The Weekender: Let the extravaganza begin


TRON: Legacy
Starring Garrett Hedlund, Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde
Screenplay by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz
Directed byJoseph Kosinski
The original was a milestone of effects-heavy garbage. This new outing, set 20 years after the original finds Bridges’ son sucked into the game to fight alongside the father he feels abandoned him all those years ago. Together, they’ll have to take on an evil tyrant (also played by Bridges). I highly doubt any brilliant writing, but with cutting-edge 3-D effects and a killer score by Daft Punk, who cares? Plus, anything with Jeff Bridges is worth watching, period.

Yogi Bear
Starring the voices of Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake, Tom Cavanagh
Written for the screen by Jeffrey Ventimilia & Joshua Sternin and Brad Copeland
Directed by Eric Brevig
Having already suffered through this film’s lame CGI and nature puns, I can safely say it is, in a word, un-bear-able.

How Do You Know?
Starring Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd
Written and directed by James L. Brooks
No one does dramedy better than James L. Brooks. He gave The Simpsons its heart all those years ago–something it’s basically kept beating for 22 seasons now–and most recently gave us the supremely underrated Spanglish. Here, he returns with an all-star comic cast, likely elevating the typical love triangle plot with a touch of class and real-world sadness.

The Fighter
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams
Written by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
Directed by David O. Russell
This is a movie I’m sure I will stand up and cheer once it’s over. This seems a role tailor-made for Wahlberg, as a tough-but-sensitive (in a good way) real-life boxer Micky Ward who tries to make it despite trouble from his drug-addict brother (Oscar shoo-in Bale) and overbearing mother (Melissa Leo). It’s been getting a lot of love from the foreign press, broadcast film critics and the Screen Actors Guild. Count me in.

The King’s Speech
Starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter
Written by David Seidler
Directed by Tom Hooper
This simply is a movie that could not appeal to me less. Despite winning the Audience Award at this year’s Toronto Film Festival (which previously honored such Oscar bait as Precious, Slumdog Millionaire and Crash) and receiving a slew of other honors, it looks flat-out boring. Firth plays King George VI, who needs the support of his people before he declares war on Germany. Trouble is, he’s got a terrible stutter. Enter unorthodox therapist Lionel Logue, who breaks down his pretentious barriers and helps him “find his voice.” Ugh. I really hope I’m proven wrong.

The Tempest
Starring Helen Mirren, Russell Brand, Alfred Molina
Written for the screen and directed by Julie Taymor
Consensus is that Taymor’s latest Shakespeare adaptation is a complete and utter mess. That may be entirely true, but the difference between Taymor’s messes and everyone else’s is that they are compulsively watchable and inventive. This will hit DVD in about, oh, a month or two, so I’ll be sure to catch it then.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Starring Jorma Tommila, Onni Tommila, Peeter Jacobi
Written and directed by Jalmari Helander
The killer Santa bit has been done before, but I doubt it’s been done in such a viciously funny way before. A team of scientists thaw out a crate they find near the North Pole. Inside lies Santa, who was chained and frozen to prevent further slaughter. Now he’s on the loose and the team must hunt down Kris Kringle. You had me slay ride.

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