Since it’s Friday, many of you will get to relax a bit tomorrow and take a breather from the workaday world (is it just me or is the week AFTER the four-day week following MLK Jr Day that’s especially brutal?) Anyway, glad it’s over and if you were thinking about seeing a movie, you have plenty of options. But also, with Oscar nominees announced this week you might also want to see what all the fuss is about. For one thing, everyone’s scrambling to get – or order – the little indie movie Winter’s Bone that’s suddenly gotten tremendous buzz. It’s terrific, if bleak, and the actors are mesmerizing. Maybe you’ll catch The King’s Speech (does twelve noms convince you it’s worth a gander?) Maybe you’ll see 127 Hours because James Franco won’t win the Oscar but he will be hosting the Awards alongside Anne Hathaway so that alone should warrant some pre-show Franco -viewing. I’m rather late to the James Franco game, not sure why, but I didn’t really start to pay attention until Milk. Should we assume that his most ardent and diehard fans are called Francophiles? Not that I’m one to talk – there’s a certainSaga of tween-oriented movies that I’ve seen more than once myself.
So what’s opening today? First up we have The Rite. (The name alone and the creepy image? Ka-ching). Then add the fact that said creepy image belongs to Sir Anthony Hopkins? (That’s more – and maybe even highbrow - ka-ching). This one’s about an American seminary student who travels to Rome to partake of the Vatican’s Exorcism School (who wants to watch one of their pep rallies?) And, as so often happens in these horror movies, all hell breaks loose. Expect this to do well in the weekend’s box office race.
Also expected to do well is the latest Jason Statham acrobatic hyper-violent kick and shoot fest, The Mechanic. (And in stark contrast to Just like all of Statham’s other films, this one’s about an elite killer with an axe to grind.) Plus, it was directed by the guy who made Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Con Air. Do you know what you’re getting into now? I thought so. Should do very nicely, warrant repeat viewings by devoted fans, and begin to generate even more heat about the hunky English gunman with the bald pate (which for some reason I find a nice twist for a Hollywood action hero!)
Now if it’s super-exotic you want – and you live in a city where they’re showing the limited release foreign language movies, you might want to check out Biutiful, the new pic that’s just nabbed Javier Bardem another Best Actor nomination. This film may also walk away with the Best Foreign Film. Evidently (brand new Papa) Bardem’s performance is stunning — so Biutiful’s definitely worth catching when it comes to a theatre (or a TV) near you. That’s what’s in theaters – some new and lots of existing nomination-laden films to see (or re-see) so let us know what you do end up catching, and what you think.
1) The Green Hornet
2) The Mechanic
3) No Strings Attached
4) The Rite