Last year, I reviewed a local run of the decade-old musical, and found it pleasant enough, if pretty predictable. I’m surprised it took this long to bring the thing to the big screen, and even more surprised that it’s Clint Eastwood, and not Martin Scorsese, who took it on (although perhaps Scorsese’s disappointment over New York, New York has spooked him from tackling the genre ever again. I hope not; it’s probably my favorite movie musical).
Scorsese seems a better fit for obvious reasons–the New Jersey, Italian, mob-tied characters; the 1950’s-60’s era; the presence of Joe Pesci, (not as an actor, but as an actual character in the story). Eastwood seems an odder choice. While he has had success with musical movies in the past (Honkytonk Man; Bird), let’s not forget he also starred in one of cinema’s worst (1969’s Paint Your Wagon). I’ve also fallen asleep during, or plain given up on finishing, his last four movies. In other words, I’ve got The Best of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons on CD. I’m good.
Remember Think Like a Man? No? Me neither! But apparently it was popular enough to warrant a sequel, featuring all the original stars. All the couples get together for a wild weekend in Las Vegas, and things go awry and oh my god, I can’t believe that’s the actual plot. Really? Someone sat down at their computer, and thought “A comedy about a bunch of people in Las Vegas, where shit goes wrong! GENIUS! No one ever gets tired of that storyline! And even if they do, THIS ONE’S GONNA BE DIFFERENT!”
Disturbing Dutch dark comedy about a drifter who insinuates himself into the home of a suburban family. Think home invasion horror, but of the very moody, surreal, and slightly confusing variety. It was featured at the SFIFF this year.
Documentary investigates the fact that college tuition is ridiculously expensive. Let’s team them up with the Rent Is Too Damn High guy, and revolutionize America!! (Good idea? If you want it expanded into an actual action plan, look for the smarts elsewhere; I couldn’t afford graduate school.)
I don’t fully understand Susan Sarandon’s obsession with ping pong–something she believes strongly enough in that it lead to her opening a chain of ping pong clubs, and this movie–but I kind of love her all the more for it. This coming of age comedy is set in the 1980’s–shocker–and stars Sarandon as a ping pong guru of sorts, who coaches a teenage boy towards a championship. Lea Thompson plays the boy’s mother, and Amy Sedaris is a wacky neighbor/aunt/local/who cares, Amy Sedaris is in it, which means it’s a MUST SEE.