November 2011

My Week with Marilyn

by Alan Rapp on November 25, 2011

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: My Week with Marilyn
  • IMDB: link

my-week-with-marilyn-posterIt’s almost as shame Michelle Williams is so good as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn because her performance could easily overshadow what is one of the year’s best films.

There have been plenty of films I’ve enjoyed and appreciated in 2011, but I’ve waited a 11-and-a-half months to walk out of a theater and say I love a film. That streak is now over.

My Week with Marilyn based on Colin Clark’s memoir, recounts the young man’s first experience working on a film as the third assistant director of The Prince and the Showgirl directed and starring renown British actor Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) and American sensation Marilyn Monroe (Williams).

My Week with Marilyn isn’t only a love story to the troubled actress, but also this age of filmmaking and celebrity when one of England’s greatest actors took a chance on an increasingly hard to work with actress who the camera loved. The experiment went so well Olivier would essentially give up directing and return to the stage.

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Melancholia

by Alan Rapp on November 25, 2011

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Melancholia
  • IMDB: link

melancholia-posterIt begins, and ends, with the end of the world. The latest from writer/director Lars von Trier is a bleak examination at the lives of two sisters in the days before the arrival of a mysterious planet on a collision course with the Earth.

We begin with Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgård) who are late to their own wedding reception. At first this cute occurrence of a limbo driver not being able to navigate the narrow drive to where the event is held seems nothing more than a mildly diverting challenge for the new couple to navigate. We soon learn, however, that the newlyweds have all kinds of problems they will struggle through on this night.

Over the course of the evening Justine, already stressed by the wedding, is pressured by her husband sister to act normal, her boss Stellan Skarsgård) wants a slogan for a new campaign, her sister’s husband (Kiefer Sutherland) wants her gratitude for the gala he’s paid for, and her mother (Charlotte Rampling) is complaining constantly at the absurdity of marriage.

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Covert Affairs – Horse to Water

by Alan Rapp on November 24, 2011

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Covert Affairs – Horse to Water
  • tv.com: link

covert-affairs-horse-to-water

When a longtime CIA asset is killed Arthur (Peter Gallagher) suspects a former CIA analyst (Bruce Davison) convicted of treason, and currently held in solitary confinement in a maximum security prison, may be behind it. The CIA decides to look into both of the man’s daughters to see if they are involved.

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Birds of Prey #3

by Alan Rapp on November 24, 2011

in Comics

birds-of-prey-new-52-3-coverThe entire team is assembled (well, almost, but we’ll get to that in a minute). Black Canary‘s worst fears are realized as Starling and Kantana are less than thrilled with the fact that Poison Ivy has joined the team. To tell the truth, I’m with them.

Because this is DC’s reboot it wouldn’t be complete without a complete character redesign for Poison Ivy. Although it is a shock that the character is one of the few female DC’s characters that got less sexualized as part of the New 52.

The issue itself, once Starling and Katana stop trying to kill their new partner, isn’t great but it works well enough to keep my interest (even if the art looks extremely rushed). The issue ends with a cliffhanger as Black Canary learns she’s a ticking timebomb set at the mercy of whoever is in charge of this legion of invisible assassins.

The real interesting tidbit is the news that Batgirl won’t just be guest-starring over the next couple of issues but will become a permanent member of the team beginning next issue. Babs inclusion could be just what this book needs. Hit-and-Miss.

[DC, $2.99]

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Batman #3

by Alan Rapp on November 24, 2011

in Comics

batman-new-52-3-coverSince the reboot all the Bat-titles have had their hiccups so I can’t fault writer Scott Snyder too much if the latest issue of Batman isn’t as good as the first two. Issue #3 showcasing Batman‘s detective skills (THANK YOU!!!) as the Dark Knight Detective uncovers a secret conspiracy hidden in the homes of Gotham City’s wealthiest families for decades.

Greg Capullo’s art feels a little rushed in some of the panels, especially Batman’s fight with the Whisper Gang in the Gotham City subway. Thankfully the fight is saved thanks to a Batman’s ingenious solution to take down the entire gang with the flip of a switch.

As to the Court of Owls, the uncovering of the mystery works well enough, but the conspiracy and super-secret organization full of people dressed up as owls hiding in the homes of Gotham’s most wealthy doesn’t come off any better than it sounds. Issue #3 isn’t a good as I’d like but it’s still the best of the Bat-titles. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

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