The Weekender: Saved by ‘Zero’


Gangster Squad (R)
Starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn
Written for the screen by Will Beall
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Man, this movie cannot catch a break. First, the ending had to be reshot after the Aurora massacre. Now it’s being unceremoniously dumped in January to less-than-stellar reviews. I was hoping for a new L.A. Confidential, but that appears to be out-of-reach for this stylish thriller.

A Haunted House (R)
Starring Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, Cedric the Entertainer
Written by Marlon Wayans & Rick Alvarez
Directed by Michael Tiddes
This horror farce based mostly on the Paranormal Activity franchise will play well to a certain audience. I am not that audience.

Zero Dark Thirty* (R)
Starring Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler
Written by Mark Boal
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
My No. 3 movie of the year has just been nominated for Best Picture, though somehow missed out on Best Director. Regardless of that — and any lingering debates about the film’s stance on torture — this is a movie that demands to be seen, but only once. Chastain is terrific as Maya, the woman determined to find bin Laden no matter the personal cost. The raid on his Abbottabad compound, which takes up most of the last half-hour, is one of the greatest scenes ever put to film.

Top Pick:

Driving Miss Daisy
Driving Miss Daisy
Sorry, haters. This movie is still awesome and features a touching display of friendship. Whether it’s politically correct or not makes no difference. It’s a pure delight, featuring Jessica Tandy’s best performance and another great one from Morgan Freeman. It’s so good even Dan Aykroyd was nominated for his role. Dan Aykroyd! It’s also the last movie to win Best Picture without its director being nominated, so good luck to Argo, Django Unchained, Les Misérables and Zero Dark Thirty.

To rent (click the link to watch on Netflix):
After Fall, Winter (13%)
• The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best (35%)
• Collaborator (75%)
• Compliance (89%)
• Dredd (78%)
Found Memories (89%)
• Frankenweenie (88%)
• Hit & Run (47%)
• House at the End of the Street (11%)
• The Inbetweeners Movie (54%)
• Jack & Diane (10%)
• Now is Good (56%)
• Samsara (76%)
• Sleep Tight (88%)
• Stolen (13%)
• That’s What She Said (0%)
• Touchback (42%)
Whores’ Glory (89%)
• The Wise Kids (100%)

To buy:
TV: Anger Management (Season 1), Archer (Season 3), Dallas (Season 1), Enlightened (Season 1), Game Change, The Goode Family (Complete Series)*, The Hour (Season 2), An Idiot Abroad (Season 2), Red Dwarf (Season 10), Seal Team Six, Smash (Season 1), Tiny Toon Adventures (Vol. 3)*

Blu-ray: The Bone Collector, The Brothers Grimm, Cape Fear (1962)*, Fear*, French Kiss, Grand Hotel, The Jazz Singer (1927), Mrs. Miniver, One Fine Day, Stalingrad

Criterion: The Spirit of the Beehive, Two-Lane Blacktop [Blu-ray]

(Release dates and locations subject to change.)

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