Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (PG-13)
Starring Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace
Screenplay by Michele & Kieran Mulroney
Directed by Guy Ritchie
As excited as I am for this sequel to one of 2009’s most pleasant surprises, it’s likely to get lost in the shuffle of all the Oscar-baiting and winter blockbuster films I’d rather see. Downey returns as the too-clever detective, with Law as his easily ruffled, more pragmatic better half. Holmes is off chasing Moriarty (Jared Harris, Mad Men), who—as usual—has a dastardly, deadly plan. So evil, in fact, Holmes must enlist his brother Mycroft (Stephen Fry) to help investigate. How incredibly British.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (G)
Starring Jason Lee, David Cross, Alyssa Milano
Screenplay by Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger
Directed by Mike Mitchell
Every time a Chipmunk sings a current pop hit, a little part of me dies. That’s all you need to know about this sequel, which finds Alvin, Theodore, Simon and the Chipettes are stuck on a desert island.
Young Adult (R)
Starring Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson
Written by Diablo Cody
Directed by Jason Reitman
Now we’re talkin’. In Reitman’s first film since back-to-back Oscar nominations for Juno and Up in the Air left him empty-handed, he re-teams with Juno scribe Diablo Cody in this pitch black comedy about an alcoholic teen-lit writer who heads back to her small town to reclaim her high school sweetheart, consequences be damned. There’s good buzz for Theron (as always), but more surprising is the likelihood of Oswalt (a first-rate comedian) getting a nod as Theron’s sad-sack classmate.
AMC NorthPark IMAX, Cinemark Dallas IMAX: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (PG-13) – though sadly, it will not include The Dark Knight Rises prologue
· The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (90%)
· Circumstance (82%)
· Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (83%)
· Eames: the Architect and the Painter (83%)
· Fright Night (75%)
· Kung Fu Panda 2 (82%)
· Rise of the Planet of the Apes (83%)
· Tanner Hall (11%)
City of God
While I wouldn’t put this Brazilian coming-of-age drama in the “life-changing” category so many critics have, this is still one of the best films of the last decade and one of the best foreign language films of all time. A brutal yet kind portrayal of the slums of Rio de Janeiro, City of God documents the war between rival drug kingpins and the city caught in between, told through the eyes of Rocket, a shy teen who hopes to become a photographer. The film grips you from its opening shot and never lets go. Few films are this exhilarating.
TV: Family Guy (Vol. 9), the Life and Times of Tim (Season 2)*, Spin City (Season 6)
Blu-ray: Heavenly Creatures, Meet Me in St. Louis, the Rocketeer*, Velvet Goldmine*
Criterion: Tokyo Drifter, Branded to Kill