The Golden Compass: So…warrior polar bears. And they can talk. Who doesn’t want to see a movie with a fighting polar bear voiced by Ian McKellan? If you said “me!” to this question, then one of the following must be true:
- You were once mauled by a polar bear.
- You were once mauled by Ian McKellan.
- You were once mauled by Ian McKellan in a polar bear costume.
In any case, you should get over these irrational fears because this movie looks pretty cool. There are witches, cowboys, talking animals and a huge cast. While it probably won’t compare to Lord of the Rings, it should be a safe bet for a fun holiday adventure film. Also, something about that polar bear reminds me of another friendly animal warrior…
This is playing at the Pavilion and the United Artists on Court Street.
The Amateurs: I’m going to ask you to close your eyes and picture what actors you would want to see featured in a movie about a group of guys who get into amateur pornography. Was it Jeff Bridges, Joe Pantoliano, Tim Blake Nelson and Ted Danson? Well, then you’re in luck. And you’re really creepy. This movie has spent a lot of time in pre-release limbo, which probably means it’s not very good. Skip this and wait around for Kevin Smith’s next film: Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
Atonement: Based on Ian McEwan’s popular novel of the same name, Atonement is already a front-runner for most categories in the Academy Awards. After watching the trailer however, I can’t help but be a little skeptical. Doesn’t it really just look like two pretty people yearning for one another for two hours? Sort of like “Oh no, you’re here and I’m there and I yearn for you so.” James McAvoy is all “I’m at war and surrounded by men and I yearn for you.” And then Keira Knightley is all “I’m pretty and have big teeth; the better to yearn for you with my darling.” Seriously, just look at the poster. Unless someone tells me that this is the greatest movie ever, I’m probably going to skip it. This is playing at Union Square.
Grace is Gone: John Cusack’s last movie (Martian Child) was a disaster, both with critics and at the box office. This one, so far, is doing slightly better with critics. Grace is Gone is about a guy who can’t tell his daughters that their mother has died while serving in the military. The film was written and directed by the writer of Lonesome Jim. This is playing at the Sunshine.
Juno: Written by an ex-stripper named Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman (Thank You For Not Smoking), this film was actually released in Manhattan yesterday. It is already receiving a lot of praise, mostly for the script and Ellen Page’s acting. Page is no stranger to praise, however. She came onto the scene quickly with her role in the terriffying Hard Candy, and was then given the role of Kitty Pryde in the big budget X Men: The Last Stand. Now she is the starring actress in a much more accessible film. Juno seems like it could be a companion piece to Knocked Up, telling the story of an unwanted pregnancy from the female perspective. From the trailer however, it looks more akin to something like Rushmore. In any case, it is my pick of the week. It’s playing at Union Square.
Revolver: Poor Guy Ritchie. The guy made a really fun crime movie in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Then he tried to recreate that with Snatch, which wasn’t half as clever. People started to think he was a one-trick pony, so he decided to go in a different direction, and made a movie with his wife, Madonna. He should’ve known that making a movie with Madonna is liking flossing your teeth with barb wire. Everyone shat all over the movie, so he decided to make another gangster movie called Revolver. That was way back in 2005. This movie is finally getting a limited release, and apparently it’s terrible. Another heist movie of some sort, Revolver stars Ray Liotta, Andre Benjamin and Jason Statham. They haven’t released showtimes for this yet.
The Walker: Paul Schrader, the great writer and director of movies like Hardcore, American Gigolo and Affliction has returned with this Washington, DC based drama about a male escort who works with high society ladies. The movie is barely being advertised (I’ve only seen clips, no trailers) but has to be high on some radars due to the huge cast involved including Woody Harrelson, Kristen Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall, Willem Dafoe and Lily Tomlin. This is playing at the Angelika.
Tony and Tina’s Wedding: This will go down in history as one of the stupidest adaptations in history. Tony and Tina’s Wedding is a famous Off-Broadway show. Why is it famous? Audience participation. The actors come down from the stage and talk to the crowd like they are all guests at the wedding. Aside from that, I don’t think there’s much to it. So let’s make it into a movie where even that annoying gimmick isn’t possible! And, for good measure, let’s throw an old New Kid into the mix! Gold! This is playing at the IFC Center.
In addition to this, Donnie Darko is the midnight movie tomorrow night at the Sunshine, and Starting Out In The Evening Time is opening at Cobble Hill.