Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
Everybody talks about the evolution of Walt Disney cartoon fairy tale heroines—from the helpless '30s Snow White with her baby doll voice, waiting for her prince to come, to the obedient '50s drudge, Cinderella, and on to plucky, self-reliant Belle, Mulan and Tiana of the modern era. But how about the evolution of the Disney cartoon fairy tale hero? Seriously, who even remembers the bland, boring, cookie-cutter princes who partnered those earlier Disney heroines? The first one to distinguish himself from the pack was the magnificent Beast in 1990 and even he morphed back into a boring prince at the end. But this new breed of Disney heroines deserves better, more rambunctious males, like last year's Frog Prince, Naveen.
‘Burlesque’ is dreamy but, oh, slightly nightmarish
Burlesque is a mess. But damn it—you can’t walk away hating it. The new musical drama starring Cher and Christina Aquilera—in her big screen debut—is an enigma indeed. It’s creatively clunky in the way Flashdance was; at times silly and limp with its writing (the way Footloose was) yet dramatic and visually striking, showing signs of breathtaking surprise a la Chicago. But if it’s a good story you’re looking for, keep looking. If you want to kill two hours with a playful romp and some eye-popping musical numbers and, of course, Cher, climb on board.
Three not-so-great—and some great—things about ‘Love And Other Drugs’
As a pharmaceutical drug pusher Jake Gyllenhaal is feisty in Love And Other Drugs, based on Jamie Reidy's memoir, “Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman.” Co-starring Anne Hathaway as a commitment phobic with a serious illness, the film takes place in the late ’90s, just as Viagra was about to rise to the occasion. But does the film?
Still doing less damage than men
When tackling multiple far-reaching topics in one breath (women, film, 2010), I prefer general statements based on feelings more than fact. But since this commentary is being published in a print journal of some repute, let’s get some nuts and bolts out of the way, to placate fact checkers and balance the ill-researched opinions below.
In 2010, films were made, released and seen by the American public. Some films included women. My credentials as a film writer are no more or less qualified than the average Josephine, albeit one still star-struck by Billy Wilder and the MGM back lot. I have hope for the future of film, because if it truly is darkest before the dawn then I say to you, “Start the oatmeal! It can’t get much darker!”
Six films to consider during a full holiday season
The Chronicles of Narnia:
The Voyage of the Dawn Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, William Moseley and William Poulter take on the next chapter of the popular C.S. Lewis series, but will this creative lion roar as loudly as its previous incarnations? Truth be told, it’s hard to keep up with all the sequels and 3D mania of late—aren’t we all a bit hungry for a real story? That said, here’s what you can expect here: Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their cousin Eustace and their royal friend King Caspian, find themselves swallowed into a painting and on to the Dawn Treader. (Hate when that happens.)
Harry gears up for his destiny in brooding 'Deathly Hallows Part 1'
It's the wheeziest of clichés when critics write that each Harry Potter movie is darker than the last. Of course they are. The point of J. K. Rowling's seven-book fantasy series is to take her protagonists on the journey from childhood innocence through traumatic adolescence, and into the perils, responsibilities and consequences of adulthood. The metaphor for this interior journey is the kids' progress through the seven levels of school, which is in turn a metaphor for one's progress through life—which gets darker and more complex as you go along.
The interior journey of Harry and his friends is the heart of the books, along with the notion that choices made along the way can come back to haunt or reward you as life goes on.
Climber's amazing survival story makes for gripping '127 Hours'
he story of Aron Ralston is a real-life thriller. An experienced young rock-climber and "canyoneer" from Colorado, Ralston was on an impromptu weekend trek into the remote Utah outback in April, 2003, when a freak accident left him stranded at the bottom of a deep crevice with his right arm pinned between the rockface and an immovable boulder. As the days wore on, hallucinating, and at the end of his single thermos of water, Ralston had to make an impossible decision: lose his arm or lose his life.