Quantum of Solace
The Plot: James Bond is pissed off. Seriously, why’d you have to go and piss off James Bond?
Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Most probably. In what is surely the most puzzling film title since Synecdoche, New York (and by the way Sunshine Theater, please don’t correct my pronunciation, especially when you’re wrong), Daniel Craig resumes his role as Britain’s ultimate super spy. Casino Royale was an incredible reinvention of the Bond franchise, comparable to the way Batman Begins reinvented the caped crusader. Unfortunately Quantum of Solace is not getting as much praise as Dark Knight received. All the same, critics seem to be agreeing that it is a worthy installment. The film also has a new director. Marc Forster, director of quirky comedies like Stranger than Fiction, wrist-slitting dramas like Monster’s Ball and flaming shit-piles like Finding Neverland, has taken over for Royale (and Goldeneye) director Martin Campbell. The writing team of Robert Wade, Neil Purvis and Paul Haggis remains the same. I just said “Purvis” and “Haggis” in the same sentence. Gross.
Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: Park Slope Pavilion, United Artists on Court Street, Regal at Union Square.
The Plot: A kid tells his life story after being accused of cheating on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Definitely. This is already getting some of the best reviews of the year. The screenplay was adapted from the novel Q and A by screenwriter Simon Beaufroy, who most recently scripted Ms. Pettigrew Lives for a Day. The director, Danny Boyle (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) is one of the most criminally underrated directors working today. Seriously, name a bad movie he’s made. If you named The Beach or A Life Less Ordinary, then I guess you’re right. But two out of ten isn’t bad, right?
Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: The Angelika.
A Christmas Tale
The Plot: A family comes together when their mother is diagnosed with cancer. So it’s a lot like Royal Tenenbaums. Only it’s at Christmas. And it’s French.
Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Yes. Wow! This is a good week. Brooklyn Skeptic came back just in time. This film stars the amazing (and still incredibly good looking) Catherine Deneuve, as well as Mathieu Amalric (who is also playing the creepy villain in Quantum of Solace). This is being marketed in the United States with a trailer featuring goofy Christmas music that probably belongs in something like Love Actually (sorry Reckles). I somehow don’t think this is the holiday romp that people will expect, but something slightly more somber and interesting. In any case, definitely worth seeing.
Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: The IFC Center.
The Plot: A documentary about America’s addiction to oil.
Is it Worth Eleven Dollars?: Again I would say yes. The film won the audience award for best documentary at Sundance, and director Josh Tickell seems like a less annoying version of Michael Moore. Plus, if you watch the trailer, Luke Perry is in the movie! It must be said though, Luke Perry most likely contributed to the depletion of the ozone layer a lot during the 90’s with his hair products alone.
Where is this playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: I can’t seem to figure that out, but I’ll get back to you.
Otherwise, the incredible Rachel Getting Married is at Cobble Hill Cinemas (as well as BAM). Also, JCVD, the film about Jean Claude Van Damme has just started at Brooklyn Heights Cinema (they’re finally getting a new-ish movie!). In Manhattan, there’s a midnight showing of Grindhouse tonight at the Sunshine, and David Cronenberg’s Videodrome is playing at midnight at the IFC Center.
And finally, We Are Wizards, which is a documentary about the creative drive that has been inspired by Harry Potter, is playing at Cinema Village on 12th Street. It features BS faves Harry and the Potters.