good time.

From the opening credits of "The Rabbi's Cat" we are treated to an animation design not often seen or felt these days. The distinct lines are colored in with pride and the result is a gaudy hand drawn Algeria of the 1920s. The exaggerated presence of this world is only second to the eclectic cast: a Russian painter shipped to town, native Africans, a Rabbi, his voluptuous daughter and their (and our titular) cat. 

This tom (voiced by François Morel) commences as our narrator but he soon obtains a speaking part in the human's world after swallowing the family parrot, which he lies about. He desires most to be held close by the Rabbi's daughter, but he has a knack for speaking his scientific mind on many principles brought before him. Still, the cat wants to prove himself (Bar Mitzvah and all) to his master to obtain the thrones of his mistress's arms. The story does not remain this straightforward for long. A parade of characters are introduced, a road trip is embarked and the commentary never ceases. Our blunt protagonist does learn the advantage of staying silent ("but not necessarily kind") even if it seems a higher power conveniently took his gift of tongues for a spell. 

So much herein went over my head. (Beside's the obvious name of the film the trailer for "Hava Nagila: The Movie" should have braced me for what I was in for.) I know so little of the religion, culture, region - and realized this all the more with each passing reference. This film is based on three volumes of the comic series by Joann Sfar, who wrote and directed the film. While it's chronological in sync, it does take leaps for its adventurous episodes, sometimes we're left behind on the last ledge. I was surprised and refreshed when it suddenly concluded, though not before bringing the cat's thoughts back to where they began. "The Rabbi's Cat" was wonderfully foreign to me. Its reactionary mixing of customs, brave irreverence and vivid artistry more than make it recommendable; but to who if not a film connoisseur and/or Jew? 



★★★½

CONTENT: some bloody violence, some sexual references and sensuality

Updated 2/2/13

PAPERMAN - SHORT REVIEW

Paperman
November 2, 2012
7 min
United States (English)

Written and Directed by John Kahrs


"Paperman" portrays a potential romance through its strength of physical storytelling. It's a dainty, brisk animated jog of two hearts in a sleepy metropolis.

"Paperman" showed before "Wreck-It Ralph" in theaters last year which is where myself and others first saw it. The film has now been released online, you can watch it the embedded player below. The film is nominated for a Best Animated Short Oscar and has certainly reached the widest audience of all the nominees. It's a pretty charcoal-palleted   (with just a touch of red!) love story that has no time for dialogue. 

Our protagonist meets the cutesy out-of-his-league girl at the train station but she quickly boards and rides out of his life as fast as she entered. He misses her until to his glee notices her in the skyscraper across the way! He's a love-sick "paperman," all we need to know is he has a stingy desk job where the other nine-to-five zombies gruel on while he breaks free from the monotony and pursue the gal with the only means at his disposal: paper and thus, paper airplanes.

It's a lovely little picture that you'll reminisce fondly. Dialogue-free films (especially animated ones) rely on striking visuals to tell the story through action. This one is folded to perfection though you won't see the lines in its concoction of hand-drawn and computer-assisted animation. I've yet to see the other nominees for this Oscar category, but they've got some pretty competition in "Paperman."


★★★★

CONTENT: nothing to note

Updated 2/2/13

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 99



NEW IN THEATERS




This Week
  • As Luck Would Have It*
  • Bullet to the Head / 60%
  • The Gatekeepers* / 94%
  • Girls Against Boys*
  • The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia*
  • Sound City* / 100%
  • Stand Up Guys* / 42%
  • Warm Bodies / 100%


Last Week

  • Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters / 18%
  • Happy People: A Year in the Taiga* / 80%
  • John Dies at the End* / 57%
  • Movie 43* / 4%
  • Parker* / 37%
  • Race 2*
  • Supporting Characters* / 86%
  • Yossi* / 91%

* = limited release

NEW IN STORES



  • The Awakening / 60%
  • The Balad of Narayama CC
  • The Cold Light of Day / 5%
  • Hotel Transylvania / 43%
  • Paranormal Activity 4 / 26%
  • Seven Psychopaths / 82%

CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes

* * *

THE GOOD



Easily the biggest news since last issue was the heavily rumored turned official announcement that J.J. Abrams (producer/director extraordinaire) will be directing "Star Wars - Episode VII." According to this JoBlo post he is going to be taking his time on this as he wants to do it right. That's completely fine with me. I'm betting we won't see it until 2016. What do you think of this news?




P.T. Anderson may be shooting his next film (an adaptation of "Inherent Vice") this Spring! (Source: /Film)



Check out the 14th Annual Golden Tomato Awards on Rotten Tomatoes! "Argo" had the freshest rating of all the wide releases this year.

* * *

THE BAD




"Cloud Atlas" will be heavily censored for its release in China. Scott Mendelson explains why this is "truly a real problem."

* * *

AND THE RANDOM



Don't miss Scott Mendelson's analysis of the weekend box office. It's one of my weekly reads. It was a terrible weekend in terms of quality and two of the culprits ("Parker" and "Movie 43") did not fair well at all. "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" somehow won out.

 * * *

OR THE COOL




With the weekend release of the awful-looking "Movie 43" Rotten Tomatoes posted "Total Recall: Anthology Movie."


* * *


MAYBE THE HILARIOUS





Going along with the news of J.J. Abrams directing the "Star Wars" reboot is a musical look at what he might be doing with this now (Disney-owned) franchise while not letting us forget that he is also helming "Star Trek."


Ah, those ridiculously detailed sub-genres that we know and love from Netflix. Here's an example of how those could easily get you in trouble on date night.



Jennifer Lawrence ("The Hunger Games" and "Silver Linings Playbook") recently hosted "Saturday Night Live" wherein they wondered what-if "The Hobbit" were further split into a 19-part series. They also took advantage of Lawrence's appearance to tackle "The Hunger Games." (Source: IGN)


* * *

KEEPIN' IT SHORT



Here is the short "Mama" that the recent feature was based on. It's written/directed by the same couple and comes with an introduction by Guillermo Del Toro.

* * *

Monday, January 28, 2013

MOVIE MUSIC MOMENT: WHEN THE MAN COMES AROUND / DAWN OF THE DEAD



"When the Man Comes Around" by Johnny Cash
as seen/heard in
Dawn of the Dead (2004)

It's after a methodically paced turned downright terrifying opening sequence that the opening credits begin in Zack Snyder's directorial debut, "Dawn of the Dead." This is a 21st-Century remake of the George A. Romero zombie classic. The blood-on-glass blown credits over a helpless black are juxtaposed with all manner of news and archival footage. The audio commences with an eerie chanting, heartbeats, shrieking, and a CDC press conference coverage... And then a strong storm rises from the horribleness: Johnny Cash playing and singing "When the Man Comes Around."

You'll listen to the lyrics in a way you never previously have when it's used in conjunction with our world on the brink of a zombie apocalypse. The Biblical prophecies strike chords as sure as Cash's guitar. The music stops and Cash recites a few last lines of scripture as the credits for writer (James Gunn) and director (Zack Snyder) are shown - this is cut with one last zombie making his way past guards, to a reporter and then right at the camera itself... This assemblage of visual and auditory elements effectively uneases the audience as the rest of story begins. The first time I saw the montage I've just described it instantly became one of my favorite opening credit sequences. Art of the Title also covered the opening (and ending) credits of this underrated horror flick.

There are plenty of other memorable song choices in "Dawn of the Dead" (including a lounge version of "Down with the Sickness" set to another montage). "When the Man Comes Around" also received great use in just last year's"Killing Them Softly." Those will have to await another edition of Movie Music Moment! Please feel free to share your reaction to this week's or reveal one of your own in the comments below.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

PARKER - REVIEW

Parker
January 25, 2013
118 min
United States (English)

Directed by Taylor Hackford
Written by John J. McLaughlin (Based on the book "Flashfire" by Donald E. Westlake)


"Parker" is a piss-poor execution that is so far from a good time at the movies you'll question everyone involved in all their future projects.

Parker is a professional thief who we know very little about other than he seems to be able to handle himself in a heist. The drawn out opening sequence in this adaptation of "Flashfire" (one of 20+ novels in the book series) takes place at an Ohio State Fair where he and four others knock off the cash office through guile and guises. Parker is dressed like a Catholic Father, two others are dressed as clowns (though they probably should've stayed in these costumes for the whole film as they all talk and act like vehement fools). These dolts double-cross Parker, leave him for dead, and head on to the next score in Florida. Rest assured Parker will be paying them a visit.

Out of the blue we are introduced to Jennifer Lopez, a real estate agent in Palm Beach who Parker uses to find the men that wronged him. She still lives with her mother, an older Latina woman who stays at home at watches soap operas where the plots are surely not this harebrained and the dialogue significantly more pruned.  Lopez is grating from her first second onscreen. She's not given any aid from the lines she's given to recite. We're supposed to sympathize with the woman because she sips wine after work while reading an email about her overdue car loan.

Jason Statham is fine as an actor and even better as an action star, which he seems to do a couple times each year now, but when he gives far and away the best performance of a film's entire cast it's telling. Poor Nick Nolte winds up used and confused in his second bad film already this year (see don't see "Gangster Squad"). 

Well-shot films are a dime a dozen these days, but when you find one that is not only dull in its lack of style but even arguably ugly - as the B-roll establishing shots of Palm Beach somehow actually are - it's a high crime. Then you have technical mishaps like easy-to-spot ADR jobs (lips will move when words aren't said and vice versa) miring the affair throughout. The "fix it in post" mentality can work for visual effects, but exposition, delivery and story? I would have been concerned if I was at the screening of a rough cut let alone the finished product on opening weekend.

"Parker" is a film that cannot commit to anything. It's content is the same way. I usually do not mention MPAA ratings because such should not factor into a review, but "Parker" traps itself into a R-rating for no apparent reason. Some brief yet bizarrely insignificant nudity bring nothing to the film. Just scrap a few of the goons' stronger words (because they need all the intelligence they can get) and the film would easily garner a PG-13 rating and a wider audience base. I guess I should not be complaining because this way hopefully less people will waste their time and money on this remarkably un-thrilling "thriller." A brutal encounter in a hotel room may also have contributed to the rating, it would be a shame to cut that because it's the most interesting two minutes of the nearly two hours. Christopher McQuarrie's "Jack Reacher" should still be playing in a theater near you and it is a dazzling motion picture when compared to any part of "Parker."




CONTENT: bloody action, some female nudity and sensuality, strong language

Saturday, January 26, 2013

RECENTLY BEHELD: DECEMBER 2012, PART 2

Oslo, August 31st (Oslo, 31. august)
(2011-12)



Anders, in a flawlessly naturalistic performance by Anders Lie, gets a 24-hour leave from his treatment center. (You can probably guess on what day too.) He's a recovering addict working on getting his life in order. Among catching up with friends and family he has a job interview today. We get brief snippets of the lives of others, but ultimately it is one day in one young man's life and the result is one of the year's most poignant films. This was an unexpected gem from Norway in 2012.

★★★★★
_________________________________________________________________

The Passion of Joan of Arc (La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc)

(1928)


Carl Theodor Dreyer's silent tour de force depicts the trail of the French martyr in a way that only cinema can. Charged as a heretic for visions she will not deny, Joan of Arc (Maria Falconetti in the only lead role of her career) looks insufferably to her accusers as we're forced to look into her despairing countenance. When watched with Richard Einhorn's "Voices of Light," the soundtrack on the Criterion Collection, it is an astounding amalgamation of art. This film left me in a solem awe that I hope to never shake off.

★★★★★
_________________________________________________________________

Girl Walk // All Day
(2011-12)



"Girl Walk // All Day" is a dance-centric music video that further serves as a social experiment. You've never seen anything quite like this in its length, commitment and representation.

My review.

★★★★
_________________________________________________________________

(2010-12)


Originality goes a terribly long way in "Sound of Noise." A group of musicians are deemed criminals when they perform their music on unorthodox instrument (from bulldozers to the human body of a poor chap awaiting surgery). It's proof that music can be drawn out from the most unlikely of places and that satisfying storytelling is the same way.

★★★★
_________________________________________________________________


(2008)


Not nearly as "bad" as I had heard before finally sitting down to this one, the second step in my Bond marathon. Sure, it's the weakest of the Daniel Craig films, but it has some of the strongest action scenes of the three. Olga Kurylenko is not your typical Bond girl and I'm positive her and 007 never "get it on," which is remarkable really. Howbeit, the stock dialogue and characters are probably what many wanted to forget about this one.

★★★½
_________________________________________________________________


(2012)


Tom Hooper's adaptation of the stage musical works despite its difficulties in daring filmmaking. Fantastic performances all around, but Anne Hathaway steals the show (and your emotions) for her brief appearances. The tried morals of the original novel are as strong as ever here.


★★★★★
_________________________________________________________________


(2012)


Peter Jackson takes us back to Middle-Earth and the result is a feast for fans of Tolkien's beloved novel (of which I am one of the biggest). Something always felt off, maybe you cannot strike gold in the same spot twice? It's no "Fellowship of the Ring," but Gollum's return is one of my favorite moments of the year and the best part of the film. The main problem is that this already feels like an "extended edition."

★★★★
_________________________________________________________________


(2001)


A dismaying observation of the explosive mixture of Korean villagers and the foreign U.S. soldiers stationed at the neighboring base. The title refers to the returned letters of a Korean woman who had high hopes for son, but cannot reach his long-since-returned-home American father. It's too bad that Kim Ki-Duk (much like Park Chan-wook in "JSA") had to settle using English-speakers who clearly couldn't find work in their own country.

★★★½

Friday, January 25, 2013

TRAILER ROUND-UP: HERD 98



Ellen Paige is the spokesperson for "The East," an anarchist group that would've likely swallowed up those members of Fight Club while recruiting heavily from real-world Anonymous. The film is currently showing at Sundance. The film also features Alexander Skarsgard and Brit Marling who is a Sundance regular by now (with "Another Earth" and "Sound of My Voice"). No release date yet for "The East."



General Fellers (Matthew Fox) heads to Japan during their surrender to determine whether Emperor Hirohito should be executed as a war criminal. Tommy Lee Jones plays the more well-known General MacArthur (who Fellers reports to), though it's largely Feller's story as he grapples with the devastated country and a personal relationship with a woman from years before. While it's got all the strappings of a typical Hollywood period piece it will be refreshing to see it showing how there was no victor in this situation. "Emperor" takes its throne on March 8th.




Halle Berry works in a 911 call center in the cleverly title thriller "The Call." A teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) calls just before she is kidnapped by madman. In the vein of "Taken" and "Cellular" she gets instructed over the line with how to cope in the situation. This is the only instance in my memory where we get a flashback later in the trailer to something that came earlier in the trailer. I'm sure we can easily fit all the other pieces together before March 15th.




A modern resurrection of the '70s UK TV show, "The Sweeney" has the great Ray Winstone narrating a trailer and leading a unit of London Metro police to catch a criminal organization. He is breaking the law to save it, something we've seen plenty of before, but I'm still eager to see what refinement it may bring to the table. We'll be getting a U.S. release on March 1st.



Bruce Willis, Hellen Mirren and John Malkovich return for "Red 2." Anthony Hopkins joins the old folks party, but Catherine Zeta Jones - what the hell is she doing here? Lee Byung-hun, who I like in several South Korean films turns up as one of the baddies giving these assassins a reason to temporarily come out of retirement. Could be some fun at best. Bring grandma on August 3rd.



I am/was as excited for the next Coen Bros. film as much as the next film buff but I wasn't quite expecting something like "Inside Llewyn Davis." There's some funny bits but this story of a wandering folk singer does very little for me. I cannot see a distinct Coen thumbprint on this thing, which is fine, they should be able to charter new territory, but the trailer was almost a slog and I would almost fear the film to follow suit if I didn't trust all the talent involved. 

Leave the wagon to the rain, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


SICK COW

"Tyler Perry's Temptation" sounds like a very personal film, but he is nowhere to be seen herein. The film bears the absurd subtitle "Confessions of a Marriage Counselor" where a woman falls for one of her clients, much to her husband's disapproval. Kim Kardashian also has a small role dispelling any rumors that she can act. March 29th is a good day to see something else.



QUEER STEER


Gerard Butler is Mike Banning, a Secret Service agent who must protect the white house during a terrorist attack in "Olympus Has Fallen." It looks ludicrous and action-packed, which is a good excuse for some movies. I was surprised at Antoine Fuqua being in the director's chair ("Training Day" and "King Arthur") as he seems far above the likes of this. Right now this has to prove it's more than "Die Hard" knockoff at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I wonder what Asian country is supposed to be antagonizing us this time and I wonder if President Obama will be taking the first family to see this on March 22. 



LASSO OF THE WEEK

"Lore" is a 14-year-old German girl who finds herself and her younger sibling on their own when their Nazi parents are imprisoned at the end of World War II. As they try to survive the war-torn land and time she finds some help in the least likely of people.  This was Australia's official selection for the 85th Academy Awards, though it did not make the final nominees. Regardless, its a side of history we have not received as intimate and well-executed a treatment as this most certainly appears to be. Look for "Lore" in select theaters on February 8th.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

THE FILM TOME PODCAST - EPISODE 4: BILBO UNCHAINED



This episode has been nearly a month in the making (editing and otherwise tweaking) but it's now ready for your ears nonetheless! Please excuse some of the background noise on my audio portion, something I hope to improve in future recording sessions. Our podcast is still young and we're learning how to make it better with each and every episode. Do you have an opinion on how that could be done? We'd love to hear about it on iTunes (where you can search for "The Film Tome Podcast") or in the comments below.


This episode was particularly exciting to record as two of my most anticipated films of the year ("The Hobbit" and "Django Unchained") make up the feature presentation/review segment. Trent and I did not see eye to eye on at least one of them, which results in a more interesting episode. We discuss a pair of trailers, what we've each been watching and the Golden Globe nominees! (Sure, those have come and gone but the conversation is part of the bigger award season atmosphere that it still pungent in the air). I hope you enjoy Episode 4: Bilbo Unchained and we welcome your feedback on it!





SHOW NOTES

The Film Tome Podcast - Episode 004: Bilbo Unchained
Recording Date: December 27, 2012
Runtime: 1:22:12

Segments:
(2:27) Trailer Round-Up
(10:34) Recently Watched
(19:07) Hot Topic: Golden Globe Nominations
(28:20) Review: The Hobbit (2012)
(54:17) Review: Django Unchained (2012)

Music:
Misty Mountains, The Hobbit OST (2012)
Rick Ross - 100 Black Coffins, Django Unchained OST (2012)
Luis Bacalov - Django, Django Unchained OST (2012)
Masaichi Amano - Requiem and Prologue, Battle Royale OST (2000)
Jim Croce - I Got a Name, Django Unchaines OST (2012)
Jerry Goldsmith - Nicaragua, Django Unchained OST (2012)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

TOP TEN: MOVIE POSTERS OF 2012

My year-in-review series marches on with another Top Ten list: the best movie posters of 2012. This includes any posters that came out during the year, though most are obviously advertising 2012 films. This was surprisingly difficult to narrow down. Seriously, so hard. I easily found 30+ that I thought were exceptional, so what follows are the most exceptional. I also strived to sidestep any biases towards a given film (i.e. just because I love "Movie A" doesn't necessarily mean I should pick its poster OR just because I don't love "Movie B" doesn't necessarily mean I should not pick its poster) and just focused on the poster itself. In fact, there are a few of these films that I have not even seen yet, all the better postion for me to judge their posters from. (Note: I am only considering official posters made by the film's marketing team. There are so many beautiful and disturbing fan-made posters - each a work of art - that it would make my feat of choosing just ten among them all the more difficult. Maybe I can honor some of those in a post of their own sometime.)

Before I get into the list. I noticed a trend of very minimalist posters this year. Some of my choices are extravagant, but over half follow the mantra that "less is more." I feel such is key to advertising with obvious exceptions, which is ultimately what movie posters attempt to do. Granted, I piad more attention to movie posters in 2012 than I have in any previous year so maybe this is no trend, but I have a hunch that it is. Such techniques include: color-blocking (with only a few choice), letting the background be solid and empty and in many cases relying on an image or two over words (though in my #1 choice it is oddly the adverse). In this iPhone era we are finding our products slimed down to essential icons - the same is happening in filmdom. Here are my picks for the ten best movie posters of 2012:


_________________________________________________________________

10. Hitchcock



"Good evening." It's an unforgettable line if you've ever heard the Master of Suspense say it while introducing another short film in his "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" series. Anthony Hopkins plays the title role and while he doesn't exactly look the part (especially in the face) it's a figure and presence film goers know so well. If they had just turned his sideways to make the portrait a profile, it would have been perfection. Too bad the movie was nothing close to perfect.


_________________________________________________________________

9. Moonrise Kingdom



The poster screams Wes Anderson. The fancy gold print is as if we've received a formal invitation to a theater party, it lists the credits, title and the impressive ensemble cast onboard. All set atop an exquisite soft painting of nature and the two young and emotionally removed souls in the thick of it.


_________________________________________________________________

8. The Cabin in the Woods



I ended up going with this sepia-toned M.C. Esher-esque vision inside the cabin over the more widely used/seen Rubik's cube version of said cabin's exterior. There is just so much to look at here that it forces the viewer to pause and just take it all in. It's as exciting a brochure into a film's key location as I've ever seen.

_________________________________________________________________

7. Savages



Seven scenes from the film for each letter of the title, complete with bright colors and clear faces. It's eye-popping art with promises of a mature ride (sex and violence sell, hints at them can be even better). Also, the way the "AVA" stacks is wonderfully appealing to me.

_________________________________________________________________

6. Killing Them Softly



There were three posters for this film in the running (all rather minimalist aesthetically), but I ended up going with the sunglasses and revolver. An American flag is reflected in the lenses so that we know what he is aiming at. The film is a heavy-handed commentary about the economic straits we're in right now and tells a parable of crooks and hit-men to illustrate it. The poster is as artful and blunt as the film it's advertising.

_________________________________________________________________

5. Django Unchained



Another poster that deals with only a few colors and those make all the difference here. Black and white for the obvious dichotomy of slaves and their owners - but notice how Dr. King Shultz's figure is also black because he is helping Django. It's all drowned out by a bright but gritty red lest we forget this film is going to be a complete bloodbath.

_________________________________________________________________

4. V/H/S



Ah, the horror anthology about a group of lowlifes that break into a house to retrieve a specific VHS tape and find there are a plethora to choose from. This core concept is exaggerated and illustrated into the haunting and challenging poster.

_________________________________________________________________

3. Ted



Guys, guys, it's a teddy bear using a urinal! Nuff said. (Oh, he's also holding a bottle of beer...) I have yet to see the film, but I find its poster hilarious. The image is one you will not soon forget (even if you want to).

_________________________________________________________________

2. Wreck-It Ralph



The blown-up close-up of Ralph's face in all its 8-bit glory is enough to make any gamer (the film's target audience really) to stop dead in their tracks, as I did the first time I saw it. The only other thing you need to know is the release date... Simple. Radical.

_________________________________________________________________

1. Zero Dark Thirty



The blacking out of text was a memorable part of the teaser trailer for "Zero Dark Thirty," a visual motif to symbolize what the CIA don't want us to know about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. They used the same effect for the poster, a bold move because many will not know the name or release of it with a passing glance. It's a poster so facile for a story that was anything but.

_________________________________________________________________


Too many honorable mentions to list (though I will quickly mention "The Master," "Stoker," "The American Scream," "Casa de Mi Padre," "Looper," "Les Misérables" anyway). Think I missed a true visionary poster? What do you think of these choices? What movie posters stood out the most to you over the last year? As always, I would love to hear what you think. Speak your mind in the comments below.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 98



NEW IN THEATERS





This Week
  • Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
  • Happy People: A Year in the Taiga* / 60%
  • John Dies at the End* / 68%
  • Movie 43*
  • Parker*
  • Race 2*
  • Supporting Characters*
  • Yossi* / 91%


Last Week
  • Birders: The Central Park Effect* / 100%
  • Broken City / 26%
  • Here and There* / 50%
  • Hors Satan* / 74%
  • The Last Stand / 58%
  • LUV* / 35%
  • Mama / 62%
  • Officer Down*

* = limited release

NEW IN STORES



  • End of Watch / 85%
  • The Imposter / 95%
  • The Paperboy / 39%
  • Pina CC / 95%
  • Searching for Sugar Man / 96%
  • Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning / 49%

CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes
* * *

POSTER CHILD




A fan-made poster for "Django Unchained" with the title character oozing his coolness and prowess.

* * *



CAST AWAY



In all fairness, he did say "I'll be back." Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in last weekend's release of "The Last Stand." It has now been announced that he'll be returning to do a fifth film in the "Terminator" series. (Source: Hitfix)



"The Wolf of Wall Street" is one of my most anticipated films of the year. Now it is going to be all the more significant because after filming it Leo DiCaprio is going to take a break from acting for a while. (Source: JoBlo)

* * *

ENLISTED




Last week I shared my "Top Ten: Most Anticipated Films of 2013." It's a good place to start plotting your cinematic radar, but Film School Rejects will keep you even more busy with "The 52 Most Anticipated Movies of 2013."

* * *


THE GOOD
* * *

THE BAD




Matt Singer reports on "In-Theater Cellphone Use Epidemic Spreads to Sundance." Sigh. This is any cinephile's biggest pet peeve and worth a read if you want to learn where we come from on the issue.

* * *

THE WEIRD



Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is producing a movie based on the above picture. They say all you need is an idea. I guess they mean it! (Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

* * *

AND THE RANDOM




Here's Scott Mendelson with the weekend box office analysis. "Mama" topped and Arnold's action-packed return ("The Last Stand") flopped. 


Did you see "Mama" over the holiday weekend? If so, you may want to check it out "The Grimm Possibilities of 'Mama'" by Jed Mayer over on Indiewire.



With a "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie adaptation in the works there's talks that it will absolutely receive the "kiss of death" from the MPAA: an NC-17 rating. Here's a slideshow of films that were once threatened with the same fate but dodged the frivolous bullet.

 * * *

OR THE COOL





Nick Bosworth of JoBlo cut together a beautiful memorial to those films that did not receive arguably deserved nominations for the upcoming Academy Awards: "Snubbed 2013 - An Oscar Tribute."



Movie Clips has an impressive supercut of the best new trailers that came out over the past month.


And here's a collection of trailers for films at this year's Sundance Film Festival (going on now).


Speaking of Sundance, the premiere of "Upstream Color" (another one of my most anticipated films of the year!) was yesterday. Here's Germain and Russ of /Film sharing their thoughts after the screening in a post and video. Also, Trent Allgood (my co-host on the podcast) was in attendance himself and has posted a review of it on his blog.

* * *

TV TOO



In the latest edition of JoBlo's "Where on the Shelf is..." Matthew Pale misses "Muppet Babies"! I adored that show in my youth and wouldn't mind getting it on my own shelf. It would look great next to the first three seasons of "The Muppet Show." Speaking of which, where is season 4 already?!

* * *