Another delayed December release (because, simply enough, it wasn’t finished), Monuments Men tells the fact-based story of a team of museum directors, curators, and art historians tasked by FDR to rescue works of art from the Nazis. George Clooney writes, directs, and stars along with Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardain (The Artist), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), and Bob Balaban. Intriguing story, great cast, solid track record by Clooney on all sides of the camera…what’s not to like?
From the team behind 21 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs comes The Lego Movie, featuring an all-star cast of…toys. What seems like a more limitless version of Toy Story with recognizable commodities, the animated film is about one of those indistinct Lego men (voiced by Parks and Recreation‘s Chris Pratt) who gets mistaken for a kind of plastic messiah. On his sudden mission he encounters everyone from Batman (Will Arnett) and Wonder Woman (Cobie Smulders) to Star Wars characters and Shaq. Word from last week’s major market press screenings was almost unanimously ecstatic and posits the film as a potential winner for the entire family.
Offering at least ten 5-30 minute films for regular ticket price, the Oscar Nominated Short Films used to be the best movie deal in town. For whatever reason, this year the animated and live-action programs are sold separately, which doesn’t make much sense from a PR standpoint and all but assures both sets will tank and leave after a week. Together for one low cost, seeing the collection is a no-brainer, but apart I’m not sure I could justify dropping that kind of dough for (especially in the animation department) not that much screen time. The plan is to have a rundown up on Friday to better inform interested parties.
Are people still going to teenage vampire movies? I guess we’ll find out after this weekend once Vampire Academy debuts. Based on the best-selling series by Richelle Mead, the film centers on Rose (Zoey Deutch, Beautiful Creatures) and Lissa (Australian TV actress Lucy Fry), two rebellious benevolent bloodsuckers who deal with the drama of their supernatural boarding school and threats from evil vampires outside the academy’s walls. Gabriel Byrne and Sarah Hyland (Haley from Modern Family) also show up in this collaboration between the director of Mean Girls and the writer of Heathers.
Fleeing the Scene
Thursday night will be your last chance to catch The Wolf of Wall Street in theaters, a sad fate that also awaits The Invisible Woman. Not so sad is the departure of the overrated Frozen (did you enjoy your singalong?) and the too dumb for school I, Frankenstein.
The delightful About Time arrives in time for Valentine’s Day, but is a good choice any day of the year. Dallas Buyers Club is another solid option, even if half of Asheville has the script memorized.
Documentary-wise we’ve got the emotional sick-kid-hospital wallop of Blood Brother and the Oscar-nominated Cutie and the Boxer. Hazardous waste-wise, we’ve got Romeo & Juliet, Escape Plan, Baggage Claim, and Free Birds.
On Netflix Instant
Season one of Bates Motel and The Croods…ahem…”Academy Award Nominee Instead of Monsters University The Croods” are the week’s newest choices. Of course, since we started a new month over the past week, Netflix also opened the floodgates again and we got:
- Airplane! and Airplane II
- Bubba Ho-Tep
- Crocodile Dundee 2
- Death Wish 2
- Down Periscope
- Failure to Launch (McConaughey 1.0)
- A Fistful of Dollars
- Flicka 2
- From the Terrace (young Paul Newman alert!)
- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (best theme song ever?)
- Harold and Maude
- Home of the Brave
- In Dreams
- Leap of Faith (one of P.S. Hoffman’s first roles. R.I.P.)
- A Life Less Ordinary
- Marathon Man (need a good dentist?)
- North Dallas Forty
- Patriot Games (“games” is generous…)
- Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
- StreetDance 2 (must be sequel month!)
- Sunset Boulevard (believe the hype)
- Tales from the Darkside: The Movie
- The Usual Suspects
- The Weight of Water
Click, queue, and be merry.