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Frankly My Dear...

    Frankly My Dear...

    ‘Dark Knight’ occupies Wall Street — with a brawl

    Posted: 07 Nov 2011 04:26 AM PST

    A lot of people are posting this new Bat-picture brawl scene, shot in daylight, and making the same observations folks made when we saw the Batwing city streets chase scene some months back.

    Robbed of special effects, post production tweaks and intonations, these scenes look the way most rough footage looks. Rough. Watching a fight as its actually filmed is a real eye-rolling experience. That’s before they speed up the action, add sound effects and you see what the camera sees and only what the camera sees — plus effects.

    Today’s interview: Henry Cavill, of ‘Stardust,’ ‘Immortals’ and ‘Man of Steel’

    Posted: 07 Nov 2011 04:20 AM PST

    People are going to want to check out the sword and sorcery epic “Immortals” just to see Mickey Rourke chew it up in an ancient Greek period piece, and just to see how Henry Cavill handles being front and center of a big 3D action epic.
    He’s the new Superman, starring in “Man of Steel.” Some of us first noticed him in “Stardust,” others in TV’s “The Tudors.”
    Got questions for Henry Cavill? Comment below.

    Movie Preview: ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’

    Posted: 07 Nov 2011 04:14 AM PST

    The every-parents-nightmare “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” about a boy gone wrong, seemingly from birth, with awful consequences when he hits puberty, has Oscar buzz for Tilda Swinton.

    John C. Reilly and Swinton play the parents, Ezra Miller is the kid. This chilling new trailer really sells the film, which opens in late January.

    Real life spy mystery ‘Londongrad’ may lure Fassbender, ‘Rise of the Apes’ director

    Posted: 07 Nov 2011 04:03 AM PST

    The mysterious death by poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB spy who died, as an exile, in London, is the subject of “Londongrad,” a thriller Warner Brothers is pulling together.
    Word is, they would love for the red-hot Michael Fassbender (“Shame” has Oscar buzz) to star in it, with the director of the summer surprose, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” Rupert Wyatt, behind the camera.

    Litvinenko was under suspicion by the KGB and its later post-Soviet incarnation and fled to the UK, where he became an author and thorn in the Kremlin’s side. His death of plutonium poisoning was awfully convenient, some say.

    ‘Iron Lady’ moves to Dec. 30

    Posted: 07 Nov 2011 03:40 AM PST

    The Weinstein Co. had been toying with the idea of opening Meryl Streep’s latest Oscar bid, “The Iron Lady,” a few weeks before Christmas in some cities. That showed confidence in Streep’s portrayal of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the film build around her (Jim Broadbent plays her husband).

    Now, they’ve moved it to Dec. 30, NY and LA, Jan. 13 wider. Does this mean they’re backing off the Oscar campaign? Because that “Throw it against the wall before Oscar qualifying deadline” is exactly what they did with Renee Zellweger’s “Miss Potter,” another possible awards contender, a few years back.  TWC has long been masterful at making the most out of an Oscar campaign, so we’ll have to see. Perhaps they simply can’t get more theaters until that Jan. “rotate out the holiday titles” weekend and didn’t want the film to sit out there, buzz dissipating, in a couple of cities for a month.

    Movie Review: Martha Marcy May Marlene

    Posted: 06 Nov 2011 04:42 AM PST

    The call comes out of the blue, by pay phone, the prodigal younger sister calling her estranged older sibling.

    “Where are you? Where have you been?”

    “Upstate, I think,” is all the confused young woman can manage. Or is that simply all she’s willing to reveal?

    And after big sister (Sarah Paulson) picks Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) up, the mystery deepens. Is Martha on the run from the law? Pregnant? On drugs? Her vacant stare gives away little, but we figure out, pretty quickly, that she’s paranoid, especially about concealing her whereabouts.

    “How far are we?”

    “From what?”

    “From yesterday.”

    As she settles into the uneasy lake home of her sister and brother-in-law (Hugh Dancy), the furtive Martha gives them — and us — the creeps.

    Writer-director Sean Durkin maintains the mystery about her even as flashbacks start to tell her story, the farm she used to live on, the charismatic guy (John Hawkes of “Winter’s Bone”) who took her in, the daily life in the cult where she was given a new name. Durkin’s film, opening Friday at ]The Enzian, is challenging and smart, a textbook case study of the sort of person drawn to a cult and the methods employed to keep her there.

    Patrick (Hawkes) is secretive, guarding his flock from outsiders. He breaks down Martha’s self-esteem and finds her vulnerabilities.

    “I know people have abandoned you your whole life.”

    Martha’s questions are laughed off. Isolated, yet kept in the company of others as she labors along with the other women to keep the farm going, she is trapped and we fear for her there as much as we fear what she’ll do in the scenes with her sister and increasingly wary brother-in-law. We have answers to the questions that they’re not asking, and Martha has answers that she’s not sharing with either them or with us, the viewer. Durkin’s film has a marvelous unease about it that never leaves, even in lighter moments.

    The rawboned Hawkes manages both charm and menace in the same look, and Dancy gives his character a testy, fearful edge that doesn’t make him scary, but rather someone we fear for.

    And Olsen, in a captivating, career-making performance, makes Martha awkward and inscrutable, sexual yet innocent.  From first scene to last, she makes the journey through all her moods and guises a mesmerizing and chilling experience and turns a cryptic film into an unforgettable one.

    MPAA Rating:R for disturbing violent and sexual content, nudity and language.

    Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes

    Credits: Written and directed by Sean Durkin, A Fox Searchlight release. Running Time: 2:00

    ‘Puss’ powers past ‘Tower Heist’ to win another weekend at the box office

    Posted: 06 Nov 2011 04:18 AM PST

    The “best animated movie of the year” proved it, by making up for a snow-suppressed opening weekend ($34 million or so) with its second weekend.

    The film MATCHED its opening weekend numbers – unheard of with wide releases — pulling in another $34 million plus, pounding “Tower Heist,” which did a barely passable $24.3 million. An all-star comedy, PG-13, rude and funny — decent reviews. Without Adam Sandler or Kevin James,  “Heist” simply did not perform up to potential. It seemed well marketed, but maybe Eddie Murphy just doesn’t have the filmgoer love he once did.  He used it all up on “Norbit” and “Imagine That.”

    There have been movies, over the years, that added audience on their second weekend. But “Puss” losing only a cou0ple of percent puts it on the all-time box office staying power list.

    The “Harold & Kumar” threequel wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t necessary and sure as heck didn’t need to be in 3D — a real kiss of death for that movie, IMHO. $13 million for a brand-name comedy with two hits behind it? Reviews weren’t terrible. I found it a bit of a shrug. The jokes were as out there as you’d expect. They just weren’t that funny, and the leading men looked a little bored with it all. The Monday Morning quarterbacking will be sure to sniff, “Fail” to Warner Brothers all the way around on that one.