If you’re reading this, congratulations: You survived the Mayapocalypse! Aren’t you happy that it all amounted to nothing? Now you can reap the benefits of a modern Western existence without any fear of the ground beneath your feet boiling away into lava, or whatever was supposed to happen. I don’t pay attention to that stuff. Were there flying monkeys? Those would have been creepy
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away: Cirque du Soleil movies make me break out in hives, so we made John cover it. Hee hee hee.
56 Up: Michael Apted returns once again to the children Granada Television selected to represent England’s future all the way back in Seven Up!, and finds them in an uncertain middle age, thanks to the UK’s economic meltdown. If this wasn’t a documentary, it’d be the stuff of great drama.
The Impossible: Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor are both excellent in Juan Antonio Bayona’s distressingly intimate disaster movie, which is catching a lot of flack for casting Brits as characters who were originally Spanish. But if you can get past that, it’s a powerful, technically amazing picture.
Jack Reacher: In which Tom Cruise in no way fills the shoes of Lee Child’s towering man-mountain of a crime solver, and Werner Herzog plays one of the year’s least intimidating villains.
Rust and Bone: In which Marion Cotillard makes her own Oscar bid as a whale trainer who loses her legs in an accident, and finds solace — and sexytime — in the arms of a man (Matthias Schoenaerts) with issues of his own. I liked it; Rad loved it.
This is 40: In which Judd Apatow catches up to the privileged couple he introduced in Knocked Up, and finds them handling things not nearly as well as they could be. Like The Impossible, some people will be unable to get over the initial question of being asked to empathize with well-off, well-positioned characters. It’s their loss.
And that’s it for today. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of other stuff opening on Christmas Day, and we’re actually sitting on some more content for after the holidays. Check back in the days ahead, and I’ll do my best to keep you entertained.
Oh, and to that end, here’s the NOW podcast I recorded last week about The Hobbit: An Unfinished Journey and the HFR technology that may or may not change the way we watch movies. Okay, it probably won’t, but one wants to hedge one’s bets where Peter Jackson and James Cameron are involved.