Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast


New Releases for 1/06/12

Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy (R)
Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, John Hurt, Tom Hardy, Ciaran Hinds, Mark Strong
Directed by: Tomas Alfredson
What took almost seven hours in the 1979 BBC-TV miniseries starring Alec Guinness, runs two hours and eight minutes in this anti-James Bond cold-war spy thriller. Based on John Le Carre’s novel, director Tomas Alfredson, has tightened the tension while leaving the buttoned-down bureaucracy intact. Gary Oldman is superb as George Smiley, the disgraced secret agent called out of retirement to find the double agent from a list of suspects with the code names in the title. Everything is understated stiff-upper-lip stuff—no bimbos, bombs, or high-tech gadgets. It’s chilly, plodding detective work in wet, dreary back alleys where paranoia fuels the bleakness. Riveting.
3 and 1/2  pieces of spy back out in the cold toast




Contagion  (PG-13)

Starring: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Searching for the right phrase to describe the professionalism and dedication researchers at the World Health Organization devote to tracking down diseases, actress Marion Cotillard uses the phrase “Cold-Blooded.” The same can be said about how filmmakers approach this movie about a world-wide pandemic that claims millions and millions of lives. A simple cough into a woman’s hand, the same hand reaching into a bowl of peanuts at a bar, touching a door knob in a restroom, handing money to a cabdriver, shaking hands with a colleague, caressing her husband, straightening her daughter’s hair. Simple, everyday actions that microscopic pathogens turn into deadly acts. The events unfold exponentially as others unwittingly spread the destruction. In a matter of days, the whole world is effected, and the audience is too. There was a line in the men’s room after the screening, as dozens waited to wash their hands with soap and hot water.

3 pieces of truly terrifying toast

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (R)
Starring: Guy Pierce, Katie Holmes,
Directed by: Troy Nixey
Like some home improvement reality show on steroids, a family restoring an old mansion is beset by millions of evil beasties residing in the cellar, walls, and floors. Instead of calling Ghostbusters, the parents decide to use a do-it-yourself approach to get rid of those pesky homunculi. Good setup disappointing pay-off.
2 pieces of this was written by Guillermo del Toro? toast

The Guard (R)
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham
Directed by: John Michael McDonagh
Think “In Bruges” meets “Hotel Rwanda,” and you get the personality types at the center of a buddy movie with which has a foul-mouthed Irish cop paired with a careful African-American DEA agent. With the director’s literate script, we discover larger than life characters who are much more than what they seem. This film is a dark comedy treasure—a rare gem buried in the hype of all the “big” movies last summer. search this one out and enjoy yourself.
4 pieces of Irish toast