Thursday, January 5, 2012

At the Movies – January 2012 – Part 3: This Month’s Best Films

Must-See of the Month:

Haywire (Steven Soderbergh) – Action – Jan 20
Summary: Set up and betrayed during a mission, a black ops super soldier seeks payback (though I suspect there is more to the story – twist wise). Filmmakers: Director Steven Soderbergh is coming off a good film in Contagion and has done well with action sequences in the past (Ocean’s Eleven and Traffic). He is working with past collaborators composer David Holmes (Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen) and production designer Howard Cummings (Contagion). Soderbergh is shooting the film himself. Cast: It stars MMA and Muay Thai fighter Gina Carano, and features a fantastic supporting group with Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Michael Angarano, Bill Paxton, and Mathieu Kassovitz. Expectations: Red flag off the bat is that this has been delayed three times (never a good thing), but based on what I have seen it looks quite good (especially for an action film released in January). Plus, it has a great cast and auteur director – and I am very interested to see how Soderbergh handles an action film. Gina Carano is a great choice for the heroine, as she is completely believable (now can she act?). This is the must-see of the month because it has the most to offer and potential to be great. Trailer: Here. Review.

Worth Checking Out:

Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes) – Drama – Jan 20
Summary: A modernization of William Shakespeare’s play, the film is about a banished hero who allies himself with his sworn enemy to take revenge on those who betrayed him. Filmmakers: This is the directorial debut for excellent actor Ralph Fiennes. He is working with a fantastic group including composer Ilan Eshkeri (The Young Victoria), brilliant cinematographer Barry Ackroyd (Green Zone) and production designer Ricky Eyres (The Disappearance of Alice Creed). Cast: Fiennes also stars alongside Gerard Butler. Jessica Chastain, Brian Cox, James Nesbitt, and Vanessa Redgrave (who won the British Independent Film Award for best supporting actress) make up a great supporting group. Expectations: Fiennes seems like the perfect person to adapt Shakespeare (thinking along the same lines as Kenneth Branagh’s work). I also really like the visual style he has imposed on the writing, especially with having Ackroyd shooting the film. Plus, he has a seemingly perfect cast. It was a difficult decision between this and Haywire for the must-see of the month, as this looks really good too. Trailer: Here. Review.

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