Some Things Never Change

Remember, the eyes are the nipples of the face!This is always the way it goes — the TIFF press screenings are in full gear, my every spare minute is devoted to clearing my pre-festival deadlines … and distributors are still cranking out ten theatrical releases a week. Who’s going to see all of these? Who has the time?

Okay, there’s an upside: Now that I’m at NOW, I only have to cover five of them. So let’s get right to it:

“Beaufort”: Israel’s entry for the foreign-language Oscar — well, after “The Band’s Visit” was disqualified for mostly being in English — finally gets a Canadian theatrical run. Adam finds it somewhat underwhelming.

“Boy A”: A young man (Andrew Garfield) tries to re-enter society after spending most of his adolescence in juvenile detention in John Crowley’s TIFF ’07 entry, which got dropped into theatrical release so quickly that none of us were able to prep a review. I heard good things in London, though.

“Death Race”: Jason Statham gets behind the wheel of Paul W.S. Anderson’s remake/update of the Roger Corman classic, which apparently bears no similarity to the original beyond having some racing in it, and also death. Over at Film Freak Central, Walter Chaw frames his disappointment in the proper context.

“Elegy”: Ben Kingsley beds Penelope Cruz in director Isabel Coixet’s latest meditation on the unknowable majesty of the human heart, or something. I had very little patience for Coixet’s previous films, “My Life Without Me” and “The Secret Life of Words”, so Susan takes this one.

Frozen River“: As a working-class mom who starts smuggling human cargo across the Canadian-American border, Melissa Leo gives a wholly unsentimental performance in Courtney Hunt’s Sundance award-winner; thing is, the movie around her is kind of lousy.

Hamlet 2“: In which Steve Coogan play a sexy Jesus who rocks us. It’s really that simple.

Henry Poole is Here“: Luke Wilson is about fifteen years too young for the role of a wet-eyed mope who experiences a spiritual redemption in Mark Pellington’s wretched, smarmy melodrama. I kept thinking David Duchovny would have been a much better choice. And then I started thinking about that episode of “The X Files” that Duchovny and Wilson did together, and how much more I’d rather be watching that.

The House Bunny“: I think I’ve made it pretty clear how much I heart Anna Faris, so it’s nice to see her latest starring vehicle actually make it into theaters this time. The movie isn’t much, but she’s wonderful in it — as are Emma Stone and Kat Dennings. But if you wanted to wait for the DVD, I can’t say I’d blame you. As soon as my review goes up on the NOW site, I’ll link to it here. UPDATE: Click away!

“The Longshots”: Fred Durst directed a movie. The Limp Bizkit guy. And it stars Ice Cube as a surly football has-been who coaches his phenom niece to greatness. Fifteen years ago, would any of us have ever imagined something like this? Rad swears he saw it, but I still suspect we’re being punk’d.

“Tuya’s Marriage”: Here’s another film I was hearing about in London last year — a Mongolian drama about a young woman searching for a new husband who’ll take on the keep of her injured ex as well as herself. It sounded very interesting, but I never managed to get to a screening; Andrew ultimately got it covered.

Oh, and because I neglected to link to it on Wednesday’s post, here’s my review of “The Rocker“, too.