Rather a quiet week of releases seven days before next weekend's irresistibly epic 11-11-11. (Indeed, look out for the movie 11-11-11.) So, for the less impressive 11-4-11, the most publicized flick of the week is Tower Heist, a slapstick ensemble comedy about a bunch of little guys getting revenge on Alan Alda's Madoff-style investor who lost them all of their pension funds. Good-humored and with cute lines for every single member of the cast from Ben Stiller to Gabourey Sidibe, aka the girl from Precious, this looks like a perfect in-flight movie. And if you care to see how they did this kind of thing in the '70s, take a look at this.
Also out this week is a re-release of Truffaut's The Bride Wore Black, which, for anyone born after 1970, is the movie that supplied the DNA for Kill Bill. Very stylish, black as French pitch and a demonstration of how far cinema has come in the presentation of bodies falling from high buildings. Obviously this was the perfect film to mash into the Tower Heist trailer (see the mash in the video at the top of the page).
Celebrated stoners Harold and Kumar are back for a 3-D Christmas. Cue lots of poke-in-the-eye gags on a par with the commercial for the new LG 3-D phone, and just as last time, the best lines are delivered by Neil Patrick Harris.
Killing Bono is notable chiefly for superstar-in-the-making Robert Sheehan as the leader of the Irish band that was not U2 when U2 was first starting out. After demonstrating a couple seasons' worth of mercurial brilliance in the insanely good U.K. TV series Misfits, he's allowed a blip.
Anyone who remembers Crime Story, Michael Mann's glistening cop show from the late 1980s, will ever after have held a place in their hearts for the great Dennis Farina, at least in part because he was an actual Chicago cop before he started playing one on TV. As detective Mike Torello, his war with crime boss Ray Luca was epic, elevated and very soon dead when programmed against Moonlighting. Since then, Farina's bag-of-spanners face has added gravelly gravitas to every daft flick he's showed up in, from Get Shorty to Snatch. Now, as a retired low-rent hood in The Last Rites of Joe May, he looks to have found the second role he was made for. And given his infamous moustache, Movember is the right month for him.
It turns out that Movember is also the right month for The Son of No One, a cop movie starring the not-quite-Chris-Evans Channing Tatum, and a bit of fluff on his top lip. It's almost impossible to tell what the plot is about, other than that it has something to do with dirty cops doing something dirty in the past, but Al Pacino is in there (also in full Movember mode); Ray Liotta, in police uniform, clean shaven and therefore no doubt the bad guy; straight out of left (bank) field, there's Juliette Binoche as a reporter; and then there's Tracey Morgan from 30 Rock in a "dramatic role." If trailers are meant only to drive you to distraction wondering how a particular cast got together, this one is a cast-iron success.