• Big Screen alerts

I'm scared. If those zany Mayans are right and the world does come to an end tomorrow, that means the last movie I'll ever see will be Parental Guidance. Or maybe by "the end of the world," the Mayans knew that a new Billy Crystal film was going to open on 12/21/12. I'm banking on a bigger disaster than anything the Mayans were cooking up. It screens tonight and If I survive -- the film, not the Mayan apocalypse -- my review will post this weekend.

Parental Guidance isn't the only alleged comedy opening this week. Barbara Streisand rides shotgun for Seth Rogen in the cutesy road movie, The Guilt Trip. Albert Brooks returns, unfortunately under the "direction" of Judd Apatow, in This Is 40, or as my buddy John Schultz called it, This is 40...Minutes too Long.


This year's most anticipated Christmas Day release is Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. For its first half, Django is a loopy mix of Blazing Saddles and Mandingo, but once they arrive at Candyland the non-stop dialog kicks in and at 141 minutes it drags on to an unavoidable blood bath. Not a bad film, but QT fails to do to slave owners what he did to Nazis in Inglorious Basterds.

California Solo opens today at Landmarks Ken Cinema. Matthew was mixed: "Despite a couple of flat attempts at pathos, the feeling is right: the crushing weight of the mundane on a man who flirted with greatness in the past and who must now make peace with the present."

I was initially assigned the task of reviewing Les Miserables. Cut out "Les"; this thing is miserable. There are more close-ups of sweaty heads lunging at the camera than you're likely to find in a POV porn. Why spend millions to construct elaborate sets only to film nostrils? After 30 minutes I was out the door. My partner took the bullet earlier this week, so watch The Big Screen .for Matthew's review.

The French drama Rust and Bone debuts at the Landmark Hillcrest. For those who deem Christmas meaningless without a new Tom Cruise blockbuster, there's Jack Reacher. Both films screened after our print deadline, so watch The Big Screen for reviews.

Other openings include Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D. It sure would be nice if one of our loyal readers gave Matt and I a Christmas gift by covered this for us. That's the only way you'll find a review of it in this space.

And if you are feeling particularly daring, Tales of the Maya Skies continues at the Reuben Fleet Science Center.

Merry Christmas, everybody, and Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish friends.

  • Big Screen alerts


John71471 Dec. 20, 2012 @ 9:53 a.m.

Thanks for the shout out, Scott.

I think Les Miz is a prime candidate for worst film of the year.


Javajoe25 Dec. 20, 2012 @ 11:44 a.m.

That's disappointing to read. I was hoping Les Miz was going to turn out well in spite of my reservations after hearing who was cast in it. Les Miz was the only musical I've ever been able to sit through, well, that and film version of West Side Story from way back when. It seems a lot of producers think it's all a matter of face-- you just throw the right faces on the screen and nothing can go wrong. Not. I just hope this film doesn't turn people away from seeing the staged version. It is truly a great story and when done by a good company, a fantastic and very moving production to see.


Scott Marks Dec. 20, 2012 @ 12:20 p.m.

In all fairness, Matthew has the final say. Even I won't review a movie based on only 30 minutes. This talk-singing stuff drives me up a wall, so I must admit I went in more than a little prejudiced and what I saw only made me hate it all the more.

As for the close-ups, "director" Tom Pooper said that he did it on purpose since it's based on a stage play and theatergoers never get to see the performers' faces. What a jadrool!


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 20, 2012 @ 7:15 p.m.

I like your writing/review style Scott _Marks. Makes the review much more entertaining, ergo gives the movie a better chance on whether I will go see it. Being a stooge fan is icing on the cake.


Scott Marks Dec. 20, 2012 @ 10:17 p.m.

Style?! Thanks for the promotion, Surf. And, please, call me Scott_.

Now hurry up and get dressed, you knucklehead, the girls'll be here soon!


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