Arbitrage stars Richard Gere as Robert Miller, a Madoff-esque investor on the precipice of financial ruin. Time is running out for the investment mogul before his family, or the press, uncover his secrets. His daughter, Brooke, played by Brit Marling, who is also his Chief Financial Officer, is unaware of his illegal activity even though his actions could land her in jail. He desperately wants to bury his dirty dealings and fix his problems before his family falls apart. But, his life is about to get a whole lot worse before it gets any better.
In his prime, Frank lived his life as a conman, a cat burglar, a man who had a high-flying life and paid the price with two stints in jail. During that time, he fell in love and had two children. Now, Frank (played by Frank Langella) is a crotchety old man, set in his ways, who suffers from dementia and lives alone in a modest home. His son Hunter (James Marsden) makes the five-hour drive back and forth each week to visit him, while daughter Madison (Liv Tyler) completes a humanitarian mission halfway across the world. When his son visits, Frank often forgets tasks and cannot remember details from his past, and the burden becomes too great for Hunter to handle alone. In this realistic near-future story, Hunter does not have to place his father in a home. Instead, he buys him a robot, and the unexpected buddy film of 2012 is born.
The next DC animated feature to be released will be Justice League: Doom and is it a doozie! While doing all the things that you would expect from a story line about a good super hero team colliding with its own evil counter parts, JL:D does so much more. We see an exploration of the inner strengths and weakness that make each individual member of the Justice League both super and human.
Leslye Headland wrote and directed Bachelorette, a film adaptation of a play that she also penned. The play of the same name is one part of a series based on the seven deadly sins, with Bachelorette assigned Gluttony. The film unapologetically dives into its characters’ vices: meanness, drug abuse, casual sex, and self-loathing, to name a few. Bachelorette, however, manages to entertain and indulge its audience while presenting characters in crisis. This dark comedy is razor sharp both in wit and pain; although, Headland’s desensitized characters may not feel the full sting of their words or actions, by the end, the audience sure does.
At Fanboy Comics, we strive to provide an outlet for up-and-coming artists and writers with a desire to create new works and media. For this reason, I encourage our readers to keep an eye out for Funeral Kings, the first feature-length film by the McManus Brothers (Kevin and Matthew), which was officially selected by the SXSW 2012 Film Festival.
Funeral Kings is a dark comedy centered on a group of Catholic school kids who, after a decision to skip school, get into a situation that is too big for them to handle. The film was written, directed, and produced by the McManus Brothers, who are recent graduates from the BFA program at Emerson College. The brothers have written and directed several award-winning short films, with honors including Best Film in the undergraduate division of the Nevada Film Festival.
I managed to see 13 screenings during my trip to Sundance this year. Here’s how my list ended up:
Hello I Must Be Going
Wish You Were Here
Celeste and Jesse Forever
Shorts Program 1
Robot and Frank
Lay the Favorite
Save the Date (with screening of the short film Bear)
Safety Not Guaranteed
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Some films failed to make much of an impression; however, a few managed to really stand out. The festival still has a week left, but a couple buzzworthy films have already taken center stage. I can’t wait to write full reviews!
Here is a little bit about two buzzworthy films that I saw but did not have on my original list:
Sundance 2012 is just around the corner, and I am gearing up for my third trip to Park City, Utah. While visiting Park City each year, I have run into friends and colleagues. Some of these Sundance attendees work for the festival, some volunteer for the festival, and some support the festival. No matter what the reason, if you have a chance to attend the Sundance Film Festival, it is a great opportunity to observe passionate and thoughtful entertainment professionals debut their work. It truly is an unforgettable experience.
If you are debating whether to see director David Fincher’s remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo this holiday season, DO IT! Well... allow me to clarify that statement. If you are a fan of the bestselling book series by Stieg Larson, or if you are familiar with Fincher’s body of work (and are not shocked and/or appalled), go and see this film. I will caution you, gentle readers, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is not for the faint of heart.
In this special holiday blog, Fanboy Comics Contributor Ellen Tremiti shares her Top 10 Perfect (Offbeat) Holiday Movies.
10.) Reindeer Games: A guilty-pleasure holiday movie. Need I say more? There’s a bit of a convoluted plot mixed into this sensual thriller, but, honestly, who cares? Bundle up under the covers and check out the acting talents of Ben Affleck and Charlize Theron this holiday season.
9.) Die Hard 2: Christmas Eve + an airport + a blizzard + terrorists who have taken control of said airport’s communication system X Bruce Willis = an action-packed holiday film with lots of thrills and holiday spirit! Don’t forget the fight scenes on a moving airplane wing and, of course, an explosive, fiery finish to cap off this second enjoyable installment in the Die Hard series.
The Dish and the Spoon played at AFI Fest 2011. It is a wonderfully indie film with characteristics similar to the “Mumblecore” movement. Mumblecore is an indie film genre that came about at the turn of the century. Its defining characteristics include low production value, character-driven stories, unconventional plots, middle class/twenty-something characters, naturalism in performances, and improvisation. All of these attributes are found in The Dish and the Spoon, and its star, Greta Gerwig, is no stranger to the genre. Although written and directed by Alison Bagnall, both Gerwig and English co-star Olly Alexander have “additional material” credits, thanks to the improvisational nature of the film.