Sunday, December 11, 2011

Celluloid #136

In Theaters

My Week with Marilyn (2011) Curtis - This movie was pretty medium overall. It told the story of Colin Clark working his first job as a 3rd Assistant Director on the set of the Sleeping Prince with Laurence Olivier. During the shoot, he meets Marilyn Monroe who was already a huge star. Nothing new in the depiction of Marilyn as a tragic figure, but who also wields some control over her life by using her sex appeal as a means of manipulating the men around her. The tone of the movie is charming, but pretty insubstantial. That being said, Michelle Williams is amazing; so magnetic and does an incredible job of playing such an icon. 3.75/5

In Home

Cold Weather (2011) Katz - Indie mystery that takes place in Portland (the film's primary asset in my opinion). A guy and his sister live together and he finds a job at an ice factory - the only source of employment he can find despite his education in forensic science. His ex-girlfriend shows up in town. The hang out a few times before she goes missing. It comes to light that she works as an escort, and then many other complexities get revealed. 3.5/5

In a Better World (2011) Bier - Two boys at the center of the story, Christian whose mom has recently died from cancer and Elias whose dad and mom are separated. His dad also works as a doctor in third world countries. Elias gets picked on at school until Christian teaches the bully a "lesson" by beating him with a bike pump. The violence continues when a man at the park slaps Elias' dad and Christian thinks the boys should get revenge on the man despite the dad's insistence that being the bigger person is more important. 4/5

Machete Maidens Unleashed! (2011) Hartley - Documentary about the exploitation films made in the Philippines between the 1960s and 1980s. Notably, Roger Corman made use of the Philippines for his "women in prison" films. The Philippines also had a tradition of really gory low-budget horror films. This relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines began after WW2, when the Philippines was the only country on friendly terms. 3.5/5

Win Win (2011) McCarthy - Mike has a failing law practice and coaches a losing wrestling team at the local high school. He's running out of money, so when one of his clients goes on trial, he offers to become his guardian, primarily for the $1500 a month paid by the state for care. Shortly after this shady decision, the grandson shows up out of the blue. Kyle's mom is in rehab or just checked out in general, so he stays with Mike and his family. Kyle turns out to be a great wrestler, turning the team around, as well as Mike's life on the whole. 4/5