Helen Mirren sexy? She is when she’s toting an automatic weapon
Helen Mirren and John Malkovich star in “Red.”
★★★ (out of four)
2010, Robert Schwentke, U.S., PG-13
- New films
The following movies start Friday, Oct. 29:
Director: Gareth Edwards.
Star: Scott McNairy, Whitney Able.
The plot: With half of Mexico serving as an alien quarantine
zone, an American journalist heads across the boarder to find his
Genre: Drama, horror.
Director: Kevin Greutert.
Stars: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor.
The plot: As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw’s brutal legacy,
a group of Jigsaw survivors gather to see the support of self-help
- Film roundup
★★★★ (out of four)
Were it not for the involvement of David Fincher, I would have
had little interest in “The Social Network,” the new film about the
founding of Facebook. ’Cause here’s the thing: I hate Facebook. I
hate the manner in which it was conceived, I hate its effect on the
online community, the banality of its users’ content and its
needlessly confusing interface. Most of all, I hate everyone always
asking me if I’m on Facebook, and when I tell them that I have no
intention of ever starting a page, seeing them look at me as if I
just asked where the Internets are. Facebook is a bunch of crap
(helpful hint: I don’t care if you went out today to buy shoelaces
and a can of Pringles, and I certainly don’t want to see a
photographic record of this adventure), and resistance to its
influence can only make you a better, stronger person.
“The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole”
Adapted from the first three books in Kathryn Laski’s “Guardians
of Ga’Hoole” series, the film tells the story of a young owl named
Soren (voiced by Jim Sturgess, from “Across the Universe“ and “21”)
who, together with his brother, Kludd (Ryan Kwanten, of HBO’s “True
Blood”), is abducted by an army of vicious warrior owls led by the
evil Nyra (Helen Mirren) and Metalbeak (Joel Edgerton). The evil
owls apparently want to build a regiment of flightless young owls,
train them over the course of a few days, and then use them as an
integral part of their plan to take over the world. This plan also
entails using a bunch of magic vomit-rocks (?!) to kill the Good
Owls (led by Ezylryb, voiced by Geoffrey Rush in the film’s only
truly accomplished voice work) and then… I don’t even know, man.
And really, who cares?
“The Town” is no “Gone Baby Gone” — the material isn’t as
potent, for one thing, and it’s missing the provocative, layered
mystery that helped make Affleck’s first film such a treasure. As a
straight-up character-based thriller, though, it’s hard to find
fault with “The Town.” The story, involving a network of bank
robbers operating out of the Boston neighborhood of Charlestown, is
compelling, and the heists are executed with verve and intensity.
And as in his first film, writer/director Affleck displays a
peerless knack for capturing the shifting rhythms and moods of a
city. He’s been compared to a young Martin Scorsese in this regard,
and in terms of handling an old-fashioned narrative with the steady
confidence of a veteran, Affleck is also racking up favorable
comparisons to Clint Eastwood. They may smack of hyperbole, but
these praises are apt and richly deserved.
Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010 7:56 am
Back with a proper review this week, although we’ll also delve
into all that fun auteurism stuff again. Next week, I’ll take a
look at “Paranormal Activity 2” just in time for Halloween. (It
strikes me as a completely unnecessary cash-in sequel to a film
that was perfect as a stand-alone, but there’s always a slim chance
the filmmakers learned from last decade’s “Blair Witch 2” fiasco,
and ensured that their movie augments an established mythos instead
of, you know, taking a giant dump on it.
Like I said, a slim chance.) After that, awards season
(hopefully) kicks into high gear with Clint Eastwood’s
Friday, October 22, 2010 7:56 am.