Monday, November 15, 2010

11 Films to See This Holiday Season; 5 Films to Avoid

Holiday Movie season is upon us and I can't say that I am overly thrilled about any upcoming releases. I did find 11 films that peaked my interest slightly and of course, a few films that I will be avoiding at all costs...


1. Black Swan 12/3- I am not familiar with this story, but I saw the trailer the other day and all I can say to describe it is: WOW. It looks amazing. Darren Aronofsky really outdid himself this time. And Natalie Portman looks sensational. There is a lot of buzz about an award worthy performance and from the trailer alone I can see why. I know Natalie gets a lot of credit for being some outstanding performer - but I have yet to see her prove it (I have enjoyed several of her films - V For Vendetta, Closer & Garden State come to mind, but I can't say her performances were very memorable. I hate to admit it - but her most memorable performance to date is her digital short on SNL in which she raps - hysterical). I love, love, love Mila Kunis - she shows some serious acting chops in the trailer as well. Anyway, the film is about the life of a ballet dancer. The dancer lets ballet consume her entire life (like most people who are passionate about art). Not only is the film about this consumption, but also about letting your own internal demons get the best of you. The film looks raw, emotional and heartbreaking - not to mention creepy.

2. All Good Things 12/3 - I am a huge Ryan Gosling fan ever since his break-out performance in The Believer (an Oscar worthy performance). He can pretty much do no wrong in my book. The film is a thriller based on the true story of a man suspected of killing his wife (played by Kirsten Dunst - who inevitably will be the worst part of the film) and possibly others. Ryan can play a creep pretty well - so I am sure he will ace the part of suspected serial killer. The trailer boasts that the film is about money, power, secrets & lies (all the good stuff) - and it looks pretty intense. I am not sure how they could possibly create a film about an unsolved crime (do they presume that he did do it?).

3. I Love You Phillip Morris 12/3 - How many times has this film been slated to be released? I feel like I heard about this film at least 2 years ago but was constantly delayed or shelved for whatever reason (i.e too controversial). It is about 2 men who fall in love while they are in prison (the 2 men are Jim Carrey & Ewan McGregor). The trailer looks interesting - but I wouldn't say it looks that funny. It is supposed to be a comedy, right? I'm not really sure. It does look like it is taking the whole gay story seriously (it doesn't seem to be mocking them - at least in the trailer) - which if it is true, will be completely groundbreaking. Think about it: A main stream romantic comedy about 2 gay men starring well known actors. It could be one for the history books (film history that is..).

4. The Tempest 12/10 - I am a Shakespeare junkie. The Tempest is one of least favorite of his plays - but that won't stop me from seeing it. I am intrigued that the film is about Prospera (not Prospero) - changing the gender of the main character is a genius move, plus it is not often we see Shakespeare from a woman's perspective (Julie Taymore adapts and directs it).

5. Frankie & Alice 12/10 - Yes, on the surface it looks like another cliched stripper movie - and it could very well turn out that way. However, Halle Berry is getting rave reviews as a stripper with Multiple Personality Disorder. And we all know how much the Academy loves emotionally damaged strippers, prostitutes and drug addicts - so she will likely be nominated. I of course will be intrigued to see why.

6. Rabbit Hole 12/17 - I almost cried watching the trailer - I had no idea what the film was about before watching it so I felt a little blindsided. Losing a child must be the worst pain one can endure. I honestly can't think of anything worse. The film looks at this pain realistically - a couple trying to move past the pain and continue to live. Although it looks sad, it also looks like it has some lighter moments and hopeful ones. I also love Aaron Eckhart - but I am so used to him being a complete sarcastic a**hole - this role will be a nice change of pace for him.

7. Little Fockers 12/22 - I enjoyed Meet the Parents (not as much as other people did - but it was definitely amusing). However, the whole film was successful due to the fact that it showed Robert Deniro as a comedian - funnier than Ben Stiller (an actual comedian). Once the novelty of that wore off - it became less and less funny. Then came Meet the Fockers which was painful to watch. So, I clearly have no logical reason to look forward to this film - yet I do.

8. Biutiful 12/29 - My favorite director - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. I am in love with every one of his films, however all of his films were written by Guillermo Arriaga except this one. So, I am interested to see if he is as incredible without his writing partner (seriously guys...what happened!?). Arriaga's first solo project (The Burning Plain) was a complete disappointment - so I hope Inarritu doesn't fall to the same fate. Biutiful stars Javiar Bardem (good start) as a father of two kids who finds out he has terminal Cancer. It is obviously going to make me cry (as does all of his films). This is probably the film that I am most excited for and will likely not be released in my frustrating!

9. Blue Valentine 12/31 - Another Ryan Gosling film - this one slightly more well known due to its NC-17 rating that it received recently (basically a death sentence for a film). The film is a love story - but it is also supposed to be a gritty, realistic look at marriage between a young couple. Both Ryan and Michelle Williams are being hailed for their performances which is said to be partly improv, which makes things interesting.

10. The Green Hornet 1/14 - O.k - the guy who created such original masterpieces as The Science of Sleep, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Be Kind Rewind made a superhero film? I am there. Seriously, Michele Gondry is a creative genius - so his take on the superhero genre is sure to be fantastic. Plus Seth Rogan as a The Green Hornet? How amazing is that going to be?

11. Kaboom 1/28 - If you don't know who Gregg Araki is then please go rent the heartbreaking film Mysterious Skin. I have no idea what Kaboom is about or who is in it - but I have to support this filmmaker for the rest of my life for creating a film that has effected my life the way Mysterious Skin did.


1. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows Pt 1 - So you all know who much I hate Harry Potter right? Serious loathing from my direction. I recently tried to give it another chance - I watched the first 3 films and I still stand by my opinion. The films are dreadful - Daniel Radcliffe is one of the worst young actors ever and the rest of the bunch are disappointing as well. The plot is not suspenseful in the least and the special effects are mind-blowingly awful. I will not torture myself by watching the rest of these films.

2. Burlesque - Christina Aguilera is not an actress. I can tell already by the trailer - she is not a triple threat. I am not sure why people assume because one can sing and dance - they can act as well. This film looks ridiculous and has Showgirls written all over it.

3. The Fighter - I feel like Mark Wahlberg already did this film - called Invincible. Sure it was about Football, but still it was about overcoming the odds in sports. If you just mix Invincible with any of the Rocky films - you have this film. There is literally no point in waisting time watching it - we all already know how it ends...right?

4. The Tourist - Two of the biggest stars in the world in the same film seems like it would be an automatic win. Right? Has everyone seen the trailer? Something went wrong...very, very wrong. The film looks like a complete mess and Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp somehow lack any chemistry. This film is sure to go down as one of the biggest bombs of the year.

5. Country Strong - Love Gwyneth (and can't wait for her appearance on Glee tomorrow). Hate country.

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