Gil Mansergh’s CINEMA TOAST
New Releases 11/19/10
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (PG-13)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter
Director: David Yates
Finally sticking with a director who did well in two previous installments of this eight-part franchise, the filmmakers look forward to an eventual eight billion dollar payoff for the most successful film series ever made. The neophyte stars of a decade ago have grown up in these roles and know exactly what to do and how to do it. Hermione (Emma Watson) is lovely and smart, Ron (Rupert Grint) is loyal and steadfast, and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) has finally accepted the fact that even though he is totally outmatched by the powerful forces of darkness, he is still the chosen one who must fight and destroy evil—or die trying. This is a film of set ups for the final episode, but also one of sacrifices and surprises (for those who haven’t read the book).
3 pieces of keeps us interested so we’ll come back for the final film toast
The Next Three Days (PG-13)
Starring: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, Brian Dennehy
Director: Paul Haggis
Russel Crowe looks drained and strained throughout this remake of a French film focusing on a distraught husband fed up with being a celibate, single father and so he decides to break his wife out of prison for a murder she did not commit. It is solidly directed, and well acted by all, if only the intelligent members of the audience could stop asking “Why?”
2 and 1/2 pieces of a crime she did not commit toast
NEW ON VIDEO/DVD
Disney’s A Christmas Carol (PG)
Starring: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins Director: Robert Zemeckis The same director who brought us the “Polar Express” with its creepily animated Tom Hanks, now brings us a creepily animated Jim Carrey, playing most of the parts in a retelling of the Dicken’s holiday classic. But instead of going for the ghostiness of the book, the film has an identity crisis. Set in a Victorian time, it inexplicably propels old Mr. Scrooge through a science fiction style universe to view Christmas Past, Present and Future.
2 and 1/2 pieces of Walt would not be pleased toast
The Kids Are All Right (R )
Starring: Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
A lesbian couple are surprised and challenged when their two kids announce they want to meet the sperm donor who helped create their lives. Outstanding performances all around, a literate script, strong direction and a true family dramady, this is one worth seeing.
3 and 1/2 pieces of sharply worded, but warm and funny toast
The Last Airbender (PG)
Starring: Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
The director keeps squandering his talent by making increasingly unsatisfying films. This big-budget, 3-D extravaganza just makes the weak script, over-expository dialogue and the ho-hum special effects totally disappointing. To bad, the Airbender premise deserves a fair shake/
1 piece of disappointing on all levels toast
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (PG )
Starring: Chris O’Donnell, Jack McBrayer, Christina Applegate, Alec Baldwin
Director: Brad Peyton
Sloppy CG mouth movements are less convincing than the dogs given peanut butter to simulate talking in WW2 vintage oldies. There’s hardly anything worth seeing here. Only worthwhile for those who buy greeting cards with ugly animals on the front and crude jokes printed inside.
1/2 piece of tiresome toast