Greeting Earthlings! This week, we’ll dive right in with a rather short entry as only a trio of English-based flicks actually hit the big screen on our fair shores this weekend.
Starting this week, we have the cinematic directorial debut of Ryan Gosling, he of the doe-eyed lustiness that seems to attract women and critics alike. The film is called Lost River. It’s easy to state that Gosling has embarked on a new side of his career, apart from acting and new fatherhood. My uncertainty as a reviewer comes only in the form the film’s scattered plot formation. It goes without saying that as you watch, it becomes quite apparent that Gosling comes from the school of Lynch and Cronenberg. But just as it took them years and plenty of celluloid to find their best voice, the same might apply here as well. The film stars newbie Iain De Caestecker, Mad Men alum Christina Hendricks, and Irish lovely Saoirse Ronan in a dark, back woods American tale of a struggling mother and her sons. In print, it could be a family-getting-by tale but oh how it is not. When son Bones (Caestecker) finds a town underwater, the film takes a creepy, oft-times fake gory turn. This is a film for the arthouse crowd…but with a strong buzz going into the cinema please! ##
After the untimely and tragic death of his beautiful wife, esteemed actress Natasha Richardson, it’s fair to say that Liam Neeson deserves all of the box office success he has received in the last few years. It’s like the international collective of moviegoers gave him a rousing, last minute rebirth and superstardom surge. From the Taken series to the stellar action work he’s done as of late with young Catalan director/producer Jaume Collet-Serra, he seems to be on quite the roll. Together, Collet-Serra and Neeson have made three screen efforts and this third one, Run All Night, while certainly nothing to go gaga over, has a no holds-barred approach to how a man can kick ass at 60, 65 or whenever. I’m down with that. Liam again plays an aging, alcoholic (go figure!) who mistakenly and by a random series of unfortunate incidents is linked (along with his estranged son) to a mob hit. If you’ve seen any of Neeson’s last five films, you already know how this plays out. That said, it’s fun as heck for a big screen weekend, but do not expect anything new. This is so formulaic, it’s funny half the time…but still enjoyable. ##-1/2
Finally, try as I might, I was unable to get a screening or viewing of the new Shaun the Sheep movie from famed animation studio Aardman, creators of beloved British series Wallace and Gromit and fabricators of the now-hyped children’s theory that the moon is made of cheese. Mmmm…cheese. The plot revolves around Shaun and the flock heading to the big city to rescue Farmer from the clutches of amnesia and a new life as a hairdresser after a mad case of Shaun’s shenanigans…sorry, I had to. Let’s be real, if it’s anything as entertaining, silly AND funny as the show, I’m in.
Have a great weekend all and see you next week!