Gil Mansergh’s CINEMA TOAST

New Releases 12/03/10

The Warrior”s Way (R)
Starring: Dong-gun Jang, Kate Bosworth, Danny Huston, Geoffrey Rush
Director: Sngmoo Lee
A cross between a Spaghetti Western and a Samurai Eastern, the press notes say: “The world’s greatest swordsman abandons his warrior clan to start a new life in the American badlands.” Highly choreographed, slow-motion fight scenes ensue.
Unavailable for preview

Awards Notes:
Winters Bone, one of the very few 4-pieces of toast films this year, has been nominated for four Independent spirit Awards: Best Feature Film, Best Director (Debra Granik), Best Screenplay (Granik and Anne Rosellini), Best Cinematography (Michael McDonough), Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Supporting Actor (John Hawkes) and Best Supporting Actress (Dale Dickey).

Knight and Day (PG-13)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Viola Davis
Director: James Mangold
Acting like characters we’ve seen before, Cruise and Diaz phone in their “watch us, we’re quirky and cute” performances as  comedic spies while the filmmakers use fast cuts and explosions to detract the audience’s attention from the fact that there’s really nothing worth watching.
1 and 1/2 pieces of Cruise-control snoozer toast

Going the Distance (R)
Starring: Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis
Director: Nanette Burstein
Stealing bits and pieces from Judd Apatow, this film plays like a series of unedited SNL skits with the actors free to pepper the screen with four letter words instead of believable dialogue, characterizations, concepts or understanding of what makes a comedy work onscreen, The story (such as it is) revolves around a thirty something newspaper intern who falls casino for the guy from the Apple commercials (no, not the rotund, PC touting one) . Unfunny scenes follow.
1 piece of wasted talent toast

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (PG)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer
Director: Jon Turteltaub
In a limp homage to the Mickey Mouse version from Disney’s “Fantasia,” there is a scene with Jay Baruchel with brooms and buckets, but it’s out of place amid this recycled tale of a reluctant superhero called into action despite all his grumbling and thumb-sucking, and the hurtling balls of blue plasma don’t make up for the film’s lack of originality.
1 and 1’2 pieces of whatever toast

Vampires Suck (PG-13)
Starring: Matt Lanter, Chris Riggi, Ken Jeong, Jenn Proske
Director: Jason Friedberg , Aaron Seltzer
The gloomily operatic mood and story of the “Twilight” films is ripe for parody, but this film is like a group of high school students’ YouTube videos strung together by filmmakers who assume that imitating a vampire scene and winking at the audience is enough. It isn’t.
1/2 piece of no teeth to this one toast