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Friday, December 2, 2011

In Theaters This Weekend

Apparently Mr. Brooks taught us nothing as a nation.

Wouldn't you think that when a comedian does his absolute damnedest to venture into dramatic territory, and fails miserably along with the rest of the film, that he should just stick to his usual stuff for a bit? Well, in general, I wouldn't agree with that. But that might be the case for Dane Cook, as his last foray into the serious side of serial killing tanked harder Gigli. Now, he's back in the fray with Answers to Nothing (I know, right?) - a Crash/Magnolia/Short Cuts hodge podge of random people connected by a specific event. We'll see. 

Rolling into theaters this weekend, a handful of films that might surprise you. Shame, starring Michael Fassbender, about a man with a chronic sexual addiction and an inability to feel pleasure. Answers to Nothing, which we've covered. Pastorela, in which a man who usually plays the Devil in the Church's Christmas play is replaced by the new priest, and fights to get his role back. Sleeping Beauty, which isn't anywhere close to what you think it is. And, Autoreiji - a Chinese crime film, in the style of Woo.

More after the cut--

Lots to cover, non? Might as well get down to it. 

Shame. NC-17.

Every couple of years, you run across a film that might seem to be the film that will define that year. 2010 had The Social Network and Toy Story 3, 2007 had No Country for Old Men, and 2011 has Shame - an internally charged, emotional boiler about sexual addiction at its worst, when one derives no pleasure from it. Michael Fassbender's performance seems to be one for the books, and I'm always a sucker for a well crafted trailer, even if the film offers so much it could completely disappoint, though. I don't see that happening, however. Go see this. People will talk about it for a long time.

Answers to Nothing. R.

See what I mean by "We'll see"? It has the all the makings of something that demands to be direct-to-DVD, but the trailer is put together to suggest something worthy of a theatrical run. Of course, let's be honest - "worthy of a theatrical run" doesn't mean too much, right? From Justin to Kelly got one. Sometimes people just get it way the hell wrong. Sometimes that might be because they cast Dane Cook in a serious heavy role. Opposite two of the best working actresses today (Barbra Hershey and Elizabeth Mitchell, who looks brilliant). I'll watch it. Multi-narrative films like this are my favorite style of film, so my interest will always be piqued. But, my expectations are almost non-existent. I'm just hoping Cook does a good job.

Sleeping Beauty. Not Rated.

Not at all like the Sleeping Beauty the rest of us know, right? I'll be honest - I'm not entirely sure what the film is about. Based on the trailer, a young woman (Emily Browning of Sucker Punch fame) is seduced into joining a secret mission, probably governmental, and trained to seduce, sleep with, and get dirt on, various people she's instructed to. Which would be the recipe for a brilliant thriller. Something Adrian Lynn would kill a man to direct. But, based on other things that I've seen/read about the film, it might be more like the dirtier and skankier version of An Education that none of us wanted to see. Maybe it's one or the other, maybe it's both. Maybe Jane Campion probably should review the film she's producing and put her quote in the trailer. Maybe I'm old fashioned. *shrug*

Autoreiji. R. 

There are bits of Woo in this film's style. Also, shades of Scorsese's ironic comedic timing. And a little bit of Miike, too. Shades of Wasabi. Infernal Affairs. Really, I could go on all day. The film seems to be a love letter of sorts to all the films before it that probably helped inspire its off-the-wall brand of violence and vengeance. The story might be self-explanatory - an older Yakuza member is tossed out because he messed up. So, after dedicating so much of his life to them, older Yakuza member who got tossed out because he messed up actually comes back to mess some people up. So, it's a little like Payback, too. Oh, hell - just watch it and see if it's close enough to original to get away with it. Autoreiji means "outrage" in Chinese.

so probably not.

Pastorela. R.

I... hahahahahaha what? I have no idea what I just watched, but oh my God. I'm first in line.

That's it! Tell me what you're going to see this weekend in the Facebook comment box below! Like the article and share it with your friends, too. Enjoy the weekend!