Movies This Week: June 11th, 2010

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Kind of extremist pro-lifers, huh? Copyright 2010 20th Century Fox

The A-Team
20th Century Fox
Guitar riff. Black van with red stripe blasting through some bushes. Mohawk. Disguises. Guns. Bigger Guns. Tanks falling from the sky. Helicopters. Cigars clenched by the strongest set of mandibles ever. If you have a problem. If no one else can help. You can call on … THE A-TEAM. Man, has this been a long time coming. First news about this release broke in the mid-1990s with a whirlwind of casting rumors surfacing every year – Jim Carrey as Murdoch (yes, please!), Ving Rhames as B.A. (yeah, I could see that), Leslie Nielsen as Hannibal (too spoofy), Bob Costas as Face (just needs to bulk up a little bit). Now, we’re finally here. Will Rampage Jackson be able to carry Mr. T’s gold-chained torch or will we pity the foo’ tryin’ to steal his spotlight? I wasn’t too keen on Liam Neeson getting the nod for Hannibal’s role but the more I see him chomping on that cigar, the more I like it. Sharlto Copley follows up his performance in District 9 with a display of versatility as Murdoch. Someone in Hollywood needs to pair this dude with Jackie Earle Haley ASAP. I don’t know or care what the premise is or when it’s set, just get them ON a set and start the cameras. For those living in a cave the past three decades – I’m looking at YOU, Bin Laden – The A-Team follows an elite commando unit charged with crimes they did not commit. Now, they’re on a mission to prove their innocence. series. Come on, guys. This is America. Don’t you know that you’re guilt until proven innocent. Amateurs!

Was this necessary? Copyright 2010 Sony Pictures

Karate Kid
Sony Pictures

How dare you! How dare you sully such a classic with a remake like this. Why can’t you just let a classic be a classic? You got two sequels out of the first one, now you need a remake? Jackie Chan as Mr. Miyagi? How old is Jaden Smith? 5? Hey, I have an idea, let’s remake Casablanca. Or better yet, Gone With The Wind. Am I putting The Karate Kid on the same level as those cinematic gems? Yes. I sincerely hope Ralph Macchio doesn’t have a cameo up in this flick. Honestly, how much would it cost to digitally remaster the original. I have $1 in my pocket right now. If everyone in America donated $1, we could have our best scientists working on giving the 1984 edition a nice, glossy 2010 finish. Market it like it’s new, partner with McDonald’s on toys so the kids get pumped and re-release that ‘ish. Anyway, the 2010 version follows Dre Parker, not Trey Parker – though that would be hilarious, a 12 year old from Detroit whose mom is transferred to Beijing for work. He meets a girl, falls for her,  her dad banishs him from seeing her, a bunch of guys up to no good start making trouble in the neighborhood. You know the rest.

makes me want to take a whore's bath Copyright 2010 Sony Pictures

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
Sony Pictures Classics

Is this one really long Coco Chanel commercial or am I losing it? The setting is Paris, France. The time is 1913. Leading lady Coco Chanel – never knew that was a real person – attends a performance by Igor Stravinsky that causes a riot. She’s impressed. Seven years pass before they meet again. SEVEN YEARS! What kind of Ginseng are these cats downing? Seriously. I can’t even remember  last week much less some dude that put on a show at a theater. Anyway, Coco’s successful but she’s lost her lover and is in mourning. Igor had to peace out during the Russian Revolution. The two hit it off. She invites him to her villa. Oh, and his wife and children. Wait, I’m sorry. AND his wife and children? Check out the balls on Coco. Everything turns up rosy as Coco goes on to create Chanel no. 5 while Igor composes the award winning single “Baby Got Back.”

Where's Coolio? ©2010 Anchor Bay Films

Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema
Anchor Bay
Coolio was ahead of his time. He predicted this movie would come out and now he is raking…in…the…dough. Not really, but the film is inspired by a true story in which Johannesburg youth pillage, loot, and plunder to survive. One teenage boy decides petty theft won’t buy his dream house, so he gains favor of the tenants in his building and holds the rent money they owe to the landlord hostage until he gets what he wants – a bacon double cheeseburger for CRYING OUT LOUD! His real estate foray pays off at first but then the pigs come oinkin’ around while an intense drug war breaks out. Did I mention this kid’s name is Lucky? Fantastic.

I bet Joan Rivers is really Abe Lincoln ©2010 IFC Films

Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work
IFC Films

Joan Rivers has been through a whole lot. Surgeries. Lovers. Celebrity Apprentices. So, it’s only fitting that she get a full on, up close and personal doc about her topsy turvy life. The film won an award at Sundance, played the closing night of the San Francisco Film Festival and was an official selection at Tribeca. Flick’s received positive reviews from Entertainment Weekly, Chicago Sun Times, Rolling Stone, and New York Magazine with The Boston Globe calling it, “painfully funny.” What does that mean, Globe? That I’m gonna hurt myself laughing? That I might chuckle and sprain my esophagus? I’ll slap my knee and blow out a ligament? No thanks. If I ever hurt myself while doing something enjoyable it’s going to be sex. IF I ever have it.

prob better than being King of Queens ©2010 Indican Pictures

Kings Of The Evening
Indican Pictures
It’s the Great Depression, y’all! I love how producers and distributors think there’s no better way to get over our piece ‘o’ shite economy then by releasing films that “mirror” our current crappy economic state. So far, we’ve avoided the Great Depression of the modern era, so let’s try to keep the comparisons to a dull roar. Yeah, I know, if we don’t learn about history it’s bound to repeat itself. But, watching a group of dudes in a run down hostel trying to survive isn’t exactly a symposium on how to get out of a 80 trillion dollar national debt. Singing? That’s gonna help? Thanks. What do they end up learning at the end? That a man can only count on his pride and self-respect. Welp, guess I’m effed. I’ll take roses at the funeral. If you got through that presumptuous rant, then you might want to know that the film’s done the festival circuit, winning multiple awards for best film, period drama, director, and more. Most notably, cleaning house at the San Diego Black Film Festival and Worldfest Houston. Don’t ever go to the San Diego Brown Film Festival – fecalphiliacs EVERYWHERE!

This is NOT the movie's official poster


The Lottery

Variance Films
Education reform. It’s something every Presidential candidate promises, but never follows through on. No Child Left Behind? Not so much. According to this documentary, almost EVERY child is left behind, leaving a lucky few who get the chance to attend one of the most successful schools in New York, The Harlem Success Academy. How creative. But, let’s get down to brass tacks, when you’re successful, you don’t need a snazzy logo or catchphrase, you just snap necks and cash checks. Pic follows four families from Harlem and the Bronx who vie to have their children selected for the academy while politicians are grilled about the education crisis. However, the future of American education is not so bleak after all as the movie sets out to prove that any child can be successful. I don’t know, man. My friend’s a guidance counselor in the city and he’s telling me there are seniors who might not graduate because they haven’t been to school in 4 months. FOUR MONTHS! I got worried about ditching school for Senior cut DAY, these kids are ditching for Senior cut SEMESTER.

Is probably small due to the cold © 2010 Roadside Attractions

Winter’s Bone
Roadside Attractions
If I ever have kids I hope I’m not a deadbeat dad. I don’t know a single soul who looks upon them kindly. Like they’re apparently one peg below molesters and murderers. This story focuses on a 17 year old girl named Ree, last name Tard – nope, that’s wrong and I apologize. Anyway, she’s forced to track down her deadbeat dad who uses their crib as collateral to flee on bail. Genius! Even better is they’re making their way through the Ozarks. Deliverance anyone? I kind of hope she makes him squeal like a pig. All jokes aside the actress who plays Ree, Jennifer Lawrence, supposedly gives an Oscar worthy performance. The pic that generated a ton of buzz at Sundance is an adaptation of Daniel Woodrell’s novel. It’s received glowing reviews from the Wall Street Journal, Village Voice, and USA Today. Can you imagine this chick on MTV’s “When I Was 17″? Most of those subjects are like, “I had acne!” “I was in the choir!” “I got rejected by the homecoming queen!” This chick’s all, “I killed a mountain bear with my feet and rode a hawk to where my druggie father was hiding in a cave and strangled him until he promised me he’d return home.” Can you imagine what her Super Sweet 16 party was like?


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