Welcome back to another weekly installment of "Movies To See". I missed last week due to just being simply exhausted from the holidays and working so much so I'm doing a double entry by combining this week's new releases along with last week's just in case some of you haven't seen them. We got movies for the fellas, the ladies, as well as the kids. The December 3rd week is loaded with Oscar hopefuls...that are of course limited releases so you probably won't see any of these movies anyway unless you live in NY/Chicago/LA/Dallas or don't mind traveling 30-40 miles out to a theater that's actually playing them.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton both make their big screen returns in the high-octane action film "Faster". Johnson plays an ex-con who actually isn't given a real name but is known as "Driver" who is targeting a gang who killed his brother who were double crossed during a heist years ago. During his killing spree, he is chased by a hit-man and a veteran cop played by Thornton. Pretty simple, and that's how these types of action films should be. Simple plot and lots of action. If you're an action junkie such as myself I recommend seeing this film. It has all the fixings of the old school action flicks such as "Commando" and "The Killer" that serve up non-stop thrills and gun fights with as little dialogue as possible which I myself love. Sometimes you need an escape from the drama and want to have fun, and that's what "Faster" does.
Love And Other Drugs
I'll admit, I'm not really not a hopeless romantic. At all. I'm not heartless, I'm just like 91% of the male population who isn't in tune with his feelings. "Love And Other Drugs" doesn't really speak to me like it would the other 9% of the male population as well as 100% of women, nonetheless it looks like a pretty solid romantic dramady that will have your heart a-flutter and sporting that cheesy grin throughout. When you have two charming actors such as Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway it's pretty easy to carry a film, despite its genre. Check the trailer out and see if this is something worth while. I just don't see myself personally rushing out to theaters to see this one, since I'm a straight single male.
This time it's Disney's turn at the helm of animated CGI graphics with "Tangled" otherwise known as the story of "Rapunzel". The movie is very kid friendly with a few touches of adult humor to keep the older crowd entertained as well. The trailer pretty much speaks for itself and if you never had a childhood and never heard of the story of "Rapunzel" then I just feel sorry for you and your parents suck.
The Warrior's Way
A ninja assassin leaves his clan due to refusing to complete a mission and they are hot on his trail. He arrives in America, hoping he has seen the last of them but he soon realizes he is wrong. Not only does he have to deal with them, he also has to deal with gun-slinging cowboys. Yes. Ninjas. Versus. Cowboys. Many frown on cheesy set-ups like this but I say what took so damn long?! Jang Dong-gun is the assassin and is making his debut into American cinema. What I'm more so looking forward to is how he'll be received here in the states since he's easily the biggest star in his home country of Korea and rules the Chinese box office. Can he become the next Jackie Chan?
I previewed this movie a few months back and I'm disappointed that this has a limited release for its opening weekend, hopefully it builds momentum into a wide release before the new year. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, we embark on the tale of a veteran ballerina dancer by the name of Nina played by Natalie Portman. Nina is up for the lead role in Swan Lake but is challenged by a new coming rival by the name of Lily who is played by Mila Kunis. Lily and Nina's ballet instructor, Thomas Leroy played by Vincent Cassel pits them against one another in order to see who will come out on top. In doing so, this brings out a dark nature that Lily isn't known for and sends her in a downward spiral. As you can see by the trailer it's not your typical thriller and seems to have some psychological elements to it as well. It looks like a sure-fire winner and I hope it does well in theaters since Aronofsky hasn't been able to live up to "Requiem For A Dream", hands down his best work to date. I also want to take a moment to *swoon* over Mila Kunis:
All Good Things
"All Good Things" tells the tale of Gosling's character, David Marks, who is the heir of the Marks Estate behind his father portrayed by Frank Langella. Gosling falls for Katie (Kirsten Dunst) and ends up marrying her who is not of the same social status as the Marks family. Things turn for the worst when a murder case opens up that traces back to David that could destroy him as well as his family's legacy. The film has created quite the Oscar buzz and is being heavily campaigned. If anyone, it'll be Gosling out of the cast to get another nomination for "Best Actor" since he's playing his usual off-beat but charming usual self as he did in "The Notebook". *shudders*
I Love You Phillip Morris
Jim Carrey plays a lucrative con-man who finally gets caught and sentenced to prison. While there, he meets convict, Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor) and realizes he's gay and they fall in love. Problem is, Carrey's jail sentence is cut short and he is sent back to society promising Phillip that he'll break him out of jail. Which he does and they both live a life behind crime and running from the cops hot on their tail. I'm glad "I Love You Phillip Morris" was able to make it past the frightened major movie studios who didn't want to touch the gay-themed romantic comedy. Despite the fact the gay characters are led by respected and talented Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, who are proven box-office hits as well as having the script written by "Bad Santa" Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. Regardless of the characters' sexual orientation, this true story adapted for film still looks highly entertaining and I'm hoping it does well in the mainstream.
Night Catches Us
Last up, is what I feel is the strongest and most powerful movie in this holiday season is "Night Catches Us". Dating back to Philadephia of '76, Anthony Mackie plays Marcus a former Black Panther who returns to his neighborhood after he mysteriously disappeared years ago. His past begins to catch up with him in the form of accusations of orchestrating a murder of a fellow Panther. An old flame played by Kerry Washington decides to help him as well as rekindle their love. Tanya Hamilton should more than likely nab a few Independent Film Award noms and I'm praying that she is able to at least garner some Oscar buzz for this film. Not too many black directors out there, let alone female black directors with the skills and vision that of Tanya Hamilton. I'm rooting for her and the success of this film despite its release being severely limited only to the LA/NY/Philadelphia areas. If you happen to live in those cities or are even visiting I strongly suggest seeing this film and support black filmmakers who have a positive message outside of the "John Singletons" and "Tyler Perrys" in the film world.
And now I end this blog with some Kerry Washington swoonage