Film Friday: A Whole New World, Same Old Woody
The big film this week is Terence Malik’s The New World, and by big, of course, we mean big (and by that we mean epic). Though, the full theatrical release does shed 15 minutes from it’s previous limited release for Oscar consideration. The majority of the publicity centres on 15 year old Q’Orianka Kilcher, who plays Pocahontas in the feature, because Terence Malik is a legendary recluse, and neither of the male stars (Colin Farrell nor Christian Bale) are quite as interesting to the media as a young, female film star on the wrong side of the age of consent. Now’s Josh Harkness comments “this is as beautiful as anything you’ll see in theatres this year, and if you appreciate cinematography, the big screen is the way to go” but is less convinced of the film’s overall quality. Hometown boy Christopher Plummer stars as Captain Christopher Newport.
Torontoist were lucky enough to see Woody Allen’s new film, Match Point, at an advance screening. Actually, having said that, we’re not sure that ‘lucky’ is the right word. While deadly serious throughout (in a turn up for the books, there is no ‘Woody’ character to be seen) the film is initially laughable, with ridiculous, stilted English toff accents all over the place, but once your ears become accustomed to it, this dark tale of a rank sociopath played by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers clawing his way up the ladder using a family that are nearly as dislikable as him, with a particularly gorgeous Scarlett Johansson as the unfortunate collateral damage (her love handles, seen in at least one love scene, are particularly pleasing to this Torontoist’s eyes) is slow, but powerful viewing. While Torontoist usually likes to reference Toronto reviewers, we’d have to say that not one has anything interesting to say on the film compared to he who we all compare ourselves to – Roger Ebert. In a positive review, he ends with “the movie is too clever for us, too cynical.” something Torontoist agrees with completely, though in a different context. The degree of hateful cynicism displayed here is a bit rich for us, and in a film that suffers for being overlong anyway, we were glad to get out.
Lovely cameos from lots of Brit actors though – keep your eyes open for a blink and you’ll miss him Mark Gatiss (from the League of Gentlemen) and Trainspotting’s Ewan Bremner (who could easily have been cut out completely, but pleased Torontoist anyway).
Speaking of rank sociopaths, Pierce Brosnan, fresh from being dropped as Bond trades being a tuxedoed murderous lunatic spy for being a cowboy boots n’ Speedos lunatic hitman in The Matador. “[Brosnan] does the best work of his career” notes Eye’s Adam Nayman, but Now’s Glenn Sumi argues “Brosnan, all bluster and obnoxious bravado, remains unconvincing.” Ooh. Fight!
Guy X has apparently slipped out of nowhere, starring Jason Biggs as a lost corporal trapped in a military bureaucracy hell. Now’s Andrew Dowler damns this with faint praise: “Pleasant enough, but can’t rise above the material.”
Albert Brooks (Nemo’s dad!) is Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, and that sounds like a great idea for a documentary but it’s actually a comedy, which is a bit less exciting, and has been given middling reviews.
Also out this week are Underworld Evolution and (sigh) Karla, so if you want to see a film about monsters who feast on life’s misery, or a film made by monsters who feast on life’s misery, make sure you get the right theatre. Honestly? Torontoist suggests you only leave your home to pick up Mr Show: The Complete Collection, and then go home and spend the weekend immersing yourself in the best (non-Canadian) half hour comedy of the 90’s. And David Cross has a beautiful singing voice, too.