Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast

New Releases for 2/04/11
Roomate (R)
Starring: Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly
Directed by: Christian E. Christiansen
Another one of those paranoid, don’t trust your pretty roommate because she is psychotic films.
Not available for preview

Sanctum (R)
Starring: Richard Roxburgh, Ioan Gruffudd, Daniel Wylie, Rhys Wakefield, Alice Parkinson
Directed by: Alister Grierson
James Cameron produced this 3-D underwater spelunking adventure on a miniscule (for him) 6 million dollar budget. He should have spent a little bit more for  a decent script and a director who doesn’t have his actors yelling at each other all the time. Because of the incredible visuals—weightless cave divers seemingly close enough to touch— you have to see this in the biggest, best, 3-D movie theater you can find, but you might want to bring earplugs to avoid all the shouting onscreen.
2 pieces of great visuals, but lousy script toast

Another Year (PG-13)
Starring: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Imelda Staunton, Oliver Maltman
Directed by: Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh assembles his trademark ensemble of outstanding actors to confront middle age in diverse ways (drinking, flirting, eating, pontificating, etc.). One character sums it up by saying “I’m really comfortable with where I am in my life,” and then downs her fifth highball of the evening. Another gives her life “a 1 on a scale from 1 to 10.” The same group gathers seasonally for weather dictated barbecues or cocktail parties, and as we move from spring to winter, a distinct chill pervades the gathering. Bridges, which took decades to construct are in danger of being burned, kindnesses  may have hidden motives, and the audience is entranced by a masterpiece  without a single explosion, car chase, or slo-mo Ninjas.

4 pieces of Mike Leigh style toast


Conviction (R)
Starring: Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver, Melissa Leo
Directed by: Tony Goldwyn
Sebastopol’s Pamela Gray wrote the screenplay for this based-on-a-true-story tale of a high school dropout who earns a law degree to help get her brother free from a murder conviction. Everyone involved is first-rate, and if the audience knows the outcome is pre-ordained (or it wouldn’t star a double Oscar winner), then so be it.
3 pieces of a crime he did not commit toast

Monsters (R)
Starring: Scoot McNary, Whitney Able
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Space aliens landed in Mexico six years ago, and the US has erected a huge border fence to halt the invasion north. A man and woman are trapped on the wrong side of the fence, and must battle xenophobic homeland security agents as well as the terrors of mostly unseen extraterrestrials. Using hand-held cameras in Central America locations, and only two professional actors, the filmmakers  put every penny of the half-million dollar budget onscreen and it’s phenominal.
3 and 1/2 pieces of who are the real monsters here? toast