I Don’t Know How She Does It

This Week in DVD

Welcome to 2012 and the last year of your life! That’s not me threatening you by the way, it’s the Mayans. And who better to predict the end of civilization than a culture that’s long since gone extinct. This week’s DVD releases are filled with other things looking to kill you including Contagion, Shark Night, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, and a really well put together woman named Frankenhooker. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Guard A smuggling ring in a small Irish seaside town draws the attention of an FBI agent (Don Cheadle), and he’s forced to team up with a local cop (Brendan Gleeson) of dubious morality if he hopes to crack the case. John Michael McDonagh’s wonderfully foul and often witty black comedy offers a great pairing with Gleeson and Cheadle playing off of each other to perfection. Gleeson in particular shines as a rude, sarcastic and possibly racist hick who may be a better comedian than police officer. This one gets compared to the superior In Bruges for a few different reasons, but it stands quite strong on its own.

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The Worst Films of 2011

There are two things you don’t want to watch getting made – sausage and the official Film School Rejects’s year-end worst-of list. Hideous, dirty, bloody, illegal stuff; many animals die in the process (disclaimer – no animals were harmed in the making of this list). It’s a fool’s errand, a losing battle, a terrible way to dig up the past pains of the year’s biggest flops – reverse therapy for cinephiles. But damn if the results aren’t hilarious. For this year’s Worst Films of 2011 list, our own Kevin Carr and myself teamed up to pick the most wretched of the wretched, the worst of the worst, the Adam Sandler films we’re all struggling to forget. There were many emails and even more tears. I doubt we’ll ever be able to look each other in the eye again. By the time Sir Carr and I were done volleying bad films back and forth at each other via the electronic mail system like a game of cinematic badminton that absolutely no one was capable of winning (and, really, how does one win badminton?), we were far too exhausted to even attempt to number the following twenty-two films in any kind of order. No matter, they’re all bad. We’ll leave it to you, dear readers, to take to the comments to call what you think is the worst (and what we’ve, quite unforgivably, left off).

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Culture Warrior

The month of September is typically regarded as one of the least exciting and least eventful in the calendar year. It’s something of an interval month, a strange in-between phase sandwiched in the middle of summer Hollywood blockbusters and the “quality” flicks and holiday programming of the fall. In strictly monetary terms, it’s the most underperforming month of the year, and has even been beaten by the desolate burial ground that is January in terms of event-style opening weekends. But this may ultimately be a good thing. In fact, if future Septembers continue to exhibit the same patterns as this month, the time of the year in which schools go back in session and you can no longer wear all-white may prove to be one of the most interesting and exciting months on the wide-release calendar.

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The Reject Report

I may have spoken a little too soon about the Circle of Life in this week’s Reject Report. The Circle of Life isn’t complete until a 17-year-old film, The Lion King in this case, gets re-released in 3D on over 2,300 screens and subsequently takes the box office by storm. That’s right. More than 17 years after its initial run, which pulled in $825.7m worldwide, The Lion King has Hakuna Matata’ed in the #1 spot yet again. It didn’t match the $34.2m opening weekend numbers it made the first weekend of July in 1994, but it came reasonably close. Close enough to let Disney as well as anyone who even had an inkling of an idea to re-release an older film in 3D know that that might be the way to go. Just five weekend ago article were being written about the possible demise of 3D. With films like Conan the Barbarian and Fright Night not living up to expectations, it seemed the novelty of seeing films that literally come at you may have been at its frayed end. Of course, you can’t give 3D all the credit for The Lion King stacking up against the competition. The film is a classic, regarded by many as one of Disney’s best, and the children of 1994 who fell in the love with the film are now taking their own kids to watch it. Even without the 3D element it’s a formula for success, one made even more potent with the added […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr feels the weight of the fall movie season. It’s September, and while the kids are heading back to school, he’s playing hooky with Sarah Jessica Parker chick flicks and yet another not-quite-70s-video-nasty remake. Kevin is consoled by the release of Drive, however, because Albert Brooks as a crime boss makes him chuckle. And his love for 3D and Disney meet head-on in a collision of awesomeness.

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The Reject Report

I thought about opening this Reject Report with a play on the lyrics to “Circle of the Life.” A certain Disney classic is getting its re-release in 3-D this weekend, and you know how we love playing around with lyrics here at the Reject Report. But then we witnessed Ryan Gosling wearing leather driving gloves. Never mind the white bomber jacket complete with scorpion embroidered on the back. Those gloves are what we focused on. Then, after about 45 minutes of staring, we remembered we have a job to do. There’s box office analyses that need to be…um…analyzed, and four new wide releases to split the box office dollars between them. Two R-rated thrillers, that Disney classic that’s getting a re-release on over 2300 screens, and a rom-com starring Sarah Jessica Parker. Over/under on how many words I give that movie.

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The ground is far too fertile when a film from Sarah Jessica Parker is called I Don’t Know How She Does It, but rather than take cheap shots by answering the rhetorical title, it’s more important to celebrate the talent she’ll be surrounding herself with. The film has just signed on Christina Hendricks (despite science still having no explanation for how she physically exists) and SNL head writer Seth Meyers (despite science still having no explanation for how SNL still exists). Both are fairly new to the film but aren’t strangers to show business. Plus, they are the perfect, harmless additions to what seems like a stock comedy about a woman having it all. After all, there has to be a gossipy best friend and someone for Christina Hendricks to play. Oliva Munn will also be playing a small role, busting out of her cameo phase and the twitter fame people seem to care so much about. Over all, Sarah Jessica Parker has somehow completely morphed from the manic pixie dream girl of L.A. Story to the disliked shrew of today, but if she insists on hopping into the romantic comedy business, it might as well be with some talented actors who deserve more time on the big screen. [LA Times]

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