X-Men: First Class – James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence
Movie of the Week
X-Men: First Class
The Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence
The Plot: In 1963, Charles Xavier (McAvoy) starts up a school and later a team, for humans with superhuman abilities. Among them is Erik Lensherr (Fassbender), his best friend, and future archenemy.
The Buzz: The film’s preliminary reviews have been solid, with 41 favorable reviews to 1 unfavorable, as of today at Rottentomates. The cast is really strong too. However, I personally have zero interest in this film, as it looks to have zero style (other than the standard nerdy film-version X-Men vibe), but perhaps this will be the first good X-Men film? I loved the comic books, was a pretty big reader for awhile there, and I’ve always felt like, of all the Marvel films, the X-Men films have fallen the furthest from their book.
Only the shattering performances from Javier Bardem and Maricel Álvarez make “Biutiful” function as something more than a gorgeously lensed dirge. This is the first Iñárritu film I’ve seen that feels too long. Without the Rubix cube-like structure of his previous features, this linear descent into despair feels naggingly one note, perhaps illustrating that Iñárritu’s fractured editing was primarily what kept his viewers’ attention rapt during cumbersome dramas such as “21 Grams” and “Babel.”
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
Bardem won the Best Actor award at Cannes and scored a
Click to watch Exclusive: Javier Bardem Featurette!
Uxbal (Bardem) is a man living on the wrong side of the law who struggles to provide for his children on the dangerous streets of Barcelona. As fate encircles him, Uxbal learns to accept the realities of life, whether bright, bad - or biutiful - in this unforgettable film.
"The Making-of Biutiful" featurette
Biutiful was released December 29th, 2010 and stars Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib, Guillermo Estrella, Eduard Fernández, Cheikh Ndiaye, Diaryatou Daff, Cheng Tai Shen. The film is directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Starring Javier Bardem, Marciel Álvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib, Guillermo Estrella, Diaryatou Daff and Cheng Tai Shen.
A single father, who struggles with love, fatherhood and his business in the underworld of Barcelona, is diagnosed with terminal cancer. He must also deal with his bi-polar wife and a large group of illegal immigrants.
Films about a life of crime always tend to focus on the rise and fall of a young man with big ideas being completely crippled by the baseball bat of corruption. It’s almost like they follow a moral code that says all people who dive into the underworld must drown at the end. After a while, you find yourself asking for a little more forgivingness in these affairs. Or at least let us see a man who genuinely kind, despite his illegal behaviour. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s newest release has given
The Roommate $15.6 million}Sanctum $9.2 millionNo Strings Attached $8.4 millionThe King's Speech $8.3 millionThe Green Hornet $6.1 millionThe Rite $5.5 millionThe Mechanic $5.3 millionTrue Grit $4.7 millionThe Dilemma $3.4 millionBlack Swan $3.3 million
The new horror film The Rite, starring Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins, took control of the box office last week earning $15 million in its opening weekend. The new movie took down reigning champ, No Strings Attached starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, and beat out the weekend's other new release The Mechanic starring Jason Statham. But with two new films hitting the charts this week including the college based thriller The Roommate, and the James Cameron produced 3D action-thriller Sanctum, it looks like we will be crowning a new box office champion this weekend.
Debuting at number one this week is the new thriller The Roommate. The film stars an excellent cast of young actors and seasoned veterans including, Leighton Meester (Country Strong), Minka Kelly
The Rite $15 millionNo Strings Attached $13.6 millionThe Mechanic $11.5 millionThe Green Hornet $11.5 millionThe King's Speech $11.1 millionTrue Grit $7.6 millionThe Dilemma $5.4 millionBlack Swan $5.1 millionThe Fighter $4 millionYogi Bear $3.1 million
The new romantic comedy, No Strings Attached starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, debuted at number one last week, knocking down reigning box office champ, The Green Hornet starring Seth Rogen. But with two new releases this weekend, including The Rite with Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins, and The Mechanic starring Jason Statham, the romcom was unable to successfully defend its crown.
Debuting at number one this week is the new horror film, The Rite. The movie stars Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins (Red Dragon), along with Ciarán Hinds (Miami Vice), Alice Braga (Predators), Toby Jones (Amazing Grace), and Rutger Hauer (Batman Begins). The film made $5,027 on each of its 2,985 screens for an opening weekend total of $15 million. The movie was just short of
Dropping the multinational, parallel narrative structure of past films Babel (2006), 21 Grams (2003) and his acclaimed debut feature Amores Perros (2000), Iñárritu cements the developments of Biutiful solely within the multicultural flats and factories of suburban Barcelona, this time focusing almost entirely upon a single character, sickly single father Uxbal (Javier Bardem).
Much of the post Cannes/pre Oscar discussion regarding Biutiful has been in relation to the performance of Javier Bardem in the lead role - for which he has just received a nomination for 'Best Actor' at this year's 83rd Academy Awards - and rightly so. Despite impressive early collaborations with Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar in High Heels (1991) and Live Flesh (1997), it
(Nathan Greno, Byron Howard, 2010, Us) Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman. 100 mins
Disney's animation formula might be 50 movies old, but after a thorough 21st-century overhaul it sparkles anew here. The classical elements are present and correct: rejigged fairytale (Rapunzel), musical numbers, expressive animals, problematic mother-daughter dynamic. But the animation is bright, the comedy tight, and the dialogue high-school-friendly. It's like Shrek without the irony, which is kind of refreshing. Little to challenge the status quo (or Pixar), maybe, but it does feature a great comedy horse.
Barney's Version (15)
(Richard J Lewis, 2010, Us) Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, Dustin Hoffman. 134 mins
Giamatti was made to play this comically disgraceful antihero – a boozy, philandering New York Jewish sleazeball/charmer – whose belief in romance shapes his unreliably narrated life, even as it ruins those of others.
(Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu, 2010, Spa/Mex) Javier Bardem, Maricel Alvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib. 147 mins
Click to watch Exclusive: Alejandro González Iñárritu Featurette!
Biutiful is a love story between a father and his children. This is the journey of Uxbal, a conflicted man who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amidst the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona. His livelihood is earned out of bounds, his sacrifices for his children know no bounds. Like life itself, this is a circular tale that ends where it begins. As fate encircles him and thresholds are crossed, a dim, redemptive road brightens, illuminating the inheritances bestowed from father to child, and the paternal
The film is directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, best known for “Babel” and “Amores Perros,” and continues with his exploration of happenstance and chance encounters, this time fueled by a man who literally feels his life ebbing away.
Javier Bardem is Uxbal, a shady character on the streets of Barcelona, Spain, who acts as a facilitator for black market immigration labor. He is raising two children on his own, after separating from his wife Marambra (Maricel Álvarez) due to her addiction problems. Despite copious sums of cash, Uxbal prefers a more modest existence, mostly because his Barcelona is one of the shadows and squalor, areas not frequented by tourists.
The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:
Algeria, Hors la Loi (Outside the Law), Rachid Bouchareb, director
Canada, Incendies, Denis Villeneuve, director
Denmark, In a Better World, Susanne Bier, director
Greece, Dogtooth, Giorgos Lanthimos, director
Japan, Confessions, Tetsuya Nakashima, director
Mexico, Biutiful, Alejandro González Iñárritu, director
South Africa, Life, above All, Oliver Schmitz, director
Spain, Tambien la Lluvia (Even the Rain), Icíar Bollaín, director
Sweden, Simple Simon, Andreas Ohman, director
Foreign Language Film nominations for 2010 are again being determined in two phases.
The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based members, screened the 66 eligible films between mid-October and January 13. The group's top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy's
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
The Scoop: Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo Del Toro both pitched in as producers on this Spanish-language collaboration starring mega-hunk Bardem. He plays a bloke by the name of Uxbal, a criminal forced to re-evaluate his life when he is confronted by a childhood friend who happens to now be a cop. Throw in some children who may be starting down their own troubled paths and you have the recipe for this slow meditation on life.
Rated R, 138 min., limited | Watch the trailer
I’ve embedded them in the order in which they were released start December 1st to 31st and if I miss any, please let me know and I’ll update the post.
I really want this to be intereactive so make sure you tell us which trailers you liked the best and which you think will be great or terrible movies from what you’ve seen! So, let’s go!
Cast: Richard E. Grant,
Simon actually got to see the movie when he went to Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and you can read his review of the movie here.
Synopsis: Biutiful is a love story between a father and his children. This is the journey of Uxbal, a conflicted man who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amidst the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona. His livelihood is earned out of bounds, his sacrifices for his children know no bounds. Like life itself, this is a circular tale that ends where it begins. As fate encircles him and thresholds are crossed,
'Biutiful' is a love story between a father and his children. This is the journey of Uxbal, a conflicted man who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amidst the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona. His livelihood is earned out of bounds, his sacrifices for his children know no bounds. Like life itself, this is a circular tale that ends where it begins. As fate encircles him and thresholds are crossed, a dim, redemptive road brightens, illuminating the inheritances bestowed from father to child, and the paternal guiding hand that navigates life's corridors, whether bright, bad - or biutiful.
It opens in the Us on December 29 2010.
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