Catch .44 (December 9)
Daniel Silver: If it weren’t for the presence of the 33-year-old Malin Akerman (sorry, Malin. You’re awesome and I love you) I would have assumed Catch .44 was a cheap Tarantino knock off from 17 years ago. Malin would have been a teen back then, so there’s no way she could have been in this. But if this wasn’t made in the mid nineties, why would Academy Award winner Forrest Whitaker be throwing on such a ridiculous accent? Bruce Willis’ look today vs. 1995 is a push, so him being around doesn’t help. I have no idea what to make of this one. Rembert…for the love of all things 2 Days in the Valley can you please shed some light?
Rembert Browne: Here’s what happened. They told Bruce will to rent The Departed and The Dark Knight to study how Jack and Heath transform into manipulative leaders Frank Costello and the Joker. But when Bruce got to Blockbuster, those movies were gone, so he rented all five Die Hard movies, bought a pint of Breyers’ heath bar ice cream, picked up 3 handles of Jack at the neighboring liquor store, and practiced for this role in Demi’s back yard. It’s sad, really.
The Iron Lady (December 30)
Browne: Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher. It’s going to be excellent, duh, it’s Meryl for chrissakes. I will say, however, that I’m a little disappointed that in 2012, Meryl is still attempting to see if she can accurately portray famous older White ladies. She has a “Denzel” problem (or, to be unbiased, Denzel has a “Meryl” problem) in the sense that they’re too good at playing real-life historical characters they can be styled to resemble. From here on out, if Meryl wants to impress me, I want her portraying one of these four people in her next film: Chaka Khan, Lindsey Lohan, Mao Tse Tung, or Denzel Washington. You’ve been challenged, Streep.
SILVER: Blink and you’ll think its The King’s Speech.
Being Flynn (TBD)
Silver: It’s not the presence of Paul Dano in a significant role or the distinct Wonder Boys vibe that got me excited about Being Flynn. It’s that, from the trailer, at least, De Niro actually appears to be acting in this film. For too long, DeNiro has provided ample ammunition to tarnish his acting legacy with phoned in performances (Limitless) or paycheck grabs (Fockers 2 and 3). The slow-motion shot at 1:42 has distinct a Deer Hunter feel and at 1:47, as DeNiro lays in bed screaming “You are me. I made you,” we can almost see Travis Bickle.
Browne: Dan, I’m sorry but DeNiro could sign on to star in a ten-part Pluto Nash mini-series on OWN and it still wouldn’t begin to tarnish his acting legacy. That said, I’m excited about Being Flynn as you are. Looks fantastic.
Safe (March 2)
Browne: A little girl can memorize anything, knows some special code, and all the bad guys on earth are trying to find her. Luckily for the little girl (and humanity), Jason Statham happened to be around when she was seconds away from capture. The rest of the film is Statham vs. bad guys. I think we all know how this ends.
Silver: I have a Statham for Statham. So I’m all Stathamed up for any film Statham is in. Statham!
Footnote (February 24)
Silver: With films like Yossi and Jagger and Waltz with Bashir it’s no surprise that more and more Israeli films are landing stateside. Footnote is the latest, and based on the trailer looks to be a breezy tale of a father-son rivalry. Some of the visuals featured are Coen-esque (power dolly back, leaving the father spot lit in a sea of darkness), and a welcoming tone is established. It’s easy to see how this film won Best Screenplay and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and is Israel’s official selection for Best Foreign Film for this year’s Oscars.
Browne: The premise of this movie is fantastic. I hope to have a father-son rivalry with my own offspring one day, and he better beat me every time, or else I’m trading him in. No room for losers in this bloodline.
Titanic 3D (April 16, 2012)
Browne: If I see Billy Zane in IMAX 3D, I’ll probably bring a gun to the movie theatre and shoot at the screen until he can’t hurt Jack anymore. Violent streak aside, I can’t wait for this, because I embarrassingly saw the original for the first time last year, during an intense laundry-folding session. As soon as it was over, TBS played it again, and I knocked over my entire OCD laundry pile, so as to weep while watching and folding for 3 more hours. I can’t wait for this. This is my Twilight.
Silver: Three things helped by a 3D conversion: 1. The underwater footage of the actual Titanic; 2. The appreciation of detail in the production design; 3. The “sketching” scene. Three things not helped by a 3D conversion: 1. Billy Zane’s wooden performance; 2. The film’s running time; 3. Celine Dion.