This week, Sarah Michelle Gellar is back for more creepy girls hiding in her hair in the new sequel, The Grudge 2. Amber Tamblyn plays her sister, who also travels to Tokyo and is also infected by the grudge inducing curse. While both American versions of the Grudge movies were directed by their Japanese creator Takashi Shimizu, it would seem that the better material would be in the originals, so we suggest renting those instead. If any comedian is going to run for president, it really shouldn't be Robin Williams. That guy does blabbering doofus well, but he doesn't have the trustworthy gravitas needed for a commander in chief. Instead, let's just boycott this Man of the Year out this weekend in the hopes that it will bolster rumors of a Stewart/Colbert ticket in '08.
Yes, Alex Rider: Operation Stormrider is another movie about a kid with adult-like super powers/spy abilities. However, this one also has Ewan McGregor in it as the mysterious super spy uncle, so there's that potential drooling to factor in to your decision at the ticket counter. Terry Gilliam used to be known as the brilliant mind behind Brazil and 12 Monkeys but lately his work has been coming from a bit farther a field. His newest, which hits theaters tomorrow, Tideland seems bizarre to say the least. A surreal tale about a young girl and her burgeoning sexual awakening, Gilliam's film has already been called "sketchy city" by critics.
After last year's Oscar winner Capote blew audiences away, you would've thought we'd had enough of Truman Capote stories. Apparently not, since Infamous, another movie about the making of Capote's book In Cold Blood, is so darn good. Toby Jones's version of Capote is much more flamboyant than Phillip Seymour Hoffman's, he's a serious mincer. But the movie makes us laugh with Truman and his friends at his over the top mannerisms. There's a wonderful running gag when Capote arrives in Kansas with Harper Lee (a marble-mouthed Sandra Bullock), that every person on the Midwestern streets thinks he's a woman. Apparently, they've never seen a tiny man taking tiny steps in a fur tipped over coat. This version also contains a lot more of Capote's New York social scene and the actresses who play Capote's "swans," Hope Davis, Isabella Rosselini and Sigourney Weaver, are all excellent. Surprisingly, the one actor who really steals the show is Daniel Craig as Perry Smith, the murderer with an artistic soul. Apparently, Craig can do much more than just look cool in 007's tuxedo.
Rep & Events:
Today at Makor, check out the indie The Hole Story directed by Alex Karpovsky presented by indiepix.net. It's a mix of documentary, mockumentary and narrative filmmaking about a mysterious natural phenomenon in the middle of wintery Minnesota. Karpovsky will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A as well.
The pre-Halloween gore fest continues at Pioneer Theater this weekend with a gooey double feature of Lon Chaney's The Phantom of the Opera from 1925, and Dario Argento's 1987 Opera. Of course, creepy opera movies are best screened in the middle of the night on Friday the 13th, so of course Phantom starts at 11 pm and Opera unspools at 12:40 am. It's BYOS: bring your own shoulder to hide in.
The JCC is screening this coming Monday the Israeli Academy Award winner from last year, Out of Sight about a blind Ph.d. student investigating the circumstances around her cousin's suicide. Director Daniel Syrkin will be on hand after the 7:30 pm screening for a Q&A.
Get a dose of quality flicks from Singapore with a special series running at MoMA on Thursday and Friday. Curated by AsianCinevisions, this Spotlight on Singapore features Locust, Lost Sole and Singapore Gaga, three films from the last few years that offer a real slice of life. The three short films screen Thursday at 6 pm and then on Friday at 8 pm, and don't forget that Target Free Friday Nights offer free admission to the museum for all visitors from 4 to 8 pm.
Also worth scoping out is the Tokion Creativity Now Conference's film panel. On Saturday from noon to 1 pm, three directors will be discussing the process of making their first features, Justin Theroux (Dedication), Mike Mills (Thumbsucker) and Phil Morrison (Junebug). Tickets for the weekend's worth of events at Cooper Union are available on Tokion's site and at Kim's Video or Sound Fix.
[Production still of Toby Jones as Truman Capote and Sigourney Weaver as Babe Paley in Infamous.]