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The weather may be warming, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything in theaters worth seeing. If you remain firmly planted to your couch, rightfully suspicious of the thaw, you have options. Here’s what’s new on DVD:
Well, all things considered, it’s been a relatively quiet year. This is what happened and how we spent our time in 2013:
Well, it has been a strange year in cinema. We’ve had movies without plots, without dialogue and without acting—although I guess as long as Vin Diesel is in the business, that’s always a possibility. We’ve had Oscar winners churn out stinkers and first-time actors deliver award-worthy performances. Without further ado…
Google is a great thing. It’s a noun. It’s a verb. It is the ultimate reference resource. Google it is the 21st-century version of the parental command, Look it up. Google has put an end to trivial bar arguments, like Robert De Niro was not in the original Godfather, as well as dinner-table debates such as the phrase is To the manner born, not manor. It’s originally from Hamlet. Google is helpful. Google is smart.
If all you really wanted for Christmas was a movie you could go to without contemplating asking for your money back, Hollywood may be able to help…finally. Here’s what coming in December:
OK, let’s not waste too much of anyone’s time with this. The film already took 90 minutes of mine that I’ll never get back. I want to make one thing very clear: I am not opposed to the occasional eye-candy-movie. Yes, it’s Oscar season. Yes, we have the right to deserve some sort of effort. Yes, filmmaking is an art. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with watching scantily clad people running in slow motion on a beach every once in a while. My overly drawn-out point is this: I didn’t hate this movie because it’s eye candy. If anything, I disliked it more because it wasn’t eye candy. When all you have to offer is good-looking stars, let the slow motion games begin.
With the early horses out of the gate and a smattering of expected disappointments out of the way, it’s time to get serious--awards-show serious. Here’s what to look forward to in October.
Honestly, I could watch Clint Eastwood do almost anything. Heck, I recently watched him talk to a chair, so I mean what I say. Clearly, he chooses his films carefully. And once again, he has chosen a script with meat on the bone.
While Wednesday was a huge opening in theaters, including three huge Christmas movies and at least three Oscar contenders, there is something to be said for curling up on the couch with a turkey sandwich and watching a DVD.
Many of you know that I spend most of my time in print complaining that there are no original ideas in Hollywood, that everything is either a remake or a reboot—not even sure what the difference is—or a sequel or a prequel. Well, here we have something that is completely new and different, I am happy to report. It’s original, it’s compelling, and it’s completely mediocre.
I saw a movie a couple of weeks ago called Friends with Benefits, and something has been bothering me ever since: There is a scene where Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are sitting in a diner eating lunch. In the scene, Timberlake’s character makes a comment to which Kunis replies, You’re preaching to the congregation. Timberlake then corrects her, It’s choir. You’re preaching to the choir. You’re supposed to be preaching to the congregation.
Summer is almost halfway over, if you can believe it. More important, we are through the Harry Potter madness. And in spite of the fact that we hit our super hero limit somewhere between Thor and X-Men First Class, there still are more to come:
First, we had Bad Santa. Next week, we have Horrible Bosses. At the moment, we have Bad Teacher. If you’re imagining a raunchy romp filled with bathroom humor and sex jokes, give yourself a gold star. I did laugh a lot, but I’m not proud.
January - March
Financial forecasters say that the Great Recession is winding down, with encouraging signs of an improving economy outweighing lingering negative effects such as high unemployment.
The 2011 Golden Globe nominations have been announced by the Hollywood Foreign Press. While prestigious in and of themselves, the Golden Globes are best known for being the prognosticator for the Oscars. Here is the underwhelming list of mediocre nominees.
Play: “Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake)”
Rashida Jones’ character in the film, attorney Marylin Delpy, gives Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) a pat on the back as the lawsuits wind down, saying “every creation story needs a devil.” It is abundantly clear, from this version of the story, who the devil is when it comes to the creation of Facebook. It’s no secret that a lot of people hate Mark Zuckerberg, but it occurs to me that the person who seems to hate him the most is Zuckerberg himself.
It’s hard to believe summer has come and gone. The kids are back in school, the temperatures’ dropping and the cineplex is brooding. Gone are the days of eating your body weight in popcorn and watching stuff blow up. It’s awards season. And frankly, after some of this summer’s action offerings (The Expendables, Takers), I could use some headier stuff. Here’s what to look forward to:
> A new Middle Eastern restaurant, Ranoush, opened in the U. City Loop. The old Saleem’s has been transformed with a new tile floor, a built-in window seat and authentic textiles on the walls. Owners ABOUD ALHAMID and RANYA AL-ABBOUD met in the Damascus airport when they were young. After a long distance romance, the two settled in St. Louis and decided to open Ranoush…Aboud’s nickname for Ranya. The ceremonial mint tea pouring and special cardamom or rosewater coffee are not to be missed. And be sure to try Arak, a Syrian liquor, and kanafeh, a Syrian dessert that is a mix of baklava and cheesecake. Open daily for lunch and dinner, with belly dancers on the weekend.