I’m glad that Bridesmaids did very well for itself at the box office. It was only #2 with a bit over $26 million, but that was better than most people predicted and really great for a movie that cost $32 million. It will hopefully prove to Hollywood that if they make good and funny comedies by and about women, they can be a success. The time is now to tear down the ghetto of shitty romantic comedies. Are you with me?

What else? A Serbian Film. Meh, I’ve said enough about that already. Time to move on.

A brief blog note, I’ve restored the Recent Reviews sidebar item just below the In Theaters list. Instead of linking to the Now Playing blurbs, these jump right to the reviews. Not a big deal, but several of you missed it and didn’t like finding the reviews by way of the Now Playing page. I also hope it will help inspire me to be more prolific with writing full reviews instead of relying on smaller blurbs.

Also note the graphic for Cinema Fanatic’s Woody Allen Blogothon scheduled for Friday, May 20th in celebration of the opening of Midnight in Paris.

That’s all I’ve got this week. What about you? Seen anything good lately?

8 Responses to “Bridesmaids is a hit”

  1. As I said on the Weekend Forecast post I saw Incendies yesterday, which I thought was fantastic. I’m looking forward to reading your review when you write it. :-)

  2. I dusted off the draft I wrote a few weeks back and I think I might be able to whip it into at least a mini-review, but I had too much other stuff to do tonight and haven’t had time.

    It’s a pretty light week this week, only one screening tomorrow (though it’s possibly my most anticipated movie of 2011 so that’s exciting), but other than that not much and it’s a really light weekend coming up for new releases. So anyway, hopefully I can go back and write a few reviews.

    For the time being, I at least updated the Now Playing blurb which condenses a lot of what i want to say in the review: http://livingincinema.com/lic-recommends/#Incendies

  3. Playing catch-up after the Tribeca Film Festival I managed to see five films in theatres this week, though I missed out Sunday on seeing Kon Ichikawa’s beautiful 1963 film The Makioka Sisters, having to settle on an afternoon showing that day of the harrowing Chinese film City of Life and Death. But luckily, Ichikawa’s film will run through Tuesday, so I am hoping to see it Monday night.

    I saw the following, all except for one with Lucille:

    Incendies **** 1/2 (Thursday night) Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

    Hey Boo: Harper Lee and ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ **** 1/2 (Sat.) Quad Cinemas

    Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff **** 1/2 (Sat.) Quad Cinemas

    A Serbian Film 0 stars (Saturday night) Cinema Village

    City of Life and Death **** (Sunday) Film Forum

    The Canadian film INCENDIES received an Oscar nod for Best Foreign Film. It’s frustrating for sure, but it still manages to bring together it’s divergent elements of mystery, love story and melodrama, yielding one of the year’s most electrifying final revelations. At times it seems to lost it’s focus, but it’s maintains it’s grip, calling urgently for a second viewing. It’s the kind of film that needs to be ‘experienced’ rather than seen.

    Although I was warned about A SERBIAN FILM I still thought I’d give this ultra-controversial film the benefit of a doubt. With an obscure “allegorical” excuse, the director Srdjan Spasojevic goes headfirst into necrophila, pedaphelia and depraved child defilement with a veracity that defies the very essence of human civility and decency. A SERBIAN FILM is sickening beyond comprehension, but when it moves away from the sensationalism it’s a downright bore. It’s shabbily filmed (purposely of course) on unattractive film stock by a director with little knowledge of how to use a camera, and it leaves one questioning a fellow human being’s sanity. Comparing it with Pasolini’s near-masterwork SALO (1975) is a affront to cinematic art, but this awful film is truthfully an affront to the human race.

    One of literature’s greatest mysteries is why southern author Harper Lee never followed up her 1960 masterpiece “To Kill A Mockingbird” with an encore and furthermore has steadfastly refused to grant interviews since 1964. This one-hit wonder has endlessly intrigued those who see her book as the greatest American novel of the 20th Century, one that has been taught in school for decades, and a work that has stood as a centerpiece for the civil rights movement since’s it’s timely publication. The documentary’s director Mary McDonagh Murphy examines the continuing role of the character “Scout”, and of the book’s universality. It’s a sure labor of love for the book’s admirers and it tries in modest ways to crack Lee’s enigmatic spectre. (A full review is planned for today).

    Another notable documentary is also running at the Quad in Manhattan, and Lucille and I saw it as part of the double-feature on Saturday with the Harper Lee film. CAMERAMAN: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JACK CARDIFF takes an affectionate look at the greatest color cinematographer of all-time, examining his ascendency to artistic prominence, his celebrated work with Michael Powell and Emeric Pressberger, and his later years as a director on his own account. While some of the clips are familiar, they help to paint this indellible portrait of a man whose work has eclipsed his persona, and has served as a reminder of the exceeding artistry that highlights his distinguished a long-lived life span. Jack Cardiff was a larger than life figure, yet director Craig McCall lovingly traces all the human connections and personal validations along the way.

    A disturbing film based on one of history’s most deplorable episodes, THE CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH chronicles the Rape of Nanking, the infamous aftermath of the capture of Chinese city of Nanking and the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians by the Japanese Imperial Army. Over 20,000 women were raped by Japanese soldiers during a six-week period. Precise statistics are not known, as the Japanese destroyed or hid records. The film is extremely difficult to watch, but never dehumanizes its subjects, and in the end is utterly wrenching. I would only take issue with the inability or unwillingness of the filmmakers to examine why or how the Japanese soldiers chose to perpetrate such unconscionable evil. I am unsure if I will ultimately go with a 4 or a 4 1/2 star rating with this, but I will think further.

    My wife Lucilel and two daughters on Sunday saw BRIDESMAIDS and came home smiling.

  4. Sam, even the 0 you gave A Serbian Film doesn’t water down your stellar responses to everything else!

    City of Life and Death, Jack Cardiff and Harper Lee won’t open in LA for a little bit, but i’m looking forward to each.

    I’m glad Incendies worked its magic on you. There was a point at the end where I was almost prepared to reject it, but then I sat there and thought about it for a minute and it finally just worked and the accumulated emotions were just too much to ignore.

    My favorite scene and for me the most moving was the scene in the hospital with sick nurse who suddenlly realizes who she’s talking to and the connection to “The Woman Who Sings” Great stuff.

  5. I finally saw The Cave of Forgotten Dreams last night and I really enjoyed it, although it is a bit disjointed. It felt as though Herzog was restrained by the conditions placed upon him and his crew to film within the cave itself. Most of the elements that happen outside the cave, speaking with scientists and whatnot, doesn’t really give the subject matter the clarity and focus it needs. But regardless, Herzog’s awe is quickly transferred to the audience. Even though the 3D sometimes falters, the overall effect is very impressive. If you have any interest, this is worth seeing in a theater.

    I also watched The Illusionist, which was enjoyable but didn’t completely come together to deliver a satisfying narrative experience. It works, but it felt as though there was something missing.

    Earlier in the weekend I saw Black Death, which Craig has mentioned before. Even though the film is incredibly bleak and dark, I really liked it. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of medieval times,Christianity, or paganism, but its themes of religious vengeance and servitude to that were rendered in very visceral terms.

  6. Was Black Death unlike what you expected? It was for me. I don’t even remember now what I was looking for, but that wasn’t it. I don’t think it’s one for the ages, but it was interesting, tackled some big thematic issues, had some good performances and was occasionally thrilling. Sort of an unexpected little gem in my book.

    My somewhat muted reaction to Cave is very similar to yours. It’s excellent, but for me ultimately frustrating. Herzog gives us an uniquely Herzogian piece of the whole puzzle, but this is a subject that is crying out for more and for a stronger focus. It felt to me at times like he was trying to spin a tiny nugget of gold (in the form of the amazing footage and access) into something much bigger and didn’t quite do justice to wherever he was going or the original nugget.

    Perhaps if I step back and just take it as another Herzog documentary and judge it on its own terms I’d be a bit more enthusiastic. It’s not his fault he didn’t make the movie I wanted to see. As I’ve said elsewhere I need to see it again, though I want to see it in 2D so I’ll wait for DVD.

    The Illusionist was one of the biggest disappointments for me of the last year or so. The artistry is unassailable, but it never came alive.

  7. Black Death: From the description, I was expecting something more fantastical and with a more obvious horror component, but I prefer what I ended up with. It’s not going to be for everyone and I’m not surprised it hasn’t garnered a larger following, but its pretty good for what it is. I’m also a little surprised the fanboys haven’t given this one more play, but maybe my opening sentence belies the reason for their lack of interest: this film is not effects- or action-driven.

    Cave of Forgotten Dreams: Generally I agree with your review, although I think I was more satisfied with the 3D and the cave-centric portions. I’d like to see a traditional documentary on this subject, but I’m also glad the French let Herzog do his thing. He just seemed overwhelmed by the constraints and his own awe of the subject matter. Like his Encounters at the End of the World, he seemed to lose his focus trying to find the weird in all the grandeur. Grizzly Man was 75% weird, 25% grandeur of nature and seemed to be perfectly in his wheel house as a result.

    Illusionist: I found it less disappointing than you, but overall I agree with your assessment. It never comes alive.

  8. “I’m also a little surprised the fanboys haven’t given this one more play,” They should have and I think a few did, but they suck.

    One thing I liked about it is how, up to a point, you were never really sure there were supernatural goings on or if there was a perfectly reasonable explanation for the events. and the likely answer to that question changed a few times.

    I should reiterate that I still liked Cave, but I need to see it again. Maybe with expectations in check it’ll be a home run.

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