So the Oscars are this Sunday. It’s your last chance to see some of the great films that were nominated. Again I have to urge you to see There Will Be Blood if you haven’t already. I hope it’s the dark horse and will kick No Country for Old Men’s ass. But that’s just me. In any case, here are some other options.
Be Kind Rewind: Michel Gondry, the skinniest little Frenchman to hit American shores since…um…Gerard Depardieu, has become quite the cultural phenomenon. The director, who first made a splash making music videos for the likes of Bjork, The Rolling Stones and Cibo Matto, has graduated to making wonderful films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Dave Chapelle’s Block Party. In this newest film, Jack Black and Mos Def have to remake films like Ghostbusters and Driving Miss Daisy after accidentally erasing the films at their video store. The film allows us to track the progress in Jack Black’s acting abilities. He got his big break playing a zany record store clerk in High Fidelity. But people, here he plays a video store clerk. Still zany though. Maybe zanier, I don’t know. The man is talented. This is my pick of the week. It’s playing at the United Artists on Court Street and the Pavilion.
Vantage Point: The president is shot, and several people see it (yeah, they have different…vantage points). One of them is Forest Whitaker, doing his required shitty movie after winning an Oscar. Then there’s Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox, who look like a perpetually constipated father and son team. And then William Hurt plays the president. So far, the reviews suck. But they suck for pretty much everything that’s coming out this weekend. Go see There Will Be Blood. This is playing at the Pavilion and United Artists on Court Street.
Charlie Bartlett: Pizappas described this movie as yet another Rushmore replica after seeing the trailer, and I think she’s right. Angsty rich kid moves to a public school and after being mocked for a while, he wins them over. This lost any chance at having a box office profit when it gave itself an R rating as well. It stars Anton Yelchin and Robert Downey Jr. It’s playing at the Regal at Battery Park.
Witless Protection: Larry the Cable Guy does not fix anyone’s cable. He makes shitty movies. He should really change his name to Larry the No-Talent, Racist, Asshole Douchebag Comedian. And while I’m on this rant, Cedric the Entertainer should probably change his name too. Anyway, Larry has managed to score yet another movie role, this time as a small town sheriff (again, he never goes near a cable box) who believes he is helping a kidnap victim when in fact he has kidnapped an FBI witness. Jenny McCarthy took the role of his girlfriend. She also probably took heavy medication to keep from crying on set. Maybe Larry the Cable Guy called himself that because his films are not worth seeing in theaters or renting. They’re worth watching on cable when there’s nothing else on, you’re snowed in, and someone has thrown away the remote and taped your face to the television screen. I will not be telling you where this is playing. Find out for yourself, jerk.
Jenny, Chris Hardwick still respects you.
The Counterfeiters: Okay, seriously, I’m getting sick of this. Every week, a new, good movie opens that I really want to see. But guess what? It’s always playing at the fucking Angelika. Now, I respect the Angelika. They get great movies there, and often take chances on movies that might not do so well. This being said, their theaters suck. They are long and narrow, always crowded, barely have an incline (which means that you’re often stuck behind someone with a big head) and have the trains rumbling by every three seconds. The Counterfeiters is the story of a Nazi counterfeiting operation, and is nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. And yes, it’s playing at the Angelika.
The Signal: The Yahoo! description of this film starts out “It’s New Year’s Eve in the city of Terminus and chaos is this year’s resolution.” If the movie can summon one millionth of the awesomeness of this sentence, then I think it’s going to be good. And I think I have a new resolution for next January. The film itself is about a phone transmission that drives people crazy. It’s playing at the AMC Loews Village 7.
If you feeling like braving the snow, Blazing Saddles is the midnight screening at the Landmark Sunshine tonight. Also, Risky Business is playing at the IFC Center at midnight tonight. We’ll be back later this weekend with some Oscar reactions.