2011 log (4)

(2 Apr) Getting There (2002, Steve Purcell) 0
[ I know you shouldn’t expect high art from an Olsen twins flick, but this is ri-goddamn-diculous. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie with such obnoxious bimbos and douchebags characters, who keep fucking up in all kinds of preposterous ways but, through endless dumb luck and careless wasting of their parents’ money, always fall back on their feet during this “misadventure” from L.A. to the Salt Lake City Olympics… where they only end up watching the one event on TV, then snowboarding, skiing, sledding, snowmobiling and doing a cannonball competition in a pool in montage after montage of filler. So many plot holes, so many lame gags, such poor production values. ]

(4 Apr) November Child (2011, Christian Schwochow) 71
[ The opening film of the Goethe-Institut’s new German Highlights series is an affecting melodrama dealing with the scars left by the division of East and West Germany, even after the reunification. Anna Maria Mühe impressively stars as both Inga, a young woman who was raised by her grandparents, and Anne, the mother she never knew. Moody, evocatively shot and punctuated by a melancholy acoustic guitar score, November Child draws us in with its intricate storytelling, which jumps back and forth between Inga’s search for the truth about her origins in 2007 and the wanderings of Anne with a Russian deserter in 1980, putting back together the pieces of a past full of secrets and lies. Director Christian Schwochow will attend the screenings. ]

(6 Apr) Your Highness (2011, David Gordon Green) [ review ] 89

(7 Apr) The High Cost of Living (2011, Deborah Chow) 90
[ Former Scrubs star Zach Braff plays Henry, a New York expat living in Montreal’s Chinatown, from where he’s running a prescription drug-dealing operation. One night while he’s driving around making deliveries, he accidentally hits Nathalie (Isabelle Blais), an eight-months-pregnant French-Canadian woman, then takes off in a panic. Immediately filled with guilt, he sets out to find Nathalie, who lost her baby in the accident, and attempts to redeem himself somehow. In other hands, “The High Cost of Living” might have come off like a melodrama, but Deborah Chow keeps it feeling grounded, directing much of it in a cinéma vérité style. Undeniably one of the most gifted actors in Quebec cinema, two-time Jutra winner Isabelle Blais outdoes herself in Chow’s film, delivering an absolutely heartbreaking performance as a woman forced to walk around with a dead baby inside her, preparing with dread for a stillbirth. ]

(10 Apr) The Breakfast Club (1985, John Hughes) [ review ] 93

(20 Apr) Incendies (2010, Denis Villeneuve) [ review ] 87

(22 Apr) Prom (2011, Joe Nussbaum) 39
[ It used to be that, in high school movies like “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “The Breakfast Club”, teenagers cursed, obsessed over sex and smoked pot. Nowadays, save for the odd “Superbad” here and there, you’re more likely to be stuck with a Disney Channel-ready flick like this one, in which wholesome kids innocently prepare for prom. The main storyline features Aimee Teegarden as blandly pretty valedictorian Nova, who initially can’t stand longhaired, motorcycle-riding not-so-bad boy Jesse (Thomas McDonell) but who, predictably, ends up falling in love in him. Not in the least rooted in reality, “Prom” is little more than a fantasy for 12-year-old girls. It’s thoroughly generic and forgettable, but not unpleasant if you’re in the mood for harmless fluff. ]

(24 Apr) Fight For Your Right Revisited (2011, Adam Yauch)
[ To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original Fight for Your Right video, MCA has written and directed this awesome short film starring seemingly all my favorite contemporary American comedy stars: Danny McBride, Seth Rogen, Jack Black, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, plus Elijah Wood, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Will Arnett, Rainn Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Steve Buscemi, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Kirsten Dunst, Chloe Sevigny, Orlando Bloom, David Cross, Martin Starr an dprobably others I’ve missed. You could say that this is kind of a glorified music video, but on top of featuring some kickass beats and rhymes, it’s genuinely hilarious quite often, and well shot and cut, too. ]

March / May