A Good Friday

I gots 99 problems ...So much for today being a quiet day — there are almost a dozen films opening, including no less than four highlights of last year’s Cannes lineup. Jump right in, won’t you?

“Dragonball: Evolution”: Wait, Chow Yun-Fat is in this? Why on earth didn’t anybody tell me? Not that it would have mattered for an opening-day review, since the studio declined to screen it, but still …

Duska“: Joss Stelling’s strained comedy of manners is so self-consciously droll that I just couldn’t bear it. And you’d think I’d be the perfect audience for a movie that a good 20 minutes taking cheap shots at the empty pageantry of second-tier European film festivals …

“Hannah Montana: The Movie”: OMG is this really the last time Miley Cyrus will play the dual-identity teen popster? Deirdre thinks it ought to be.

Hunger“: No qualifications here: Steve McQueen’s debut — an impressionistic consideration of the hunger strike at the Maze prison in 1981 — is a fucking masterpiece. So, you know, you should probably see it.

It’s Hard Being Loved By Jerks“: Daniel Leconte’s documentary about the defamation charges brought against the French magazine Charlie Hebdo for publishing those contentious Danish cartoons arrives fresh from closing Cinefranco, but if you missed it there …

“Jerichow”: Fresh from Cinematheque’s recent German series, Christian Petzold’s spin on “The Postman Always Rings Twice” pops up in commercial release. Rad and Adam offer their bravos.

“The Mysteries of Pittsburgh”: Rawson Marshall Thurber, whose “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” is on its way to becoming an absurdist classic, returns with this more serious-minded adaptation of Michael Chabon’s novel. But as Rad and Kieran discover, it’s not as much fun without Pirate Steve.

Observe and Report“: Travis Bickle gets reincarnated as a mall cop in Jody Hill’s surprisingly effective “Taxi Driver” update — which is much darker and much meaner than Seth Rogen would have you believe. Turns out that’s a good thing.

“Shall We Kiss?”: The luminous Virginie Ledoyen gets a rare opportunity to play comedy in Emmanuelle Mouret’s dry French farce about friends who discover they have les hots for one another. Susan and Kieran are amused, if not enthusiastic.

Tulpan“: Sergei Dvortsevoy takes his cameras to the Kazakh steppes for this lovely tale of a big-eared dreamer, his sister’s family and a whole lot of sheep. There are also two camels.

Two Lovers“: I’ve been telling people about James Gray’s excruciatingly intimate (and, apparently, unconscious) reworking of “The Heartbreak Kid” for nearly a year, so it’s great to see the film make it to local screens. Well, “screen”, actually, since it’s only at the AMC Yonge and Dundas. But it’s totally worth the trip.

Right, that’s plenty. And now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to go to the bakery and stare covetously at hot-cross buns …

2 thoughts on “A Good Friday”

  1. Thank you for putting a photo of my ex-boyfriend on your site. We’ve split as I am not really into his new career trajectory.

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