Friday, December 18, 2009

Today's New in Theaters- 12/18/09

Avatar: No matter how many four-star reviews I read (Ebert's is downright rhapsodic), I just can't get worked up about Cameron's 163-minute blue-people epic; fine, fine, it's supposed ot change how we see movies, etc., but goddamn if it doesn't look goofy. I'll see it, yes, fine, I understand. But it feels like an obligation I have to fulfill. (For what it's worth, Orndorf's lukewarm notice pretty much sums up everything I fear it will be.)

Nine: It's a pretty movie, no doubt, and tremendous resources have been expended to give it the right look and feel. But it never congeals; it's a movie of moments, many of them marvelous, many of them absolutely forgettable.

Did You Hear About the Morgans?: I kept meaning to post this trailer as part of my too-irregular "Oh, No Way I'm Seeing That" feature, to ask a simple question. No, not "why are they remaking For Richer or Poorer", not "when is Hugh Grant going to make a watchable movie again," but... and how do I put this delicately... what did Sarah Jessica Parker do to piss off this movie's cinematographer? Clearly whatever back-breaking combinations of filters and soft lighting and vaseline-on-the-lens that has been used in previous films to make her look like a real human being was shorn, and the results are horrifying; in the trailers for this movie, she looks like a Saw villain. Movie probably blows too. (AV Club confirms.)

The Young Victoria: I'm no fan of the historical costume drama, but this tale of the early years of Queen Victoria's reign is surprisingly robust and entertaining, and Emily Blunt is just wonderful in it.

Crazy Heart: The Oscar talk for star Jeff Bridges is no hype; I haven't seen a better male performance this year. The movie is no slouch either, though it has a closing scene that I would edit out myself if I could. (opened Wednesday)

A Town Called Panic: It's fun to watch, for a while. But this Belgian stop-motion tale, though ingenious, is ultimately monotonous and tiring. You gotta change up the tempo every once in a while, as anyone who's sat through a Michael Bay film will tell you.

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