Thursday, February 2, 2012

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

Must See of the Month:

Wanderlust (David Wain) – Comedy – Feb 24
Summary: George and Linda live a fast-paced life in Manhattan, but that all changes when they find themselves unemployed. They decide to give an alternative lifestyle a chance by living on a commune. Filmmakers: Writer-director David Wain is reteaming with writer-actor Ken Marino for their third feature (they previously did the TV series The State and the films The Ten and Roles Models together; Wain also wrote and directed Wet Hot American Summer, in which Marino had an acting role). Joining the creative team is producer Judd Apatow (it was really only a matter of time until they worked together). Wain is working with composter Craig Wedren (United States of Tara), cinematographer Michael Bonvillain (Zombieland) and production designer Aaron Osborne (The Losers). Cast: Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston star (Aniston hoping to recapture the goodness of Office Space and shed the stank of The Bounty Hunter). Malin Akerman, Justin Theroux, Ray Liotta, Alan Alda, Kathryn Hahn, and Lauren Ambrose feature in supporting roles as well as a few veterans of The State (Joe Lo Truglio, Kerri Kenney and Marino). Expectations: Wain’s comedy is generally very silly, but when reined in a little and with a more serious human approach (like Role Models) he can make great comedy that is funny and connects emotionally. I think Apatow will help with this as well. Rudd is also a comedic genius and a good reason to see this film. Why is this the must-see of February? Well, Rudd, Apatow and The State alums all sum up to too much comedic talent to ignore. If this works, it very well may be one of the five best comedies of 2012. Trailer: Here. Review.

Worth Checking Out:

Chronicle (Josh Trank) – Sci-Fi – Feb 3
Summary: A group of teenagers discover a mysterious hole in the ground and emerge with superpowers. How will they wield these powers? For good, personal gain, fun, or evil? Filmmakers: Both director Josh Trank and writer Max Landis (son of comedy genre legendary director John Landis) make their feature debuts with this film (both are in their mid-twenties). Trank is working with cinematographer Matthew Jensen (Game of Thrones) and production designer Stephen Altman (Hot Rod). Cast: It stars Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan, with Michael Kelly in support. Expectations: Unknown filmmakers and an unknown cast (though some with recognize DeHaan from True Blood and In Treatment and Jordan from Friday Night Lights and Parenthood) in a “found-footage” narrative is nothing new, especially lately. But, Chronicle looks different. And by different I mean potentially very entertaining, interesting and genre expanding (for superheroes, sci-fi and action). I think for fans of movies about people with superpowers this is definitely going to be worth checking out. Trailer: Here. Review.

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