Monday, September 27, 2010

At the Movies – October 2010 – Part 3: Best of the Month

Best of the Month:

Must See of the Month:

The Social Network (David Fincher) – Drama – Oct 1
The film is about the founders of the social networking site Facebook, primarily Mark Zuckerberg. With director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin, the film pretty much has the best of both worlds. Fincher is a top ten directing talent (currently working directors) and Sorkin has an outstanding track record with hits on TV and film. Not to mention that the film is being produced by Scott Rudin (one of the best). If you thought it could not get better…You were wrong – Atticus Ross (whose work on The Book of Eli was very good) and Trent Reznor are scoring the film, very talents DP Jeff Cronenweth is shooting it (he did Fight Club and One Hour Photo) and Donald Graham Burt is doing the production design (which is great because he did Zodiac and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button too). The film also has a great young cast with Jesse Eisenberg, Rooney Mara (star of Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo remake) and Andrew Garfield (who was fabulous in Red Riding: 1974, and he is the new Spider-Man). This film is not only a Oscar best picture contender, it is also a must see for its cultural relevance. How often do we see art directly integrate with present real life social trends? And, Justin Timberlake is getting best supporting actor buzz (as is Garfield, with Eisenberg getting best leading actor praise) out of the festival screenings (this must be good right?). It is a Fincher film, so of course critic love it and cannot be fully trusted – but even so, this is the must see film of the month (and likely will be one of the ten best of the year). Check out the trailer.

Worth Checking Out (if not in theatres then at home):

Let Me In (Matt Reeves) – Horror – Oct 1
The film is a remake of the Swedish hit Let the Right One In about a young boy, Owen, who is bullied at school. He meets a young girl who moves into his apartment complex with her guardian, Abby, and the two become friends. But Abby has a secret. She is a vampire. Writer-director Matt Reeves came up through the J.J. Abrams system working on Felicity and directing Cloverfield. And a great benefit of that relationship is getting fantastic composer Michael Giacchino to score the film (he generally does all Abrams’ TV shows and films, and Pixar stuff too). Reeves also made savvy decisions bringing in cinematographer Greig Fraser (who masterfully shot last year’s Bright Star) and production designer Ford Wheeler, both of whose work is very naturalistic and organic feeling – which should fit the tone of this film beautifully. The film also has a fantastic cast with Kodi Smit-McPhee (from The Road), Chloe Grace Moretz (who we all love from Kick-Ass) and the very good Richard Jenkins. First, I just want to say: yes Hollywood, we get it, vampires are in. Second, the original is so good; did we really need this remake? But wait a minute; buzz has been very good from the festival circuit. Now, of course, there are those that dismiss the film out of hand, having not seen it, merely as it is a remake of a cult classic, one that came out last year in the U.S. no less, but critics are calling this just as good, some even calling it better. On thing is for sure, if you like vampires or thrillers this is a must see. Check out the trailer.

Stone (John Curran) – Drama – Oct 8
The film is about a convicted arsonist, Stone, who in an effort to gain parole early puts his beautiful wife on a path to intersect with his parole office. Director John Curran is coming off a very good film The Painted Veil, as is screenwriter Angus MacLachlan with the indy-hit Junebug. The film’s cinematographer Maryse Alberti was a judge at Sundance and has done fine work in the past (highlights include: Taxi to the Dark Side and The Wrestler), while production designer Tim Grimes is just getting into bigger films (he worked on many major films as art director; his first higher profile film as a production designer was The Wrester, so he has a good working relationship with the DP). The cast is very good on the film with the three co-leads being Edward Norton (who also starred in Curran’s last film), Robert De Niro and Milla Jovovich. Six Feet Under’s Frances Conroy has a supporting role as well as Enver Gjokaj (who was brilliant on Dollhouse; it is nice to see him get a film role in a good movie). While the film does not have much Oscar buzz, it has received great reviews out of the festivals. It looks to be a great character power-play drama. Check out the trailer.

Hereafter (Clint Eastwood) – Drama – Oct 22
The film is about a retired psychic, George, who is pulled back into the profession he left after three people are touched by death in different ways and come to him for answers. While director Clint Eastwood’s last feature was a bit flat, his track-record over the last decade has been really good (highlights include: Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River) cementing him as one of America’s top directors (though, his work in the Western genre probably already did that). To compliment Eastwood’s directing skill, the script is by Peter Morgan (who is probably the most sought after writer in Hollywood). Eastwood has the same team he had on his last four films with Tom Stern shooting it, James J. Murakami doing the production design and Eastwood scoring the film himself. Along with Morgan and himself, the film has a superstar production team with producer Kathleen Kennedy and executive producers Frank Marshall and Steven Spielberg. The film stars Matt Damon and co-stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Cecile De France, Jay Mohr, Richard Kind, Jenifer Lewis, and Steve Schirripa (Bobby from The Sopranos). It is a pretty good cast. The film looks to be visually interesting and emotionally intense. The buzz is very good from early screenings. Damon’s name is being tossed around in best actor consideration (though not among the top), and it is a Clint Eastwood film – aside form the mystery of why Gran Torino was overlooked, his films are usually there on Oscar night. Check out the trailer.

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