Coriolanus

This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! Lots of new releases today with the common theme being that they’re all worth a watch at the very least. So head on down to your local Hollywood Video and check out Coriolanus, A Necessary Death, Goon and yes, even We Need To Talk About Kevin. Seriously, check out that last one as I need someone, anyone, to validate my opinion that the film is more ridiculous than impressive. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Henning Mankell’s Wallander: Swedish Series Two Chief Inspector Wallander has a knack for solving crimes even as he grows tired of man’s inhumanity towards man in this second Swedish TV series (season) to be based on Henning Mankell’s most famous character. Krister Henriksson stars as the talented but beleaguered detective through thirteen episodes of murder, deceit and drama, and he brings real pathos to the character while still keeping him an engaging but likeable grump. The mysteries are well-constructed and excitingly shot, and they serve as a reminder that our own TV series could benefit from a shorter schedule that allows for more quality over quantity. Now to track down Henriksson’s season one…

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In an age where Hollywood studios finally seem to be wising up to the value of streaming rights to their content, I’ve been questioning the continued viability of all-you-can-watch subscription services like Netflix. But, if the company is able to continue inking deals like the one they made today, we could all be safely watching gobs of cheap movies through their platform for the foreseeable future. What’s this deal I speak of? Brothers Harvey and Bob’s Weinstein Company has made an agreement with the service to make a host of their recent films available for streaming on Netflix exclusively, instead of sending them to cable. That includes titles like the Madonna-directed W.E., the Shakespeare adaptation Coriolanus, and probably the crown jewel of the deal, Best Picture Nominee The Artist. As usually happens when deals like this are made, ass-kissing by both sides commenced. Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos said, “We couldn’t be happier to be working again with Harvey and Bob, who have an unmatched track record of creating critically acclaimed and commercially successful movies.” He then added, “The Artist is a symbol of the Weinsteins’ triumphant return to the top of the film business. Through deep passion, great taste and phenomenal vision, Harvey and Bob continue to surprise audiences and make history.” You hear that? These returning heroes are making history. That Uggie was one cute dog.

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The Must See Movies of January 2012

With the gut-wrencher Shame, an uncomfortably funny Young Adult, Spielberg’s heart-string pullin’ War Horse, a high-flying Tintin adventure, the shining return of Cameron Crowe, the oversized popcorn blockbuster Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the overlooked hilarity of Carnage, the pulpy thrills of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and the subdued near-masterpiece that is Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, last month was a pretty fantastic time at the movies. Now we’re entering January. While this time of the year is usually a dumping ground — and we’ll be getting plenty of films of that low-caliber — there’s a surprising amount of films to check out this month, mainly the award-ready expanding releases.

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Let me start by confessing that I was a Theater and English major and have spent much of my academic career studying the works of the bard. William Shakespeare‘s plays were written as entertainment for the everyman and perhaps it does say quite a bit for the dumbing down of human civilization that work once enjoyed by the average Elizabethan “Joe” is now considered incomprehensible – but that doesn’t mean they are incomprehensible. Shakespeare’s been ruined for too many people who sat through interminable high school classes listening to their peers try to read it out loud. Director and star Ralph Fiennes has made his Coriolanus, one of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays, very accessible and very relevant. Maybe because I live in the land of Occupy Wall street, but scenes of heavily armed police ready to bash citizen protesters are chilling for me. There’s nothing really foreign about the language of the film (lifted straight from the stage play); it is still English for goodness sakes. Sometimes, it is a good thing for people to stretch their brains and challenge their minds. Yet, even so, the poetry of the film is used in a very natural way, making it very accessible to an audience not familiar with it. The story is hardly tough to follow, and the updating of the setting is not only effective, but really makes knowledge of Roman history unnecessary. The rise and fall of a stubborn, powerful man who seeks revenge against those who betrayed him […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr walks around his apartment naked, rents out hookers of various shapes and sizes then tries to pick up married women on a subway. He figures if it’s good enough for Michael Fassbender in Steve McQueen’s Shame, then it’s good enough for anyone. Of course, this leads Kevin to spending most of the rest of the day weeping in his birthday suit. Shaking off the humiliation, he decides to take in some culture and give Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus a gander, being one of them Shakespeare pictures and all. Unfortunately, he never stops giggling about the name of the movie long enough to decipher all of the fancy Elizabethan language, and Kevin ends up weeping again, curled up naked in his shower.

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As it turns out, I’ve been slightly remiss when it comes to praising this year’s 25th edition of AFI FEST 2011 presented by Audi. I’ve tossed off comments about how the festival gets better with every passing year, but in the wake of today’s announcement of the festival’s Centerpiece Galas and Special Screenings, I’ve realized that I have not gone far enough. AFI FEST has not just gotten better this year, the festival has made a dramatic jump to top-tier status, rolling out titles that play like a cinephile’s Christmas list for 2011. Today’s lineup announcement is essentially a “best-of” list of this year’s festival favorites, including Michel Hazanavicius‘s The Artist, Steve McQueen‘s Shame, Oren Moverman‘s Rampart, Lynne Ramsay‘s We Need to Talk About Kevin, Roman Polanski‘s Carnage, Simon Curtis‘s My Week with Marilyn, Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, Gerardo Naranjo’s Miss Bala, and Wim Wenders‘s Pina. AFI FEST will run from November 3rd through the 10th in Hollywood, with all screenings taking place at The Chinese, the Chinese 6 Theatres, and the Egyptian Theatre. The best part? Tickets for all screenings are free (and available starting October 27). After the break, check out the full list, including descriptions and showtimes, of the films to be featured as AFI FEST Centerpiece Galas and Special Screenings.

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Coriolanus

I knew Ralph Fiennes was directing a modern dress version of Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus”, but didn’t expect to see Fiennes decked out ready for full on modern warfare. Shooting has begun in Serbia and has the look of a war movie.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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