‘J. Edgar’ another listless dud from Eastwood
Leonardo DiCaprio stars in “J. Edgar.”
- “J. Edgar”
★★ (out of four)
2011, Dir. Clint Eastwood, U.S., R
“J. Edgar” is rated R for profanity.
- New films
Director: Martin Scorsese.
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz.
The plot: Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls
of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late
father and an automaton.
Genre: Adventure, drama.
‘A Dangerous Method’
Director: David Gronenberg.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley.
The plot: A look at how the intense relationship between Carl
Jung and Sigmond Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.
Genre: Drama, thriller.
- Film roundup
‘A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS’
★★★ (out of four)
It was with healthy skepticism that I approached “A Very Harold
& Kumar 3D Christmas,” and damned if it didn’t win me over
within the first 10 minutes. This marks a return to the characters’
roots, and once again has the hapless stoners navigating a
treacherous, uncanny, “After Hours”-esque urban maze in order to
achieve the most seemingly simple of goals. In the first film, it
was the acquisition of White Castle hamburgers. Here, it’s a
Christmas tree. The point is that the humor is rooted in what is
familiar and relatable, and no matter how absurd our heroes’
adventures become — even when things turn supernatural — they are
always propelled by a certain internal logic.
‘PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3’
★★ 1/2 (out of four)
Good intentions can only take you so far, and “Paranormal
Activity 3” once again stumbles with the follow-through. Under the
direction of Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman — who gave us the
tremendously low-key creepfest “Catfish” — the film includes some
interesting innovations (including a camcorder mounted to an
oscillating fan, which effectively teases the audience by often
keeping the relevant paranormal activity just out of frame), and
one of the best heart-in-the-mouth false scares I’ve ever seen
(trust me, you’ll know it when you see it). Yet with a screenplay
this meandering and vague, minor innovations simply don’t amount to
Meet Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a laid-back 20-something radio
journalist whose life is finally starting to get on-track. He finds
fulfillment in his job, he has a loyal best friend, and his
relationship with his girlfriend appears to be moving forward. Adam
is content, but his world begins to crumble after a routine doctor
visit to address some unexplained aches and pains leads to the
revelation that he is suffering from a rare form of cancer. The
survival rate, he learns, is roughly 50 percent. But Adam is young
and otherwise hearty, and appears to have a strong support system
to help him through his time of need. However, as Adam’s body
degenerates from the chemotherapy treatments, he finds that some of
his relationships may not be as strong as he thought.
“Moneyball” tells the true story of how Oakland Athletics
general manager Billy Beane revolutionized the way major league
baseball teams select lineups, leading his A’s to a historic
20-game winning streak in the 2002 season and turning the world of
pro ball on it ear in the process. A former would-be all-star who
once discovered at some cost that scouts’ ability to spot true
talent is not infallible, Beane is determined to prove that the
team-selection process in place since the game’s inception is
antiquated and, in a modern context, almost completely useless.
Posted: Friday, November 18, 2011 7:51 am
Updated: 7:18 am, Sat Nov 19, 2011.
As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m trying to brighten my attitude
about life in general and the fall movie season in particular.
After all, despite my bloviating, perhaps things aren’t so bad. It
may not look like it judging by the current wide-release roster,
but awards season is indeed upon us, and there’s actually quite a
few promising titles to look forward to in the coming weeks —
starting with “The Muppets” (admittedly not an awards contender,
though I’m looking forward to it more than anything else this
season), which opens Thursday. Nothing — I repeat, nothing —
will brighten your holidays like the lovable antics of the Swedish
Of course, in order to claim my sweet, sweet reward I must first
survive “Twilight: Breaking Dawn — Part 1,” which I will review
next week. I just caught about 15 minutes of “New Moon” the other
day, and easily consider it among the most harrowing cinematic
experiences of my entire life. I honestly don’t know how I’ll
survive a full two hours of such buffoonery, but if I do come out
the other side without a significant degree of brain damage (I’ve
already accepted that there’s bound to be some), I shall share my
tale of woe.
Friday, November 18, 2011 7:51 am.
Updated: 7:18 am.