In the pointedly smart, satirical David Mamet comedy STATE AND MAIN, a film crew wreaks havoc when it descends upon an idyllic New England town to shoot The Old Mill… not realizing that the titular mill burned down years before. (“How do I do a film called The Old Mill when I don’t have an old mill?” “Well, first, you’ve got to change the title.”) And that’s just for starters.
Going to the movies should never, ever be stressful (unless, of course, you’re planning on seeing the latest Lars von Trier flick). You want to see something new and relevant so that you can talk it up with your know-it-all friends. But you don’t want to sit through the one film that everyone thought would be great, but…isn’t. So here is our formula, simplifying the should-you-see-it conundrum:
5 new releases x 2 critical samplings = what you should go see.
Simple enough, right? This week we have bickering sisters, a crew of rappers, a crew of rockers, some Parisian mystery and Salma Hayek.
The Cannes Film Festival closed up shop this weekend (after some noted scandal) and Michael Haneke’s critical favorite AMOUR is carting home the Palme d’Or, while REALITY by Matteo Garrone nabbed the Grand Prix. AMOUR is Haneke’s second victory at Cannes, after 2009′s sparse and gently unsettling black and white feature THE WHITE RIBBON, and this second win is a testament to his considerable talents: having already established himself as the auteur of much darker fare (CACHE and FUNNY GAMES, especially, weren’t what you’d call feel-good movies), it’s remarkable that he has made an equally successful impression with his latest, decidedly more docile feature, which depicts love, loss and family for an octogenarian couple portrayed by French film legends Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant.
Not that sequels prequels, slapstick comedies, superhero flicks, and action/adventure thrillers can’t be intelligent, lol. But still, can we expect anything a cut above? Yes! Some warm-weather flicks are filtering in made by actual artistes with real aspirations, at least judging from the heady descriptions. Some of them are even coming before summer’s official start date. Here are some of the most promising looking options for your summer cinema plans:
This weekend, take a break from the “much anticipated” superhero trailers and try to catch THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, a movie about a bunch of retirees moving to a hotel in India. Doesn’t sound too exciting? FALSE – Maggie Smith is in it, who is the baddest b*tch on the block. EXTRA FALSE–Penelope Wilton is also in it, which means we get to see our favorite ladies on Downton Abbey pair up in something where they’ll probably wear turquoise instead of boring period piece outfits. This got us thinking about how we’d like to see some of our favorite TV stars pair up in other movies, too. Here are the best we could come up with:
1. Jon Hamm and John Slattery star in: A Heist Movie
1) Starting the show with the 10 lead acting nominees having to take the stage and smile for the cameras. Doesn’t the rest of the evening torture them enough?
2) The clips for the 10, count ‘em 10, Best Picture nominees. Add them up and they were longer than some of the films themselves! Besides, way back in 1939, the 10 nominees were instant classics like Gone With The Wind, Stagecoach, and The Wizard of Oz. But this year? The Blind Side and District 9! Let’s go back to just five. No, make it three!
3) The way the cameras kept zooming in on the front runners right after they lost. When THE HURT LOCKER won Best Original Screenplay, they closed in on a shaken Quentin Tarantino. After PRECIOUS bagged Best Adapted Screenplay, they cut to a sweaty Jason Reitman. Even when AVATAR lost some sound award, they cut to Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington. This practice totally appealed to the sadist in me, but for the sake of others with some heart, let’s only watch people squirm before they lose from now on.
Faith Salie interviews LYMELIFE director Derick Martini and cast members Jill Hennessy, Emma Roberts, and writer Steven Martini. LYMELIFE DIRECTOR: Derick Martini SCREENWRITERS: Derick Martini, Steven Martini U.S.A., 2008, 93 min., color Scott Bartlett (Rory Culkin) is a typical 15-year-old boy growing up in late-1970s Long Island. His suburban existence is primarily marked by a…
Something felt familiar to me about the roller-coaster of emotions I felt toward Sarah Palin’s appearance on Saturday Night Live [www.nbc.com] last night. After hearing her stump speeches during the past few weeks, there was no way she would be able to pull off a guest appearance on the show without making a complete fool…