Monday, May 18, 2009

This Week In Tickets: 11 May 2009 to 17 May 2009

West coast baseball just messes things up in every way possible. You stay up until 1am, get to work a little late, leading to staying a little late, and even if there is time to catch a movie after, you're kind of dragging, so, repeat. Then plans get messed up by print problems, leading to something this sparse:

This Week In Tickets!

Aside from baseball, it was a pretty uninspiring week for new releases - just Angels & Demons at the multiplexes, and good gravy no. Aside from how much The Da Vinci Code bored me, I really don't get the trailer: Tom Hanks is playing the hero, right? And the backstory is that the Catholic Church did terribly things to the scientists of the Illuminati, who are now striking back. So, why's Hanks working for the Church in this one? Wouldn't his sympathies naturally be with the Illuminati? Or is it about grudge-holding being bad?

The stuff at the boutique houses was a little more inspiring, but not enough to get me to go. I'll see Adoration with the usual group this Tuesday, but otherwise was only really drawn to The Merry Gentleman, and that on the basis of "Michael Keaton! I like that guy! What's he been up to since that White Noise debacle... Oh, directing? That's interesting." It had a one-week run at the Kendall and I'll come back and review it anyway, because there's nothing on HBS/EFC, and seeing a Keaton movie pass unnoticed makes me a bit sad.

This weeks IFFB update:

22 April 2009 (Wednesday): The Brothers Bloom
23 April 2009 (Thursday): Children of Invention, The Missing Person
24 April 2009 (Friday): Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, In The Loop, Pontypool
25 April 2009 (Saturday): Still Walking, Nollywood Babylon, Lost Son of Havana, Grace
26 April 2009 (Sunday): Herb and Dorothy, Helen, Unmistaken Child, The Escapist
27 April 2009 (Monday): For the Love of Movies, Art & Copy
28 April 2009 (Tuesday): World's Greatest Dad

I'll finish writing up World's Greatest Dad sometime in the next couple of days and then festival crunch will be over... Well, at least until NYAFF or Fantasia.

The Merry Gentleman

* * ¾ (out of four)
Seen 14 May 2009 at Landmark Kendall Square #8 (first-run)

I wanted to like The Merry Gentleman more than I did; its two leads are folks I really like and Michael Keaton, in particular, seems to deserve a comeback. Sad to say, this morose movie isn't going to be it. Keaton seems to go overboard reigning his natural infectious energy in, and while being cheerful wouldn't have been appropriate for this character, his Frank Logan is so deliberately dour as to raise suspicion, especially considering the artificially long time before we hear him speak.

Maybe he just can't judge his own performance while directing, because much of the rest of the movie is quite good. Kelly Macdonald, for instance, is absolutely fantastic as Kate Frazier, a battered wife who has fled halfway across the country, and he does nice things with Ron Lazzeretti's screenplay. I liked the little choices it made, like everything involving Kate's Christmas tree, and some of the cinematography is just fantastic. I wished the hitman stuff had been given a little more background - as much as the movie needs Kate involved with something violent, the movie seems to take this sort of activity for granted.

Still, it's nice to see Keaton dong something interesting. I didn't love A Shot at Glory or Game 6, but they're worth seeing, and better than all the crud or The Dad Roles he's been playing around them.

The Merry GentlemanSleep Dealer

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