Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases for 5/06/11
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins
Directed by: Kevin Brannagh
Directed by a man steeped in Shakepearean tales, this is one of the few comic book inspired films to be great. Thor, the Scandinavian god of thunder, angers his father Odin, and the ticked off King of the Gods banishes his son to Earth. Stipped of his powers (including his magical hammer) and forced to live among mere mortals, Thor brings smiles to the audience as he uses bluff and swagger to retain his self-esteem and his flirtatious attempts to woo a girl are delightful. Thor’s brother Loki is a multi-faceted villain, and a giant flame-spouting suit of armor called The Destroyer a worthy foe.
3 and 1/2 pieces of Asgard toast
Something Borrowed (PG-13)
Starring: Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, John Krasinski, Colin Egglesfield
Directed by: Luke Greenfield
A wallflower brunette pines for the soon to be groom of the domineering blonde but the guy is such a wimp, that the audience can’t figure out what she finds attractive. If you make the mistake of seeing this mess, be sure to wear a watch that glows in the dark so you can count down the 103 minutes until you can breath fresh air again.
1/2 piece of why do they make this dreck? toast
Jumping the Broom (PG-13)
Starring: Angela Basset, Paula Patton, Laz Alonso, Loretta Devine
Directed by: Salim Akil
The bride is from a well-to-do Martha’s Vineyard family, the groom is from working-class Brooklynites, and the African-American cast are all from Tyler Perry films—but this isn’t from that studio. Freed from the farcical subtext of those Atlanta-based movies, this T.D. Jakes project can focus instead on the universal miscommunications, misunderstandings, and missteps prior to a Miss becoming a Mrs. Filled with humor, warmth, etiquette tips from the wedding planner as well as a love-like chemistry between the stars, this entertaining film is much better the the big-budget disaster “Something Borrowed” released the same day.
3 pieces of wedding bells toast
Starring: Ellen Page, Rainn Wilson, Kevin Bacon, Liv Tyler
Directed by: James Gunn
We’ve seen an ordinary guy don a spandex suit and hit the streets to fight crime before. With no super powers, and skin that bleeds, bones that break, and subject to the laws of physics, the guy soon gets his butt kicked. Rainn Wilson (the devious guy from TV’s “The Office”) plays it straight as the wrench-wielding vigilante and Ellen Page steals the film as the comic book store clerk who becomes his diminutive (but very feisty) sidekick.
3 pieces of not-quite-so-super-hero toast
Narrated by: Liev Schrieber
Directed by: Pare Lorentz, Sean Stone
Those who have seen Stanley Kramer’s “Judgement at Nuremberg” (1961) know the bare-bones of the true “trial of the century.” At the end of WWII, a dozen of the Third Reich’s most powerful leaders were put on trial for “crimes against humaniy.” The U.S. War Department made a documentary film of the proceedings and showed it across Germany as part of the re-unification process. Until now, this film was never screened in America. The fifty years that have gone by allow audiences to look at these “Nuremburg Principles” with an historic perspective that only adds to the film’s power.
4 pieces of must-see toast
NEW ON DVD
From Prada to Nada (PG-13)
Starring: Camille bell, Alexa Vega, Adrianna Barazza, Wilmer Valderama
Directed by: Angel Gracia
Spoiled Beverly Hills sisters must suddenly learn to embrace their Mexican ancestry when their father’s death leaves them penniless and so they move in with relatives in Boyle Heights. Plays like a pilot for a TV sitcom and even features some familiar faces from old TV shows.
2 pieces of harmless enough toast
The Green Hornet (PG-13)
Starring: Seth Rogan, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson
Directed by: Michael Gondry
Filled with off-again-on-again, press releases, the back-story to this film would make a better movie than what finally ended up on the screen. Seth Rogan plays a playboy who becomes a caped crusader because his British father was insufferable, and Kato, his chauffeur is a marital arts barista whose thickly accented English is either profound, or indecipherable, or both.
1 and 1/2 pieces of “and you thought casting Michael Keaton as Batman was odd” toast
The Dilemma (PG-13)
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Winona Ryder, Jennifer Connelly
Directed by: Ron Howard
I think this was supposed to be a buddy movie comedy, but when one of the guys discovers his best friend’s wife is having an affair—should he tell? Even if telling will mean the important project they are creating for Chrysler could be derailed? Ryder is so good as the wife, that the film should have been about her, but instead, as I wrote in January, people were facing a real dilemma: should they pay theater prices to watch this confused mess or wait a few months and use their remotes to fast forward past the slow, unfunny parts? Now, time has solved the problem. Use your fast forward!
1 and 1/2 piece of a true dilemma toast