Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast

 

New Releases for 9/30/11

50/50 great, What”s Your Number? should be unlisted

 

50/50 (R)  

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogan, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas

Directed by: Jonathan Levine   

A reporter for a Seattle radio station goes to the doctor for back pain and learns t he has a rare cancer of the spine with only a 50/50 chance for survival. Unlikely as it sounds, writer Will Reiser has turned his own bout with the Big C into a comedic gem. The victim’s classic stages of denial, anger, fear and eventual acceptance fuel a series of reactions from friends and family which resonate with realism made palatable by exceptionally well done comedy.

3 and 1/2 pieces of who would have thought? toast

 

Dream House (PG-13) 

Starring: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Elias Koteas

Directed by: Jim Sheridan

A city family moves to their dream house in the country only to discover termites? a crumbling foundation? rising damp? ghosts, ghouls, noisy neighbors? I can’t tell you because it wasn’t made available to critics. One bad sign is that it was abruptly pulled from its originally scheduled release last February.

Not available for preview 

 

Brighton Rock (NR)  

Starring: Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough, Helen Mirren, John Hurt

Directed by: Rowan Joffe

The Grahame Greens classic mixing religious fervor, loyalty to your friends, and violence has been brought forward thirty years to the 1960’s where the same conundrum exists—to either murder or marry a young woman who may have been a witness to a gang killing. Either way, she can’t talk to the police. The director throws dozens of film-school-tricks at the audience thinking it will dazzle them into believing this is a well made film. Unfortunately, the brightly patterned band aids just make us notice the scabs even more.

1 and 1/2 pieces of Grahame Green is rolling over in his grave toast

 

What’s Your Number? (R)  

Starring: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Ari Graynor

Directed by: Mark Mylod

This film proves that you should never read the statistics about relationships printed in women’s magazines. The premise here, is that 20 partners is the magic number when a sexually active female changes from being marriageable to being pathetic and doomed for spinsterhood. In response, the heroine vows to reconnect with past lovers to find the one that shouldn’t have gotten away. Lame, overdone, uninteresting and way too tacky.

1  and 1/2 pieces of gross comedy toast

 

Courageous (NR)  

Starring: Alex Kendrick, Ken Bevel, Ben Davies, Kevin Downes

Directed by: Alex Kendrick

The latest faith-based drama from the Kendrick brothers, makes the critical mistake of casting one of them as the star with when his acting ability is on par with an old-fashioned cigar store indian. The premise is that small-town sheriffs are ‘tested” by the sudden rise of a drug fueled gang culture that is casino infiltrating their sleepy neck of the woods (aka Albany, Georgia). The answers lies in resolutely saying “no” to corrupt money, drugs, the easy life, and divorce.

1 and 1/2 pieces of these films were supposed to be made better over time toast

 

Higher Ground (NR)  

Starring: McKenzie Turner, Donna Murphy, Taiss Farmiga, Bill Irwin, John Hawkes, Joshua Leonard, Vera Farmiga

Directed by: Vera Farmiga

After their son miraculously survives a bus accident, a married couple join a religious commune.  Over time, the mother becomes increasingly disenfranchised and marginalized by the patriarchal beliefs and begins to question her core belief in God. Played by three actresses (as preteen, young mother and older woman) over a thirty year period, faith, womanliness and libido (or lack thereof) change and develop in complex ways.

3 pieces of thoughtfully made toast

 

NEW ON DVD

 

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (PG-13)
Starring: Shia LeBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, John Malkovich
Directed by: Michael Bay
Although human beings are listed as the cast of this Michael Bay explosion, a product placement Camero is the real star. Conspiracy theorists will shout “I told you so,” when the plot reveals that NASA has been hiding the fact that a buried spaceship was discovered on the moon, and real-life astronaut Buzz Aldrin is on hand to add veracity to the cover-up. 70‘s pop culture references will be lost on the adolescents who will make this another success in the franchise. For the rest of us, it’s too loud, too stupid, and too superfluous.
2 and 1/2 pieces of Michael Bay toast