: My Week with Marilyn (2011) Based on a true story when Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) was trying to revive his film career and chose Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams), one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, to be his co-star in a light, romantic comedy. This film is told through the eyes of a 24 year-old man, Colin (Eddie Redmanye), whose first film job was third director (think gofer). Colin, though, had no idea he would be getting involved with and would ultimately fall in love with of one the world’s most famous sex symbols. Michelle Williams plays Marilyn perfectly and brings to the screen a woman who, at one moment is breath-taking sexy and at another moment is so maddeningly full of self doubt and loathing. Branagh does the incredibly hard job of portraying a frustrated Olivier, who sees his film career crumbling before his eyes as Marilyn can’t seem to get her life together. Williams is the reason to see this film. She becomes the blond bombshell sex symbol so much so that there are times you forget you aren’t watching the real Marilyn . This film proves that Williams is the most versatile actress of her generation, and an Oscar nomination for her is an almost sure thing. My Rating: Full Price My Week with Marilyn Website
Indyfest (A Look at a Small, Indie or Foreign Film): Melancholia (2011) A troubled young woman(Kirsten Dunst) is getting married on her family estate the same weekend that a mysterious planet called Melancholia is going to pass dangerously close by Earth. To say that her family is dysfunctional would be a disservice to the adjective, as on her wedding night, her own mother (Charlotte Rampling) tells the reception party, “Enjoy it while it lasts. I myself hate marriages”. The film centers on Dunst and her bipolar disorder, where, one moment, she is incredibly in love with her new husband (Alexander Skarsgard) and in the next moment has locked herself in the bathroom to draw a bath as the wedding party waits downstairs for the “happy couple” to cut the cake. This is an amazing-looking film and contains one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen. What I didn’t like about this film is I found the script lacking as it sometimes has scenes that play out so simply it seems as though they are scenes from a high school production. If you do see this film, it will be to see Dunst, who is Oscar-worthy in this role. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Melancholia Webiste
Family Fare: Arthur Christmas (2011) In this animated film, Santa (voiced by Jim Broadbent) is getting ready to retire...which of his two sons will follow in his footsteps? Steve (voiced by Hugh Laurie), the older son, is Santa’s right hand and runs Santa’s workshop with military precision. Arthur (voiced by James McAcoy), the younger son, is a wide-eyed lover of all things Christmas, but Arthur’s optimism can get the best of him and sometimes he is just a little too eager to please. On Christmas Eve, it’s discovered that one present has not been delivered, and Arthur decides to make sure that everyone’s Christmas is a merry one. I enjoyed this film, and it plays to both kids and adults as it has humor aimed at both. The best part of this movie is the army of elves that help run the massive operation, as they deliver gifts with the skills of a gymnast and stealth of a ninja. This is an enjoyable film, much more than Happy Feet Two, and it’s very inventive in describing how Santa delivers all his presents on Christmas Eve. By the way, the film doesn't use the 3-D aspect to it's advantage, so skip the more expensive ticket. My Rating: Full Price Arthur Christmas Website
The 50 (A Movie From My Best/Worst Films of All Time):
#29 Worst Film
Bio-Dome (1996) All I really have to say about this film is it stars
and Stephen Baldwin as two friends who are looking for a place to pee but get stuck in a Bio-Dome. The dome is to be sealed as a science experiment where a group of scientists are trying to live for a year without outside help. Did I mention they get stuck in Bio-Dome while looking for a place to pee? Bio-Dome Info Pauly Shore
Forgotten Film: The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) Roman Polanski (Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown) directed/wrote/stars in this horror-comedy about a Professor (Jack MacGowran) and his apprentice (Roman Polanski) who are making their way across eastern Europe hunting for vampires. While staying at a local inn, the apprentice falls in love with Sarah (Sharon Tate), the inn keepers daughter. But she has also caught the eye of Count von Krolock (Ferdy Mayne), a mysterious owner of local castle. They may be vampire hunters but they aren't good ones as they wouldn’t know a vampire if they were bitten on the neck by one. The two bumble their way into a series of dangerous situations and many times are rescued by others or by sheer luck. Tate is absolutely breathtaking in her role as the voluptuous daughter, who is constantly in danger of losing her life. This is a very funny film with some great comedic situations, and while the vampires in this film may not sparkle, they certainly hit the funny bone. My Rating: Full Price The Fearless Vampire Killers Info
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD): Friends with Benefits (2011) I enjoyed this romantic comedy starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake, who try to remain just friends with sexual benefits. Kunis is very funny and has a nice chemistry with Timberlake. It’s not a great film but certainly one that you could fill the bill for ‘date night." My Rating: Full Price Friends with Benefits Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I’ve Seen Only in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea): This Means War Will Reese Witherspoon ever make another good romantic comedy? I don’t think this will be the one In this film, Witherspoon is dating two men (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) who happen to be CIA agents. They decide to win Reese’s heart by any means necessary including using a CIA drone to spy on her. Double 0, I don’t think so. This Means War Website
Weird Credits: From the credits of Tower Heist: Parade Location Manager
Flictionary (A Definition of a Film Term): Main Title Designer is in charge of how to present the titles at the beginning of the film, which normally include the name of the film, it’s principal actors, the writer and director of the film. A number of films are remembered for the creative way they introduced the titles, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest.
Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) Based on the bestselling book, this is a remake of a the Swedish film of the same name. I hope that they do justice to what I considered one of the best movies of 2009. Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara and Robin Wright star in what should be a blockbuster. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Website
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