CINEJABBER: Should auld acquaintance be forgot?

Posted by · 12:07 pm · January 1st, 2011

Catch up with the idea behind these weekend posts here.

Welcome to 2011.

I’m back in Los Angeles (missed the crazy weather on this side of the country) and happy to be home after a two-week vacation that really turned out to be anything but.  Such is life.  And the season is waiting to take hold once more with guild announcements starting Tuesday, so I better put my game face back on.

There isn’t much to offer in this space today, though if you’re interested, I took a number of Jack and Cokes straight to the face on my flight last night, celebrated the new year three times (time zone changes) and took to Twitter to live-Tweet “Inception” for a solid two and a half hours.  Twas fun.

I revisited the “Alien” franchise during the holiday, taking in the glorious Blu-ray box set.  That’s a must own, I have to say.  And there’s this “Aliens vs. Predator” video game on PS3.  If you haven’t played it, give it a whirl.  There’s something badass and ninja about creeping around as an alien taking out marines.  You can play as the Predator, too.  Awesome.

I didn’t do much movie-watching over the holiday beyond that, though.  “True Grit” and — yep — “RED” were big hits with the parents, but hospital trips and peripheral travel made it difficult to dig into much else (outside of the obligatory Christmas movies, of course).  Probably a good thing.

Anyway, that’s about it.  Hope you’re recovering well.  Happy New Year.  Eat your black-eyed peas and otherwise, you know the drill.  Open thread.

[Photo: Virtual Tourist]

→ 30 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Cinejabber

30 responses so far

  • 1 1-01-2011 at 1:07 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    It looks like True Grit will pass 100 million which is huge for the life of the genre.

    I’m catching up on a ton of 2010 films of late and I think Dogtooth may be my favorite of the year. I need to revisit A Prophet again to make it fair though.

  • 2 1-01-2011 at 1:50 pm

    Graysmith said...

    True Grit is not only going to pass $100m domestically but it’ll do it with plenty margin too. After this weekend it’ll have made about $85m in less than two weeks. When all is said and done it should be the second-highest grossing western in modern days, second only to Dances with Wolves.

    It was no.1 at the box office yesterday too, it could potentially even win the weekend (though Little Fockers wasn’t too far behind). It’ll also become the Coens’ highest grossing film domestically today, when it blasts past No Country for Old Men’s $74m total.

    I’m pretty amazed how well it’s doing, and thrilled to see such skilled filmmakers do so well commercially too (the same goes for the success of Black Swan, The King’s Speech, etc. too). Good times for the little movies and great filmmakers.

  • 3 1-01-2011 at 1:58 pm

    JJ1 said...

    SO happy to see True Grit, The Fighter, Black Swan, & The King’s Speech doing well at the box office. Here’s hoping they all continue to spike.

    What I’ve seen this past week:

    The Tourist – Poor, but nothing as putrid as I was expecting. The crowd I saw it with loved it.

    The Joan Rivers doc (forget the title) – Fascinating.

    Mother – Very cool. Happy that Kim is getting recognition. She’s in my Top 10 Best Actress.

    Micmacs – Eh, too fanciful and lacking in substance for me. But not terrible.


    Down to the Bone – Vera Farmiga is my new #3 of 2005.

    Happy weekend everyone!

  • 4 1-01-2011 at 3:01 pm

    DylanS said...

    I saw “The Fighter: last night, it was excellent and exceeded my already high expectations. It’s easy to see why Wahlberg is getting no where near the recognition of his supporting cast, but he showes that there’s more to good acting than just putting on an accent and chewing the scenery. Mickey Ward, by nature, a low-key and non-dominant personality, and I belive that Wahlberg’s prescence and natural likeability in the character is the film’s essential ingredient.

    However, if there is one reason to watch “The Fighter” it is for Christian Bale’s jaw-dropping performance, that soars above and beyond tour-de-force and into a territory among the very greatest of all time. He won the oscar after the very first scene in the movie, and continued to further earn it with every single scene. There is Daniel Day-Lewis-eque quality to his undeniable devotion, but this is not an overacted performance. He had me crying, laughing and rolling my eyes in disgust and, on a few occasions, doing all three at once. In the film’s final scene, and one of it’s most heartwarming, a cleaned-up Dickie is brought to tears through the pride he feels in having Mickey as a brother, I have rarely felt my heart so full in a thearter before. By the time the “real-life” footage of Dickey came on screen, my jaw dropped to the floor, I couldn’t help but whisper to myself “He got it spot-on!”.

    Didn’t mean to ramble like that, just wanted to pay some attention to a film I felt worthy of it.

  • 5 1-01-2011 at 3:14 pm

    Michael said...

    @DylanS re: Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter

    I agree with your observations. I for one think that Mark Wahlberg did the best work out of anyone in the entire cast. There was a scene towards the beginning of the film, when Mickey’s family is at the bar where he first meets Amy Adams, and the HBO doc crew is asking all these questions and the family is so loud and rambunctious – and Mickey just sort of scoots over to get away from them. He then looks over and spots Amy Adams for the first time. It only lasted a few seconds but that to me was the most telling moment in the entire film and has stayed with me more than anything else. If Wahlberg had tried to keep up with the scenery-chewing going on around him he would have been lost in the shuffle entirely. Instead his restraint and subtlety glued the entire film together, and it is a bummer that he is being thought of as insignificant when compared to his supporting actors.

    I do agree that Christian Bale also gives a jaw-dropping performance, and does duly deserve the Oscar that is so obviously on its way.

  • 6 1-01-2011 at 4:55 pm

    daveylow said...

    I was more impressed by Wahlberg’s understated performance than by Bale’s showier acting. I still think Bale gave one of his best screen performances in Rescue Dawn. But it’s rare that quieter performances win Oscars–one that comes to mind is Emma Thompson in Howard’s End.

  • 7 1-01-2011 at 5:07 pm

    Eric said...

    I’m quite interested as to why you bumped down Nicole Kidman, Andrew Garfield and upped Hilary Swank and Mark Wahlberg in your contenders, Kris.

  • 8 1-01-2011 at 5:36 pm

    Jake D said...

    No one is latching onto that fifth Best Actor slot. Duvall has the SAG nom, Gosling has the GG nom, but neither of their movies are in any discussion for BP. Wahlberg has the GG nom and the advantage of being in a film that’s going to get 5 Oscar noms easily. He’s got a great chance of getting the fifth slot.

  • 9 1-01-2011 at 6:15 pm

    Mr. F said...

    I watched Agora, and I was blown away. Had it found been distributed by IFC or Magnolia, two independent studios that push their films enough to find an audience, it would be in the conversation for Best Actress, and just about every craft category, especially score.

  • 10 1-01-2011 at 6:19 pm

    Derek said...

    Paging Guy Lodge, Paging Guy Lodge.

    When can we unwrap that last christmas present under the tree otherwise known as your top ten list of 2010. Looking back at your picks of the past two years (The Class, White Material) make my art house senses tingle.

  • 11 1-01-2011 at 6:21 pm

    Hc792 said...

    The Aliens vs. Predators video game is really for the hardcore. There are much, much better action titles out there.

  • 12 1-01-2011 at 6:27 pm

    Patryk said...

    Finally got around to seeing “The Kings’ Speech.” (yawn)

    I wish someone could explain to me how exactly any of these three performances are contenders. Solid work, but best? No way. Kind of a reversal of fortune if you will regarding Colin Firth and Jeff Bridges this year. IMO, Firth deserved the win last year, and Bridges was better this year. And Bonham-Carter is clearly riding the wave of good sentiment for the film. It would be sad if she gets a supporting nomination while Jacki Weaver, Barbara Hershey and Miranda Richardson do not.

  • 13 1-01-2011 at 6:47 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Hc792: I’m sure there are, but that one’s a blast.

  • 14 1-01-2011 at 7:39 pm

    Hans said...

    Caught up with a few Oscar titles over break (finally). Black Swan was phenomenal, The Kids are All Right was much better than I expected it to be, I quite enjoyed it, and Rabbit Hole blew me away (why isn’t that getting more play this season, particularly Eckhart??). Also caught Inception again. Parents loved it. I loved your live tweeting, you should do that more often (of course, I wonder if we’ll need to inject you with some more Jack and Cokes each time!).

    I also supplemented my movie viewing with some less-than prestige fare, including Easy A (quite the solid movie, and Emma Stone is enchanting), er, Enchanted, Bring it On, and Saws VI and 3D. The last one is ghastly, but despite what others may say about that series, I am always impressed when someone can undertake and complete a huge saga like that like Lost or Star Wars, even if the end results are underwhelming. It’s a much deeper franchise than most give it credit for, and a full rewatch of the series is in order for me at some point later on down the road.

  • 15 1-01-2011 at 7:50 pm

    Andrej said...

    I just saw The Fighter. It’s pretty good, with a very strong cast. I think it could end up winning the SAG, and getting editing and directing nods at the Oscars.

    I wonder if this movie will get a screenplay nod. It’s a very lightweight script (no pun intended) without complexities or super ultra 180º plot twists, but it’s very entertaining, to say the least, and the actors contribute a whole lot to make that simple and straightfoward story quite fun. In 2008 Doubt had its four actors nominated and the screenplay, the same thing could happen here too (and Walhberg could end up nominated as well to fully match up).

    Also… I’ve been thinking, and I don’t know if it’s been mentioned before, but could The Town be ‘the Blind Side’ of this year? I know the critical reception has been far better for The Town, but the only thing that movie has going for is Jeremy Renner. The screenplay… dunno. It’s not that bad, but I thought that for a movie directed, written and performed by Ben Affleck, his character is a bit too much of a Gary Stu. Also, among the lower tier movies in the Top 11, this is THE crowd pleaser.

    That’s it for now. ☺

    Offtopic: Kris, the bit at the start of the Cinejabber post where you mention “catch up with the idea behind this series”, the link sends you to :s

  • 16 1-01-2011 at 7:55 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Well that’s not helpful for the inter-linking, is it? Thanks. :)

  • 17 1-01-2011 at 8:54 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I have to chime in with the Mark Wahlberg appreciation.

    I think he was right on the level of Bale, Leo, & Adams; but in a completely different way.

    Without jumping through hoops or saying much, I think he conveyed a hell of a lot in the role of Mickey. And those who say it’s a flat-out boring portrayal – I honestly think – aren’t watching close enough. Just my opinion.

    On The King’s Speech: I still think it’s a smaller film than expected, but not the less effective for it. And I think HBC offers the best kind of supporting performance. She’s there for it all, kind of in the background, but a strength nevertheless.

  • 18 1-01-2011 at 10:48 pm

    André said...

    hope you had a good NYE, Kris!

    any idea on when we´re getting the annual best shots of the year column?

  • 19 1-02-2011 at 12:02 am

    daveylow said...

    @Patryk–Thankfully not all agree with your assessment of The King’s Speech, which has some of the best acting on screen this year. Firth deserves the Oscar this year, and Rush would also win were it not for Christian Bale.

  • 20 1-02-2011 at 12:04 am

    daveylow said...

    Was very happy to read that The King’s Speech in only 700 theaters has cracked the top 10 this weekend.

  • 21 1-02-2011 at 3:00 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Derek: I’m working on it as we speak — I have no credibility with promises anymore, but I’m looking at tomorrow. Sorry for the delay: it was a bit of a chaotic holiday season.

    I’m honestly touched that some readers are so impatient for it.

  • 22 1-02-2011 at 3:02 am

    Melissa said...

    Kris, would you be able to share your predictions for the next Oscar season 2011/2012?

  • 23 1-02-2011 at 3:52 am

    Graysmith said...

    Should be interesting to see if the National Society of Film Critics will be able to cook up something different when they (supposedly) announce later today. I’d love to see some out-of-nowhere picks just for the hell of it, and John Hawkes for Best Supporting Actor.

  • 24 1-02-2011 at 7:15 am

    Blake said...

    I totally agree with you on that scene in The Fighter. I have remembered him scooting away from his family more than anything else. It was the most powerful punch in the movie, pun completely intended.

    Saw True Grit last night. That girl is going to be around for a while I have a feeling. Bridges is great of course. I don’t know if it is because I write scripts myself, but nothing came as a real surprise; however, this is not to say the film wasn’t powerful.

  • 25 1-02-2011 at 8:10 am

    DylanS said...

    I’m sorry, but can everybody please shut up about John Hawkes. Yes, he’s the best thing minus Jennifer Lawrence in that overrated film, but it doesn’t need to be said a hundred times over. Sure, the SAG gave him some respect, and there’s certainly an off chance he’ll get an oscar nom, but probably not. People need to remember that he’s a little known actor playing a character who appears inconsistently in a ultra-small film, none of that bodes well for him.

  • 26 1-02-2011 at 8:51 am

    Graysmith said...

    Haha, no, I will certainly not shut up about John Hawkes.

    In fact, since you have the nerve to tell someone else that they shouldn’t express their own thoughts and opinions I’m actually going to mention him even more. If you have a problem with people expressing their opinions, well.. There’s the door. No one’s forcing you to be here, no one’s forcing you to read any of these comments.

  • 27 1-02-2011 at 1:06 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    *Graysmith pulls out and loads rifle, stares at Dylan through rear view mirror, says, “Is this our time?”*

  • 28 1-02-2011 at 1:27 pm

    Fitz said...

    If we’re going to mention overlooked performances how about Armie Hammer?

  • 29 1-02-2011 at 7:55 pm

    DylanS said...

    Uh-oh, looks like I made a mistake. But seriously Graysmith, take it easy, that was 95% teasing, don’t take everything so seriously. And in the end, I think I have just as much a right to express my opinion that there is way too much John Hawkes praise going on as you have the right to tell me otherwise. I mean isn’t that what you’re arguing, right to an excessive opinion? or is that only when it’s you’re opinion?

  • 30 1-02-2011 at 7:56 pm

    DylanS said...

    sorry *your. Don’t want to be teared a new one over something as silly as a typo.