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jodorowskys_dune

Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast

Films Opening 5/09/14

Jadorowsky’s Dune showcases what might have been

 

Jadorowsky’s Dune (NR)

Starring: Alejandro Jadorowsky, Brontis Jadorowsky, H.R. Giger, Michel Seydoux, Richard Stanley

Directed by: Frank Pavich

Add the film at the center of this documentary to the short list of potentially great movies that were never finished (like Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote, Orson Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind, Alfred Hitchcock’s Kaleidoscope, and Marilyn Monroe’s final film, Something’s Got to Give). Anyone who has cringed over the ridiculousness of David Lynch’s version of the complex Frank Herbert sci-fi novel, Dune, should enjoy this documentary about a Dune movie that might have been. Funded by a Frenchman, it was to be directed by a Chilean filmmaker who had never read the book, and when he finally did, he decided the movie would be 12 hours long. He wrote the screenplay in a castle, sent his son through two years of martial arts training to play the lead, and agreed to pay $100,000 a day to the Surrealist artist Salvador Dali for a cameo role. Also involved in the project were David Carradine, Mick Jagger and Orson Welles, and the score was to be done by Pink Floyd. Interviews with people involved, show that the concept still excites them, and in the filmmaker’s mind, the project is complete—it just needs to be put on film.

3  pieces of what might have been toast 

 

Neighbors (R)

Starring: Seth Rogan, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Lisa Kudrow, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Dave Franco

Directed by: Nicholas Stoller

In the interest of making potential audiences aware of what is in store, in this Animal House meets Parenthood comedy, is that the R-rating is for “pervasive language, strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use throughout.” In other words, it fits a certain demographic with time and money to waste. The story about a young married couple who feel “old” because of their job, mortgage, and baby, coping with the 24/7 partying when the fraternity that “invented toga parties” moves in next door is just the coat rack to hang rude jokes on. The couple still want to be cool, the frat boys feign politeness, but all both groups want to do is make a very crude (and often quite funny) movie that will gross gazillions of dollars.

2 and 1/2 pieces of why do they let some of the scenes go on so long? toast 

 

Fading Gigilo (R)

Starring: Woody Allen, John Turturro, Sharon Stone, Liev Schreiber. Sofia Vergara, Bob Balaban

Directed by: John Turturro

In a film Woody Allen didn’t write (but could have), a struggling rare book shop owner named Murray comes up with a novel idea (pun intended). Because he is surrounded with the wisdom of the ages, customers often come to him for advice. One day, he is asked if he knows someone who will be the third person in a planned menage-a-trois. You can hear Allen’s voice as the proprietor answers, “Yeah, but it’s going to cost you a thousand bucks.” The guy Murray has in mind, is a man who does “gigs” to make ends meet. Sadly for moviegoers, the director/screenwriter who stars in this film decided to make his title character be the sad straight man while others get all the good lines. Allen never wrote himself into that corner. There’s just something about his speech patterns that coax a smile from our lips. Turturro’s voice does just the opposite.

1 and 1/2 pieces of pseudo Woody Allen toast 

 

Legend of Oz: Dorothy Returns (PG)

Starring the voices of: Lea Michelle, Martin Short, Hugh Dancy, Dan Aykroyd, Oliver Platt, Kelsey Grammer, Jim Belushi, Bernadette Peters, PAtrick Stewart

Directed by: Will Finn, Dan St. Pierre

It’s a shame this lackluster reboot of the Oz franchise was made, because the money wasted could have funded so many better things. The voice talent is here, and the characters we know are here, but they look different than the ones we grew up in either the books or the classic 1939 movie. But most importantly, the main characters are never given anything to do. Instead, there is some lame idea that the witches have a brother (a Kansas real estate salesman named the Jester of all things) who wants to subdivide the abandoned Emerald City and the shiny where-did-these-places-come-from lands named “Dainty China Country,” and “Candy County.” But none of this matters, because there isn’t a teacup’s amount of humor or inventiveness in the entire script.

1/2 piece of treat your kids to a day at the beach or the redwoods instead toast

 

 

NEW DVD RELEASES

Veronica Mars  (PG-13)

Starring: Kristen Bell, Ryan Hansen, Jason Dohring, Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino

Directed by: Rob Thomas

Fans of similarly named, and very popular TV series should flock to the theaters as the title character leaves her beloved Neptune, California , and heads to New York to earn a law degree. Resurrected from reruns by a fan-based Kickstarter campaign, the characters are a decade older, and just like the fans, they have changed a lot (or maybe not that much). The movie makers ignore Thomas Wolfe’s famous adage: “You can’t go home again,” and have Veronica do exactly that. But people, and times they are a changin’, even if if the nostalgic memories of Veronica’s fans don’t.

3 pieces of made for Veronica Mars’ fans toast

 

Still Mine (PG-13)

Starring: James Cromwell, Genevieve Bujold, Campbell Scott

Directed by: Michael McGowan

A long-married man whose aging wife is drifting away from dementia, decides to build a smaller, and much warmer house on their farmland—without a permit. Nay-sayers arrive in the form of a by-the-book building inspector, and while the man slowly complies with the red-tape, he keeps building the house and his love for his soul-mate.

3 pieces of love in their 80‘s toast 

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