Finding Nemo 3D
See all of this week's opening movies in a 60-second mashup here.
Returning from the soothing and simpler year of our lord 2003 (when all we had to worry about was the invasion of Iraq, Israeli warplane attacks on Syria, and the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor of California) is Finding Nemo. Albert Brooks does a lovely job voicing the fish chasing his lost son, and as his dimwit chum, Ellen DeGeneres just about manages to get away with repeating the gag about having a seven-second memory every seven seconds. Effortlessly genius animation by Pixar, of course, and perhaps the only truly great seagull joke in cinema history. But seriously, does it need to be in 3-D? Every binocular human on earth detests 3-D cinema. Even the little ones. Extracting nostalgia cash is fine, Disney, but the 3-D is a self-defeating excuse.
Didn't Channing Tatum only just arrive here? All muscles a-popping and monocular gaze a-beseeching? As a boy's action figure in GI Joe and as a men's action figure in Magic Mike? Apparently not, since with 10 Years he's already produced his own high-school reunion movie. Casting Rosario Dawson as the high-school sweetheart he is seeing for the first time since he left school suggests it was probably a wise decision for Chan to cast, as his new wife, his actual wife. Quite probably even soppier than this trailer makes it look, this does promise a couple of nice cameos by Brian Geraghty and Chris Pratt. And Justin Long playing a complete tool.
Resident Evil: Retribution
Long ago at some time in the future, Milla Jovovich appeared in Luc Besson's The Fifth Element as Lee Loo, the human embodiment of the subconscious vibrations of an Otaku brainstem—a living action figure morphed from the stuck-together pages of a Japanese manga comic and a French edition of Heavy Metal magazine. Having established herself as a human video-game avatar, she then portrayed one, half a decade later in husband-to-be Paul Anderson's Resident Evil. A franchise was born, and every year or so, Milla returns to once again dive under a slow-motion bullet, flick her wet hair, and chop the head off a giant zombie or two. Endless legs akimbo. And with all due respect, up until this point, she has not looked at all geriatric in the process.
Another blast from the far distant past is the very great Richard Gere. Often underestimated, Gere rarely fails to deliver—just don't ask him to do an Irish accent—and in Arbitrage he is evidently on definitive Gere form. This is the kind of Wall Street scumbag thriller we want: The bad guy looks like Richard Gere, does a terrible thing, and then when his world starts to fall apart around him, we want to root for him because his biggest crime is that he's misguided. But there's also something about that perfect feline face that we find repellent and sinister, just as we have done ever since it first showed up on Julian Kaye, the Kafka-esque anti-hero of Paul Schrader's brilliant American Gigolo back in 1980. Anyone remotely interested in the actual plot of Arbitrage is completely missing the point.
There are few movies that dare a May-to-September relationship when May is still in school. Lolita was one thing, but Liberal Arts evidently takes a far more sympathetic approach. A rather charming 35-year-old teacher struggling in New York is delighted to be invited back to his old Ohio college, whereupon he finds himself involved with his beloved teacher's teenage daughter. Should be awful, but Josh Radnor pulls off an amazing coup here, the trailer is packed with great lines ("No one feels like an adult, it's the world's dirty secret,"), and as the girl, Elizabeth Olsen shows once again that she is the actress in the family.
What do you suppose P.T. Anderson's The Master is about? All the gossip and twitter and unsurprisingly fawning broadsheet praise is to do with the idea that it is a thinly veiled portrait of the early days of Scientology, with the ever-reliable Philip Hoffman's Lancaster Dodd as an analog of L. Ron Hubbard. Maybe. That's probably where it begins, but P.T. has a lot of Masters. Kubrick, obviously. Woody Allen. Robert Altman. It's a short cut from Short Cuts to Magnolia. So, is this Anderson's movie about movies? None of which is to say that every trailer so far is bewilderingly beautiful to the extent that one YouTube reviewer said: "I need a life. I find myself watching this clip everyday." It won't just be the David Foster Wallace types who will be drawn to this classic scale mystery, at least according to this trailer.