The Weekender: ‘Breaking’ point


Breaking Dawn, Part 1 (PG-13)
Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Written for the screen by Melissa Rosenberg
Directed by Bill Condon
Two weeks in a row now we’ve had major releases that make me want to hang myself. After Adam Sandler’s double-trouble Jack and Jill, we’re forced to recoil from the deafening squeal of millions of pre-pubescent girls (and college students and mothers who should know better) clamoring for more shirtless Jacob and sparkly Edward. And since Summit wants to milk their cash cow for all it’s worth, Stephenie Meyer’s final chapter of the Twilight saga will be split in two, so we’ve got yet another year of desperation from generations of duped girls. In Part 1, Bella (Stewart) and Edward (Pattinson) get married and have lots of hot, married Mormon PG-13 sex while Jacob (Lautner) sulks around in the rain, looking for his shirt.

Happy Feet Two (PG)
Starring the voices of Robin Williams, Elijah Wood, Sofia Vergara
Screenplay by George Miller, Paul Livingston, Gary Eck, Warren Coleman
Directed by George Miller
More overly preachy environmentalism! From penguins! In 3-D! And cue music

The Descendants (R)
Starring George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Robert Forster
Written for the screen by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Directed by Alexander Payne
George Clooney’s more sure-fire Oscar contender this year is Payne’s first film since Sideways (2004). Our dude-in-distress is Clooney, who’s dealing with his bratty daughter (Woodley), his comatose wife and the reality that she may not have been faithful before an accident. Look for the hallmarks of Payne’s work: scenes where our protagonist stares into the distance, a tearful monologue, and lots and lots of laughter.

Also opening:
Texas Theatre: The Other F Word (NR), Dragonslayer (NR)


Top pick:

Beginners (84%)
Enjoying Mike Mills’ second feature requires a high whimsy threshold and a love of non-linear narratives. I have both. For those that are leery of such a film, you’ll be pleased to know Beginners boasts career-best work from Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor. They play father and son, respectively, both dealing with the loss of the most important woman in their lives (Plummer’s wife/McGregor’s mom). Every time the movie appears it will choke on its own cuteness, it comes back with scenes of tremendous poignancy. Think of it as 500 Days of Summer meets Big Fish, but often much sadder.

To rent:


To buy:
Music: Sigur Rós: INNI

TV: Being Human (U.S. Season 1)

Blu-ray: Evil Dead 2*, Infernal Affairs, Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Vol. 1*, Giorgio Moroder Presents Metropolis, My Fair Lady, West Side Story (50th Anniversary Edition)*

Criterion: The Rules of the Game, Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors Trilogy


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