Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast

New Releases for 1/04/13

The Impossible is terrifyingly real, Promised Land simplistic

The Impossible (PG-13)

Starring: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland,

Directed By: Juan Antonio Bayona

The morning after Christmas, a family vacationing in Thailand is relaxing around the hotel pool when a speeding wall of black water rushes towards them. This is a film where the audience feels they are trapped by the tsunami along with the characters. Avoiding melodrama, the movie lets things evolve the way they did to the real Spanish family who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. NOTE: This is a tear-jerker that works at the core of your emotions. If you are afraid of water, stay far, far away from this film, it is truly terrifying and realistic.

3 and 1/2 pieces of nature is powerful but the human spirit is too toast 


Not Fade Away (R)

Starring: John Magaro, Will Brill, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote, James Gandolfini

Directed by: David Chase

The creator of the TV hit The Sopranos, takes us back to what life was really like for a certain suburban New Jersey teen band drummer in the 60’s. As a period piece-it’s spot on—the clothes, the ads, the lingo, the hairdos, the teen optimism, and the music. The soundtrack keeps this thing going until… Lets just say, the millions of fans who were angered by the finale for The Sopranos won’t like this film’s final scenes any better.

3 pieces of rock and roll times toast 


Promised Land (R)

Starring: Matt Damon, John Krasinski, Frances McDormand, Rosemarie DeWitt, Hal Holbrook

Directed By: Gus Van Sant

A male-female corporate sales team is sent to offer a struggling rural community a tremendous opportunity to make a bit of money or, destroy their family farmlands. This dichotomy is the driving force of this film about fracking—the underground injection of water and chemicals to release natural gas. Costars Damon and Krasinski co-wrote the screenplay (and Damon was originally slated to direct) and were perhaps a little to much in love with the words on the page in some of the longer speeches to make any cuts. The story ostensibly tries to show both sides of the issue, but a greedy multinational corporation is such an easy target, and photos of dead and dying farm animals are such a strong argument against fracking, that even-handedness quickly evaporates.

2 and 1/2 pieces of kinda simplistic toast


Texas Chainsaw in 3-D (R)

Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Scott Eastwood

Directed By: John Lussenhop

Serial killer, Leatherface, continues terrorizing teens.

Gil doesn’t screen slasher films




Looper (R)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano

Directed By: Rian Johnson

There are two competing schools of thought about time travel. For one, the prime directive is to avoid changing anything in the past that will alter the future (aka our present). The other group argues that people have the responsibility to change things in the past to make a better today (killing Hitler is always given as an example of a “good” type of time meddling). In this film, “loopers” (aka time travelers), are routinely sent into the past to assassinate someone before they can mess things up in the here and now. A crime boss has decided to send his aging loopers back to kill their younger selves, thereby erasing any ties to his gang. One aged looper finds out about this ploy and so the looper of Christmas Past, needs to avoid being killed by the looper of Christmas Future, who is also the looper of Christmas Present. Got that? Oh, did I mention the gangsters who want to kill the looper(s) as well?

3 pieces of you need to pay attention toast


Cosmopolis (R)

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton, Paul Giamatti

Directed by: David Cronenberg
I’m not sure Robert Pattinson will ever be able to shed his vampire persona. Playing a Wall Street billionaire in Cosmopolis, when Pattinson looks out his limousine window at the protesters who are tossing dead rats at the car and says “They came from horror and despair,” titters of laughter rolled across the theater. In truth, Pattinson acts more like a robot than a vampire, and his erotic interludes with his art dealer, female body guard, and all too perfect wife, just continue Cronenberg’s penchant for the kinky. A true person of  “The Street,” this billionaire’s life is centered around his limo rides. Even his prostate exam is given by a physician who joins him in the back seat. I suppose it’s supposed to be symbolic in some fashion, but it’s all too cool and calculated for my taste.

1 and 1/2 pieces of minor Cronenbergian toast