Saturday, 28 January 2012

Reflecting on what you didn't know (Out this week - 27/01/12)

So it's been Oscar nomination week, and as usual there have been a number of films that I thought were excellent that haven't come close to a nod, likewise quite a few I disliked that the Academy have swooned over. That said the 9 films listed as the best of the year seem like a good bunch even if there were some notable snubs elsewhere in the pack. Here in the UK we are still working through the big contenders as they arrive in cinemas, and one long considered favourite opens this weekend and naturally takes my top spot. Elsewhere we see wolves, monsters and doomed romances. Last week, to my surprise, Haywire was the biggest new release just beating Underworld: Awakening but missing out on the top spot to the second week of release from Spielberg's horse epic. I'm learning from my mistakes and given the imbalance in screens and it's likeable, kid friendly trailer I predict Monster in Paris will be the chart topper, although almost certainly second overall. The Runs like a Gay film of the week remains less commercial, but it should pick up some strong audience numbers, it's The Descendants



Descendants



Gorgeous George has just picked up his fourth acting Oscar nomination, although Shailene Woodley as his daughter noticeably missed out, for this Hawaii set dramedy about a father coming to terms with the death of his unfaithful wife. Alexander Payne directs for the first time in 7 years, getting an Oscar nod for his efforts, and brings his caustic, unemotional gaze to family dynamics. Robert Forster also stars.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●●●●●●○





Grey



It's Liam Neeson versus the wolves, as the Ulsterman's later career as a kick-ass action hero continues into even weirder directions. The basic premise of a bunch of oil workers getting picked off by the man eating artic residents sounds fairly watchable, even if the whispered oscar campaign for Neeson next year seems strangely optimistic.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●●○○○○○

Intruders



More Spanish horror, although with a geographical twist whereby we spend equal time in London as in Spain, following two families united by a teenage child with a monster in the cupboard. Clive Owen is the doubting father in the British section.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●○○○○○○

Like Crazy



Highly buzzed Sundance title from 2011 with Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin entering into a doomed, mostly improvised romance bound to get caught up with VISA difficulties and enforced seperations. Jennifer Lawrence has a minor role.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●○○○○○○

Monster in Paris



Fun looking French (no kidding) animation involving a radioactive flea with a remarkable ability to play guitar and a series of slapstick chases. It's been re-dubbed into L'Anglais and should do well in these kiddy unfriendly months of winter.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●○○○○○○

Agneepath



Popular Bollywood adventure, which opened one day early to capitalise on it's pre-release buzz. Saying that the plot, which follows the standard rise to criminal kingpin then return to village story, seems fairly soapy and the trailer did nothing for me.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○

Alls well ends Well 2011



Not quite the Bard update it seems like in the title, this Cantonese rom-com has been released to coincide with Chinese New Year. Not quite as barmy as last weeks sex shop romp.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○

Berlin Kaplani



Turkish-German film collaboration (Berlin has a huge Turkish community in case you weren't aware) with a surprisingly chubby pugilistic protagonist looking for that miracle fight to propel him into the big time.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○

House of Tolerance



Don't take your kids to this French movie by mistake, it's laborious, nostalgic look at the working of a turns of the century Parisien brothel may make for an awkward car ride home. Apparently the leopard steals the show.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○

Polish Roulette



It's like a UN meeting at cinemas this week, with this Eastern European gangster comedy, sometimes known as Sztos 2, being the eighth state contributing to cinema this weekend. I've not seen Sztos 1 but the alternative title suggests that may not be completely necessary.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○

Spanish Masala



Fish out of water Mayalaman comedy, like a reverse version of Like Crazy with an Indian national stuck, VISA less in Spain unable to return home. Only for a Spanish daughter of an Ambassador to rescue him and set him up as a chef.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○

Acts of Godfrey



Odd British drama, with a distinctly unusual delivery style. Yes the entire screenplay has been written in rhyming couplets. As an exercise it appears to work quite well, however countless reviews indicate the story isn't compelling enough to make the film worth watching.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●○○○○○○○○

5 comments:

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I'm rather curious to see what you think of The Descendants.

Runs Like A Gay said...

Writing the review is much tougher than it should be as circumstances around the screening upstaged the film, nevertheless I'll try to get fingers to keyboard either today or tomorrow.

Colleen said...

I too want to hear your thoughts on The Descendants. I'm trying to see all the nominated films. All I have left is The Help and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. You have some interesting films on your scroll there. I'll have to keep an eye out for some of those.

Alex in Movieland said...

Oh, The Descendants... to me one of the most overrated of the year, and I know plenty of bloggers would agree with me. :)

Runs Like A Gay said...

Finally got the review written, it's a bit fuzzy, but then so was my visit.

Overall I would say it's good, worth seeing, but I can understand the over-rated tag. Saying that I've found nearly all the most popular releases this year over-rated so what do I know.